How to Optimize The Video Format and Settings for Specific Devices

Do you want to optimize the video format and settings that your videos are encoded in for a specific device? Make no mistake there are benefits to that, and if you go about it the right way you could even significantly reduce the file size without any visible affect to its quality.

However you should be aware that it can be a bit tricky to optimize the video format and settings for specific devices.

“What is the Optimal Video Format and Settings?”

To put it simply the ‘optimal’ video format is the format that offers the best compression without affecting the quality of your video, and is compatible with your device. At the same time the optimal settings for your video will provide the highest quality of video playback that your device’s specifications allow for.

Based on that you should be starting to see that there are several factors you will need to take into account to find the optimal video format and settings for a given device:

  • Hardware and software support

The format (or more specifically the video codec) that you use will require either hardware or software support for it to be viewed on your device. If the device uses software decoding to play the video it will requires a lot of processing power however – which is why hardware support is often preferable.

That is especially the case for high quality videos on mobile devices, as it would take a toll on your battery if the video does not use hardware acceleration.

  • Video compression

Different video codecs vary in terms of the efficiency of their compression. Newer codecs tend to provide more efficient compression – sometimes by very significant margins.

As you can guess this needs to be viewed in tandem with the hardware and software support however. That is why in practice it normally boils down to a question of whether to use the widely-compatible H.264 codec, or if newer codec such as H.265 (HEVC) that is often not as widely-supported is an option.

  • Device resolution

In general you will want your videos to be in as high a resolution as possible – unless your device resolution is lower than that. For example there is little point in watching 1080p Full HD video files on a display that is only 720p.

Keep in mind that higher resolution videos require a higher bitrate and have larger file sizes – so if your video is in a higher resolution than your device can display, you’re essentially just wasting storage space.

  • Display aspect ratio

Alongside the resolution, the aspect ratio that the video in is also important and should be based on the aspect ratio it will be displayed in. Most devices nowadays use the standard 16:9 HD widescreen aspect ratio, however there are some exceptions to that.

  • Video bitrate

While not technically based on your device, the video bitrate will be based on factors connected to it. To be more specific the video bitrate that you need to use will depend on the video’s resolution, frame rate, and the format that it is in.

Of all the factors this is one of the most important, as it will directly affect the file size of your videos and its quality as well.

As you can see you will need to know enough about your device if you want to truly optimize videos for it. Assuming you do however, actually optimizing the videos is relatively easy.

How to Optimize Videos

Based on the factors described above, you should be able to optimize your videos fairly easily. To be more specific you can take the following steps:

  1. Resize the video

If necessary the first step you should take is to resize your video based on the resolution and aspect ratio that you need. Be particularly careful about the method that you use to resize the video, as it can affect its quality.

Ideally you should resize the video by using bicubic interpolation to resample it. On top of that if you’re changing the aspect ratio the best option would be to crop the video so that it isn’t distorted. For example you could look at the options to resize video in Movavi Video Converter.

  1. Select the format

Based on the hardware and software support of your device for various codecs, you should be able to pick the one that provides the best compression. It should have software support at very least, but you may want to prioritize hardware support for mobile devices.

  1. Set the bitrate

Having selected the format and resolution, you can proceed to determine the bitrate that is necessary. If you want you can play around with different settings and find an acceptable balance between the file size of the video and its quality.

That being said just remember that if the bitrate is too low you’ll start to see compression artifacts – which is far from ideal.

By the time you’re done your video should be optimized for the device that you want to play it on. That means that it will have the smallest file size, and (assuming an appropriate video bitrate was used) there should be no visible difference to its quality.

The good news is that having optimized a video for a device once, you can rinse and repeat the process using the same settings the next time you need to do it.

Lindsay Shearer
Lindsay Shearer is a world renowned SEO Expert, & Lead Generation Specialist & Publication Editor. Her Specialty? Helping entrepreneurs start online businesses, write books, grow traffic & lead conversion, through SEO, Free & Paid Advertising. Check Out More:

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