What Is The Best Video Format To Use?

Posted by Ian Stewart on

It's easy to save your old VHS tapes using conversion software, but what's the best video format to use?

So you've converted your VHS to DVD using a converter and you’re ready to digitise your home movie collection to preserve all those precious memories. One way to store your old home videos is by burning them onto DVDs. However, DVDs are already becoming obsolete and may not be usable in the future. It's important to think about how you'll want to access your home videos in the future and plan accordingly.

Are you looking for a way to store your videos that will last forever? Storing them on your home computer in a video format is a great option. You can even get an external hard drive to keep them stored on - it will take up less space than the dozens of VHS tapes you have sitting on a shelf.

You want your memories to last forever, and the best way to ensure this is to store them in a format that will be accessible for many years to come. Putting them in a format that no media player will be able to read in a few years puts you at risk of losing those memories forever.

So what format should you use? There are a few things to consider. What is the best format to use? What will be the most future proof? Which format will provide the best quality at the smallest size?

The best formats currently-

H.264 | MP4 | MPEG-4 <> Currently the best option for users looking to store their home movies in a digital format. Encoding Videos in H.264 format in an MP4 container is the most universally supported video format, It can be played on almost any device currently capable of playing videos. Using AAC audio codec will also help in keeping the audio playable on any device as no license is required for its use, unlike some other audio formats that not every device is licensed to play. As long as it has been encoded with a high enough bitrate, both the video and audio should have no discernable loss of quality.

H.265/H.264 | MKV <> While this format is not currently supported on every device in the world, This format should be just as future proof but with a few extra perks that MP4 cannot offer. H.265 codec is a step above the H.264 codec. This newer standard can allow the same video quality as H264 but with a file size between 25-50% smaller. Packing this in an MKV (Matroska) container also allows you to include subtitle files along with the video which is good for archiving movies that include subtitles if you're not just archiving home videos.

What's Best for Converted VHS?

For converted VHS video, I would personally recommend the use of H264 in an MP4 container. This will allow all of your converted files to be played back on any device as well as the fact that H264 MP4 will not be going away any time soon.

If you want to save even more space, that is when H265 can step in. It may not be supported by ALL older devices, but the chances are that you're not going to run into any modern tech then cannot play H265.

In conclusion, H264 in an MP4 container is about as future-proof as you're going to get. But if you're sure your devices can play H265 video in an MKV container, then it is worthwhile to use this newer standard purely for the smaller file sizes.

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