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MKV vs MP4 - What're Differences Between MKV and MP4?

I am suggested to rip my DVD library to MKV because I want highest audio and video quality and confused as to whether MP4 is much suitable for playback on my Android tablet and PS4 or not. What're differences between MKV and MP4?

MKV vs MP4: Detailed Comparison

Both MKV and MP4 are container formats to store multimedia data including videos, audios, still images and subtitles, also allow streaming over the internet. But, they are quite different and have pros/cons in terms of individual needs.

MKV vs MP4 - License

• MKV is a royalty-free open standard under GNU L-GPL license for personal use and also has free parsing and playback libraries under BSD license available for commercial companies.
• MP4 (ISO/IEC 14496-14 standard) is patent protected format making use of DRM to restrict copying.

MKV vs MP4 - Audio/Video Formats Supported

• MKV can store unlimited multimedia content, commonly used for movies and TV shows. It supports virutally all video/audio coding formats.
• MP4 has specific formats supported, including audios of MPEG-2/4 (HE)-AAC, MPEG-1/2 Layers I, II, III (MP3), AC-3, Apple Lossless, ALS, SLS, Vorbis and videos of MPEG-2 Part 2, MPEG-4 ASP, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, H.263, VC-1, Dirac.
• Both MKV and MP4 can store HEVC/H.265 video supporting UHD resolutions, 4K 2160p and 8K 4320p.

MKV vs MP4 - Utility

• Supported multiple video/audio language tracks and subtitles, MKV is an ideal format for HD movies/videos (for example ripped from Blu-ray discs) and foreign language videos like anime, Spain's La Liga.
• MP4 has smaller size suitable for online video and features wider compatibility with operation systems and portable devices, like iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Huawei, Xbox, PS4, Apple TV etc.

Advice: if you expect to rip DVD with extremely excellent quality of movies, TV shows, anime and have a powerful HD video player which can play videos in any formats installed, MKV is a good choice. On the other hand, MP4 is much more appropriate for playing videos on your Android devices and game consoles. Certainly, you can opt for converting DVD to H.264 MP4 for playback on devices with possible highest quality.


author - Kistent Waung

Kistent Waung twitter icon

Graduated from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, she employs herself in IT related content creation (since 2013) and happens to perfectly combine her major (computer & science) and her gusto (writing). She's seasoned at offering video audio conversion workarounds and always passionate about new trends, from hot HEVC, 4K to the new AV1 codec.

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