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Last Updated · January 08, 2024

MKV or MP4: What's the Best Video Format?

mkv vs mp4

When it comes to video formats, nowadays we have two most popular choices: MKV or MP4. Still, some streamers or video creators may find it brain-racking to choose the suitable option for them. In the fight of MKV Vs. MP4, you should know the various aspects and features that make these two video formats different. Once you get an idea of what they are like and what pros or cons they carry with them, it will be a piece of cake for you to get the best video format.

To quench your thirst, we have come up with this blog after a deep analysis of “What's the best video format.” In this article, we will compare MKV Vs. MP4 quality to decide which one is the go-to option for you. So, let’s dive into detail.

Part 1: What's MKV?

MKV is a short form of Matroska Video. It was developed by Steve Lhomme in 2002. Currently, Lhomme works for Google, yet MKV is the most famous video format. Moreover, the word “Matroska” is extracted from the Russian Matryoshka Dolls that are placed in descending order and can be kept inside one another. MKV is powered through a non-profit organization called Association Loi 1901.

MKV is a free open-source video format that allows us to store audio and visual data within a single folder. It supports all types of visual and audio content. MKV is a universal format for storing multimedia content like YouTube videos, TV shows, and movies. Using MKV, you can easily watch videos in a multimedia player that offers audio in different languages with subtitles.

Being a lossless format makes it one of the best video formats. This means that the visual and audio data fed by you in the file will never lose its quality. The quality of your content will remain top-notch.

Part 2: What's MP4?

MP4 was first introduced by the Moving Picture Export Group in the year 1988 as their standard digital container format. Today, it has become the most-used video format because of its seamless compatibility with most devices such as mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and computers.

MP4 or MPEG-4 is a container format. It is a widely used digital multimedia format to store video and audio tracks. It can also be used to store subtitles associated with the audio and still images. Similarly to modern container formats, it also supports Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over the internet. So, it is also compatible with MPEG-DASH, and Apple’s HLS. Besides, MP4 is defined by the extension file name .mp4.

MP4 is widely known for its extreme compression. Due to this, the MP4 files are comparatively smaller in size. This makes it easier for you to store and share the file with others. However, it results in destroying the video quality.

Part 3: MKV Vs. MP4: What's the Difference?

Now that we know the basics of MKV and MP4, let's move ahead to a comparative analysis of the two video formats. Understanding the key differences between MKV and MP4 will help you grasp your best format.

1. Quality of the content

MKV or MP4 - Which one provides better video quality? The answer to this question is not that simple. The final quality of the folder primarily depends upon the codecs involved in the container and not on the container format.

MKV and MP4 are output formats and not encoding formats. So, the final quality will be dependent on the codecs that you are using in each format. So, the same codecs used in both MKV and MP4 will produce the same quality. On a general point, MKV still offers more quality than MP4.

2. File size

When comparing MKV Vs. MP4, file size is an important factor to consider. Both video formats offer file sizes that are unmatchable from each other. However, the size of the file is determined by the codecs and the video bitrate used to encode the content. If two files are encoded with the same codecs, both will have the same file size.

Regardless of that, MKV is known to offer lossless compression that leads to a bigger file size. The additional features offered by MKV might be the root cause of giant files. Yet the overall quality of the file gets reserved in MKV. While MP4 is associated with more compression and smaller file size it results in loss of video quality.

3. Compatibility

As mentioned earlier, MP4 has extensive compatibility with different gadgets. It is also a preferred format for video sharing on big platforms like YouTube.

Whereas MKV is less compatible with most of the devices and platforms. However, MKV can store a wide range of multimedia content, for example - audio, video, subtitles, still images, and many more. It also supports smartphones, laptops, gaming consoles, PCs and Tablets. It is a widely accepted international audio and visual codec that MP4 cannot, which makes it a good open-source container.

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Part 4: Pros and Cons of MKV and MP4

Pros of MKV

  • Quality: There is no room for doubt that MKV provides better quality as it is loaded with additional features. When projecting video on the big screen, MKV is preferably a more common option as it provides high resolution.
  • Open source: You do not require any licensing. This encourages developers to optimize the file format and provide better compatibility.
  • Support: MKV supports a wide range of menus like Blu-rays and DVDs. Moreover, you can assign subtitles of audio tracks in multiple languages that can be handled easily for each video file.
  • Active Developer Community: This helps developers navigate through the world of MKV by ensuring the format adapts to the changes.

Cons of MKV

  • Audio quality: As we know MKV provides great video quality. However, you may face audio quality issues when audio is recorded with a low bit rate.
  • File size: MKV produces larger files that make it inconvenient for storage purposes.
  • Compatibility: It is not compatible with all devices.

Pros of MP4

  • Compatibility: MP4 files also offer compatibility with outdated format types. It means that you can use MP4 files with a device that does not support MP4 but its predecessors.
  • Compression: MP4 is the most popular format for better compression of folders to produce smaller file sizes.
  • Support: The main advantage of MP4 is that most of the online and offline media players support MP4 files.

Cons of MP4

  • Quality loss: High compression causes loss of data and quality of the original content.
  • Codecs: Like MKV, MP4 does not support all types of codecs. So, you are required to use a third-party application for this.

Part 5: FAQs about MKV Vs. MP4 200

1. Which is Better Quality MKV or MP4?

MKV is a better option when video quality is your priority because it provides lossless compression that doesn't ruin the video quality. However, this can result in a larger file size. On the other hand, MP4 is a suitable video format to deliver small-size files. However, due to compression, the video quality gets lower.

2.Is MP4 or MKV Better for 4K?

Both video formats are suitable for storing 4K videos. However, if storage is your concern, MP4 is better as it offers small-size files that can be easily stored. Furthermore, 4k videos already have decent video quality. Using MKV for 4k videos will further increase the quality of the videos.

3. Does MP4 Lose Quality?

MP4 files are more compressed to provide a small-size file. Also, MP4 is a lossy format which means that every time you save a video as an MP4 file, you will lose a bit of data from the file. As a result, you will also lose the quality. Thus, MP4 loses quality.


We hope that our article has helped you to understand the context of MKV Vs. MP4. Both video formats are fabulous to go with. Each of them offers distinct features that other video formats don't. Besides that, video quality plays a great role in engaging your audience and having real-time growth. For that, you need a good camera that offers at least 30fps to shoot high-quality content for videos. AI-based OBSBOT Tail Air camera is the best option that you can have.