Best Video Converter Software of 2018

Danny Chadwick ·
Updated
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We spent more than 100 hours testing, rating and ranking the best video converter software on the market today. At the end of our analysis, we determined that Wondershare Video Converter is the best application of its kind. It has a wide array of preprogrammed conversion choices, format types and device optimization profiles. It works quickly – taking about five minutes to convert an hour-long file. It also produces high-quality videos. As we analyzed and critiqued the converted video, there were virtually no discrepancies. You’ll be hard-pressed to find any digital artifacts, motion blur or other distortions in your converted files.   

Best Overall

Wondershare Video Converter

This application earned high marks in every criterion we look for in this category. Not only can you convert a video from one format to another, you can also optimize it for playback on more than 150 devices such as smartphones, tablets and video game consoles. Simply put – this software creates high quality videos.
View on Wondershare
Best Value

Leawo Video Converter

You don’t always need the best of the best for simple conversion jobs. Leawo Video Converter is a single module in a larger suite that you can purchase to get exactly what you need.
View on Leawo
Most Conversion Profiles

WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe

With more than 400 optimization profiles, you can tailor a video conversion for play back on practically any device. And the conversion quality is top-notch.
View on Digiarty

Product
Price
$59.95Avangate
$35.95Avangate
$49.95Regnow
$29.95Regnow
$39.95Avangate
$35.95Avangate
$48.30Avangate
$69.00Avangate
$29.96Plimus
$39.00Avangate
Overall Rating
8.9
8.8
7.8
7.7
7.4
7.3
7.3
6.8
6.3
6.2
Conversion
10
9.2
7.8
7.3
8
6.9
7.3
7
6.5
5.7
Price
6.5
7.7
6.5
10
7.7
8.1
7.8
8.3
7.7
6.6
Output Quality
10
10
8.8
7.5
8.4
9.4
7.5
6.3
7.2
6.9
Additional Tools
10
8.4
8.8
4
3.8
3.2
6
4.4
1.6
5.2
Ease of Use Score
100%
88%
94%
83%
83%
74%
77%
80%
65%
71%
Conversion Speed
Fast
Fast
Average
Slow
Fast
Slow
Average
Slow
Above Average
Slow
Video Formats
24
20
17
25
17
20
26
27
13
17
Audio Formats
18
14
14
14
14
14
13
14
12
2
Device Optimized Profiles
150+
125+
175+
100+
175+
400+
225+
225+
45+
90+
Video Quality
A
A
A-
B
B+
A-
B
C
C
C+
Audio Quality
A
A
A-
B
A-
A
B
B-
A-
B
Video Editing Tools
A
B-
B
B+
B
D-
A-
A-
D-
D
Disc Burning Tools
-
-
-
-
-
-
Download Online Video
-
-
-
-
-
Best Overall
Wondershare makes a great quality copy. We examined converted videos created by Wondershare Video Converter and compared them against the source videos.
It took careful scrutiny to find any quality degradation whatsoever. Other products we reviewed produced noticeable, sometimes distracting, pixelation, compression artifacts, motion blur and other imperfections. All of these were absent in videos created by Wondershare. This video converter has every tool and feature that we look for. You can use it to convert file formats, and optimize for playback on more than 150 devices. You can perform batch conversions so you don’t have to manually program output settings for each video. Additionally, this program has a great array of basic video editing tools such as trimming, cropping and adding effects. Other great tools include the ability to burn converted videos onto optical discs. It can handle ultra-high-definition 4K video resolution with no problems. It automatically fetches metadata for videos from the internet. It also employs GPU acceleration to make the best use of all your system’s resources.
Pros
  • Converts hour-long videos in less than five minutes
  • Converted videos have minimal quality loss
  • It can handle 4K video resolution without any issues
Cons
  • 150 conversion profiles is underwhelming compared to others that have more than 400
  • It’s the most expensive video converter we reviewed
  • Live-chat support is sometimes unavailable
$59.95Wondershare
Read the full review
Best Value
The first thing to know about Leawo Video Converter is that is a single module in Leawo’s Prof Media suite. Other modules include an online video downloader, as well as DVD and Blu-ray ripping and burning tools.
And you can buy them piece-meal, so if all you want is the video converter, you don’t have to pay for the entire suite of tools. The converter costs about $20 less than our top choice, making it our best value pick. As you might guess with a budget program, you don’t get all the features offered in top-rated products, but it still gets the job done – only much slower. In our tests, it took Leawo Video Converter about 40 minutes to convert an hour-long video. This is extremely slow compared to the best products, which can perform the same task in five minutes or less. And the output quality isn’t as good either. On a video created with the program’s default settings, our experts noted some degradation in the picture such as pixelation and compression artifacts. However, this can be corrected if you switch the quality setting to high. The tradeoff is an even longer conversion time. On the upside, this product has a good amount of video editing tools that let you easily trim, crop and enhance your video footage before you start a conversion. You can get exactly what you want without the need for a stand-alone video editor.
Pros
  • It costs about $20 less than our top choice
  • Only minor degradation in converted files using default settings
  • Video editing tools allow you to customize your video before converting
Cons
  • Tools like video downloader and disc burning cost extra
  • Conversion is very slow compared to our top pick
  • It only offers roughly 100 device optimization profiles
US$29.95Leawo
Read the full review
Most Conversion Profiles
All the video converters we reviewed have preprogrammed optimization profiles to customize your videos. These allow you to quickly and easily select a device such as a smartphone, tablet or gaming system and optimize your video for that specific model.
Wondershare – our top pick – offers 150 profiles, which is good enough for most people. But if you need more, WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe has 400 – the most of any product in this category. The features go far beyond device optimization. You can convert your videos for third party applications such as video editing software or even video sharing sites like Facebook, Vimeo and YouTube. If you have a specific place you want to play your video, it’s a near certainty WinX has what you need to make it look its best. Unfortunately, this program is quite slow when it comes to the conversion process. Converting an hour-long video takes about 40 minutes in our tests. The fastest programs perform the same task in five minutes or less. However, the quality of the converted video was excellent, rivaling even our top-pick. We were only able to find marginal pixelation and other flaws in the small details of the picture.
Pros
  • It features more than 400 device, software and service optimization profiles
  • It creates excellent quality conversions with minimal degradation in picture
  • Easily downloads online videos
Cons
  • Much slower conversion times than fastest programs
  • No disc burning tools
  • The video editing tools are limited at best
$49.95Digiarty
Read the full review

