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Playing MKV files in the Windows 8 Video App

windows 8 mkv

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#31 +Brandon Live

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 00:47

Alternatively you can just convert the files to a standard MP4 container.


#32 +patseguin

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 00:57

I wish that Windows supported MKV's natively so that I could use Windows Media Center if I wanted to. (I use XBMC now)

#33 ArialBlue

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 00:59

MKV has more overhead. MP4 is indeed superior.
No clue why, I spend too much time looking at task manager.

#34 Mackster

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 01:15

Well, FYI, I was unable to playback any mp4 files in the new Metro video player app, however, the normal Windows Media Player app played it perfectly.

It was a standard mp4 with h264 stream, that also playbacks perfectly in QuickTime Player X.

Have to say that I am pretty tired to still resort to third-party apps and codecs to playback normal video files. And I bet cover art and subtitles still do not work by default in Windows 8. As long as MS goes this route, it's hard to take their OS seriously.

#35 ArialBlue

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 00:53

Are you on RTM? If MP4 doesn't play, then surely you are not on RC...

#36 +Brandon Live

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 16:19

Are you on RTM? If MP4 doesn't play, then surely you are not on RC...


MP4 is a container format. They're working fine for me with h.264 video (RTM build). But there are probably some more obscure codecs which won't work (at least out of the box).

#37 George P

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 16:24

It all depends on the type of h264 encode that was done for that mp4 file. The built in codec is pretty specific in the type/profile it supports. If you move away from that, even if it's still h264 it probably won't play or won't play well.

#38 BajiRav

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 16:26

Well, FYI, I was unable to playback any mp4 files in the new Metro video player app, however, the normal Windows Media Player app played it perfectly.

It was a standard mp4 with h264 stream, that also playbacks perfectly in QuickTime Player X.

Have to say that I am pretty tired to still resort to third-party apps and codecs to playback normal video files. And I bet cover art and subtitles still do not work by default in Windows 8. As long as MS goes this route, it's hard to take their OS seriously.

I think if it's a non-standard MP4 (h.264 + mp3 for example), it won't play. I think I have played MP4 (h264 + stereo/5 channel AAC audio) and AVCHD (h264 + ac3) just fine. Most MKVs are just h264+ac3 and if you use something like tsMuxer to convert MKVs to AVCHD (.MTS or .M2TS), they will play fine although you will lose all subtitles track.

#39 ArialBlue

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 23:51

MP4 is a container format. They're working fine for me with h.264 video (RTM build). But there are probably some more obscure codecs which won't work (at least out of the box).

Should be rare though I would assume. I mean if someone encodes something and uses Mp4 container, it should imply compatibility. Just like if someone uses an AVI container, you do not expect an h264 video stream. Maybe I am a tad naive here.

#40 xendrome

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 23:56

These Codecs seem to work fine for me, http://shark007.net/win8codecs.html

#41 OP Piggy

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 23:56

I'm hoping someone will sort this issue out since RTM is more accessible now.

@xendrome: within the Video app? or in general. I don't care about general playback as that works fine.

#42 Ryoken

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 23:57

MKV has more overhead. MP4 is indeed superior.
No clue why, I spend too much time looking at task manager.

If by superior, you mean far more limited, then you are indeed correct..

MKV is probably the best container out there. It supports all, or damn near all audio, video, and subtitle formats, loading of external files (if you use the right splitter.. this means you can encode the intro to a series once, and every episode encode will just call that file when it's needed.. saving space ).. also ordered chapters, meaning you can have more than 1 version of a movie at a time.

MP4 has a lot of limits on formats that can be used in it, it's not nearly as flexible, but it's also not the container of choice for "pirates" and as such, is more widely supported..

#43 ArialBlue

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 00:00

If by superior, you mean far more limited, then you are indeed correct..

MKV is probably the best container out there. It supports all, or damn near all audio, video, and subtitle formats, loading of external files (if you use the right splitter.. this means you can encode the intro to a series once, and every episode encode will just call that file when it's needed.. saving space ).. also ordered chapters, meaning you can have more than 1 version of a movie at a time.

MP4 has a lot of limits on formats that can be used in it, it's not nearly as flexible, but it's also not the container of choice for "pirates" and as such, is more widely supported..

Less Overhead
More Compatibility
Can be more assured will play on vanilla Windows install
Satisfactory for most everyone, except pirates

Edited by ArialBlue, 17 August 2012 - 00:01.


#44 +D. FiB3R

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 00:09

"Pirates" are a very discerning crowd, don't you know. Only the best will do.
Posted Image

#45 Ryoken

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 03:21

Less Overhead
More Compatibility
Can be more assured will play on vanilla Windows install
Satisfactory for most everyone, except pirates

Overhead.. lol.. Ya it uses an extra 0.5% cpu :p

Everything beyond that is who cares ? The idea that everyone should switch to it because you find it more satisfactory is absurd..
What if I want Chapters ? Subtitles ? FLAC Audio ? DTS ? Any of the HD Audio Formats [ TrueHD, DTS-HD, etc ] ? How about 3D Support since that is getting popular..
How about if I don't want to pay the MPEG-LA for the rights to use it in my hardware ? MP4 is not a "free" container, it's full of patents.

MKV is superior in every single way outside of Native support. Why ? Because pirates use it.. why? Because it's Better.
It's the same reason it took a while to get MP3 support in lots of hardware players, or Xvid/DivX support..

I've encoded or remuxed almost all of my DVD's and Blurays into H264 MKV's.. Best video with best audio, chapters, subtitles if needed. Telling me or anything else to go backward to MP4 is like telling people to go back to AVI, or RM. It's inferior, in almost every way.


And beyond all of that, I don't want MS telling me what formats I am allowed to watch. Didn't they just announce a new H265 format in the works for even better quality and smaller filesize.. OH but you can't use it because MS doesn't allow it's app to use normal codecs the system has, a system that was designed to that ALL programs could have access to and decoders/splitters/etc that you chose to install.

It would be like Microsoft having the favorites folder for IE in your personal folder, only making the Metro IE need a whole new list in a new folder.. it would be nothing but a hassle. Just as this is.



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