The audiovisual content is undoubtedly the most consumed today. Therefore, knowing everything about how we can reproduce it is of special interest . This consists of a signal, codecs and a container. The latter is what we know as file extension video and is what we will talk about today.
The format or extension of any video is that set of letters that appears at the end of the file name . It may not seem important to you, however, it tells us about many aspects of the archive and, above all, allows us to reproduce it in both programs and playback devices.
Knowing this, I am sure that now it is interesting for you to know what exactly it is, what we use it for and, obviously, what different formats there are today , where we reproduce them and what are their characteristics , Right?
What is the extension or format of a video file and what is it really for?
An extension is the information in a file that will indicate, first, what type it is and then some other peculiarities of each of them.
Video extension is the way to indicate the way in which audiovisual content is encoded so that it can be digitally reproduced by one player or another.
In other words, the extension, that is, the end of the file name (.MKV, for example) refers to the container used to create that encoding which allows us to make a digital reproduction of the content. This is between two and five letters and / or digits . In addition, they are usually an abbreviation of some word or group of these.
By default, the operating system hides these letters, so we only see what the file in question is called , but not what its container is. This is a risk because there are formats that obviously do not correspond to videos and, if we download a file that we believe is an audiovisual and turns out to be malware in an executable, we execute it, and voila! We already have malicious software on our computer.
So, the same thing is that you configure your device so that the extensions are of the type they are, they are always in sight and you can see the type of files that you have saved.
When talking about video players , of course, we refer to the digital softwares that we all have on our computers, tablets and even smartphones , if well, do not forget the physical players, the most current being the Blu-ray , which also works only with the formats with which it is compatible.
This means that, depending on the program you have to play videos, these will have to be encoded in one format or another. Or vice versa , if you have an audiovisual in a particular extension, you will need a player with which it is compatible.
Usually, the players that we can download include a wide enough compatibility to be able to work with the files with more famous extensions, so that it will not be difficult for you to find one capable of playing exactly the file you want (even the players of the various operating systems are quite generous about it). Even so, do not worry about it because then we will tell you which formats are compatible with some and other playback programs.
In the case of the videos, which is the one that concerns us, you should know that this encoding is directly related to the image quality that we will be able to reproduce. The sound quality or the inclusion of subtitles and, of course, the relationship between all of the above and the size that the file in question is going to have come into play.
For example, there are extensions that respect the high quality of the contents but, in return, do not reduce the weight of the files, so that they can occupy several GB quietly . Others, on the other hand, can compress the content by reducing its quality but making the final file light and, thus, easy to move between memory units and easier to download. Of course, there are formats that offer something intermediate . The important thing is to know them to know which ones are best for you to get according to your needs.
Know that, in addition to the extension itself, that goes intrinsically in the file, that is, that it is part of it from the moment you create it, and from the player, you will need to have the codecs installed corresponding, which are softwares capable of interpreting the coding performed . When the result is obtained, it is sent, decoded, to the player, that is, the codecs act as an intermediary so that the latter understands the information that is encoded.
The codecs can be downloaded , without any complications, from the Internet although, today, it is common for each player to include those that serve to interpret the files with which they are compatible.
Types of extensions and video file formats and their associated programs to play them
As you can imagine if you have thought a little about the definition we just gave you, there are many different video formats or extensions. We will see, in a comparative table , most of them, with special emphasis on the best known, showing you what features they include and in which program or player we can run them in each case.
* If you are viewing the web from your smartphone, slide the table to the right to see all the data
Do you know other extensions to play and edit video files? Leave them in the comments and we will add them to the list, it will surely be of great value to the other readers!