We stay in an period through which info is shared quicker than it has ever been earlier than. We’ve witnessed the rise of social media. We’ve seen conventional media’s makes an attempt to compete for the eye of a public barraged with info. And, it has been the video format that has, most frequently, been favored to cross the divide in the direction of most of the people. However, with a lot video content material and with the expansion of the industries that assist produce it, the general public has additionally come to count on the very best quality. Right now we’ll attempt to have the preferred video file codecs defined, their professionals, their cons, in addition to when and the place they are often greatest used.

What Are the Advantages of Completely different Video Codecs?

Sure, the expertise concerned in creating movies has developed over time. It’s now a lot simpler to movie high quality movies, edit them and render them to a format that’s extensively supported. The general public has come to count on and demand the most effective. Why then hasn’t one video format, specifically, emerged because the business commonplace?

The quick reply is that although quite a few codecs exist, essentially the most well-known of them have barely totally different traits. These make some extra useful than others in sure conditions.

For instance, a few of them are most well-liked due to varied kinds of video codecs high quality. Others are fashionable due to the extensive distribution, their compatibility, their technical necessities, or, merely, the problem concerned with utilizing them.

Listed below are a number of the best-known video codecs along with their greatest and worst traits.

  • AVI
  • MP4
  • WEBM
  • FLV
  • MOV
  • WMV
  • MKV


If any format has ever stood within the neighborhood of turning into the accepted “industry standard” than that will have been AVI. Quick for Audio Video Interleave, the AVI format was developed by Microsoft throughout the early a part of the Nineties.


One in all its important benefits has all the time been the truth that AVI stays very extensively supported. That is in no small half as a result of the truth that, from the start, AVI was the default video format for a number of the world’s most necessary digital camera manufacturers.

It’s additionally price mentioning the truth that each PC and Mac gadgets assist the format. The AVI codecs assist compress the AVI file measurement whereas sacrificing little of the video high quality. It’s no marvel why the format has retained its reputation.


Whereas there are few noteworthy shortcomings, it’s good to notice that uncompressed AVI information are certainly of a really giant measurement. The identical codec used to compress the information have to be used to be able to retrieve and to play them.

And, whereas Youtube, the largest video sharing platform on the planet, does advocate that its customers add MP4 information, the AVI format is itself supported by the web site along with the file extensions MOV, WMV, FLV, 3GP, MPEGPS, WebM, and the aforementioned MP4 (MPEG4).

Supply: ‘Computers’ – Duane Storey through Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)


The MP4, quick for the much less catchy title of MPEG-4 Half 14, is an especially fashionable video format that was drastically impressed by the QuickTime File Format. A lot of its present notoriety might be attributed to the truth that it was developed and, later, used to nice impact by Apple. The truth is, the MP4 format was embraced by the iTunes platform at was arguably the Apple firm’s peak when it comes to worldwide notoriety.

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One in all its important benefits is the truth that the video format is used on quite a few video gamers in addition to iTunes, equivalent to VLC, Home windows Media Participant, or GOM Participant. Subsequently, MP4 information will play on nearly all of well-known media gamers.

Being championed by the behemoth video-sharing platform that’s Youtube has little question helped. However, the assist is justified by what the format has needed to provide. For instance, closed caption file codecs, which assist with the video subtitles, might be simply built-in over an MP4 video.

The standard can also be past reproach. The MP4 format is useful in streaming video over the web whereas dropping little of its high quality within the course of. MP4 information are in a position to produce movies of close to DVD like high quality and the format is suitable with most fashionable expertise. Video sharing platforms usually actively encourage customers to add their information in MP4 format for these very causes. In addition to this, the truth that it helps 3D objects make it of nice use in growing shows.


Whereas few, one of many downsides of utilizing this format has to do with the method of enhancing most of these information. It isn’t rare for MP4 information which are imported to trigger the video software program to crash. Subsequently, whereas the MP4 format might sit on the high of the checklist in various areas, it could hardly be known as the most effective video format for enhancing.

Along with avi, mp4 has been essentially the most extensively unfold file extension for a number of years. This bares the query. Which one is of higher high quality, AVI or MP4? Whereas the race is slender and but to be absolutely run, MP4 might barely outrank the AVI format. That is due to the truth that the MP4 format does embrace various extra fashionable options that the older AVI container was merely not designed to have.

Supply: ‘Cameraman’- AndreP11 through Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)


With its improvement levels sponsored by tech large Google, the WEBM format was created with the distinct aim of getting used on web sites. And, so it did. When used along with HTML5 specification, WEBM creates movies of very small file sizes. This drastically simplified the streaming of the movies. And, in some ways, for a number of years, it modified the style through which quite a few web sites have been designed.


Initially, WEBM is an open-source, royalty-free format. It’s extensively used for HTML5 and Chromecast. It produces good high quality movies and it’s extensively used on many fashionable web sites equivalent to Youtube and Wikimedia. And, whereas principally used for video streaming, WEBM may also be edited in video software program instruments equivalent to Corel VideoStudio. The truth is, WEBM continues to be utilized by a number of the greatest free enhancing software program.


The apparent disadvantage with the format has to do with its decline in reputation which has coincided with the efficiency enchancment of many platforms. Additionally, internet browsers equivalent to Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome don’t assist it and WEBM information can’t play on all kinds of moveable gadgets.

