There are lots of video container formats and Video Codecs. Some of the most popular include:
Popular Container Formats
Advanced Systems Format (ASF), is a Microsoft-based container format. It includes .asf, .wma, and .wmv. Note that a file with a .wmv extension is probably compressed with Microsoft's WMV (Windows Media Video) codec, but the file itself is an ASF container file.
AVI, or Audio Video Interleaved, is a multimedia container format introduced by Microsoft. AVI files can contain both audio and video data in a file container that allows synchronous audio-with-video playback. AVI supports multiple streaming audio and video, although these features are seldom used. Since AVI was developed for Windows, it lacks some features that newer containers like MPEG or MP4 have. Whatever, it has already become one of the most popular and widely used video formats.
MP4, is another container format developed by the Motion Pictures Expert Group, and is more technically known as MPEG-4 Part 14. Video inside MP4 files are encoded with H.264, while audio is usually encoded with AAC, but other audio standards can also be used.
Flash, Adobe's own container format is Flash, which supports a variety of codecs. More recent Flash video is encoded with H.264 video and AAC audio codecs, but don't expect all Flash sites to use only those codecs, particularly if the video was created and encoded in years past.
Popular Video Codecs
H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, This is the most common codec used in modern camcorders and digital cameras that capture to file-based devices (hard drives, memory cards, and so on).
MJPEG (Motion JPEG), This is an older format used by some digital cameras and older devices to capture video. It was developed by the same group (Joint Picture Experts Group) that developed the JPEG photography compression codec, hence the name.
DV and HDV, DV was developed by a consortium of consumer electronics companies that manufacture and sell camcorders. DV is a tape-based standard and is common on camcorders that use mini-DV tape cartridges. (Some versions of DV are used in professional tape-based gear as well, like DVCPRO and DVCAM.) DV itself is limited to standard definition, so one version, called HDV, was created to allow capture of high-definition video to mini-DV tape cartridges.