As you probably know, videos can be stored in many different formats. In most cases you may not be that concerned with the formats that your videos are stored in, but they do have a big impact on your video in several ways.

Because of the impact the format can have on your videos, there are several reasons why you may want to convert it:

  • To ensure that it is compatible

One of the most common reasons why people convert videos is to ensure that they are compatible with certain devices or platforms. If a video isn’t compatible it may not play, or will appear as a blank screen with just the audio playing.

While you could look up the exact formats that are supported by the device or platform that you’re using, it is often best to start with common formats that are widely supported such as MP4 with H.264. In some specific cases you may only be able to use particular formats, such as MPEG-2 for DVD videos.

  • To reduce the file size

Another common reason why you may want to convert a video is to reduce its file size. Essentially the video codec that is part of its format is used to compress the video data, and as such will affect its file size.

The reduction in video file size that you can obtain by converting your video will vary depending on the codec of the original video and the codec that you’re converting it to. It can be substantial however, and for example if you convert a H.264 video to H.265, you could reduce the file size by up to 50%.

Although newer codecs offer better compression, they are often less widely supported than older codecs – which is something that you need to keep in mind.

  • To avoid automatic transcoding

If you’re going to upload your video to Facebook, YouTube, or some other online platforms – you may want to convert it so that it doesn’t get automatically transcoded when it is uploaded. Essentially although many platforms support multiple formats, most will automatically transcode the format to comply with their preferences.

By converting the video yourself, you can make sure its quality is good prior to uploading it. For example if you are going to upload a video to YouTube you could convert it using YouTube’s recommended settings.

In order to convert video from one format to another, you’ll need a video converter of some kind – preferably one that supports a wide range of formats. For example you could try Movavi Video Converter.

As you can see there are lots of reasons to convert videos, and the format that your video is in has an important part to play. It is up to you to decide which format is best for your video, though using popular options such as MP4 with H.264 is a good place to start and H.265 is another good option provided it is supported by the device or platform you’re using.