Video Transcoding is the direct digital-to-digital conversion of video from one encoding to another type of encoding. In video transcoding, the bit stream format of video file is changed from one encoding to another type of encoding without its undergoing another complete video decoding and encoding process.

Video Transcoding is commonly a lossy process, introducing generation loss; however, video transcoding can be lossless if the input video file is losslessly compressed and the output video file is losslessly compressed or uncompressed. The process of lossy to lossy conversion introduces varying degrees of generation loss. In other cases, the transcoding of lossy to lossless or uncompressed is technically a lossless video conversion because no information is lost, however the process is irreversible and is more suitably known as destructive.

The key drawback of video transcoding in lossy formats is decreased video quality. It is better to retain a copy in a lossless video format, and then encode directly from the lossless video source file to the lossy video formats required.