Choosing the Best Video Format for the Internet

Video has come a long way since the age of magnetic tapes, and it’s time to make sure you’re using the best format for viewing video content on your site. Embedding videos makes it easy to connect and digest your content. Give your visitors the opportunity to watch full-screen, and it’s an immersive experience.

An integrated YouTube or Vimeo player works well in many situations. But if you want more control over your website video player, the HTML5 video tag is your solution. The video tag only works with certain file formats: MP4, OGV, WebM, and WebVTT, and each format has at least one good reason to use it.

MPEG-4 is the HTML5-compatible file format that has been around the longest. Version 1 debuted in 2001 as one of the first digital video file formats. As digital data began to replace mechanical video cassettes, MPEG-4 became a very popular file format. However, its extension means that it was not designed for the Internet of today and tomorrow. The most intelligent phone available in 2001 was the Kyocera 6035 from Palm, and one of the best selling points was surfing the Internet (limited).

Originally, OGG was conceived as a type of audio compression in the early 1990s, but it matured over the next two decades. What began as an alternative solution led OGG to create OGV, a redesigned digital media file format for efficient Internet broadcasting. However, the longevity of the format does not guarantee success in an ever-changing future. The format does not work with Internet Explorer or Safari, not to mention the most popular mobile devices today.

WebM is a fully open source video format that works well with the current and future state of the Internet. It debuted in 2010 and was designed and developed taking the widespread use of the Internet into account. Most WebM features are designed to keep an eye on the future, including the low processing power of the file format. It provides the best possible video quality in real time by adjusting the weight of the file according to the connection and processing power.

Similar to the WebM format, WebVTT 2010 was launched in the hope of surpassing all other video formats used on the Internet. The biggest advantage of WebVTT over its competitors is that WebVTT was developed by W3C (World Wide Web Consortium). WebVTT was created directly from the W3C HTML standard, making it the most compatible video tag format available. WebVTT’s cross-platform and multi-media support makes it the obvious choice for video on any website.

The BOSS customizable video player captures the abilities of these formats all in one app. It is flexible, adaptive and scalable. The BOSS video player, can play on any device and shows information based on video timecode, without forcing ads on its users.

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