Useful Ways to Compress Movie Video Files to Smaller Sizes


Downloading movies as video files can make it convenient to watch them or even transfer them to other devices that you want to view them on. However, movie video files can be very large and will take up a lot of space if you want to store them.

The file size of movies can be particularly problematic if you want to store or watch them on mobile devices – seeing as they generally have a limited amount of storage space to begin with.

To help store movie video files more effectively, you could compress and reduce their file size. That can be done in two useful ways:

  • Convert movies to video codecs with better compression

Although you may not realize it, all of your movie video files are already compressed using part of the format known as the video codec. More importantly, however, it is possible to compress the video further without affecting its quality by converting its video codec to one that provides better compression.

That may sound complicated, but in practice, all you need to do is identify the video codec that has better compression then convert to it. For example, H.264 is better than MPEG-4, and H.265 (HEVC) is better than H.264.

The only other factor to keep in mind is that the video codec you convert to must be compatible with the device or platform that you’re using. Converting to H.264 is normally a ‘safe’ option in that regard as it is compatible with almost all devices.

However, if you want to convert the video to H.265, you should check in advance if your device supports HEVC.

  • Reduce the video bitrate

The other way that you can compress your movies and reduce their file size is by reducing the video bitrate. It will directly reduce the amount of data that the video uses each second and correspondingly reduce its file size.

Unlike the option above, if you reduce the video bitrate it will affect the video quality. The only question is by how much, as the lower the bitrate gets the more the video quality will be affected.

Typically it is best to reduce the video bitrate gradually and watch for compression artifacts and other issues with the video quality.

In order to use either of the options described above, you’ll need a video converter software. For example, you could use Movavi Video Converter if you want to be able to convert the video codec or reduce the bitrate.

Overall it should be evident that converting your movie to a video codec with better compression is preferable in most cases. However, if you can’t find a video codec with better compression or you need to reduce the file size further – reducing the bitrate is a decent fallback to have.

At the end of the day, you may not even notice the loss in quality if you reduce the bitrate slightly, and you should try it out to see for yourself.