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An acronym for Superior Video Coding, ACVHD is the creation of large digital firms Sony and Panasonic who partnered for the event of this video format. The aim was to create a file-based format that will permit the playback of high-definition video. It was extensively thought-about to be a hit. Because of the excessive visible commonplace it gives, it has lengthy been the go-to commonplace for professional videographers.


AVCHD is the video format used for various high-end {hardware} merchandise together with these manufactured by Canon, Hitachi or Sony. One other benefit of AVCHD is that it helps 3D movies.


Though of a excessive technical commonplace, AVCHD will not be fairly as extensively supported as its closest rival, the MP4 video format. Additionally, it doesn’t assist the very fashionable 4K format. And, getting the movies out of your digital camera onto your laptop for enhancing might show to be a slower course of than with different codecs. Nonetheless, skilled video enhancing software program has tended to take a shine in the direction of it over time.


FLV, quick for Flash Video Format, is the container file format created for use at the side of the pc software program Adobe Flash Participant. Basically, the aim of the video format is to facilitate the straightforward supply of high-quality video format over the web.


The wonderful thing about Flash is that it involves the assistance of internet sites wanting so as to add animation and interactive content material. The method is straightforward and, finally, might be of nice impact. In its heyday, Flash was additionally used for easy video games.


The draw back, in fact, stems from the truth that the FLV format has come to be much less and much less fashionable lately. Creating FLV content material can take up a number of time and be relatively pricey. One other draw back is the truth that Flash content material can’t be performed on gadgets utilizing iOS, drastically limiting its potential to achieve new followers.


The MOV or QuickTime file format was developed by Apple particularly with the goal of it being utilized by these searching for to simply edit movies. The flicks created could possibly be separated into quite a few tracks that permit the storage of several types of information.


Its biggest asset is its simplicity. The MOV format advantages from a easy, engaging design that ought to assist even its latest customers edit their movies to a excessive commonplace. Moreover, MOV may also be simply used at the side of different codecs.


A few of its drawbacks, nevertheless, should do with the comparatively giant information it creates as in comparison with codecs equivalent to AVI. In some methods, MP4 might be seen as a descendent of the MOV file, utilizing related lossy compression requirements. This reality often makes it a extra preferable choice to its descendant.


When Microsoft developed Home windows Media Video (MPV) their perception was that the brand new format would come to dominate the world of on-line video streaming. Its connection to the Home windows model has definitely elevated its visibility.


WMV’s greatest speaking level was the drastically decreased measurement of saved information which could possibly be simply transferred by way of means equivalent to e-mails.
Additionally, as it’s steadily used to retailer video information on the planet’s hottest working system, Home windows, different packages additionally make use of it for brief animations.

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Alternatively, the primary drawback with the small WMV information is the way in which through which the picture high quality is retained after compression. Moreover, because the video format was created with Home windows in thoughts, it’s not simple to seek out media gamers able to operating WMV information in different working programs.


MKV, quick for matroshka (a reference to the Russian conventional stacking dolls) goals to be an open-source competitor for video-formats equivalent to AVI or MP4. It was developed by MCF (Multimedia Container Format) and acquired its huge break in 2014 when Home windows introduced plans to assist the MKV format out of the field and provide technical assist for it.


MKV information can assist lossless high quality and the only information can include a limiteless variety of photos, movies or audio. Since it’s an open-source mission, it helps a wide range of out there codecs.


Whereas it doesn’t have too many outright points, Matroshka continues to be not extensively supported, the mission continues to be in its preliminary levels of evolution and it’s thought-about by many to be extra difficult to make use of than AVI or MP4.

Table of technical information for FLV, MOV, WMV, MKV video file formats

Conclusions: What’s the greatest video format for you in the mean time?

Which video format is the very best quality? The phrase continues to be out on one video format to face earlier than all others. It’s because merely put, the assorted video codecs handle totally different shopper wants. Having mentioned that, a number of the codecs we analyzed begin the race with a tiny benefit, being tailored for one specific use.

  • Codecs like AVI and MP4 are essentially the most extensively recognized and used. The latter of the 2 is particularly embraced by social media apps, one of the necessary sources for producing and consuming video content material.
  • Different codecs are particularly favored for the excessive video and audio high quality which is definitely transferred to tv or might be simply streamed on to giant screens.
  • Some customers want to use extremely compressed information. A video format measurement comparability chart, whereas utilizing the commonest codecs, would probably present WMV information together with the least general file measurement. They are going to most likely be adopted by Flash and Quicktime information, whereas AVI information would probably be a number of the largest.
  • The Matroshka format is loved not just for its high quality but in addition for the philosophy behind it as it’s a free, open-source video format.
  • Lastly, a number of the codecs are tailor-made made for internet use. WEBM and even Flash video can permit the consumer to raised experiment with what they’ll obtain with their web sites.

All in all, there has not been one single video format that has change into an business commonplace for the very motive that they’ll, often, be distinguished from each other by way of the problems they resolve. And, whereas expertise will little question enhance, leaving customers demanding ever elevated requirements, most of the hottest video codecs at present will stay of appreciable significance for years to return.

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