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What is inside Matroska video container?

Posted in: Audio and video by Jaromír Adámek on September 25, 2008. Post tags: , , ,

MKV Matroska video container is like bank :) . It working so well, but what is inside?

I did some research, with focus on my own HD content in the MKV files.




Subtitle is usually inside the MKV file (this was news for me too, firstly I’m looking only for audio and video inside the MKV, and what i find, that i don’t need search subtitles on web, firstly i must look deeply inside the MKV container, if subtitle isn’t inside it), but if someone forget margin it inside, you will find .IDX or .SUB file together with the Matroska file.


One of the best free tool to display detailed audio and video specification (not only of the .MKV file) is MediaInfo . It working nice and accurate. It’s easy to right-click on any video file, and take instantly all this detailed information about bitrates, resolutions,…


And finally the good player is VLC . Try new VLC betas with tons of new features. And don’t forget to set S/PDIF to your audio receiver (if your receiver support direct digital stream), the audio quality will be the top one.

DVD films are very cheap now. In my Czech Republic cheap original movies cost only 50 CZK (2 €)!. But the video quality isn’t good :( . Only foreigner movies Is on DVD9 and czech movies is usually only on DVD5 media. Video resolution is always same 720*576 pixels.  Audio streams are good. Especially DTS and pure WAV rocks (on concerts records :) ), but the screen quality is very poor in comparison to full-hd 1920*1080. It look ugly, pixeled and noisy on my 28" 1920*1200 PC monitor, and what about the larger one… Simply DVD is old format. I’m buying film on DVD only if i need the czech language audio stream (the film is so complicated, and i need understand the story (drama movies, …)).

Blu-Ray disc audio quality are absolutely same to DVD (maybe audio channels isn’t sometimes 5.1, but 7.1 and few other improvements are made), but price of the player, recorder and what is most important the media is so high! Films on Blu-Ray cost 800 CZK (35 €). DVD film cost in newsagent 17* less as i wrote. Resolution 1920×1080 rocks, but the price is so huge :( . I’m investing my money to stocks, no to the films :)

The winner of this DVD X Blue-Ray fight is MKV . Usually someone take the HD movie on Blu-Ray in good resolution 1920×1080, take out menu, all extras and non primary audio streams (local translations) and re-encode movie to .MKV container. The best part is, that the final .MKV file size perfectly fit to the old DVD5 media which are so cheap :) ! I’m buying one for 7 CZK, what is 0,3 €! So this film Is smaller than films on DVD9. The best part is, that the advanced movie codecs as is x264 allowing near HD resolution as is 1280*544 (and others). It isn’t full HD, but it’s very noticeably better than DVD and cheaper, than it :) . I’m loving cheaper and good things :) .

DVD, Blu-Ray and MKV resolution comparison:

Where to claim .MKV movies

In EU – Czech republic is perfectly legal to download text/audio/video (no software) for home using from all sources. You can’t only share it. So you may download .MKV in some DirectConnect client and share legal data.

If legislation of your country allowing you to share, you may download from torrents, the good one torrent search engine for films, audio,… is: .

In both cases, if you are looking for HD movie in .MKV, search for ".mkv" (file), "x264" (movie codec) or "720p"/"1080p" (resolution 720 lines or 1080 lines).

Conclusion is, .MKV rocks at least to the time, when will be Blu-Ray writable drives and medias so cheap (as is now DVD).


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