Video is the medium of choice by businesses for their product and service training and instruction. It’s also ubiquitous in marketing and sales campaigns, including online display banners, therefore you need someone in the company or a third party you can rely on to work with the different video file formats and where necessary convert MPEG to MP4.
So what’s the difference between these two formats and when is it apt to convert from one to the other? In this blog article, we answer these questions starting with the basics of video file formats.
Video File Formats Explained
There are many different formats; however, there are two that are the most popular, and it is these two formats that we are interested in, i.e. MPEG and MP4.
Both MPEG and MP4 are container formats created by the Moving Picture Experts Group. The MPEG format is the earlier of the two, and today, many earlier videos still use it, as do videos that have been encoded for video DVDs.
The MP4 format is the most popular format right now, and it’s used by businesses for video distribution, publishing content online, and in advertising.
Why Convert MPEG to MP4
There are valid reasons for converting MPEG videos to MP4 including:
Overall MPEG is compatible with most devices and platforms, however, because it is an older format, some decoders and video drivers may have issues with it that can be difficult to resolve. By comparison, MP4 is so widely-used that it is a safe option for compatibility across the board and is supported on almost all devices and platforms.
The main issue with MPEG’s compatibility is that it is not supported by HTML5 video. In other words, if your business wants to publish a video using HTML5, it will need to be converted to MP4 – which is supported on all browsers.
The MPEG format can use MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 video codecs to compress data, whereas the MP4 format typically uses H.264 (and can even use H.265). The H.264 video codec provides far superior compression to MPEG-2 or MPEG-1 and can maintain the video quality while reducing the file size by significant margins.
Typically an H.264 can afford to use 50% or less of the video bitrate of a MPEG-2 video and would still provide better quality. Similarly, the H.265 codec can provide gains of 50% compared to H.264 but is not as compatible as its counterpart.
Compression is the main reason why MP4 is preferred by businesses for video distribution and online videos in general. It will allow videos to take up less storage space, consume less bandwidth, and be delivered more quickly – all of which will translate into lower costs.
One of the most significant differences between MPEG and MP4 is the latter supports multiple data streams. The MPEG format is only able to store video and audio data, whereas MP4 can save still images, subtitles, menus, chapters, and other data via private streams.
The data streams that are available in MP4 provide businesses with greater versatility, and allow you to include subtitles, captions, and other features in their videos. The most common data stream used is for captions, and MP4 commonly uses MPEG-4 Timed Text captions.
If you want to convert videos between MPEG and MP4, it usually is easy enough, with an online video converter. They are web-based so you won’t need to install software on your computer. Choose a converter with no upload limit, so you can convert business videos of any size.
Like with any upgrade, there are significant differences between MPEG and MP4 and your business can use earlier videos in the MPEG format for DVDs and then convert them for everything else.