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Xbox One/Xbox One S Supported MKV and how to play all MKV?

Xbox One/Xbox One S Supported MKV and how to play all MKV?

Camille Wesley No Comment
Microsoft Xbox

Main reason for getting one Xbox One S for many people would be the attraction of a UHD disk player. For those who never really have a 4K Blu-ray before now but they many in the future perhaps whould like to play some occasional MKV. So will the Xbox One S be able to play these MKV files? Actually, MKV videos can now be played on both Xbox One S and Xbox One. But since MKV is container that can include different A/V codecs, there are many issues that "MKV can’t be played on Xbox One/Xbox One S".

"Why can’t I play mkv files on my Xbox One? They work, but only for the audio. I downloaded some movies into a hard drive to watch on my Xbox, but then only the audio is playing and not the actual movie on the screen. It’s a black screen with the audio of the movie. Anyone know how to resolve this problem?"

"hi everyone, my old Xbox one and now new Xbox one S both seem to be transcoding all my MKV’s causing them to constantly buffer and becoming unwatchable. i got a synology ds416play about a month ago and was running the new plex dvr update 2 server from it and also running the same on my MacBook. all the files play on my iPhones, iPads and MacBook but NOTHING will play on my xbox. I’ve tried analysing, optimising but nothing works."

Index of Content

Xbox One/Xbox One S Supported MKV | Convert MKV to Xbox One | Play MKV on Xbox One

As the aforementioned, MKV is a container and it can contain many types of video files. Xbox One/Xbox One S can read MKV but only some types of MKV files. If you can’t play some of your MKV files on Xbox One/Xbox One S, you can check if the MKV A/V codec is supported by Xbox. Below are Xbox One/Xbox One S supported MKV codec and features.

MKV container feature support in Xbox One/Xbox One S

MKV container features are supported on Xbox One/Xbox One S 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.

Xbox One/Xbox One S Supported MKV codec

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

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/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

Make All MKV Files Watchable on Xbox One/Xbox One S

So when your MKV has some Xbox unsupported A/V codec, you need to re-encode the incompatible MKV to Xbox One/Xbox One S with the friendly codec or audio with MKV Video Converter. The software recommended here is Pavtube Video Converter Ultimate. Apart from MKV, you also can use it to convert MP4, AVI, WMV, H.265, even Blu-ray and DVD to Xbox One/Xbox One S supported video formats. Plus, the best Pavtube MKV Video Converter is also a functional video editor, which you can easily merge, trim, crop, add watermark and create 3D/VR effects on MKV videos with Xbox One/Xbox One S and convert MKV to 180+ video codecs for playing on various platforms, incl. iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple TV, Android phone and tablet, TiVo, Chromecast, Roku, Seagate, HD Media Player, smart TVs, VR Headsets, PPT, even all Non-linear editing softwares, etc.

Recently, Pavtube Video Converter Ultimate has upgraded to version with supporting the most advanced hardware acceleration NVIDIA CUDA & AMD APP by H.264/H.265 codec, which can give users 30x video transcoding speed than before. So you can save lots of time to convert MKV to Xbox One/Xbox One S with it.

Note: If you buy Pavtube Video Converter Ultimtate now, you can get it at a 20% discount cause Pavtube Studio is holding on Year-End & Christmas Sale. Learn the details here .

The purchase button of this 20% OFF Pavtube product is here:

Steps to Convert MKV to Xbox One/Xbox One S Playable One

Step 1 Import source MKV video files

On the main interface of Pavtube Video Converter Ultimate, click “File” button to load your source MKV video files. After loading, you could activate the build-in Player to preview MKV video files. In addition, Xbox Media Player does not currently support the use of subtitles in movies so if you want captions shown, you can choose the subtitle streaming in "Subtitle" at the bottom of the chapter list and then this subtitle tracks will be hard burnt to output video in graphic, in which case your Xbox One/Xbox One S doesn’t need to read subtitle file when playing MKV files.

load MKV files

Step 2 Select Xbox One S as format

You can either choose one of Xbox One/Xbox One S supported file fomrats listed below or direct output Xbox 360 preset profile formats which can also apply to Xbox One S. 

