The best video conversion requires the right software, the right settings, and the right matching of file formats. Here are five tricks which can help you convert your video for multiple devices while maintaining quality.
Video Conversion Tip #1—Use The Right Software
What’s the right software? It depends on what type of file you’re converting to and what type of file you’re converting from. I highly recommend that you look for software which specializes in specific conversions rather than use generalist software. I recently had to convert LVF to AVI so I could view my CCTV footage. there was only one piece of software that did the job.
General video conversion software looks like the best deal, but it’s focus on doing everything means that it doesn’t do many tasks well. Specialized software can’t handle everything, but it will almost certainly provide high quality results for what it does do.
Video Conversion Tip #2—Never Convert A Video Twice
Most video file formats are lossy file formats. That means they throw away some of the original video information in order to make the file size smaller (often much smaller). But once you throw away information, you can’t get it back, so converting a video from one file format into another and then converting it again means you lose information twice.
The more information you lose, the worse your video will look.
Video Conversion Tip #3—Match Video Formats
Some combinations of video formats don’t work well. In particular, converting from a highly compressed video format to different highly compressed video format tends to create poor quality video.
The problem with highly compressed video formats is that each format compresses video by throwing away information—as described in tip #2—but each format throws away different information, so the loss of quality is often doubled.
Highly compressed formats include MPEG-4 (XVid/DivX), Ogg Theora, and Google’s VP8/VP9 (WebM).
Video Conversion Tip #4—Choose The Right Aspect Ratio
Most video conversion software will let you choose the resolution for your output video and will suggest some defaults. You want to choose the resolution carefully:
Specifically, you should match the aspect ratio to the playback device so it can scale the image without stretching it. Simply find the aspect ratio of your device by finding the least common denominators for its default resolution.
For example, 1080p resolution (usually 1920×1080 pixels) has an aspect ratio of 16:9. Whatever resolution you use in your video, make sure the aspect ratio of that resolution matches the aspect ratio of your device. In some cases software like Any Video Converter will let you choose the device from a list so you do not have to know what the aspect ratio is.
Video Conversion Tips #5—Never Increase Resolution
Your video conversion software should tell you the resolution of your input video and let you set the resolution of your output video. Never increase any part of the resolution of the output video.
For example, say you have a DVD video with a resolution of 720×480 and you want to display it on your HD screen which has a resolution of 1920×1080. You want the aspect ratio to match and it looks easy to simply change the video resolution to 720×486—just six extra pixels wide. Don’t do it.
You can’t actually increase resolution on an already recorded video; all your program will do is try to stretch the image, and stretched images tend to look horrible. Instead, choose a smaller resolution which matches your display’s aspect ratio to get the best possible video conversion.