I was trying to find a way to easily get MKV’s on to my TV, either by converting them to MP4/M4v and putting them in iTunes and out via the Apple TV or by streaming them directly to my Samsung TV. I did find a pretty good solution to this… but I recently wrote a new post on an easier way to do this which also adds meta data and thumbnails (only for macs though): easily converting (muxing) MKV to MP4 with ‘Subler’.
Ok, so you could use handbrake to convert entire files (both the audio and video streams), but there will be some loss of quality and even with a fast machine this could take a while, use lots of power and may slow your machine down. Sucks if you have lots of files to convert…
Now, most MKV files come with DTS audio and this is not compatible with the built in media player of network connected Samsung TV’s – it won’t play when accessing the file over your home network (it will however play them off a locally attached USB stick – fickle!). The Apple TV also requires the audio to be of a different codec – you can not just swap to a compatible mp4/m4v file container.
So, a simple and FAST method to play these files via a Samsung TV or bung them in to iTunes so you can play them via an Apple TV: Download MP4tools 3 – it lets you passthrough the video file and transcode just the audio to either; 2 channel AAC, AAC 5.1 or AC3 5.1 – choose the format you need (you can also pass through the audio if the mkv is already in your desired format).
It only takes a few minutes and you have your file ready to go. MP4Tools will ‘mux’ the audio and video streams together and output an m4v/mp4 file for you to add to your media library. You may need to experiment with the correct audio type for your particular needs.
If you just want to play your file through a device that accepts MKV’s (not the Apple TV), but you just need to change the audio stream format, you will find MKVtools 3 a little bit faster as it doesn’t need to spend time remuxing the files – only a straight conversion of the audio stream is needed before it spits out your MKV. (There is no option for saving an MP4 with MKVtools, that’s what MP4tools is for).
Posted from London, England, United Kingdom.