MKV vs MP4 2024: which video format is better for your needs?

Matroska Video (MKV) is an open-source container format that can hold multiple types of video, audio, and subtitle tracks in a single file. It is also known as “Matroska Video.” It’s like other container formats like AVI and MP4, but it supports more codecs and advanced features like chapter markers and metadata, giving you more freedom. MKV files are often used to store and share high-definition video and illegal content online.

The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) standardised the MP4 container format, which is also called MPEG-4 Part 14. It can hold different types of video, audio, and subtitle tracks in a single file, just like MKV. MP4 files are often used to stream videos over the internet and to distribute videos on DVDs and Blu-ray discs. They are also often used for mobile devices and other portable media players.

MKV vs MP4 Comparison Table

File sizeLarger file sizeSmaller file size
QualityHigher video and audio qualitySlightly lower quality than MKV
CompatibilityLess compatible with devicesCompatible with most devices and platforms
SubtitlesSupports multiple subtitles and tracksSupports subtitles and limited audio tracks
EditingDifficult to editEasy to edit with various software
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Ease of Creation

MKV vs MP4

MP4 only works with a small number of codecs, so playback almost never fails. Almost anything can play an MP4, and most MP4s will work on those devices unless someone did something weird to them when they were made.

Speaking of which, making an MKV is much harder than making an MP4. So, unless you really need MKV’s extra features like multiple media tracks, menus, chapters, and so on, it’s not worth the trouble.

MKV vs MP4 Streaming

MPEG-DASH and Apple’s low latency HLS streaming protocols can both be used with the MP4 format. This makes it the most popular format for web videos. The progressive download features of MP4 formats make sure that playback goes on without stopping, no matter how fast your internet is. MKV videos are hard to stream because the latency is high and there aren’t many web media players that work with them.

MKV vs MP4 Video Quality

Well, this is an obvious question, but to be honest, there is no one right answer. The quality of the file you get in the end depends only on the codecs you use in your container, not on the format of the container itself. So, even though both MKV and MP4 are containers, the final quality will depend on the codecs you pack with each format. So, if you use the same audio and video codecs with both MKV and MP4, the quality of both will be the same.

MKV vs MP4 Size

Does MKV take up more space than MP4? In fact, no. MKV and MP4 are just ways to hold files. The size of the file is based on the video’s codec and bitrate. When the same codec and bitrate are used to encode the video, it is the same size.

MKV files are usually bigger than MP4 files because they can handle more features, more audio tracks, and subtitle tracks. If you find that MKV videos are smaller than MP4 but have a higher resolution, this is probably because the MKV files use a more advanced codec with a higher compression ratio.

MKV vs MP4 Platforms Compatibility

MKV format is ideal for HD movies, TV shows, and streaming content in foreign languages because it supports multiple video/audio language tracks and subtitle files. Numerous well-known media players and video editing programmes, including Adobe PremierPro, KMPlayer, and VLC, support MKV.

Compared to MKV, MP4 has a much wider range of compatibility and can run on almost any device or operating system. So, MKV is not compatible with as many platforms as MP4.

MKV vs MP4 Suitability for Streaming

MKV vs MP4

MKV and MP4 are both types of containers. So, if you use the same codec (like AVC/H.264) and encoding settings with both containers, there will be no difference in quality. The audio and video streams are encoded by the codecs, which can come in different types. There are many things besides the codec that affect the quality of a video.

The bitrate, resolution, frame rate, and colour depth are all examples of these things. MKV does support codecs that might be better quality than the few codecs that can be used with MP4. The same is true for the audio formats that can be used, some of which are technically better than MP4. MP4 only works with “lossy” video formats, but FFV1 encoding works with “lossless” video in MKV.

Which one should you consider?

MP4 format is more compatible, and most mobile devices can play it. MKV is often used for high-quality videos and has files that are bigger. At the end of comparing MKV and MP4, it’s hard to say which format is better. It’s not true that MKV files are bigger than MP4 files and have higher quality than MP4 files.

They are just containers and don’t change the size or quality of the files they hold. You should look at how these container formats are encoded and how fast they send data. Which format should you pick, MKV or MP4? You should make a decision based on what you want and what you need.

MKV is a good choice if you want to rip a DVD with high quality and selectable tracks and your device supports it. On the other hand, MP4 is much better for playing videos on your Android devices and game consoles. You can choose to convert DVD to MP4 encoded with H.264 codec so that it can be played on almost any device with the best possible quality.

MKV Pros and Cons


  • Supports multiple audio and subtitle tracks
  • Enables high-quality video playback
  • Can handle high-definition video
  • Can save chapters and menus for easy navigation


  • Not supported by all media players
  • Large file sizes compared to other video formats
  • Encoding takes longer than some other formats
  • Requires additional codecs for some media players.

MP4 Pros and Cons


  • MP4 is a widely used and supported video format that can be played on various devices and platforms.
  • It offers high video and audio quality with relatively small file sizes, making it easy to share and store.
  • MP4 supports various video and audio codecs, providing flexibility in compression and encoding.


  • MP4 may not support some advanced features available in other video formats.
  • Editing MP4 files can sometimes be difficult because of the compression and encoding used.
  • MP4 is a lossy format, which means that some quality may be lost during compression.


Which is better quality MP4 or MKV?

The quality of video and sound is also different between MKV and MP4. Even though MKV files are usually bigger because they contain more than one data file, the video quality is not better than MP4. This is because the codecs used in the container, not the format of the container itself, affect the quality of the video.

Does MKV reduce quality?

No, changing from MKV to MP4 doesn’t hurt the quality. The resolution and bitrate of the original file determine how good the file will be. If the quality of the original file is good, the quality of the converted file will also be good.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!


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