Can Android video player play 1080p MKV files? [YES!]

UPDATE: 2011.06.19 thanks to commenter juami I added Galaxy Tab to list of Android devices capable of 1080p MKV, woot! Scroll down to the green box to see the COMPLETE list…

Background info on MKV/Android

Tek3D has a nice post on playing MKV Files on Android devices:

Play MKV Files on Android Devices

Play MKV Files on Android Devices often rip my DVD and Blu-ray disks to MKV files so that they have the highest video quality. Of course, the video format is not supported by the default player, so I had to…

At this point you might be wondering what the heck an MKV file is. Well, it is an open source file format that acts as a container for audio and video (as well as other things like subtitles). The important this is that MKVs are a very popular way to store movies!

More MKV info:

Matroska Media Container - Homepage | Matroska

Matroska Media Container – Homepage | Matroska the extensible, open source, open standard Multimedia container. Matroska is usually found as .MKV files (matroska video), .MKA files (matroska…

Matroska - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Matroska – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Matroska Multimedia Container is an open standard free container format, a file format that can hold an unlimited number of video, audio, picture or subtitle tracks in one […] Matroska is an English word derived from the Russian word Matryoshka (Russian: матрёшка [mɐˈtrʲoʂkə]), which means nesting doll (the common Russian cylindrical-shaped doll within…

So, if you keep your movies in MKV format you may naturally want to run them on your snazzy Android device. 🙂

Tek3D recommends RockPlayer for playing MKV. That’s a solid recommendation. RockPlayer is popular and has hardware decoding support for certain devices and generic software based decoding should work on many other Android devices…

RockPlayer, fast and almost all formats player! is high performance media player, currently runs on Android devices. By taking advantage of device hardware decoder and FFmpeg plugin, it supports almost every file…

However, the question remains, can any Android devices play 1080p HD MKVs? YES!!!

The answer appears to be a YES! First, checkout this video on YouTube showing a Samsung Galaxy II playing a 1080p MKV. 🙂

For now, the list of devices that can perform this computational feat is short:

  • +NEW! Samsung Galaxy Tab tablet
  • +Samsung Galaxy S 2 phone(1.2GHz Cortex A9 CPU coupled with Mali 400 GPU) [there is actually video of this phone playing 1080p MKV video…]

Samsung Galaxy S II Review - Find Out More About The Samsung Galaxy S2 | Mobile Phone Blog

Samsung Galaxy S II Review – Find Out More About The Samsung Galaxy S2 | Mobile Phone Blog Samsung Galaxy S II has a far more luxurious feel to it than its predecessor, gone is the rounded silhouette of the Galaxy S, instead it’s been swapped with sharp edges […]  It also has an LED flash, autofocus and can shoot video in both 720p and 1080p. On the subject of videos, the Galaxy S II is also capable of playing back media in 1080p too.Other tech specs:

  • Music player: Supports MP3, WAV, eAAC+, AC3 and FLAC files
  • Video player: Supports MP4, DivX, XviD, WMV, H.263 and H.264 files [and apparently MKVs via diceplayer]
  • +HTC Sensation (1.2GHz dual-core CPU, Adrenno 220 GPU, 768MB RAM) [no video of this phone playing 1080p, but some sources say it can…]

SO FOR NOW, the best way to do 1080p MKV on Android appears to be: use a Samsung Galaxy S II or Galaxy Tab (or possibly a HTC Sensation) with diceplayer. Hopefully in the near future there will be many more options. More info below…
YouTube – ‪SGSII 1080p H.264/DTS/MKV test -Diceplayer‬‏ by dicethkim on Jun 15, 2011 test video of Samsung Galaxy SII playing a 1080p MKV!!! .video file info.GeneralUnique ID : 244280839086025989378237248300878071686… 

COMMENTS: Impressive! 1080p MKV on Samsung Galaxy 2/II looks doable 🙂

720p/1080p MKV(+DTS/FLAC/AC3) Player for android - Android Forums

720p/1080p MKV(+DTS/FLAC/AC3) Player for android – Android Forums or some devices can play mkv well but many devices are lack of these features. rock player / mobo player can play mkv. but only sw decoding [for some devices]. so 720p/1080p movies are not playable. diceplayer can do hw decoding. ( not all devices.. )

Nexus-S/Desire HD/Incredible S can play MKV/AVI H.264 720p
DualCore SGS2 / HTC Sensation can play 1080p clips.

no need to convert your HD mkvs to mp4.

go android market and search diceplayer.
(there are 3day trial and commercial version )

COMMENTS: another source stating that some of these (non Tegra-2) dual-core Android devices can do 1080p…

Hardware or Software Decoding?? - Android Forums

Hardware or Software Decoding?? – Android Forums

Ok, so I just started using RockPlayer. It’s saying for me to choose between software decoding or hardware decoding. Which one do I choose? Is one better than the other??
ANSWER: first try hardware decoding (it is faster), if that doesn’t work for your device then try software decoding (it is more compatible)


Playing 1080p MKVs over HDMI [Archive] – xda-developers

8th June 2011, 04:56 PM
I can play 720p and 1080p mp4 (h.264 High Profile at any bitrate + AAC) videos without any stuttering, using hardware acceleration.
MoboPlayer and DicePlayer can play 720p and 1080p MKV but with some little stuttering. 

