A Brief Guide to Popular Delivery Formats for Business Videos

A Brief Guide to Popular Delivery Formats for Business Videos

Choosing the right delivery format for a business video can involve a lot of factors. Some of the more important ones include the device or platform the video will be played on, the delivery method, the type of compression, and the preferences of the viewer.

Generally speaking however there are several delivery formats that are far more popular than most others – and make for a good place to start:

  • MP4 with H.264 is without a doubt the single-most popular video format right now. It is used by most online video platforms, is supported by HTML5 video, and is widely-compatible with the majority of devices.

The only caveat is that the H.264 is getting on in age, and newer codecs have been developed that offer much better compression. As a result it will eventually be replaced at some stage.

  • MP4 with H.265 (HEVC) is the natural successor to MP4 with H.264. It is able to compress video files to half the size that H.264 can, while maintaining the same quality.

Despite its obvious advantages the adoption of HEVC has been slow. It was originally released in 2013 but its complex licensing and royalty structure have posed difficulties. That is why even today HEVC is still not widely-supported, and has not really replaced H.264.

  • MPEG-2 is very old but still manages to retain some relevance due to the fact that it is the preferred format to encode video DVDs – but subject to strict specifications. Newer DVD players tend to support other formats however, and Blu-ray discs generally use H.264 instead.
  • AV1 is a new codec that was just released last year but is shaping up to be a viable competitor to HEVC. Tests have shown that it can compress HEVC videos by up to 30%, and the fact that it is royalty-free means that it will cost less to use.

Due to the fact that AV1 was only recently released, it will take time before it has hardware support in consumer devices. That is expected to come in 2020, and until then it probably won’t fully replace MP4 with H.264.

Aside from the formats listed above, there are a few other noteworthy business video delivery formats that are used largely due to personal preference. That includes the QuickTime (MOV) format, and the Windows Media Video (WMV) format.

Overall however you should be able to pick the format that you need from the list above – except in specific cases. For example at times you may want to convert MKV to AVI using Online Video Converter if the device is particularly old.

As a general rule, MP4 with H.264 remains a ‘safe’ delivery format for business videos due to its widespread use and compatibility. In specific cases where you need better compression you can try HEVC or AV1 if they are compatible – though it may be a good idea to hold off on the latter until it is more widely-supported, which shouldn’t be too long from now.

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