How to Effectively Compress Videos to Make Them Smaller

Are you finding it difficult to manage some of your video files because of how large they are? Not only are large video files difficult to transfer, but storing them on devices with limited storage space can be an issue too.

The good news is that if you want to you can actually make your video files smaller by compressing them. That may sound fairly difficult, but there are actually two relatively easy ways it can be done:

  • Reduce the video bitrate of the file

By reducing the video bitrate, you’ll be directly reducing the amount of data that the video uses each second – which will in turn reduce the overall file size. However this will also affect the quality of the video, as without enough data it may not be able to be displayed properly.

As you lower the bitrate you can expect the video quality to gradually deteriorate, and compression artifacts to start appearing. If it gets too low the video may even become practically unwatchable – which is something you want to avoid.

Simply put while this is an effective way to compress and shrink the file size of your videos – it comes at a price. If you are going to use it you must be careful and find a balance between the video quality and its file size.

  • Convert to a newer video codec with better compression

Most of the video files that you encounter are likely to already be compressed using a video codec. However not all codecs are equal, and some are able to compress the video data more efficiently.

Generally newer codecs tend to have better compression than other codecs. By converting your video using one of them you could reduce its file size without adversely affecting its quality.

The only problem with this method is the fact that newer codecs aren’t as widely supported as older codecs. As such you’ll need to check that the device you want to watch the video on does support the codec that you want to use.

To carry out either of these methods you’ll need a converter that will let you adjust the bitrate and convert the video codec. For example you could try Movavi Video Converter (www.movavi.com/videoconverter/) as it will let you do both.

On your part it is best if you first check the codec that your video is currently using. If it is using a codec such as H.264 or older, you may want to consider converting it to HEVC (H.265) if your device supports it – as it could reduce the file size of even H.264 videos by about 50%.

If converting the video to H.265 isn’t an option, your best bet to reduce its file size is to lower the video bitrate. As mentioned previously you should take care that you don’t reduce it too much, and you may want to gradually lower it and keep an eye on the video quality along the way.

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