What Video Format is most universal

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Boomish69, Jul 2, 2014.

  1. Boomish69 macrumors 6502

    Boomish69

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    Location:
    London
    #1
    I'm filming an end of year school show to put on a USB flash drives for parents to take away, I wondered if anyone has experience of this and what Video format they think would be most universal?
    FLV, MPG?

    My guess is an ms dos format drive with a flv or mpg version plus a .mov

    I'll be editing it in FCPX..

    Appreciate any help & advice..
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #2
    The .mp4 container using the H.264 codec is the most universal. It can be played back on Windows XP and newer, Mac OS X, Linux, Android and iOS and probably even Windows Phone.
    FLV is also using the H.264 codec most of the time, but often you might need an extra player.
    MPG uses an older MPEG-2 codec, thus more storage space is needed for less quality.

    MP4 files using the H.264 container can be played back by most computers and smartphones without the need of an additional player.

    And maybe forego the USB flash storage thumb drive and offer them to download the file from a dedicated web address, though you might look at bandwidth limits.
     
  3. AcesHigh87 macrumors 6502a

    AcesHigh87

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    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    #3
    I would agree with the above. An H.264 Codec with an mp4 wrapper is your best bet for quality and universal acceptance.

    As for spreading it around, I agree with digital distribution. USB keys will get more costly and different OS' will handle things differently. What you could do is upload the video to Vimeo (with a password of course) and enable the download option. Vimeo offers Source downloads so they can get the exact video you upload or just stream it; whichever they prefer.
     
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Redondo Beach, California
    #4
    As people have said here "mp4 file with h.264 codec inside." But why copy to an expensive physical media? Put it on Youtube or some place like that. Many people will watch the video on a phone or tablet and a USB drive is not useful with a phone/tablet.

    That said, there will be older people who can't deal with computers who might prefer a DVD disc. You likely will have to offer it on DVD too.
     
  5. phoenixsan macrumors 65816

    phoenixsan

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    #5
    Seems to me.....

    that the .AVI and the DiVX codec are too good candidates. Not the higher qualities as MP4 and the H.264, but pretty usable in Windows and Mac worlds....:D


    :):apple:
     
  6. simsaladimbamba

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    #6
    But you need an extra player and probably codec.
    MP4 files using the H.264 codec can be played back natively by Windows and Mac OS X.
     
  7. phoenixsan macrumors 65816

    phoenixsan

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    #7
    Truly said....

    but at least the player side of the equation is well served with VLC player, that runs pretty smooth on Mac and Windows boxes......:D
     
  8. simsaladimbamba

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    #8
    I know, but depending on the audience, if the OP wants to give away the file via download or USB flash storage thumb drive and not streaming, some audience members might not know that.
     
  9. Boomish69 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Boomish69

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    Location:
    London
    #9
    Thanks for all the replies, ok so MP4, I'll look into that, do I need any special version of MP4 or just choose highest quality I can?

    Sorry I didn't make it clear the reason they are using Thumb drives is the video is chargeable, it's a minimum cost but something the parents can take away etc Streaming video is a tricky area as your putting people children online , although I totally understand how much easier and less expensive :)

    It's just risky as a school to do that, even if it's password protected, it will then be hard to charge for and risk offending some parents privacy. The Thumb drive will will also be a memory for the child as they can then use it for storing homework etc at their next school. It will a wristband with our school logo on it, I've seen them sold at gigs before. We can also pack on pictures , Yearbook etc, well I hope so it's only 4gb..:)
     
  10. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #10
    Well, there's the 'better' answer and the 'safer' answer.

    Yeah, using a professional compressor program (like Apple's or Adobe's) is technically better, but if you don't have experience with encoding and what all the settings should be then the safer bet for you is to just use Handbrake and use one of the iPad or Apple TV presets.

    Honestly it will still look really damn good and be very simple for you to do.
     

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