Suppose you are a binge-watcher and try new media players to watch your favorite show. In that case, you must know the advantage and disadvantages of the streaming service. Plex, the streaming media service, is getting popularity among users for its free service. Launched in 2008, developed by Plex, Inc, the Plex Media Server arrange videos, audio, pictures from users' collection and online services. Plex supports broad devices and browser range to stream your favorite content.

What do you know about Plex and MKV? Let's learn a brief about the duo before proceeding to the error.

What is Plex?

plex mkv

Plex is a streaming media service that streams videos and movies. It offers 50,000+ on-demand titles, including Live TV content, for its vast user base. It's a free platform that offers you to watch movies, videos, documentaries, etc. Its Live tv is free, and you do not need to pay a buck to watch live streams. The shows are ad-supported, and you can access 200+ channels anytime you want. All the major browsers and devices support Plex with complimentary access. The platform is heaven for binge-watchers that allow you to access a massive library for free.

What is MKV?

plex mkv

MKV stands for Matroska, a Russian origin file format that plays audio and video both. It derives the name from Matryoshka, carries the meaning of Nesting dolls, contains H.264 video and AAC audio. MKV is open-source, but its features are different from the patented format. Chapter, menu, metadata support, online streaming suitability, subtitles include hard and soft coded support, etc., are its prime features. It's an adaptive format that supports all kinds of audio and video in an easy-to-use form. Major browsers and devices support MKV format and allow users to access the content in MKV format.

Now the question is if Plex supports a wide range of browsers, devices, and formats, then why does the Plex MKV issue arise? Let's find out the reason.

'Plex there was a problem playing this item MKV,' what does it mean?

Plex supports all the major file formats and allows you to play. But in every format, it supports the codec specifications. If the format does not match the specifications, Plex stops playing. What are they?

For MKV container, it must have the following video and audio encodes

Video Encoding: H. 264, HEVC ( H. 265). mpeg4, msmpeg4v2, msmpeg4v3, vc1, vp9, wmv3

Audio Encoding: aac, ac3, alac, e-ac3, flac, mp2, mp3

If your Plex won't recognize MKV means the MKV does not encode with these codecs. These are the reasons Plex not finding MKV. Similarly, there are a few more reasons behind Plex unable to play MKV.

Plex MKV support: Know the reasons why Plex does not support your MKV files

You need to know the reasons to avoid Plex won't play MKV issue. The list of reasons are:

  • The MKV title might be packed with subtitles streaming issue
  • There might be a compatibility issue with the device you installed plex media server
  • You might change the settings of the Direct Play and Direct Stream option by mistake
  • The bit rate of the MKV is less
  • Without proper rename, the MKV files show, and movies won't play
  • If the MKV file is corrupted, Plex cannot play
  • A poor network that cannot make connectivity with Plex media server

To avoid the error of playing MKV, the MKV transcoding option could be a great choice. Why Transcoding? Because Plex supports all the major formats, and if you convert the MKV into another format, you can bypass the .MKV plex issue.

Additional tips: But before diving into the transcoding process, you need to update your Plex media player to avoid similar issues in another format as well. Install the latest Plex media server if you are using the old version. Once successfully installed, you can recheck the plex MKV issue and ensure it's a problem with your MKV file, not the older Plex version.

Plex MKV vs. mp4: The battle continues..

Plex Mkv vs mp4 battle will continue. But in the end, mp4 always won the match. Because it's the most compatible format across devices, due to its broad accessibility than Mkv, users prefer mp4. Even Plex media server supports mp4 as the best option to stream than Mkv. Suppose Plex cannot access your MKV file; it's better to convert the MKV into mp4 and enjoy the content on Plex. If you convert Plex incompatible MKV files, you can eliminate the issue and watch smoothly.

How to convert Plex inaccessible MKV files?

plex mkv

Use DVDFab Video Converter to convert your MKV into mp4 so that it will run smoothly on the Plex media server. DVDFab video converter, a reliable tool that supports all the major file formats for conversion, can perform the task quickly but with a quality output file. It supports batch conversion. So if you have multiple MKV files that Plex media cannot access, you can convert multiple files with the help of its batch conversion facility. In the output file, you will get subtitles, metadata, and other information that Plex can access easily.

How to play MKV on Plex: Convert MKV to mp4?

Convert the MKV into mp4 format so that Plex can access the file and you can enjoy the content. Let's know how you can convert MKV to mp4.

Step 1: Install DVDFab

plex mkv support

Launch DVDFab video converter open the interface. Click on ADD button to upload the MKV file. You can drag and drop the source file to the main interface as well; both options are available.

Step 2: Select the Profile

Click on the Choose other Profile option. In the drop-down Profile menu, you will get the Format and Device option—select MP4 as a format and device based on your choice.

plex mkv support

Step 3: Click on Advanced Settings

If you want to customize the file, include setting the resolution, audio, effects, subtitles, text, click on Advanced Settings and do the customization with the help of a Built-in editor.

Step 4: Save the customize

Once you finish the customization and select the output directory, click on the Save button to edit and finalize the output folder.

plex mkv support

Step 5: Start converting process.

Once done everything, in the end, click on the Start button to convert your MKV to mp4.

DVDFab Video converter takes less time to convert a file, and within a short span, you will get your mp4 file readily available to play on Plex.

Additional Note: Plex MKV Roku issue is related to the sound problem. The reason might be that the audio format in MKV is unsupported by Roku. If you want to fix the case, you can convert the MKV into Roku compatible format and enjoy watching on Roku.

Does Plex play MKV: Use an Open-source media player to convert MKV

plex there was a problem playing this item mkv

Vlc is among the few media players that can access MKV. You can convert MKV to mp4 format by default in vlc. Want to know anout the difference between MKV and MP4, you can click here to learn more.

Let's know how you can convert the MKV to mp4.

Step 1: Install vlc on your device

plex there was a problem playing this item mkv

Step 2: From the File or Media menu, select the Convert option

plex there was a problem playing this item mkv

Step 3: Drag the MKV file to the Window and select the mp4 format, which is the default format of vlc

Step 4: Click on the Save button to save the MKV file into mp4 file format.

can plex play mkv

Note: In this conversion, you will not get any additional edit mode to further add or customize the file before converting. It offers a simple conversion from MKV to mp4.

If you want to know more about plex play MKV related issues, check the FAQs.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Plex for PlayStation app does not support directly playing MKV videos in the present scenario. If the audio and video match other criteria, it will direct stream without compromising the quality.

No, it's not. If the epicenter of the issue is MKV, it should not hamper the watching of other streaming. But if there is some issue with the Plex Media player, you must update the app by installing the latest version. It will avoid many errors and allow you smooth and free watching.

It depends on the device that the media compatibility and video quality vary. There are standard specifications Plex follows for Direct play that includes an mp4 container, 1920 x 1080 resolution, H.264 video encoding, 30 FPS video framerate, AAC audio encoding, and 8 video Bit depth. It also supports 4k Ultra-high definition for Direct play.

Concluded Part

After going through the whole article, your conflict must be cleared of Plex MKV issue. Like other devices, Plex MKV Roku also can be sorted out. If MKV matches the specifications, Plex will not show any issue. But still, it's advisable to convert MKV into mp4 format for a better watching experience without any error. Convert the format into the standard specifications and allow Plex to entertain you with its free vast library access and enjoy the Plex watching