[Matroska-users] I'm new and I have a question

Ivan Kowalenko ivan.kowalenko at gmail.com
Fri Feb 2 04:18:36 CET 2007


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On Feb 1, 2007, at 09.21, Ariel Arelovich wrote:

> Hello:
>
> My name is Ariel and I'm from Argentina.

Greetings!

> I have been using mkv files for a long time because the stuff I  
> want to download over the web has been coded into this format more  
> and more. However I've recently bought a Divx Player (I absolutely  
> detest watching tv in my computer as it's not very comfortable or  
> relaxing) which means that I have to transform back to an avi  
> format the downloaded files.

Simple enough.

> The problem is that I have no idea of how to convert the video  
> (which is this codec: V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC and has a .h264 extension  
> after extraction with the mkv extract gui)  to, say, a xvid coded  
> file so I can the mux it with the audio and get me an avi.

Alright, here's the catch. Matroska (MKV) is just a container.  
Anything can be put in it. Think of MKV, AVI, MOV, etc. like boxes.  
DivX, MPEG-4, H.264 and XviD are all compression formats, like  
folding or pressing the air out of a bag and sealing it. You can put  
any of those compressed things in the box. Now, your run-of-the-mill  
MKV file contains XviD, DivX or MPEG-4 data (they're all essentially  
the same thing with minor differences). DivX players will play those  
files back. Recently, however, a new video codec (compressor) called  
H.264 has been developed, which packs higher quality video, which  
DivX players CANNOT read it.

In order to get your DivX player to work with these videos, you'll  
have to convert it, which will take time to do, and you'll lose some  
quality. For Windows (you haven't said what you're using, but I'm  
going to assume Windows) Gordian Knot or VitrualDub should be able to  
convert it (assuming you can play these H.264 videos on your computer).

An alternative is to try and get a different player. There are some  
set-top boxes that can play back H.264, but they often don't come as  
DVD players, and usually either play off of a network connection or  
from a flash memory card. These usually don't play MKV files, and  
will usually require your files to be in MP4 containers. Now, the  
most flexible way to play back MKV files on your TV, in my opinion,  
is the use of a hacked XBox running XBMC. Not quite sure what the  
availability of XBoxes is like there in Argentina, but if you're  
technically minded, it's worth a try.

> I would really appreciate any help whatsoever on the matter.

No problem.

> Thank you very much.
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