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Formats that Suitable to Play on Phones

-- Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Years ago, when I was young, I am extremely crazy about watching movies on my MP4 player. So, I once spent lots of time to study which format plays more perfect on MP4 player.

As now more and more Android phones carries quad-core processor, they become one of the most perfect video players. If you play a RMVB video of QVGA on a 1080P screen, it will be a waste. There are many excellent video players, such as moboplayer and MXplayer. I will take MXplayer for instance.
Strictly speaking, video format has two different meanings, one is container format and the other is coded format. Format like .avi and .mp4 that we often mention is belonged to container format. It is coded format and sometimes code rate that affects the image quality. Video container format is to place the video track and audio track that has already been encoded and compressed according to a certain format.

Next, I will list several common container formats for you:
AVI: The format standard that Microsoft Company set up in the 1990s is to fight against .mov of quicktime format. It only supports sound files that has constant byte rate.
FLV: Only serve h.263 format.
MKV: It is an almighty container format that it has excellent compatibility, cross-platform and correction and it also supports external subtitle.
MOV: As it is mentioned above, it is the format of quicktime.
MP4:It is mainly applied on mpeg4 container format.
RM/RMVB: Real Video, which was developed by RealNetworks so as to apply on rmvb and rm.
TS/PS: PS container format can only be played on HDDVD the original edition.
WMV: Developed by Microsoft Company.

Above are the container formats that we meet frequently on the Internet. Now, let's know more detail about the relationship between container format and coded format.
AVI: supports MPEG-2, DIVX, XVID, WMV3, WMV4, WMV9 and H.264
WMV: supports WMV3, WMV4 and WMV9
RM/RMVB: supports RV40, RV50, RV60, RM8, RM9 and RM10
MOV: supports MPEG-2, MPEG4-ASP(XVID) and H.264
MKV: supports all video encoding schemes

Format to Play on Phones

The image quality of a video hinge on four factors: Firstly, the video resolution and frame rate; secondly, coded format and code stream; thirdly, the affection that resolution make to image quality and the fluency of the picture affected by frame rate; last but not least, the affection that coded format and code stream brings to the image quality.
Coded format is the data bits that are delivered in unit time while delivering data. The unit that we usually use is kbps which means kilo bytes per second. It's equal to sampling rate. The larger the sampling rate of unit times, the higher the accuracy. And the files that are processed will be much closer to the original file. That is, the detail of the picture will be more abundant.
Any shortcoming on resolution, frame rate, coded format and code stream will affect the quality of the video. RM and RMVB was quite popular two or three years ago. In the condition that the size of the video is not large and the dynamic fragment are not too much, the capacity of the files will be small. So, it will be convenient to spread and store. This format is being replaced by MKV which possess the better compatibility then RM and RMVB while sharing the same advantage with them.


MXplayer is one of the quite outstanding video players of Android operating system which is compatible to many different formats. So, I highly recommend this video player to you. To have a better image quality, the resolution of the video that you choose can't be lower than your screen resolution; otherwise the video can't take full advantage of the screen point to point. This will damage the image quality certainly. Then, it is time to choose the video format. Try to choose videos that possess better coded format like H264 and X264 as possible so long as it is able to be played on this player. This coded format is excellent that they can maintain high image quality when it doesn't need much code stream and the code stream and coded format directly decide the size of the video file. If the storage space of your phone is small, you'd better choose the video that have higher image quality and the lower capacity. To choose the more suitable video of your phone, the image quality will be guaranteed.

Ivy Bruce

Ivy Bruce is the Founder and Editorial Director at Recovery-Android Studio. You can also find her on Google+ and Twitter.