Just tried moboplayer with my 720p test MKV file and it does play alot better than rock player but still not at full speed.

This may be due to the bitrate of my MKV file though (5500kbps)


Tried the trial of diceplayer and it plays my 720p MKV file perfectly

What about Tegra 2? Not yet!

AnandTech - Boxee Box: The Inside Story, Swapping Tegra 2 for Intel CE4100

AnandTech – Boxee Box: The Inside Story, Swapping Tegra 2 for Intel CE4100 unit which was demonstrated at the 2010 CES did have a Tegra 2 SoC inside. Things were looking good, and the unit was slated to go into mass production towards the end of Q2. However, as Boxee started doing some stress tests, they realized that Tegra 2 wasn’t living upto expectations. In particular, they found that the Tegra 2 was incapable of playing back high profile 1080p H.264 videos at even 10 Mbps.


COMMENTS: If Boxee couldn’t get Tegra 2 to do 1080p MKVs then I’m not sure anyone is going to get it to…

If xoom can play (ripped blu rays to mkv)1080p mkv files -mirroring to tv. - Page 2

If xoom can play (ripped blu rays to mkv)1080p mkv files -mirroring to tv. – Page 1 & 2 [problems] for straight forward answers.
Its a pitty Xoom cant play mkv and files once ripped from blu ray must be converted once again.
For me this is a big disadvantage of this beautifull looking pad.
I wait for a pad with ability to play mkv without problems.
I have few TB of mkvs so converting now everything nope.
Motorola should try harder.

Even small Archos or Cowon with some issues but can play mkvs

Thanks for help


I honestly think its only a matter of time and a bit of optimization of the Nvidia Tegra 2 drivers, as I’ve just watched an episode of Boardwalk Empire on my HTC Desire with minimal stuttering.

The future? Looks super 🙂

Since Tegra 2 is already close to good 1080p MKV playability, the 3rd generation NVIDIA effort dubbed “Kal-El” with its quad-cores should have no problems if their is appropriate software support.

Tegra Roadmap Revealed: Next Chip to be World’s First Quad-Core Mobile Processor « NVIDIA

Tegra Roadmap Revealed: Next Chip to be World’s First Quad-Core Mobile Processor « NVIDIA Kal-El came into the building, shepherded by a team of engineers from around the world, who had been working around the clock for months.  For the uninitiated, the…

Your thoughts?

Do you have any thoughts or experience with high-def MKVs on mobile devices? If so, I’d love to hear about it!


  • J.D.

    Thank you, this is awesome news! I have updated my post to reflect the Galaxy tab info. 🙂

  • juami

    see my video
    tegra 2 can play 720p High + DTS MKV files.

    but tegra 2 can not play 1080p High + DTS..

  • Barend


    I have a vast amount of music albums converted to MKA so that I can skip tracks as chapters. I used to have a Nokia N96 with Coreplayer for the playback. NOW I can’t find a single android app that can play and skip tracks/chapters in MKA files.

    Please help

  • Justin Wang

    I have a Galaxy tab 10.1 P7510, tried rockplayer(1.7.2 for tegra2) , moboplayer, to play 720p mkv, very bad. can you recomand a player.

  • juami

    Justin Wang.
    Try Diceplayer from market. there is 3 day free trial version.

  • ibizalover

    The upcoming Samsung Galaxy Tab should have an Exynos 1.4Ghz CPU inside, from the same family than the one inside the SGSII.

    So do you think we will be able to play 1080p HP mkv with that tab?

    Waiting for this to buy a tablet…

  • hey i just wanted to know can HTC desire HD play 1080p files ?? pls respond as soon as you see this cuz im trying to buy HTC desire hd but i see the specs on sensation and i still cant decide yet :/

    • J.D.

      Hello fuad541 and thank you for your question! After some research, sadly I believe the the HTC Desire HD can not play 1080p video.

      The reason I say this is that the HTC Desire HD has a Qualcomm QSD8255 1000 MHz CPU [reference link, link 2] and Adreno 205 GPU, I have found no evidence that that processor/GPU can play 1080p video. 720p yes, but 1080p no.

