Top 10 Video File Formats for 2021

With the world progressing rapidly, the Media Industry has used all the Aces in their deck to provide the best entertainment and recreation for their audience. It often includes high-quality videos and applications that run them, and the appropriate video formats can only achieve it.

which is the best video format

The latest and the best video format that exists there is MP4 Video format. However, it totally depends on what you are looking for in your format. Therefore, to aid you, we have established 10 of the great video file formats and their pros and cons. Allow us to take the lead to make a suitable decision while choosing the file format.

Part 1: Why There Are Different Video Formats?

The section answers the question of "Why are there different Video Formats in the market?" A simple reason is attached to it. The more the video formats, the more the variety and more features will be offered by them. Every format has its own plus and negatives that distinguish it from the other.

Some video formats offer compatibility with most applications. Others are good at fulfilling technical requirements; most of them provide good quality and bring wide distribution to the table. Henceforth, to stick with one video format will never be suggested. The users can change the file formats based on their needs and area of interest.

Let’s be honest – the wide range of video file formats out there can be a bit overwhelming. For this, you need to understand the basics of file formats. Ideally, a file format for a video is comprised of two things – codec and container.

Codec

Thie stands for Coding-Decoding and it is responsible for the compression and the decompression of a video file. Based on the codec mechanism, your format can be lossy or lossless. Some common codec schemes are MPEG-4, H.264, HEVC, DivX, and so on.

video encoding decoding process

Container

A container is a package that stores all the vital information of the file like its audio stream, video stream, subtitles, metadata, and more. A few commonly used video file containers are MP4, FLV, MKV, AVI, WMV, etc.

Now, based on their codec schemes and containers, we can have different video file formats due to the following reasons:

Application: Firstly, the reason for storing, transferring, or processing the video would be a vital factor in deciding its format. This is because some file formats have specific applications or are preferred in different cases.

Lossy/Lossless: Furthermore, choosing a video file format would also depend on whether you want to retain the original quality of the content or not.

Compatibility: Some video players or applications are compatible only with specific video formats. That’s why we need to come up with compatible file formats to go well with our working environment.

Other Factors: Besides that, your overall requirements, transcoding, indexing, proprietorship, etc. can also play a crucial role in deciding a video format type.

Part 2: Introduction about Top 10 Video File Formats in 2021

The best video formats that exist in the business will be introduced in this section with their advantages and disadvantages.

What is MP4?

Part 14 of MPEG-4, abbreviated for Motion Picture Experts Group, is a video file format influenced by Quick Time file format. MP4 video format has the honor of being used by Apple and accepted by iTunes, making it one of the most used video formats globally.

Pros

  • MP4 video format offers compatibility to a wide range of media players such as iTunes, GOM player, VLC Media Player, and Windows Media Player making it famous worldwide.
  • YouTuber recommends using this file format as it is a closed caption video format. This attribute makes it workable with applications that require subtitles in their videos.
  • MP4 video format provides high-quality video and works great while streaming videos over the internet.
  • All video sharing platforms stimulate the users to upload their video files in this format.

Cons

  • This video format does not go well when it comes to editing. It often crashes, making it a negative point on the list.

What is MOV?

The MOV format is also known to us as QuickTime video format. Its development aimed to target the users who need to edit their videos by following an easy process. Created by Apple, the movies can be divided into tracks, making them famous in Media and Film Industry.

Pros

  • This file format works amazing with other file formats giving the users a sigh of relief.
  • It is easy to use, making it user-friendly.
  • It provides high-standard videos.

Cons

  • It develops large files that are hard to use, leaving a bad impact on the consumer.
  • The compression of video files causes loss of data.

What is MKV?

The MKV file format is an abbreviation for Matroshka. Created by Multimedia Container Format (MCF), it got famous in 2014 when Windows announced technical support for this video file format. It works perfectly with many video players, including VLC Media Player, and has the capacity to be used on maximum operating systems.

Pros

  • Being an open-source project, MKV allows support to a wide range of codecs.
  • A single file of this format has the ability to withhold images, audio, and videos.
  • It does not lose much data during compression.

Cons

  • This format offers complication in its use thus, making it not user-friendly.
  • Being in its initial stages, it is not common among users.

What is M4V?

The Apply company created an M4V video file format. The best thing about this video format is that it works best with the iTunes store to encode the video files. Being a container file instead of the codec, M4V allows a wide range of media players enhancing compatibility with VLC, Apple QuickTime player, Zoom, MPlayer, and Media Player Classic, etc.

Pros

  • This format works perfectly for foreign language shows that require translation.
  • It does not take much space to withhold these video files and have high-quality videos.

Cons

  • These video formats are not compatible with Android devices.

What is AVI?

AVI Video format is short for Audio Video Interleave. It is a container format that was developed by Microsoft and has the capacity to hold both audio and video data. AVI video format supports the streaming of audio and videos, making it workable for many users.

Pros

  • This video format allows high-quality precision of videos and audio fidelity.
  • It works perfectly with Microsoft and Non-Microsoft operating systems.
  • No special hardware device is needed to open .avi video files making them accessible to most users.
  • It works like a charm for short videos, promos, and teasers offering compression with good quality.

