To save you reading the entire article, the answer simply is MP4. And more specifically H.264 is the most popular video format and is standardised across many platforms and uses.

Keep reading and we’ll explain why it is the format for you!
H.264 is the specific compression and you’ll find that your finished files end in a .MP4 .

H.264 was historically created by a handful of large film production companies along with Video Codec creators. It’s sole purpose was to deliver great quality video in lower bit rates. Lower bit rates equals smaller file size and more efficient streaming.

MP4 format and specifically H.264 has become incredibly standardised now. It was a little bit niche when it was created but now in 2024 it is completely standard and a go-to format for YouTube, smartphones, TV’s, computers, embedding in presentations, messaging, social media and Ad platforms.

Plus it is a great format that works across Mac and PC. Having been around since the beginning of digital video – this really was a thing. Back in the early 2000’s the challenges of converting video formats for Windows Media Player versus QuickTime were real.

In production, of course camera’s have their own propriety shooting formats and edit suite workflows have their own formats, you can’t just work in MP4. For example at Ottico Lab we use Blackmagic Camera’s and shoot in BRAW. We Edit in Blackmagic timelines/codecs and we produce Motion Graphics and Television Commercials in a QuickTime workflow. But we’ll encode the previews and finals predominantly in H.264. And we’ll ensure we transcode correctly and optimized for each MP4 deliverable.

Why should you use H.264?

We have some pretty compelling reasons outlined already in this article but here are some more. If you’re delivering to YouTube or Vimeo – H.264 is ideal. If you’re posting or advertising on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn – H.264 is the only format accepted. If you’re presenting to a group or organisation – your AV team and equipment will use MP4. And if you’re embedding a video into your powerpoint – you guessed it, h.264 wins again.