      Specifically, a user with a device using the QSD8255 SoC said:

      “I’ve tried multiple files(all same format which was mp4) with multiple players and I have never been able to get 1080p playback to work smoothly. I’ve tried HW decoding and SW decoding with no success. I tried the same files on my viliv N5 which has HW decoding and they played back flawlessly. ” […] “The 8255 chipset found on the [device] was never deisgned for 1080p playback:(”

      Sorry amigo, it does not look promising!

  • J.D.

    ibizalover: yes, the new Samsung Galaxy Tab with Exynos 1.4GHz CPU should be able to play 1080p HD MKV videos. It is likely to have especially great performance since the Exynos 4210 CPU [more spec info here and here] running at 1.2Gz can do 1080p playback (see success reports above) then Tab with 1.4GHz and similar/same SoC should be even more capable. As soon as I have a confirmed report I will update here!

  • Corey

    The galaxy tab 7″ DOES NOT play 1080p movies because the file’s are way too large to go into the fat32 system, you have to “downsize” the video, which means its not longer 1080p quality. Those people who think they are watching 1080p quality video are delusional.

    • J.D.

      Hello and thank you for your comment Corey. You raise some interesting points.

      the file’s are way too large to go into the fat32 system
      Some users have had good success with splitting existing MKVs to bypass the FAT32 4GB file size limit (with no re-encoding required), or they may choose to split their videos in advance when they originally encode them. Where there is a will there is a way ;-). And of course there are also a number of sources of less than 4GB 1080p content out there like movie trailers or TV shows.

      you have to ‘downsize’ the video, which means its not [sic] longer 1080p quality.
      I assume you are referring to downscaling the video to fit the Tab’s 1024×600 WSVGA display.

      You raise a valid point, the Tab’s display is incapable of displaying 1920×1080 pixels. However, for people that are outputting to HDMI, the Tab can easily drive a full 1080p LCD TV.

      Or, some people want to know the maximum capabilities of their devices… and if they want to watch 1080p trailers on their Galaxy Tab then I saw go for it. 🙂

      Related info from PCWorld magazine:

      The Samsung Galaxy Tab features a 7-inch WSVGA TFT-LCD color display with 1024-by-600 pixel resolution. The device is capable of 1080p HD video playback for all kinds of video formats including XviD, MPEG4 and h.264. The Galaxy Tab is also the first DivX-certified tablet, which means you can play and store DivX video on the Galaxy Tab with no need to convert files to another format.

      You can also use the Galaxy Tab to connect to other DivX-certified devices, such as HDTVs, to display copy-protected content, according to DivX Inc. The Galaxy Tab is compatible with DivX paid content from providers such as Roxio CinemaNow and The Warner Bros. Shop.

  • Paul Mask

    The HTC Flyer, play MKV -720P very well with dice player ad. free

    1080p play with vplayer, but not very well and sometimes stops.

    Is there another player who work very well with 1080p


    • Hi Paul,
      Thank you for your comment.

      It is good to know that the HTC Flyer handles 720p video well! Bummer about the 1080p issues though 🙁

      I am not aware of any player that can smoothly do 1080p video on the Flyer’s 1.5GHz Qualcomm CPU, but if I find any info (or if anyone posts a solution in the comments) I will let you know! 🙂

      Best regards,

  • Cooper

    Does the Galaxy Tab 10.1 support .mkv files?

    • Hi Cooper, thank you for your question.

      Yes, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 does support .mkv files!

      You can find some info on the topic here:
      “I just got my 10.1 at New Years, and am using the latest updates. The supplied Video Player seems to have all the latest codecs, but I like MX Video Player for switching back and forth between hardware and software decoding, and pinch/spread to zoom. Some videos play terribly with hw decoding but are fine when switched to software.”
      “Just got hands on the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. I must say the screen is gorgeous, and the high resolution (1280 x 800 pixels) makes movies pop. The most exciting thing is that the 10.1 Galaxy Tab plays 1080p .mkv files! All my blu-ray collections are ripped into .mkv videos, and now I can put these movies to Galaxy Tab and watch on board!This is just amazing.”

      Pretty cool huh?! And if you have problems with the inbuilt video player, I recommend Diceplayer or MX Video Player (though there are plenty of other good options out there) 🙂

      Best regards,

  • jyrxx

    Yes. Also uncompressed 1080p mkv works fine on my EVO 3d with dice player. This is just great!!!

  • qwerty

    My Coby Kyros 7042 running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich does play MKV’s with the Gallery app.

  • alfredbobes

    You may also try to convert MKV to Android more supported MP4.

    iDealshare VideoGo is just the right Android Video Converter which can convert FLV, AVI, WMV, DivX, Xvid, VOB, OGV, MXF, AVCHD, MOD, TOD, WTV, DVR, ASF, SWF, M4V, MP4, MOV, and etc to Android video format

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