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View Full Version : mkv vs. avi quality



My5tearica
07-25-2009, 10:05 PM
Okay,

First I apologize if this is in the wrong section/not allowed topic! I also apologize if there is a topic about this already (I tried searching mkv and such... but that's very non-specific and only 3 letters)

So... the short story - I've been anime absent for the past 8 years because of school and life... now I'm back and catching up

So I noticed that a new media for anime mkv has been introduced... now I know I could search all the tech stuff online but I think it would be more beneficial if people who have seen both can compare or give me an idea about their difference. My impression is mkv is better quality... but from what I remember avi/xVID almost always had amazing quality and the format is easily playable by just about my player (some DVD players can even play it... and it's easily converted to a DVD file)... can someone explain to me which they prefer and why

Thanks

Eris
07-25-2009, 10:22 PM
Both AVI and MKV are container formats. Inside them you have video and audio formats, something like MP3 for audio and DIVX for video. So the quality is not so much affected by the container formats, but what they contain.

I think the reason mkv is popular in anime is that it allows you to embed multiple sound channels and subtitle tracks. So you can choose between English dub and Japanese original, and have it subtitled in any number of languages all in one file. You can't do that with avi to my knowledge.

Gjallarhorn
07-25-2009, 10:32 PM
I usually prefer MKV, because it is a container file, and thus allows you to play with what you are seeing.

For example, the MKV can old multiple video, audio, and subtitle tracks, which a good media player will allow you to switch between. This means (in relation to anime) that in one file you'd be able to switch between english and japanese audio tracks, as well as between various types/formats of subtitles to be overlayed (shown on top of) the video track. They are generaly larger in size than an AVI of the same video/audio as a result of higher quality compression as well, and frequently because of alternative video/audio/subtitle tracks.

This is greatly different than the AVI, which plays a single merged video/audio track, in which subtitles can be embeded onto the video itself (which almost always causes quality loss). AVI is a very simple, mid-quality media type, and is great if you want to save harddrive space, or don't want to get into anything fancy, and was the predominate video format for quite a while. A higher quality alternative to the AVI is the MP4. MP4 files still play a single merged video/audio track, but because of the compress of the file, it maintains higher quality than the AVI.

I generally prefer MKV over AVI.

Eris
07-25-2009, 10:39 PM
AVI is also a container type. It's just a really old container type. MKV is much newer, and can therefore do more advanced stuff.

My5tearica
07-25-2009, 10:57 PM
WOW! Thanks for the speedy/detail of the replies. Makes a lot of sense now ^___^

Lighsaber
07-27-2009, 05:16 AM
Well, I'm still for the AVI format. MKV is kinda harder to play than AVI file formats. Plus, you can't get screenshots from it. :( Well, that's my experience so far.

But now, I'm liking the MP4 format since it is currently used for HD videos.

Gjallarhorn
07-27-2009, 03:34 PM
Well, I'm still for the AVI format. MKV is kinda harder to play than AVI file formats. Plus, you can't get screenshots from it. :( Well, that's my experience so far.

But now, I'm liking the MP4 format since it is currently used for HD videos.

Any good mediaplayer will have a screenshot function. For example in MPC it's under the File menu. And it's just as easy to play, provided you have the right codecs to do so.

Mrpurple
07-27-2009, 07:44 PM
Ya I perfer MKV over AVI because I can switch between english and japanese voices. I would recomend VLC player to veiw these files.

Khanxay
07-27-2009, 08:58 PM
Ya I perfer MKV over AVI because I can switch between english and japanese voices. I would recomend VLC player to veiw these files.
Or have a totally awesome thing like CCCP installed.

As far as preference I prefer AVI files simply because they are generally smaller in file size. Also MKV is a pretty new format. Not every computer/media player can handle it.

Gjallarhorn
07-27-2009, 09:51 PM
Also MKV is a pretty new format. Not every computer/media player can handle it.

It's 7 years old, and pretty much any computer could play them provided they have the right codecs (download CCCP), and a semi-decent media player. I was playing them on my old '98 HP (512mb ram, video card that could barely handle Diablo II) for years without a problem.

The only mass-used media player I'm aware of that can't properly play then currently is Windows Media Player, which is, let's face it, a piece of crap.

Khanxay
07-27-2009, 09:59 PM
Wow, I didn't know that. I thought it was introduced relatively recently as I've only recently begun to see MKV (Most everything I download is AVI).

Mrpurple
07-27-2009, 10:09 PM
Well I dont like windows media player for watching video files. So I use VLC player for every thing watching dvds, mkvs, avis, ect... VLC skips the dvd intros and goes straight to the DVD menu so easy.

Lighsaber
07-28-2009, 02:34 AM
Or have a totally awesome thing like CCCP installed.

