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MOV vs. m4v?

Discussion in 'Phantom 4 Help' started by Camren S., Sep 15, 2016.

  1. Camren S.

    Sep 15, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Hello all! I'm new to the drone scene and am having fun learning new things everyday. But I've stumbled upon a problem I can't quite figure out. When I extract my captured footage to my computer, there's two video versions. One MOV and the other, m4v. Now I'm almost positive this is because the MOV was extracted via using an SD Card Reader and the m4v is me putting the SD Card directly into my mac itself.

    THE PROBLEM IS. The MOV version is very laggy and slow where as the m4v is completely fine.
    Please comment, two heads are better than one, why is this? Thank you for your time.
  2. LuvMyTJ

    Staff Member

    Feb 9, 2014
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    Live! From New York!
    It is a pleasure to welcome you to the Phantom Pilots forum Camren. I hope that you will take advantage of the benefits that come with membership and that you will be able to use the forum for the exchange of innovative ideas and as a resource for current developments in Phantom quadcopter’s.

    MOV and MP4 are just containers and they do not present any real effect on the quality of the encoded videos. That is up to the codec like H.264 and the others. Choosing between MOV and MP4 should be based solely on where you want to play the resulting videos. Since both formats record the same lossy compression methods, they are almost interchangeable in an Apple environment. You can even convert a file from MOV to MP4 and vice versa without having to re-encode the video. But outside of the Apple operating system, you might run into some problems. As MP4 is an industry standard, it has greater support in operating systems other than Apple’s. Most, if not all media players, that are available in various operating systems support this file format. Even in hand held devices like video players and gaming devices, you are more likely to find MP4 capabilities than MOV.

    A current Mac should have no trouble with either file type.
    Peter_Envy likes this.
  3. Peter_Envy

    May 30, 2016
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    New York
    That is great info as I was wondering this myself. Thank you very much.
  4. Troyr

    Sep 13, 2016
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    The drone records and stores the video it captures in an MOV file. The data stream is compressed or encoded in h264 and the container or wrapper for that is the MOV container (as mentioned above). The m4v container is an apple container that is not commonly used outside of a few apple tools - whatever you are using to import the video must be re-encoding it.

    The reason you are seeing some 'lag' when watching the MOV file is most likely because your mac is a little underpowered or you have a lot of other things open/running when watching the MOV file. The MOV from the P4 defaults to 4k resolution, and it takes a fair bit of CPU/memory to decode that. If you have a bunch of other apps open then they are all competing for those resources. I suspect that the app that you imported the video with that transcoded it to an m4v file/container also reduced the resolution, probably to 1080p or 720p which is why it would use less system resources to playback. (for example Handbrake would default to creating a 1080p m4v from a MOV source)
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