What is MKV?


Matroska Multimedia Container is a free and open container format that can hold an unlimited number of video, audio, picture, or subtitle tracks in a single file. It is a general-purpose format for storing common multimedia content such as movies or TV shows. Matroska is conceptually similar to other containers such as AVI, MP4, or Advanced System Format (ASF), but is completely open in terms of specifications, and the implementation consists mostly of open-source software. Matroska file extension is .mkv for video.


  • Accommodate a variety of different types of encoded video, audio, and subtitle streams even includes streaming media
  • Able to include information such as chapters, tags, and even attachments.
  • Merge media with changing.
  • Has open source multimedia packaging formats
  • Provide very good interactive functions

Player Supported

Any DirectShow player can play MKV, OGM, MP4 files, such as common Media player Classic, BPlayer, ZoomPlayer, etc., even Windows Media player. Just install the corresponding Matroska Decode Splitter plugin.

What is MP4?

mp4 vs mkv


MPEG-4 Part 14 or MP4 is the digital multimedia container format most commonly used to store video and audio, but it can also be used to store other data, such as subtitles and still images.

Like most modern container formats, it allows streaming over the Internet. The only file extension for MPEG-4 Part 14 files defined by the specification is .mp4. MPEG-4 Part 14 (formally ISO/IEC 14496-14:2003) is a standard specified as part of MPEG-4. The file container format of the MPEG-4 file is specified in Layer 1 (mux), 14 (mpg), 15 (avc), and the like.


  • Rich in control functions.
  • Good playback quality
  • Have multiple videos (ie angles), audio tracks, subtitles (bitmap subtitles), and more.
  • Has simplified version of MPEG, 3GP.
  • Various storage methods.
  • Extensive application environments.
  • Player Supported

Almost all players can support MP4 format playback.


The contrast between MKV and Mp4

Container format





CoreCodec, Inc

Video formats supported

MPEG-2 Part 2, MPEG-4 ASP, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, H.263. VC-1. Dirac, etc.

Any format

Audio formats supported

MPEG-2/4 (HE)-AAC, MPEG-1/2 Layers I, II, III (MP3), AC-3, Apple Lossless, ALS, SLS, Vorbis, etc.

Any format

Players supported

Almost all players

Mainstream players

Mobile devices supported

All mobile devices

Not supported by almost all mobile devices


mkv vs mp4 quality

  • MP4 vs MKV for Quality

In general, the larger the file size, the higher the video bit rate and the clearer the video.

  • Differences existing reasons

The quality difference between MKV and MP4 is a historical reason. MKV is a private research and development product to replace the old AVI, so as to better support H264. Its flexibility of development and modification makes it compatible with non-industrial standard formats such as flac/ass. While MP4 is born as an industrial standard, replacing the older MPG as a new generation of video/audio packaging services.

  • Formats supported

MKV supports encapsulating FLAC as audio, MP4 does not. But MP4 can also encapsulate lossless audio tracks (such as ALAC, although ALAC is generally considered to be less efficient than FLAC).

MKV supports encapsulation of subtitles in ASS/SSA format, while MP4 does not. The subtitles produced by the general subtitle group are in ASS format, so the inner subtitles are more common in MKV format

As an industry-standard, MP4 is generally more compatible with video editing software and playback devices than MKV. That's why vcb-s basically chooses the MP4 package for those videos optimized for mobile devices.

Beyond that, the two formats are largely interchangeable. For example, they all support encapsulated AVC and HEVC, including 8bit/10bit precision.

  • Quality Comparison

If the two videos are from the same source (similar to converting from the same source video to MKV and MP4, and the source video is clearer), then MKV is clearer than MP4.

If the two videos are from different sources, they cannot be compared. For example, their source video bit rate is not high, but when converting to MKV, the video bit rate is artificially increased, and the video clarity at this time will not improve! In other words, MKV, although larger than MP4, is not necessarily clearer.

Even the source video of MKV is not as clear as MP4. After converting to MKV, although the file is large, the definition is poor.

So the picture quality of MP4 is not as good as MKV, which is very ignorant—they can completely encapsulate the same video.

File Size

File Size

  • MP4 vs MKV for File Size

Generally speaking, with the same resolution, content, and definition, MP4 files are generally small.

MKV mainly reserves the track frame, which is suitable for reprocessing. MKV formats include Blu-ray, HD, 4K, etc., and these things are generally large in size, generally 1-4 G for an MP4 HD video, but 10-20G for MKV format.

MP4 is the most cost-effective, and FLV is also a format with small size and high definition. All in all, MP4 is more reliable for video files that are small in size and can be viewed.

A Recommendation for the Best Converter—DVDFab Video Converter

what is mkv vs mp4

Since it’s hard to make the best choice between MKV and MP4, we will offer you another choice—converting MKV to MP4 or MP4 to MKV without quality losing.

DVDFab Video Converter is your best choice. It is the most fully functional video converter software, able to convert video (up to 1080p/4K/5K/8K) from one format to another. More strikingly, DVDFab Video Converter have the ability to convert video to mainstream audio formats that can be played on mobile devices and at the home theatre.

DVDFab Video Converter: the Best Converter for MP4 VS MKV

1. Launch DVDFab Video Converter and load the source

mkv vs mp4

Double click DVDFab 12 and opt for the Converter module from the option bar when it runs. Drag and drop the source video into the main UI for loading, or navigate it through the Add buttons. You can use this best free video converter with limited features.

2. Choose one profile and customize output video/audio

mkv vs mp4 quality

Click the Choose Other Profile from the drop-down menu, and you will see Format and Device options in the profile library. Select one format or device as you like. If you have higher requests regarding the output video, set all the video and audio parameters via the Advanced Settings.

3. Start to convert video

what is mkv vs mp4

Click the Start button to convert video free and fast. DVDFab Video Converter software will immediately convert video to the target profile you have chosen, and provide you with the detailed progress details during the process. You can cancel the task anytime you don't want to continue during the process, and you can also set your PC to automatically shut down, exit program, hibernate or do nothing when the task is over.


These are some frequently asked questions regarding the differences between MKV and MP4.

Does converting MKV to MP4 reduce quality?

If you only want to change the container from MKV to MP4, you usually don't need to encode anything, you just change the "wrapping" around the video. This doesn't lose quality, and it'll be a much faster process.

Does MKV take more space than MP4?

MKV usually has a larger file size than MP4 videos due to the support for the extra features, multiple audio tracks, and subtitle tracks, this does not mean the quality of MP4 files is inferior to MKV. So to speak, MKV and MP4 are both container formats and they can encapsulate the same video and audio.

What is better AVI or MKV?

The greatest advantage of MKV is that it supports H. 264/AVC, which is not even supported by AVI. H. 264/AVC is needed for efficient HD content playback.


In summary, being open and patent-free, MKV gained broad support recently and quickly becomes de-facto standard for storing movies. And the biggest advantage of MP4 players is that they are small in size, easy to carry, and can play videos anytime and anywhere. Although there are some differences between MKV and MP4, modern technology progress allow us to choose the one fits for us best. Consequently, both MKV and MP4 can be your tools and besides the best converter to convert the two formats is provided. MP4 vs MKV , which is the last winner? Evolving technology is the ultimate winner.