People tend to have a lot of misconceptions about video formats. Some of those misconceptions are relatively harmless, but others may relate closely to the role that video formats play.
- File extensions and video formats are the same thing
Arguably the most common misconception is that the file extension of a video file is its format. That simply isn’t true, and at best the file extension is a reflection of one part of the video format: The container.
In actual fact the video format consists of both a container and a video codec.
Although it may seem harmless, this misconception actually causes many misunderstandings. For example a MP4 with H.264 file and a MP4 with H.265 file would have the same extension (MP4) but very different actual formats.
- New formats provide better quality
The quality of a video is actually not dependent on its format much at all, but instead is based on the video settings such as the resolution, frame rate, and video bitrate. The only role that the format plays is in the compression of the video data.
That is where this misconception is half true, as new formats (more specifically, new codecs) are able to compress videos more effectively. For example if you were to convert a video from H.264 to H.265 using a Movavi video converter, you could and reduce the file size while maintaining the quality of a video.
- Converting video formats does not affect their quality
Once again this is a misconception that is part true seeing as if you convert just the container that a video format is stored in, its quality is unaffected. However if you convert the video codec, the data is decompressed and recompressed once more and in the process some data will be discarded by the lossy compression that is used.
While the effect that the discarded data on the quality my not be noticeable when a video is convert just once, over time it will start to show.
- Support for video formats can be downloaded
To be honest this misconception is mostly true because for a video format to be supported it needs to be able to decoded. The decoders for most formats can be downloaded in the form of codecs or packaged into media players such as VLC Media Player.
However video support also encompasses hardware decoding – which needs to be built into the chipset and cannot be downloaded. The difference is noteworthy especially on mobile devices as hardware decoding tends to require less processing power and is more battery-friendly.
As you can see most of these misconceptions are partly true, and really just simple misunderstandings. The fact that they can have longstanding implications on how you choose video formats and manage your videos files makes it important that you are aware of them, and don’t end up being confused by them.Updated Date: 28 March 2019, 18:44