Xbox One/Xbox One S supported file formats

Video formats: 3GP video, 3GP2, AVI DivX, DV AVI, AVI uncompressed, asf, AVI Xvid, H.264 AVCHD, M-JPEG, .mkv, .mov, MPEG-PS, MPEG-2, MPEG-2 HD, MPEG-2 TS, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, MPEG-4 SP, WMV, WMV HD 
Audio formats: 3GP audio, AAC, ADTS, MP3, WAV, WMA, WMA Lossless, WMA Pro, WMA Voice

Output Xbox One S preset profile formats

Note: No matter you chose WMV, MP4 or Xbox 360 preset, you can click "Settings" to change the video encoder to H.264 and audio encoder to “AAC‘ or “AC3“, along with frame rate, resolution, bit rate, channel, sample rate, etc if you want. If you want to remove the video black bar, please go to “Edit” > “Adjust” >”Keep Aspect” to adjust their aspect ratio of 16:9 or 4:3.

Step 3: Convert MKV to Xbox One/Xbox One S

Click the big green “Convert” button to start to convert MKV to Xbox video immediately. When the conversion completes, you can find the output video file under the directory you just set.

How to Play MKV Files on Xbox One/Xbox One S?

There are some ways to stream your MKV files and other media on Xbox One/Xbox One S. You can click the tab to learn the each method below.

If you have a USB flash drive or external drive, you can use it to play videos on the Xbox One. The Xbox One S supports USB 1, USB 2, and USB 3 drives. The drive must be formatted in FAT16, FAT32, exFAT, or NTFS. If you have a Windows PC, your USB drive will work on your Xbox One S as long as your Windows PC can read it. If you have a Mac, be sure to format the drive as exFAT and not with a Mac-only file system like HFS+.

Connect the drive to your computer and copy your video, music, or picture files onto it. Eject it from your computer and connect it to one of the USB ports on your Xbox One. There Xbox One has three USB ports you can use: Two on the back of the console, and one on the side. 
Open the Media Player app and you’ll see your connected drive as an option. Select the drive and you can browse all the media files on it and play them, controlling the playback with your Xbox One S controller.

Play video on Xbox One S via USB drive

You could also use a network attached storage (NAS) device as a DLNA media server if you have one.

To do this, you’ll need to set up a DLNA server on your PC or Mac first. Microsoft recommends -and officially supports -Windows Media Player as a DLNA server. If you use a Mac, you’ll need to find a third-party DLNA server like Plex.

To activate the DLNA server included with Windows, open the Control Panel, search for “media,” and click the “Media streaming options” link under Network & Sharing Center. Click the “Turn on media streaming” button here. This makes the files available in your Music, Pictures, and Videos libraries available for streaming. (So if your video file isn’t in your Videos folder already, you’ll want to put it there now.)

Choose media streaming options

Once you have a DLNA server set up, it will appear in your Xbox One S’ Media Player app as an option alongside any connected USB drives, allowing you to browse and stream media files stored in your media libraries.

Avaiable streaming media on Xbox One S

You can also use the “Play To” feature to play music from your computer to your Xbox One. This feature is now called “Cast to Device” on Windows 10, but it’s still called “Play To” on the Xbox One S. It also relies on DLNA in the background. However, you don’t have to set up a DLNA server. You just browse to the media files on your computer and tell Windows to play them on your Xbox One S.

This feature was introduced in Windows 7, and it still works on Windows 8, 8.1, and 10.

To do this, ensure the appropriate option is enabled on your Xbox One S. Head to Settings > All Settings > Preferences > Game DVR & Streaming and ensure the “Allow Play To Streaming” option is enabled.

Enable play to streaming option

To play music or video files on your Xbox One S, just right-click them in File Explorer or Windows Explorer and use the “Cast to Device” or “Play To” menu to select your Xbox One S.

Use cast to device select xbox one s

A small Windows Media Player window will appear, and you can use to to manage your playlist and control playback from your computer. You can also control playback on the console itself with your Xbox One S controller.

Windows Media Player windows

If you haven’t yet installed the Movies & TV app on your Xbox One S, you’ll be prompted to do so. The page for the app on the Xbox Store will open -just select “Install” to install it. You’ll have to install the app before the “Play To” or “Cast to Device” streaming will work.

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