Best Video Converter Software: Convert, Output Video Files
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 Uniconverter 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.
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.
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.
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.
|Product||Price||Overall Rating||Conversion||Price||Output Quality||Additional Tools||Ease of Use Score||Conversion Speed||Video Formats||Audio Formats||Device Optimized Profiles||Video Quality||Audio Quality||Video Editing Tools||Disc Burning Tools||Download Online Video|
|Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate||View Deal||4.5/5||10||6.5||10||10||100%||Fast||24||18||150+||A||A||A||✓||✓|
|Aimersoft Video Converter Ultimate||View Deal||4.5/5||9.2||7.7||10||8.4||88%||Fast||20||14||125+||A||A||B-||✓||✓|
|Any Video Converter Ultimate||View Deal||4/5||7.8||6.5||8.8||8.8||94%||Average||17||14||175+||A-||A-||B||✓||✓|
|Leawo Video Converter||View Deal||4/5||7.3||10||7.5||4||83%||Slow||25||14||100+||B||B||B+||-||-|
|Movavi Video Converter||View Deal||3.5/5||8||7.7||8.4||3.8||83%||Fast||17||14||175+||B+||A-||B||-||-|
|WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe||View Deal||3.5/5||6.9||8.1||9.4||3.2||74%||Slow||20||14||400+||A-||A||D-||-||✓|
|Aiseesoft Video Converter Ultimate||View Deal||3.5/5||7.3||7.8||7.5||6||77%||Average||26||13||225+||B||B||A-||-||✓|
|Tipard Video Converter Ultimate||View Deal||3.5/5||7||8.3||6.3||4.4||80%||Slow||27||14||225+||C||B-||A-||-||-|
|Total Video Converter||View Deal||3/5||6.5||7.7||7.2||1.6||65%||Above Average||13||12||45+||C||A-||D-||-||-|
|AVS Video Converter||View Deal||3/5||5.7||6.6||6.9||5.2||71%||Slow||17||2||90+||C+||B||D||✓||-|
Best overall video converter
Wondershare makes a great quality copy. We examined converted videos created by Wondershare Uniconverter 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.
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.
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.
Fastest Conversion Times
When we tested the best video converter software, we timed how long it takes for them all to convert the same videos. Aimersoft Video Converter Ultimate clocked the fastest times among the products we reviewed.
So, if you use this type of software on a daily basis, or just need something converted as quickly as possible, this is the program you want.
It also has a full array of customization and enhancement tools. Not only can you trim away unwanted footage, but also adjust picture values like brightness, contrast and hue. You can also add effects, watermarks and a whole host of fun filters. Additionally, you can use this program to create a DVD, complete with menus, of your converted videos.
Most Format Options
All the video converter programs we reviewed can export files into the most popular formats like MP4, WMV, MOV, AVI etc. But for those who need more options like the lesser used 3GP, OGG and WEBM formats, the more options, the better.
With 27 video and 14 audio formats to choose from, Tipard Video Converter offers the most file formats of all the programs we tested. However, it should be noted that our top pick has more audio options with 18.
But there are some serious drawbacks to this program. It’s among the slowest converters we reviewed, and it lacks the ability to download videos from the internet and burn your converted files to a disc – both of which are found in our top choice.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How Much Does Video Converter Software Cost?
All the programs we reviewed will cost you in the neighborhood of $50. Most video converter programs range from $40 to $60. And given the disparity in performance from best to worst, you probably want to spend the extra $10 to get one that has everything offered.
What’s the Difference Between MP4, MOV and AVI?
You’ll have to decide which file type to convert your videos to. Here’s a rundown of the most common file types and their characteristics:
MP4 - This file type is highly compatible with other platforms, which makes it one of the most popular video file types today. MP4 compresses files into smaller sizes than other file types, making them easier to store and share. MP4 also captures high-quality video without blurring your imagery. This file type is considered the standard media file, and it plays on both Windows and Apple devices.
MOV - This file type was originally created by Apple as a support for QuickTime media player. Although it was created for Mac, it also works on Windows. However, it doesn't always work as well on non-Apple platforms. This file type is great for storing and sharing high-quality video. It sometimes creates larger files than MP4, but the two file types are mostly interchangeable. MOV files can be converted to MP4 files easily.
AVI - Microsoft created this file type specifically for use with Windows Media Player. Although this file type used to be the most popular due to its high compatibility, Microsoft no longer updates it. Therefore, AVI is often incompatible with newer and more advanced software. If you have a choice, it’s better to use MP4 or MOV.
If you’re working on an Apple device and know that your video will be edited and played on other Apple software, it's a good idea to save your video as a MOV file. However, if you plan to share your video more widely online, consider going with the MP4 standard because it can be read by more platforms.
More Guides for Converting Files:
- The Best Audio Editing Software
- The Best Audio Converter Software
- The Best Video Converter Software for Mac
- The Best Professional Video Editing Software