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MP4 VS WMV: What's the Difference and Which One Is Better?

Author by Michelle

Updated on May 9, 2023

MP4 and WMV are two common video formats. But when it comes to MP4 vs WMV, which one to choose? Is MP4 better than WMV? This article will show you the difference between MP4 and WMV and help you make the final decision.

Tips. Try to convert between MP4 and WMV or other formats? HD Video Converter Factory Pro will be your best solution:

Part 1. What are MP4 and WMV?

MP4 or MPEG-4 Part 14 is a common container format for storing video, audio and text. It is developed by the International Organization for Standardization and is popular across different platforms, including online streaming.

WMV stands for Windows Media Video. It has a family of video formats developed by Microsoft, the other video formats are WMV Screen and WMV Image. When we say WMV, we usually mean WMV only, which is the most used format within the WMV family. It was originally designed for online streaming applications and has been adopted for high resolution uses like Blu-ray Disc, HD DVD, etc.

Both are popular video formats and serve a similar purpose. If you want more details of the two formats, read the following guide of MP4 vs WMV.

Part 2. What's the Difference Between WMV and MP4 and Which One Is Better?

Speaking of WMV vs MP4, the criteria below can enable you to see intuitively their differences and help choose MP4 or WMV as your preferred video format.

MP4 vs WMV: Popularity


MP4 is the most popular video format loved and used by almost everyone, especially on the internet. WMV is also very popular and favored by Windows users and most Blu-ray and DVD collectors.

Winner: MP4

WMV vs MP4: Compatibility


MP4 has the best compatibility. It is supported nearly on any platform/device, from Apple, Android to Microsoft. WMV is mainly played on the Windows system. It is not supported on IOS devices and many Android ones unless you have a third-party WMV player.

Winner: MP4

MP4 vs WMV: Video Quality

3.Video Quality

This is an often-mentioned issue in choosing WMV or MP4 as the better format, and it is widely acknowledged that MP4 has better quality than WMV. But in fact, it has no clear answer because the quality of a video has little to do with the container format itself but more with the encoder, bit rate, and original source of the video, which means that both the MP4 and WMV can contain high-quality videos.

Winner: MP4/WMV

WMV or MP4: File Size

4.File Size

Theoretically, since the MP4 file is not as highly compressed as WMV, so it is relatively larger than WMV file under the same video quality. But this is true only under the condition that both are using the same level encoder. Yet the truth is, WMV is still using the old series of codecs - WMV1, WMV2, and WMV3, while MP4 can adopt to more advanced codecs, such as H.264 and H.265. Here comes the tricky part, with a more advanced encoder, you can realize a video of high quality but with a smaller size. That means for videos with the same quality, the size of MP4 file encoded with h.264 or h.265 could be actually smaller than that of WMV file encoded with the inferior codecs.

Winner: WMV/MP4

As it has been shown above, either MP4 or WMV has its unique and clear merits and flaws. It is hard to draw a final conclusion between the two. The result depends on which part matters to you most. If you are more familiar with the Windows system and prone to have video small in size but with high quality, WMV might be your better choice. But if you are a phone addict and like to share videos with others, MP4 suits you the most. In all, the decision lies in your hand.

Part 3. Extra: Convert MP4 to WMV and Vice Versa

If you need to change MP4 into WMV or WMV to MP4, you can use the handy video converter WonderFox HD Video Converter Factory Pro to help you. Through this program, you can convert between MP4 and WMV with high-quality preserved. Beyond that, you can also convert other videos/audio to 500+ formats and devices with no issue. The conversion is straightforward and fast. Have a look at how it works below.

Import MP4/WMV into Video Converter

Step 1. Import MP4/WMV into Video Converter

Before start, please free downloadfree download the software.

Launch WonderFox HD Video Converter Factory Pro. Click “Converter” to open the converter program. In Video Converter, hit “Add Files” to choose your file, then click “Open” to import. Or you can directly drag and drop your file into this program.

Choose Output Format

Step 2. Choose Output Format

Hit the format icon on the upper right. Under the Video tab, choose MP4 or WMV. You can also choose any other common formats and even specific device models under corresponding sections.

Start Conversion

Step 3. Start Conversion

Before conversion, you can personalize the parameters of your output video in “Parameter settings” on the lower right or have a “Quick setting” to change the resolution of your video. Then, you can click on the inverted triangle button in the bottom area to choose a specific output folder for your video. Of course, those two operations are optional. If you don’t have anything to change, you can straightly hit the “Run” button to start conversion.

Tips: If you have multiple videos to be converted, you could import them into this program at one go and start batch conversion.

Hot search: AVCHD vs MP4 | H.265 vs H.264 | 4K vs 8K | MTS vs M2TS | DSD vs FLAC

At last...

That’s the whole guide on MP4 versus WMV. I hope you find this article helpful. By the way, the video converter mentioned here is also available for other multimedia solutions, such as improving video quality, compressing large videos, downloading website movies and music, recording screen, etc. Download it to explore more exciting features.

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