Cons

  • A special codec has to be installed to open the video files of this format, making it a turn-off.
  • The space covered by AVI video files is larger than any other video format, which is a disadvantage.
  • It does not allow user interaction, which is not much fancied by most users.

What is FLV?

The FLV file format is abbreviated as Flash Video Format. Considered to be a container instead of the codec, FLV video format was developed to be utilized in conjunction with Adobe Flash Player. The main responsibility of this format is to provide a high-quality video to the user over the internet.

Pros

  • Games can use this format.
  • If you are supposed to add animation to your content on any website, FLV comes to the rescue.
  • The use of this video format is simple and provides amazing effects to the targeted video.

Cons

  • It is expensive to use, and therefore, people are avoiding its use in their applications and video programs.
  • It takes a lot of time, leaving a negative impact on the users.
  • The flash video format is not compatible with iOS making it less usable by Apple owners.

What is MTS?

As far as the MTS video format is concerned, it is stored in Advanced Video Coding High Definition (AVCHD). It is in use by Sony and Panasonic, which are enormous electronic firms. MTS is short for MPEG Transport Stream and allows high-definition projects.

Pros

  • It allows and supports 3D videos.
  • It works perfectly with hardware products that are manufactured by Canon and Sony.

Cons

  • The editing process is slow and wastes a lot of time exporting videos from the camera to the computer.
  • It is not compatible with most programs leaving a bad impression for the users.
  • It ceases to support the 4K format.

What is 3GP?

The 3GP video file is used to store audio and videos, which are transferred over the internet and shared with 3G mobile phones. Being a container video file, this file format was created by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project.

Pros

  • It saves storage space because of its small sizes.
  • Being used for communication between mobile phones, people prefer this file format over others.

Cons

  • The compression causes loss of data and creates a low-quality video.
  • It does not offer compatibility for other applications, which is a negative as compared to others.

What is INSV?

This video format is extremely famous with videographers as it allows the user to capture the videos and images in Insta360 INSV format. It consists of panoramic files that record the subject in 360-degree images and videos.

Pros

  • It is easy to export the data using this format into standard formats.
  • It is famous among sports fanatics and professional videographers.

Cons

  • This format is only compatible with Insta360 Studio 2019.

What is M2TS?

M2TS is a file format used to produce high-quality videos on Blu-ray Disc. Being a container file format, it works best for multiplexing audio and videos, making it quite famous among video streamers and professional videographers.

Pros

  • As compared to other file formats, M2TS offers sharper and clearer images while play backing.
  • It works at good speeds.

Cons

  • The files are larger that take forever to process.
  • There are some problems with subtitles and audio.

While there can be tons of video file formats, I tried to make you familiar with the top 10 formats of the present time. You can pick an ideal video format as per your requirements to get the best results for editing, storing, or transferring your files. Here’s a quick comparison of the discussed video file formats that would help you make up your mind.

Format

Owner

License

Type

Variable Bit Rate

Variable Frame Rate

Chapters

Metadata

MP4

MPEG

Encumbered

Lossy

Yes

Yes

Alternations needed

Yes

MOV

Apple

Proprietary

Lossless

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

MKV

CoreCodec

Free

Lossless

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

M4V

Apple

Proprietary

Lossy/Lossless

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

AVI

Microsoft

Proprietary

Lossless

Yes

Yes

Alternations needed

Yes

FLV

Adobe

Encumbered

Lossy

No

Yes

No

Yes

MTS

BDA

Proprietary

Lossy/Lossless

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

3GP

3GPP

Encumbered

Lossy

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

INSV

Insta360

Proprietary

Lossless

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

M2TS

BDA

Proprietary

Lossy/Lossless

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Part 3: How to Choose A Video File Format

Now that you are well informed of the advantages and disadvantages of individual video format, the next question that pops up in mind is "How to Choose the video file format?"

As you can see, there can be so many different video file formats out there. While there is no specific “best” video format for every application, you can choose an ideal format based on your requirements.

For Social Media and Websites: In most cases, MP4 and MOV formats are recommended for posting on social media platforms and websites. This is because they are quite universal and can easily be compressed or transferred.

For Television: Formats like AVI, MKV, and WMV are often used for broadcasting videos on TV as they can contain videos of large sizes without any issue.

For PC: For watching videos on a PC, formats like MP4, FLV, MKV, AVI, and MOV are preferred. This would largely depend on the operating system of your computer and the video player you are using.

For Video Storage: Mostly, lossy formats (like MP4, FLV, or 3GP) are used to store videos in a limited space, but if you have enough storage, you can even go with a lossless format like AVI, MOV, or MKV.

For Video Transfer: To transfer your videos, you should go with a universally acceptable format like MP4 so that your videos can easily be played on any platform.

The video format has to be picked for starters by keeping in view the quality of video requirements. The format should achieve the needed quality. Moreover, the applications, devices, and browsers have to be kept in consideration, which will allow the video of a certain format to be played. The reason behind this is not all video formats are compatible with programs and devices in use.

Video format not supported on Windows? Read on to get the tips!

Conclusion

The article reflected upon ten of the best video formats of 2021. A clear understanding of these video formats and knowing their pros and cons will allow the video makers, vloggers, YouTubers, and streamers to make the best choice according to their preferences and priorities. We hope that the research was valuable and helpful to you.

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