Xbox One lets you play MKV videos with these codecs

jayar.decenella@gmail.com' By: Jay Decenella
2 minute read

The Matroska Media Container, or simply MKV, is a file format that supports multiple video and audio codecs, including H.264 and AAC audio. As a container, MKV represents the outline of video and audio data and other related information that describes the audio/video streams. Containers also include the title, menu, caption tracks, subtitles, supported languages, fonts, images, and chapter data.

MKV supports various container features, though not all of them can work on the Xbox One. The video game console can also play MKV files using its native Media Player app, but Xbox One limits its support only to container features that provide the most value to users.

MKV files that contain video and audio tracks can play on Xbox One if they are encoded with the following codecs:

Matroska Id MSFT Media Foundation MF_MT_SUBTYPE Description FourCC or WAV identifiers
V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC MFVideoFormat_H264 H.264 video H264
V_MPEG2 MFVideoFormat_MPEG2 MPEG-2 video
V_MPEG1 MFVideoFormat_MPG1 MPEG-1 video MPG1
V_MPEG4/MS/V3 MFVideoFormat_MP43 Microsoft MPEG 4 codec version 3 MP43
V_MPEG4/ISO/ASP MFVideoFormat_MP4V MPEG-4 part 2 video MP4V
V_MS/VFW/FOURCC Maps to several codecs usually supported in the AVI format that are available on the console.
A_AAC MFAudioFormat_AAC Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) WAVE_FORMAT_MPEG_HEAAC
A_AC3 MFAudioFormat_Dolby_AC3 Dolby Digital (AC-3)
A_MPEG/L3 MFAudioFormat_MP3 MPEG Audio Layer-3 (MP3) WAVE_FORMAT_MPEGLAYER3
A_MPEG/L1 MFAudioFormat_MPEG MPEG-1 audio payload WAVE_FORMAT_MPEG
A_PCM/INT/BIG MFAudioFormat_PCM Uncompressed PCM audio WAVE_FORMAT_PCM
A_PCM/INT/LIT MFAudioFormat_PCM Uncompressed PCM audio WAVE_FORMAT_PCM
A_PCM/FLOAT/IEEE MFAudioFormat_Float Uncompressed IEEE floating-point audio WAVE_FORMAT_IEEE_FLOAT

MKV container feature support

Xbox One supports MKV container features in the following ways:

  • If one or more video tracks are present, the first track will be played.
  • If one or more audio tracks are present, the first track will be played.
  • If one or more captions tracks are present, the captions will not render, but the file will load and play.
  • If one or more fonts or images are present, captions and images will not render, although the file will load and play.
  • Menu information is not supported and will not be displayed, but the file will load and play.
  • Chapter information is not supported, but the file will load and play.
  • If files with chapters refer to supplemental files, the supplemental files will not play.
  • Thumbnail images are available when browsing for files on USB drives using the file browser.

MKV files that contain supported codecs will play on Xbox One with this set of features.

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