Do you know how the format that videos are in actually affect you? Most people generally assume that formats only really matter for people who handle the technical aspect of videos – but that isn’t really true.

To put it simply, video formats have a big impact on how videos are stored and viewed. Because of that, they will affect you in several ways whether you realize it or not.

Compatibility of the Video

First and foremost the format the video is in will affect whether or not it is actually compatible and can be viewed on the device that you’re using.

For a video to be viewed its format must be supported so that its data can be decoded and displayed. If the video format is not supported, you will see an error message, the video won’t open, or the audio will play but you’ll just see a black screen.

In some cases it is possible to add support for various formats by downloading codec packs or certain media players with built-in codecs for the formats you need. However that isn’t always an option, which is why you may need to convert the video’s format so that you can view it.

For example if you have a video that is in a MKV with H.265 format, you could convert MKV to MP4 with H.264 using Movavi Video Converter. Not only is it an easy-to-use converter, but it will let you conveniently use presets to ensure your video is compatible. If you want you can explore its other features to trim, stabilize, resize, compress, or prepare your video in other ways.

Video File Size

Another big way in which video formats will affect you is the actual file size of the video itself.

To put it simply part of the format that is known as the video codec is used to compress videos to make it easier to store and distribute them. However the type of compression that is used can differ from codec to codec, and some are more efficient than others.

That is why the format the video is in can affect its file size. For example the H.265 (HEVC) format is able to reduce the file size of H.264 (AVC) videos by up to 50%.

Video Quality

In some ways the video format can affect the quality of the video as well due to the compression that it uses. Typically compression can come in two types: Lossless or lossy.

As you may guess, lossless compression does not discard any data and the original video can be restored identically from it. However lossy compression does discard data that it considers redundant to make the file size smaller.

Most of the videos that you’re likely to encounter will have already been compressed using lossy compression – which is why this doesn’t affect you as much. However if you were producing videos professionally it would, as you’d want to keep videos uncompressed or use lossless compression to preserve their quality until you were ready to encode them in a delivery format.


Overall you should be able to see just how important the video format really is, and the impact that it can have. That is why if you’re ever given a choice, you should choose the format that you export and encode videos in carefully.