Tips & Tricks

MKV vs. MP4: Which One Should You Choose for Live Streaming?

8 min read
MKV vs MP4

Video streaming is a booming industry in this present world. It’s no surprise that companies are looking for ways to gain a competitive edge with streaming video. One of the most talked-about topics in this industry is two types of video file formats: MKV and MP4. The most of time, people get confused between MKV and MP4- is MKV or MP4 better for streaming?

Here’s our explanation on why you need to be well-versed in these video terms if you want to get ahead in the world of live streaming. Here is an overview and comparison that draw a picture of the difference between mkv and mp4.

Let’s dive into today’s topic.

An Overview of MKV Video Format

MKV is one of the most basic video formats. It’s also known as Matroska Video files. In 2002 in Russia, this video format was first originated by lead developer Lasse Kärkkäinen who worked with Steve Lhomme, the founder of Matroska. Read the following topics for further learning about this video format.

What does MKV mean and what is the MKV file?

MKV is the acronym for Matroska Video. It’s an open-source format that allows all kinds of audiovisual content to be “packed” inside. In other words, within an MKV file, several video tracks, different audio tracks, and infinite subtitle files can coexist, thus facilitating their distribution. Hence the name Matroska, in honor of the famous Russian Matroska dolls of different sizes, inserted one inside the other.

A single MKV file can host a movie with the audio in multiple languages and their respective subtitles for the end-user to select one or the other. Or several chapters of the same series, for example. That makes him an unbeatable rival.

The Main Advantages of MKV

  • Open source: One of the main characteristics of this best video format is that it is open source. Thanks to this, the developer will have the opportunity to optimize it, providing better compatibility to new systems.
  • Active community: Precisely due to the above feature, the developer community is very active. This video container format is supported and adapts to any change that occurs.
  • Adaptation: It is rare to have compatibility problems with this type of file, and if there were, it is most likely that it would not take long to launch an update for the device that would eliminate the error.
  • Support: MKV supports menus like those found in DVDs and Blu-Rays; even audio tracks and chapters can be assigned in several languages.
  • Subtitles support: You can manage subtitles independently of the video file; the user can activate or deactivate them whenever he wants, without being fixed.
  • High quality: But what is undoubtedly the advantage of par excellence of MKV files is the high quality with which they allow you to work. It is even used in projections, achieving the highest possible video resolution.

Disadvantages of MKV file format:

The main disadvantage is that the MKV video format does not have compatibility with all devices, the bugs of which are very common in this format.

It has to be updated constantly if his device fails. There are many situations when one prefers to use another video player because he can watch work perfectly through a different application operating system and services.

Due to its structure being independent of any platform, you must obtain special components just for playing MKV files.

It may have a disadvantage in the audio quality if it is recorded with lower-quality equipment or at a low bitrate. It can also experience decoders problems and even create pauses in files if their volume is too high.

Thus, MKV has some disadvantages, but many advantages make this format for everyone who wants to enjoy his media anywhere without restrictions on devices used for viewing them regardless of platforms.

The Future of MKV Format

It would not be realistic to say that MKV is the standard digital video format since as technology advances, it is normal that another will replace it in a few years. Still, today it is indeed the star format for video lovers in high quality. That has been reflected in the number of devices and operating systems that can be played natively.

An Overview of MP4 Video Format

Another most popular format for video files is MP4 which is used widely nowadays in portable devices. It allows encoding video in almost any video resolution. MP4 uses the H.264 video codec and AAC audio codec.

Thus, MP4 is one of the best video containers with excellent features for both video and audio formats. It can be easily played on mobile devices as well as PCs without any buffering problem.

What is MP4?

MP4 is an audio encoding format associated with the mp4 extension. MPEG4 is an international video standard codec created especially for the web.

The MP4 format in general (we can also call it .mp4 file) is technically known as MPEG-4. It is a standard format and is a container format for multimedia tracks.

This format defines how the audio and video files (called data streams) in various formats can be contained, and it can even contain subtitles as well. However, the term MP4 comes from its successors to MP3 players, wanting to associate it with its ability to play video.

Audio Codec of MP4 format:

AAC (Advanced Audio Codec, which when they are loose are audio files with extensions .m4a or .3gp), or the MP3 format.

The Advantages of MP4

  • MP4 is the latest video codec of MPEG, and it has a variety of advantages over older formats.
  • It offers better compression than MPEG-2, so files are smaller without sacrificing quality.
  • The format also supports streaming, making it ideal for playback over the internet.
  • Finally, MPEG-4 is backward compatible with MPEG-2. So files encoded in that format can still be played on devices that don’t support MP4.

