MPEG-4 VS H.264: What is the Difference

With the purpose of helping you choose the suitable video compression standard from MPEG-4 and H.264, here is the MPEG-4 vs H.264 comparison on basis of their distinct characteristics and common uses.

Vita | August 11, 2021

Part 1. MPEG-4 VS H.264 Comparison in Detail

1. Definition

2. Video File Size

3. Video Quality

4. Flexibility

Part 2. Which Should I Use: H.264 or MPEG-4

Part 3. How to Convert Between H.264 and MPEG-4

Part 1. MPEG-4 VS H.264 Comparison in Detail

1. Definition

What is MPEG-4: MPEG-4, short for Moving Pictures Expert Group 4, is a popular video & audio coding method standardized by ISO/IEC. As an evolving standard, MPEG-4 is now divided into several parts along with related features. The MPEG-4 codec we usually talk about, as such, is officially named as MPEG-4 Part 2.

By the way, MPEG-4 is commonly considered as an abbreviation of MP4. However, MP4 refers to another revised part, MPEG-4 Part 14 and is a video container file format for storing audio and video data, while the MPEG-4 coding method is for compressing the data in the container.

What is H.264: You can also call H.264 Advanced Video Coding (AVC) or MPEG-4 Part 10. It is released by ISO/IEC and ITU-T Video Coding Experts Group together. Based upon the MPEG-4 technology, the newer H.264 standard has more efficient performance. H.264 is by far the industry standard in this filed.

2. Video File Size

H.264 has higher compression rate over the basic MPEG-4 method while keeping the same quality. Typically, H.264 is around 1-2 times more efficient than the MPEG-4 encoding when it comes file size, which will help save more bandwidth.  

3. Video Quality

The emergence of H.264 has made it true to deliver better video quality at the same compressed bit rate than former standards. Meanwhile, H.264 is more adequate for fluent and undistorted quality for real-time playback. H.264 vs MPEG-4, the former is a better option if you’re looking forward to high quality videos.

4. Flexibility

MPEG-4 is widely used for online videos, mobile videos, disc content distribution, and broadcast television program. By comparison with the standard MPEG-2 format for DVD videos, MPEG-4 is more widely used on digital multimedia streaming and storage. Nevertheless, the H.264 standard emerges with the growing demands of streaming high-quality videos more efficiently. It is cooperated with virtually all modern devices, applications and platforms and is more flexible.

Also read: MPEG4 VS MP4 l MP4 VS MPG l AVCHD VS MP4

Part 2. Which Should I Use: H.264 or MPEG-4

As the MPEG-4 VS H.264 comparison suggests, whether you need to upload videos to YouTube, store videos on your mobile devices, compress video file size, or have other purposes, H.264 is always the better option for exporting your videos, though there are a few exceptions where MPEG-4 may be a preference of some applications or platforms.

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    Part 3. How to Convert Between H.264 and MPEG-4

    You can also convert videos to H.264 or MPEG-4 to see the differences or for better playback and sharing. WonderFox HD Video Converter Factory Pro is an excellent video converter that will help do the conversion effortlessly. Here is how you can change video format with this tool.
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    Step 1. Open Converter

    Start WonderFox HD Video Converter Factory Pro, go to Converter.
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    Step 2. Add Video Files

    Click on + Add Files on the Video Converter Interface. A small File Explorer window pops up. Go to the folder saving the videos, select them, and click on OK.

    Step 3. Choose H.264 or MPEG-4

    Click the format icon on the right side. The output format menu appears. Go to Video and select H.264.
    If you need to convert videos to MPEG-4, choose MP4 under Video tab firstly, go to Parameter settings, open the Encoder drop-down list under Video Settings, and select MPEG4. Then, click OK.

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    Click the triangle icon on the bottom of the software and designate the output path. When you are all set, click Run.
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