What are the different types of video formats?

In this blog, I am going to explain the different types of video format and how each one is different from the other. I will also state which one of them I use the most and why it is the best one for me. This should come in handy for any designers trying to render a video in the right format, preserving high quality with low file size. As a video maker, you know there’s no cutting corners when it comes to creating engaging videos. Each story has to have unique concepts and contexts, so you don’t need to account for these in the creative process, this means that the story is told in the most compelling way possible. The same applies to video formats, unfortunately, there is no stand out format as each of them have their own uses. Not every computer or video platform supports every video format.


The first format I am going to discuss is the one that I use the most. The version of the MP4 I like to use to keep a low file size is H.264. Most digital devices and platforms support MP4, making it the most used video format around. It can store video files, audio files, text, and still images. The main part for me though is its ability to retain high video quality while maintaining relatively small file sizes. It is particularly good in our industry as videos to go on websites for slider etc. have to be a really small file size to avoid slowing the site down, therefore MP4 is the best for us as it produces the smallest size.


Designed entirely by Apple, this video format was created specifically for using QuickTime player. But now that there is a version of QuickTime for Windows, MOV is also compatible with Windows. It is the same as MP4, in terms of it retaining high quality and can store audio, text and video effects, however, the file sizes are significantly larger.


This video format was created by Microsoft so that people can only view these files on Windows Media Player. These types of files, however, can be viewed on a Mac but they would have to download a WMV player to plays these types of files. It’s more similar to MP4 as it boasts a high quality with smaller file size.


This is an Adobe created video format, specifically designed for Adobe Flash Players, FLV is one of the most versatile and popular video formats around. Each web browser and video platform support this type of video format. If your target audience streams a lot of videos on online platforms, like YouTube etc. FLV is the video format you should be using. Their file sizes are usually small, this makes it easier for people to download them quickly. The main negative of this file format is that it isn’t compatible with iOS devices and a lot of other mobile devices.

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