How to Solve Plex and MKV Incompatible Issues

Facing problems when playing MKV files on Plex? loading forver or only video without audio? This tutorial will enable you play MKV files on Plex or via Plex Media Server.

(This article has been upadted on 24,Jul,2016)


Plex: Your media on all your devices

Plex is a media player system and software suite comprising many player applications for 10-foot user interfaces, and an associated media server that organizes personal media stored on local devices. It organizes audio (music) and visual (photos and videos) content from personal media libraries and streams it to mobile devices, smart TVs, and streaming boxes.

What media formats are supported?

Plex announced that it supports wide range of media formats. If your device supports it, Plex will stream it directly. If it doesn’t, Plex will transcode it to an acceptable format for your device.

General Media Support

丨Video Support

Content matching the following can usually be Direct Played:

  • Container: MP4
  • Resolution: 1920×1080 or smaller ( PS3 has a max of 1280×720 )
  • Video Encoding: H.264 (level 4.0 or lower)
  • Audio Encoding: AAC
  • Bitrate: 20Mbps or lower

Tip!: While content up to 20Mbps will be allowed and you can adjust your settings as such, exceeding the recommended 8Mbps setting may result in poor playback.

丨Music Support

The following audio formats are currently supported for music playback:

  • MP3
  • M4A

Other server supported audio formats (e.g. MP3, ALAC, FLAC, OGG, etc.) will be automatically transcoded for compatibility.

What about MKV videos?

If you have lots of MKV files and you want to play MKV files through Plex, you need know more:

1. “Plex not detecting MKV files”

“I have a diverse library of video files, many of them in mkv format. All other files play without problems but while transfer mkv files to Plex Media Server, it stops and go with buffering and reloading messages.”

In fact, MKV is just a container format, holding video, audio, image or subtitle files in it. The video and audio files in different MKV files can be encoded with different codecs. The Plex does not currently support Direct Playing all of MKV container videos. If the audio and video streams in the file are otherwise compatible, it will be Direct Streamed.

2. Play MKV files via Plex no sound

“I installed the Plex Home Theater on my Windows 7 PC. The PC is connected to the TV via HDMI, the audio output is connected to the audioreceiver via optical cable. I have a Plex server running on a separate PC. Everything was working fine untill I lost sound when playing MKV files. The MKV files I currently have shown up with no problem.”

That is to say, some of your MKV files with DTS audio, as Plex claim: DTS audio is not currently supported directly. Content with DTS audio will have the audio automatically transcoded to either AAC (default) or AC3 (if the Dolby Digital (AC3) receiver capability preference is enabled) by the Plex Media Server in order to preserve the surround sound audio channels.

Transcode MKV to compatible Video Encoding

To fix the issues, the easy option is to encode/re-encode the MKV videos to a more friendly format with Plex. Along with some help from third party programs, it can be done effortlessly. Here I will take Brorsoft Video Converter Ultimate (Mac Version) for instance to show you how to transcode MKV files for Plex streaming without any problem.

It’s a professional yet easy-to-use app which can help you convert MKV to Plex Media Server with MP4 format (the most compatible video format for Plex) without quality loss. In addition, it not only supports MKV videos, but also handles various common video formats, camcorder/camera recorded videos and downloaded video from website, like H.265 MP4, XAVC, XAVC-S/L/I, MXF. MTS, M2TS, MOV, MP4, AVI, WMV, FLV,etc.

P.S. There are many programs out there that allow us to transcode MKV files to Plex friendly formats. If you are seeking for the best video output quality, fastest video conversion speed, and the largest formats supported, Brorsoft Video Converter will be your best choice.

The trail-before-purchase quick download icon provide here, you can also click Brorsoft Video Converter Ultimate (Mac Version) turn to Brorsoft page for downloading.

download_mac.gif download_windows.gif

Keep in mind that you have download the right version, Mac OS .dmg files cannot be installed on Windows platform – and vice versa.

How to Transcode MKV Files to Plex Compatible Format

Step 1. Load original MKV files

Click “Add” button on the main interface to load your MKV files to the program. (Drag&Drop function is included.)

Step 2. Select output format

Click “Format” and choose MP4 from “Common Video” as output format, which can be recognized by Plex easily. Here 3 H.264 presets “H.264 Baseline Profile Video(*.mp4)”, “H.264 Main Profile Video(*.mp4)”, “H.264 High Profile Video(*.mp4)” are supported.

Tips: With the right settings you can retain the quality of the original videos while also saving space. This is particularly helpful when streaming over your network, depending on your network quality. Simply click Settings bar and you can tweak the settings to your satisfaction and even save it as preset.

Step 3. Start MKV to Plex Conversion

Finally, hit the “Convert” button at the bottom of the main interface to start the conversion. It will automatically convert MKV to Plex Media Server compatible video files.

After the conversion, click “Open” to quickly find the converted movies. Then, Plex will recognize, catalog, play and stream these MKV files at ease.

Other Possible Ways to enable Plex read MKV files:

Solution 1: Make sure the whole file names were being recognized by Plex. For example, if all of my mkv videos are all Sports videos so the names, there were kind of random. To solve it, you can set ‘Scanner’ as ‘Personal Video Files Scanner’ and ‘Agent’ as ‘Personal Media’. Plex picks up pretty much any file with that setting.

Cons: I found it’s stuttering on large MKV files Plex.

Solution 2: Download Handbrake and use the default setting in it to convert MKV files to MP4 for streaming to Plex.

Cons: Some guys reflect Handbrake is spamware. Just downloaded it and had to do two malware cleans to get rid of all the shit it put on the computer.

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