H264 - H.264 Encoded Video File

What is a H264 file

The file extension H264 is used when referring to a H.264 Encoded Video File. This type of file format is a video compression format and is one of the more popular formats for videos today, especially high definition videos. The format has the ability to do the video recording, but it can also handle the compression and distribution work for the video as well. The first release of this type of video file format happened in mid-2003. Later editions of the format improved the capabilities of the format. The H264 format is frequently used for AVCHD video recorders, HD DVDs and Blu-ray players.

The purpose of creating the H264 file format was to develop something that would be able to provide a very high quality of video, but with lower bit rates than had been seen in the past. The developers also did not want the design to be overly complicated, wanted to keep costs at a reasonable level, and wanted the file format to give enough flexibility so that it could be widely used. The H264 file is frequently misnamed because it is actually an MP4 file in most cases, but many people still call it a H264 file. The H.264 component is a video compression codec and in order to host the video file, it must have a video container.

Here's a small, but not exhaustive list of programs that can open H264 documents:

  • Microsoft Windows Media Player (Windows)
  • Apple QuickTime Player (Windows, Mac)
  • Roxio Creator NXT Pro 2 (Windows
  • Roxio Toast 12 (Mac)
  • Corel VideoStudio Pro X7 Ultimate (Windows)
  • CyberLink Power DVD 14 (Windows)
  • VideoLAN VLC media player (Windows, Mac, Linux)
Extension H264
MIME type video/h264
Useful links
Example Files
(3.16 MiB)
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