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What is a H.264 file and what is it used for?

Post Author Take1 / January 2nd 2014


What is a H.264 file?

H.264 is a video compression format and one of the most common used for the compression and distribution of video content.

The format is most recognised for being the choice of video encoding standard for Blu-Ray discs.

What are the advantages?

The biggest advantage of H.264 is its compression performance. In comparison to other standards it can provide a lower compressed bitrate for the same high quality video.

This obviously has its own advantages. For example, a standard MPEG-2 format video of two hours length can be stored on a single layered DVD. But with H.264, 4 hours worth of video with the same high quality can be stored on the DVD.

Because of this advantage it’s becoming one of the most popular video compression formats and is often used for TV broadcasts, internet video, high definition DVDs and more.

How do I play H.264 files?

There are some players out there that’ll show H.264 files straight off the bat. There’s VLC, Media Player Lite and Wondershare Player to name just 3. But a quick search will offer you plenty more.

If you aren’t prepared to download a new media player to show the video content then you’ll have to convert the file. Using converting software you can either convert either to or from H.264.

Again, there are a number of conversion programs on the web to choose from. Some are free, others aren’t. One free program is Video Converter. It uses simple drag, drop and click functionality to make converting your videos easy as pie.

Before you start converting all of your video files into H.264 though, consider what you’re going to be using it for. If you’re still editing it then you’ll want to leave it as is. If you’re sending it off to a transcription service like us, then it might be better to convert.

Want to know more? Then get in touch with us today!



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