As far as preference I prefer AVI files simply because they are generally smaller in file size. Also MKV is a pretty new format. Not every computer/media player can handle it.
Plus, MKVs cannot be played on most portable video players. Like my portable DVD/DivX Player.

kurai_cho2
07-28-2009, 02:45 AM
I think .avi is better than .mkv
cz I can open it in anywhere video software...
but I can't open .mkv in GOMplayer

Hamashimura
08-01-2009, 06:49 AM
Quality is not affected by the file extension,it's rather affected by the compression ration...
You can have both files in amazing quality,or both files in lame quality...
Simple example would be compression ration between 720 pixels and 1042 pixels...it's only natural that the larger one will be of better quality...
As far as quality goes,I'll dare to say that QuickTime,aka .mov extension video files,are having the best quality,for those who can understand just how to compress them...

But seeing how this isn't the thread about it,I'll just shut up...

Yes,matroska video extensions are more popular nowadays than simple .avi files...
Both are container,but matroska is much more advanced...
Both have support for multiple streaming audio and video,although these features are seldom used when it comes to .avi...

Think of it simply like this:
AVI is older,mid type container file,based on RIFF
MKV is newer,high quality container file,based on EBML

Where the quality is not affected by the extension as much as by compression...

As for myself,I do not prefer any...I'll just watch what I can,as long as it has decent quality...

Xombii
08-03-2009, 02:50 AM
to me the quality of both are pretty much the same, but i prefer avi mostly becuase it took me awhile to find a video player that can play the subs in an MKV file and when im getting the anime on my ipod i have to spend like an hour hardcoding the subs.

.Tatty.
08-03-2009, 08:53 AM
as has been said before both mkv and avi files can be amazing or lame quality!

it depends on what you've seen tbh

i always just download Avi videos, VLC Media player loves the little buggers and that what i use for me animu xD

Kishiro
08-03-2009, 01:16 PM
The only mass-used media player I'm aware of that can't properly play them (.mkv files) currently is Windows Media Player, which is, let's face it, a piece of crap.

For the record, you can get codecs that will allow them to play just fine. I downloaded a package called "Vista Codecs" for windows. It had a shark logo on it...anyway, it allows just about any media audio/video file format to be played in Windows Media Player. Including .mkv, .aac, .m4a, etc. It's nice being able to play everything in my media library in one player. WMP itself I know is trusted and safe, especially since it comes with windows. It's nice not having to download risky media players or programs that claim to be media players.

Also, the "Vista Codecs" pack was backed by CNet and a couple other respectable download sites.

.Tatty.
08-03-2009, 02:08 PM
For the record, you can get codecs that will allow them to play just fine. I downloaded a package called "Vista Codecs" for windows. It had a shark logo on it...anyway, it allows just about any media audio/video file format to be played in Windows Media Player. Including .mkv, .aac, .m4a, etc. It's nice being able to play everything in my media library in one player. WMP itself I know is trusted and safe, especially since it comes with windows. It's nice not having to download risky media players or programs that claim to be media players.

Also, the "Vista Codecs" pack was backed by CNet and a couple other respectable download sites.


as true as that is

id rather just download VLC Media Player for all video files and use WMP for me musics :P

Tsundere Works
08-03-2009, 05:45 PM
VLC Player is not risky.

On Mac, I use Quick Time to watch MKV files using the Perian Extension. It sometimes works even better than VLC player because it can handle the subtitle files better.

However, I was watching East of Eden and the subtitles were distorted in QT. VLC fixed the positioning.

If you're using Windows, I suggest VLC Player. You pretty much have no need for QT.

I only use Windows Media Player for playing music because it has trippy visualizations. =]

sataned
08-08-2009, 05:44 PM
MKV i likes for the options :) although the files are usually bigger, but its worth it... and! i use CCCP (combined community codec pack) i like it better than VLC...

Gero50
08-09-2009, 01:04 AM
Okay,

First I apologize if this is in the wrong section/not allowed topic! I also apologize if there is a topic about this already (I tried searching mkv and such... but that's very non-specific and only 3 letters)

So... the short story - I've been anime absent for the past 8 years because of school and life... now I'm back and catching up

So I noticed that a new media for anime mkv has been introduced... now I know I could search all the tech stuff online but I think it would be more beneficial if people who have seen both can compare or give me an idea about their difference. My impression is mkv is better quality... but from what I remember avi/xVID almost always had amazing quality and the format is easily playable by just about my player (some DVD players can even play it... and it's easily converted to a DVD file)... can someone explain to me which they prefer and why

Thanks

I would say MKV they are often easier to work with and more media plays play cross platform. And they also work in other OS's besides Windows