What is the Best Way to Compress a Video File


As you probably know, video files can be compressed in order to reduce their file size. That can be very useful, especially if you are facing any storage space constraints or want to be able to transfer the file more easily and conserve bandwidth.

If you’re hoping to know what the ‘best’ way is to compress a video file, unfortunately there is no easy answer – and it depends on the file that you want to compress, as well as the device or platform it will be played on.

Transcode the Video

Transcoding the video to a format with more efficient compression is often regarded as the ‘best’ way to compress a video because it won’t affect the quality. The file size reduction will depend on the original and final format both. For example if you convert MTS to MP4 using Online Video Converter there won’t be much of a difference in the file size.

However if you convert MTS or MP4 to HEVC it could reduce the file size by up to 50%.

For this to be an option however you will need to find a format that has more efficient compression, and is supported by the device or platform the video will be played on. That can be tricky, and in some cases may not even be possible if the existing format is the best option.

Reduce the Bitrate

In many cases reducing the bitrate is actually the ‘best’ way to compress a video file – simply because it has no real constraints. If you want you can reduce the bitrate of any video, and you will effectively reduce its file size.

The only caveat is that reducing the bitrate will affect the video quality. The lower the bitrate gets, the more compression artifacts will start to appear in the video – and the less watchable it will become.

Overall reducing the bitrate is somewhat of a balancing act between the video quality and file size.

“Which is Best?”

As you can see both of the methods listed above have their advantages and disadvantages, and so the ‘best’ option will depend on the situation.

If there is a more efficient codec available that is supported, then that will be the best option to use. However if there is not, then reducing the bitrate will be the best (and really only) alternative.

At the end of the day it is up to you to weigh your options and figure out which one is the more suitable of the two. At times you may even need to do both: Transcode the video, and then reduce the bitrate further in order to make the file as small as possible.

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