Why Trust Us?

We try to simulate, as closely as possible, the experiences of a typical consumer. We judged the software by comparing each application’s conversion fidelity, speed, ease of use, and device optimization features.

We also reached out to video and media professionals who use these types of programs every day to see what they value in their own video conversion software.

We spoke to Drew Tyler, instructor of digital media at Weber State University. He stressed the importance of having the right kind of video format for each video platform. He also noted that different cameras speak different languages, so it’s important to have a program that will convert for common and obscure video file formats to ensure that all devices communicate together during the editing process.

When asked what the most important thing is to consider when purchasing a video converter, Tyler said, “Look for ease of use. So many factors that go into compression, there are people who get paid a lot of money to do it professionally. Look for the software that gives you the presets that are easiest to choose. Avoid the hassle and let it do the thinking.”

Greg Andersen, of Andersen Media in South Weber Utah, stressed that not all video converters are created equal, and that he looks for programs that retain 100% quality. He noted that you won’t get a better video than what you put in, but you should at least get one of equal quality. He also noted that the ability to add a watermark makes it easier to deliver a video that a client can evaluate, but not use until they pay. Most importantly, he says a converter should be as comprehensive as possible when it comes to format choices.

Andersen said, “The reason for having the correct file format is that there are so many different platforms that require different formats. It’s important for me to have a program that is compatible with formats that my client needs. Some want MOV or AVI or MP4, and I need to be able to deliver that, and need to have a program that’s all inclusive.”

How We Tested

We subjected each video converter program we reviewed to a battery of tests. They included usability tests, quality and timing tests. The results of these tests were weighed against the reviewer’s personal experience with each program to come up with their final score.

Ease of Use Test
This test began with an evaluation of the software’s interface. We noted how long it takes to learn and perform common tasks such as loading a video into the program, selecting a profile and starting a conversion. We then moved on to the more advanced aspects of each program, keeping track of how accessible features were, how intuitive they were to use, and if their functions were clearly explained for the user.

Quality Tests
We converted dozens of videos during our testing phase. We picked a graphics-intensive video to convert with each program, then examined the results and compared it to the original. Our video experts looked for imperfections such as compression artifacts, motion blur and pixelation. They noted how pronounced each problem was and whether it would be a distraction to the average viewer. Each program was given a grade based on this evaluation.

Timing Tests
Lastly, we timed each program as it converted an hour-long video. Some products took longer than an hour to complete this task, while the fastest took only a few minutes.

Key Features to Look For

Video & Audio Format Conversion Choices
All the programs we chose to evaluate for this category have all the most popular video file formats available for conversion. Included among these are MOV, AVI, MP4, FLV and MKV. But some programs offer not-so-common formats such as XVID, SWF and 3GP. Most users won’t find much use for the more obscure formats, but video professionals will be glad to know they’re there. You should also have the option to convert a video into an audio file, which is great for video games, lectures or other videos where the sound is the star. Formats such as MP3, M4A, WAV and AIFF should all be included, but others will be available depending on the program. Make sure you check that the software you choose supports all the file formats you need.

Optimization Profiles
The best video converter software doesn’t end with simply swapping out one file extension for another. They all include a library of preprogrammed optimization profiles that tailor videos for playback on specific devices such as smartphones, tablets, gaming systems, televisions and set-top boxes. Choices in these libraries range from fewer than 50 to more than 400. The larger libraries cover more devices and specific models, while smaller libraries tend to focus on brands and device types.

Customization Tools
There are times when you don’t want to convert an entire video file. The best video converter software will provide some basic video editing tools that allow you to trim, crop and enhance your video. This allows you to remove unwanted footage, add effects and adjust picture values such as hue, saturation and contrast, so you get exactly what you want out of every conversion.


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