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MKV support on Xbox One

MKV videos can now be played on Xbox One.

The MKV format (the extension used for the Matroska Media Container) can support multiple video and audio codecs, such as H.264 and AAC audio. In general, containers concern how video and audio data is laid out and what supplementary information is used to describe those A/V streams. Containers can also include data that complements A/V streams, such as the title, languages of the audio streams, subtitle or caption tracks, fonts for those subtitles, images, chapter information and menus. MKV is a highly flexible format that supports many of these container features.

The Xbox One tries to support the MKV features that are most important to most customers. Not all features of the MKV format will be implemented, and features will be provided in the order in which they provide the most value.

MKV container feature support

MKV container features are supported on Xbox One 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.

This set of features should allow playback of most MKV files if they contain supported codecs.

MKV codec support

MKV files that contain video and audio tracks encoded with the following codecs are expected to play on Xbox One:

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

Technical details regarding codecs

Technical details are available at the following websites:

Matroska Codec Specs

Windows Dev Centre: Audio Subtype GUIDs

Windows Dev Centre: Video Subtype GUIDs

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