Employee Generated Content (EGC) is taking enterprise video by storm. Companies are encouraging employees to use video to communicate and innovate better and faster. You want to join the game but you don’t know where to start.

What is the best file format to share a video? What would be the best way to edit a video? How do you create high quality video without running high on file size? Here is some insight into what a video is and what different file formats that you can use

To start, let’s look into the structure of a video. A digital video file usually consists of two parts – containers and codecs. Containers hold all the information needed to present video and codecs define how the video plays on your player. Extensions such as .avi or .mp4 are actually containers. Some popular codecs include DV, NTSC, DivC and so on. Containers can hold hundreds of codecs. Most video players come pre-loaded with common codecs and container decoders to deliver a smooth and simple playback experience.

Here’s a list of video formats commonly used in the enterprise:

  • .AVI (Audio Video Interlaced) format has been around as long as digital video. AVI files in uncompressed form are huge, way too big for the internet. Not something you could share easily. So they are best suited to be used as a master clip in a video project as they are compatible with most video editors.
  • Flash video (FLV) is the most common video format on the web. FLV videos are played on a Flash Player generally installed on most computers. FLV videos are popular because they are small in file size without compromising on quality.  Since the videos are small in size, they load quickly on the internet and do not use up your bandwidth.  Sounds like a good choice. But Adobe, the parent company of Flash is moving towards HTML 5, and away from Flash. FLV’s days may be numbered.
  • Windows Media Video or WMV files are the smallest in size, but not so good on the quality front. If you are looking to send a video in an email, then .wmv might be your best choice.
  • Apple’s Quick time Movie or .MOV files are common to Mac users. Videos in .MOV format are actually the best looking ones, but they are huge in terms of file size.
  • MP4 (or MPEG-4) looks to be a good alternative as it is a great sharing format for the internet. MP4 videos are small in size and are decent in quality. They work with most modern day cameras and are slowly becoming an internet standard for sharing video. MP4 videos can play both on flash players as well as HTML 5 and are a preferred choice on mobile.

There are other video formats such as .BIN, .AVD, .DV4, .M4V, and so on – the list is huge! But widespread usage of these other file types is fairly uncommon. The choice of formats may differ and organizational standards also come into account. With that said, the end goal is to achieve quality video that adds value to the company’s enterprise video portal – how you do that is up to you.