How to Choose the Right Format of Video For Various Devices

Video formats can be confusing, both in concept as well as the fact that there are so many of them out there. That being said there are benefits to being able to identify and choose the ‘right’ format of video for a particular device – but before you can do that, you need to understand video formats better.


Understanding Containers and Codecs

Although people normally refer to the extension of a video (i.e. MOV, AVI, MP4, MKV) as its format, that is technically incorrect. The extensions are really the container – which is what holds the video and audio along with other information about it.

That container is part of the format of the video, along with another part – its codec. The codec is what is used to organize the data in the video, and helps with its compression. Some of the more popular codecs in use today include H.264 and H.265.

To sum it up: If you want to choose the right format for video, you need to consider both the container and codec.


Factors that Determine the ‘Right’ Format

When you want to choose the ‘right’ format for a certain device, you should consider a few important factors:


Different devices have different ranges of compatibility. On top of that, some devices are able to extend that range by downloading codecs or special players, while others are not.

It is important that you know the containers and codecs that your device supports, and narrow the range of formats you’re considering accordingly.

File size

The codec that you use will affect the compression of the video – and in turn, its file size. Newer codecs (such as H.265) offer better compression rates but tend to be less compatible than older codecs.

Based on the range of formats that are compatible with your device, choosing one with a codec that offers the best compression rates would be ideal.


The quality of videos can differ depending on the compression its format uses. That being said if all other video parameters are the same as the difference in the quality of two videos using compressed video formats should be minimal.

If you do intend to convert videos to the ‘right’ format, you can try using Movavi Video Converter. It will make it easy to convert WebM to MP4, AVI to MKV, or any other formats. On top of that, it has presets that you can use to automatically convert your video to the best format for specific devices or platforms.

Make no mistake Movavi Video Converter can do much more than just convert videos, and can also convert audio and image files, create animated GIFs, grab screenshots, extract audio tracks or compress videos. In fact, it even has several editing features that you can use to improve the quality of your videos, merge clips together, trim out unwanted parts, add captions, and more.

All in all Movavi Video Converter is a utility that you should definitely try out. Not only will it help you to convert videos into the right format for various devices, but its features will give you the means to prepare them in other ways too if necessary.