What Is MKV File and How To Open and Play MKV? – POFTUT

What Is MKV File and How To Open and Play MKV?

MKV is a flexible, open standard video file format that quickly became the preferred file extension for HD video on the internet.

Matroska- MKV History

MKV development is started in Russia in 2002. MKV is a short form of the Matroska Video where Matroska is a Russian toy originally named matryoshka. The lead developer Lasse Karkkainen and the Matroska company founder Steve Lhomme with a team of programmers created this wonderful multimedia format or container. Matroska is an open-source project which means its source code and algorithm are free to access and use personally.  Also, the improved version of MVK is forked and created a similar format named WebM by Google in 2010.

What Are MKV Files?

MKV is a multimedia container format. But MKV is generally known as compression but it is not. MKV file format provides the data structure of the audio, video, and other informational data. The actual audio and video are generally compressed with formats like H.264, H.265, MP3, ACC, etc.

MKV file format is designed to be dynamic for use in the feature without a problem. This means MKv will not become outdated because of some key features like below.

  • Fast Seek provides easy and fast seek for given time multimedia.
  • Chapter provides creating chapters in a file and step to them easily.
  • Menu provides show some menu and its data like an interactive manner.
  • Metadata provides put some useful data for specific purposes.
  • Multiple Audio Channels provide to support multiple and different language audio files to be played.
  • Multiple Video Channels provide to support multiple and different video streams to be played.
  • Online Streaming can be used to cast video and sound stream in a computer network to different devices like TV, Tablet, Projection, etc.
  • Subtitle can be inserted as hard-coded or soft-coded.
  • Error Recovery is used to playback even some parts of video and sound data is corrupted.
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Set Default MKV Player For Windows

In Windows operating systems like 10, XP, 8, Server the default MKV file player is the default one provided. This is named as Windows Media Player. Windows Media Player can play popular video formats but lack a lot of useful features. so VLC Player is one of the popular 3rd party MKV players for Windows. But the default player is set as Windows Media Player.  We can set the default player VLC for MKV files like below.

First, we right-click to an MKV file which is named as SampleVideo_1280x720_30m.mkv in this example. Then we will click to the Properties like below.

MKV File Property
MKV File Property

Then the General tab will be opened like below. We will click to the Change button in other to change Opens with default application.

MKV Player Change
MKV Player Change

Here we will see a list of Media Players that can play the MKV files. We will select the VLC media player like below and click OK.

Select VLC Player
Select VLC Player

Then we will see the change from the  General tab of the file properties like below. VLC media player is set and open the MKV files.

MKV Default Player
MKV Default Player

MKV File Properties

We can see details of the MKV file and codec from the following Current Media Information screen. We can open this screen which is provided by VLC Tools->Media Information like below.

Current Media Information
Current Media Information

The following screen provides information like

  • Media Stream 0 and 1
  • Codec specifies the compression algorithm
  • Type provides the current stream is video or audio
  • Video resolution is the size of the video in bits
  • Frame rate is the count of frames shown in a second which is 25 frames in second in this example
  • Sample Rate is audio Hertz value for the quality
  • Bits per sample is the data quality of the voice.
MKV File Properties
MKV File Properties

Popular MKV Players

MKV is an open and popular media format which is supported by a lot of different video players here are some of the popular MKV players for the Windows operating system.

  • VLC Media Player
  • Media Player Classic
  • Kodi
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