Kelly Sternaimolo | May 16, 2018
When planning to create and share video content, video quality is something that matters a great deal. When we say “video quality”, this can be interpreted a couple of different ways:
In this post, we’re going to review some technical video quality basics, such as file formats and resolution, and we’ll describe how these relate to playback when uploaded to a website, video hosting site, or social media platform.
First, to understand video quality, it’s important to be familiar with the most common video file formats. There are a plethora of video file formats available, such as .MP4, .MOV, .OGG, .WEBM among others. The file type used is generally determined by the way you plan to share your content: on your website, hosted by YouTube, on social media, and so on.
Because each has a different type of compression, different formats will give you different options for the video’s quality versus its file size. File size matters when someone visits your website or watches your video via a digital platform because you want the video to load quickly.
If too much time passes, you risk losing the viewer's interest. Likewise, if their viewing experience is disrupted by pauses or glitches, it could encourage them to close out of your site or your video, which can give your brand a negative impression.
Here are some of the most common video file formats, with a brief description of their pros or cons:
If you’ve ever tried to upload a video to YouTube or another social media platform, you may have seen instructions or settings with regard to resolution. Typically resolution will referred to as: 360p, 480p, 720p, or 1080p.
The “p” refers to pixels, and these numbers refer to the number of lines that make up the video’s height. The more lines used to form the image, the more detail the image will have. So, 1080p is a better resolution than 360p, because it will offer more detail and better quality as far as clarity is concerned.
Here’s a general breakdown of resolutions, and some details regarding their application:
While high-resolution is generally the ideal quality for your video, this also means you’ll have a larger file size, which is something that can affect playback speed and viewer experience. The larger a file is, the longer it may take for your website, browser, or device to load it and play it back smoothly.
A great feature of most modern-day video platforms (like YouTube) and internet and mobile browsers is that if you upload your best file (say, a 1080p HD file), many platforms or video players will automatically process the video and retain a few different options that are accessible for playback.
The platform may detect how the video is being viewed and then respond accordingly: streaming a low-resolution version or an HD version depending on the speed of your internet connection, method of viewing or video player size.
If you are hosting video directly in your website (not embedded from YouTube or another hosting service), you’ll need to create various file versions (.OGG, .WEBM, .MP4) that can be detected and utilized by the different mobile and internet browsers like Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, and more. This way, the browser can detect the best file for playback and use that one.
An experienced and trusted video production agency can certainly provide files for you in a variety of ways and assist you with creating the best version for your method of distribution. Part of providing video services means ensuring that the viewing experience is the very best it can be, so your high-quality video can perform well.