Thus, MP4 is an excellent option for both video and audio. It can be easily played on mobile devices and PCs without any buffering problem.

MKV vs. MP4: Differences between MKV and MP4


MKV vs MP4

How to Convert MKV to MP4 or Vice Versa?

There have been many problems with editors when converting MKV to MP4 because very few converters are free to convert video. Most of those available are paid, but few people can afford them. If you’re not ready to pay for video editing software, don’t worry, the following 5 MKV to MP4 and vice versa converters work best with Windows and Mac.

Free MKV to MP4 Converter

1. UniConverter

UniConverter is a powerful MKV to MP4 conversion software with high conversion speed and excellent output quality. Moreover, the MP4 converter can be used on your TV, iPhone, iPod, mobile phone, android phones, and other portable devices.

Get the Best MKV to MP4 Video Converter:

  • It offers high conversion speed and excellent quality.
  • Convert your MKV to MP4 video format or any other video format and vice versa.
  • Customize and edit videos before conversion.
  • Upload videos to online sites like YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook.
  • It is compatible with the latest operating systems, including macOS 10.12 Sierra, 10.11 El Capitan, and Windows 10.

2. Miro Video Converter (Mac and Windows)

Its free availability is the main advantage of using Miro Video Converter to convert MKV to MP4. Mac and Windows are the two most popular platforms, and their compatibility with this program will give you the best experience.


Miro Video Converter has a minimalist GUI and profiles for Android devices.


Lack of batch mode and preset editor are small hiccups that can be overcome.

3. MediaCoder (Windows)

This universal converter has cutting-edge technologies that will make video editing the way you want it. It allows the user to take full control of the entire process. It is updated weekly, which means that you will always find the latest versions. As for its features, it has everything you are looking for to enjoy. Burn CDs, VCDs, DVDs, and BDs, while filters help improve the converted file. Transcoding parameters also make tuning and adjusting video parameters easy, while segmented video encoding is a technology that enhances parallelization.


In the conversion process, this freeware makes it possible to reduce large file sizes and extract audio from video.


Will not convert movie-length files.

4. WinX UniConverter Deluxe (Mac y Windows)

Once you have created your slideshow, add background music and convert it to mp4 easily. Additionally, you can use basic editing tools to merge, trim, and add subtitles for a custom file. If there is one thing that WinX UniConverter Deluxe will guarantee you without fail, it is the high quality of the converted files. You can make adjustments to the resolution and bit parameters balanced.


Easy to use and fast conversion rate.


The interface cannot be customized or resized.

5. Faasoft Video Converter (Mac and Windows)

The 30X conversion speed makes this software so good at converting MKV to MP4. It is a false belief that high speeds compromise the quality of the file because the file is not adversely affected. The video quality is as original as possible. Almost all standard video file formats are supported by this program, which means you have nothing to worry about when it comes to compatibility. The image quality produced by this free converter is the best, and the multifunctional media player adds to that beauty. Its most significant advantage is optimizing your videos according to your taste and preference.


It is compelling thanks to its features and easy-to-use interface.


The software loading time is too long.


The differences between MKV and MP4 are quite obvious. They differ in terms of platform size and compatibility. It is difficult to say which file is better.

The truth is that that would depend on your preferences. You might want to use the MP4 rather than MKV when you are a live streamer.

Since live streaming is a growing trend, and it helps build up real-time communication with your audiences, MP4 is the best option for live streamers due to its file size and compatibility. For hassle-free simulcasting, Castr supports MP4 format in streaming.

By now, I hope that this blog has answered all questions about these two video formats. That’s why users don’t have any doubts about streaming their video content, especially with Castr.

Join 200,000+ streamers worldwide

With Castr, you can easily livestream videos on any platform in no time.

No Castr Branding

No Castr Branding

We do not include our branding on your videos.

No Commitment

No Commitment

No contracts. Cancel or change your plans anytime.

24/7 Support

24/7 Support

Highly skilled in-house engineers ready to help.

Try Castr for free

Join 200,000+ satisfied streamers

Still on the fence? Take a sneak peek and see what you can do with Castr.

No Castr Branding

No Castr Branding

We do not include our branding on your videos.

No Commitment

No Commitment

No contracts. Cancel or change your plans anytime.

24/7 Support

24/7 Support

Highly skilled in-house engineers ready to help.

  • Check Free 7-day trial
  • CheckCancel anytime
  • CheckNo credit card required

Related Articles