Solution: Play MKV files on a Sony Bravia TV by USB

Just recently, we bought a new Sony Bravia TV, the KDL37EX403U, with a few reasons including that it supports RTE HD (Saorview), is Freeview HD compliant (if we get the signal once full strength) and plays HD video files directly from USB. :slight_smile:

All went well until I loaded a few MKV (720p AVC/H264 encoded) files onto a USB drive and found that the TV does not list them. As this TV states that it plays AVC video, I had a go at trying out different file containers and it turns out that it plays the MP4 container format fine, even with a Dolby Digital (AC3) soundtrack.

The process to convert MKV to MP4 is very straight forward and takes just a minute or two per gigabyte of video, as no re-encoding is necessary, assuming it contains an audio and video format already supported by the TV.

First you need to get AviDemux, which is a freeware video editing/conversion tool. Install and run it:

[li]When you open the MKV file, it’ll say “H264 detected”. Click ‘Yes’.
[/li][li]For the ‘Video’ drop-down select ‘Copy’
[/li][li]For the ‘Audio’ drop-down select ‘Copy’
[/li][li]For the ‘Format’ drop-down, select ‘MP4’
[/li][li]Save the video with a filename ending in ‘.MP4’ and click ‘Save’.
[/li][li]If it says “Invalid audio stream detected”, click ‘Yes’.

For our TV model, the TV seems to play 720p video perfectly smooth, including with a Dolby Digital soundtrack even though it’s a non-standard soundtrack for the MP4 container.

This should hopefully work on similar Bravia models such as the KDL40EX403U, KDL37EX503U, KDL40EX503U, etc. Obviously the TV must be able to support AVC (H264) video for this to work. If you have an MKV file with a different type of soundtrack (e.g. DTS or MP3), you could try selecting “AAC” for the Audio drop-down, as an audio-only conversion would still go very quick, unlike carrying out a complete video conversion.

Good tutorial Seán. I tend to recommend AviDeMux quite a bit. My guess as to why the MKV wasn’t supported is that TVs add playback from USB as an afterthought and just use the routines (and hence the codecs and containers) that are already part of the firmware that plays television.

You’re still not plaing MKV files. You’re playing converted files.


I just got myself a SONY Bavaria KDL 40EX402, and ive been trying all night to converty MKV files to mp4 or avi. but when i click on save project, it shows a warning sign, and the when i open up the program again, it says that it has a corrupt file…
if i press on the “save disk” to the left, (save video) it comes out ok. i see the file on the tv and all, but it wont play it…

all i want is to be able to play the MKV files converted to any sort on my new tv. :slight_smile:

i would really apreciate it if someone could guide me in the right path… :S

Welcome aboard :slight_smile:

Sorry, I had a mistake in the above image (now corrected) as I didn’t notice I pointed at the wrong save icon. It should be the ‘Save’ button next to the ‘Open’ video icon.

I’m not quite sure off hand what the difference is between the Bravia 402 & 403 TV model, but going by the specification, your TV should be able to play MPEG4. However, it is quite possible that your MKV file is using either an unsupported video codec (e.g. VP6) or is using a codec feature not supported by the TV.

Just in case it is the Audio codec, I would suggest trying “AAC (faac)” for the Audio drop-down field, make sure the Format drop-down is “MP4” and save the video. Also make sure the file name you save as ends in “.mp4”

Unfortunately, if this does not work, you will need to re-encode the video. You can do this by selecting “MPEG-4 AVC” from the video-drop down field, “AAC (faac)” for the Audio drop-down field and “MP4” for the Format field and carrying out the conversion. This process could take a few hours depending on the performance of your system, but should result in it being playable.

You can check the details of your MKV file by opening it in AviDemux and going to File -> Information.

cool! thanks for the quick answer!
ill try that and get back to you!
cheers! :slight_smile:

I’ll take this opportunity to make a quick promotion for using a computer to playback video on your HDTV. This can be done with a laptop that has an HDMI output or even an older computer you have collecting dust. I built an HTPC (Home Theater PC) from spare parts I had lying around over a year ago and haven’t looked back. I can play any file format necessary and have the added bonus of being able to connect to the Internet to surf or play online video. Just thought I would mention this as an option to solve your problem.

PS3 Media Server will serve suitably encoded 720p/1080p mkv’s in an mp4 format to bravia tv’s, with ethernet, using TSmuxer (no video conversion). Saves you doing it manually :wink:

If it’s not compatible, it will re-encode on the fly to Mpeg2 (which is crappy, but Ok until real MKV support comes along).

Somehow I doubt Sony will ever support MKV’s in their TV’s & Consoles :wink:

Thanks, i was able to convert to Mp4. But when I connect my Seagate HDD 320GB, my sony TV 46HX803 does not detect it! It was in NTFS format, i created a FAT32 partition it it, but still wont detect. Any idea?

Video resolution must be the full 1080p or 720p, not cropped in any way.

after converting the resultant file doesnot have any file format, when i mention a format while saving the file, the resultant file works well in my computer but its is too shaky and doesnot work well on my son bravia ex520 what should i do?

Welcome aboard :slight_smile:

Unfortunately, as I’ve also discovered myself, the TV is quite picky about the audio or video encoding itself, so certain MKVs and AVIs will not play even when repackaged as MP4 files. For example, my TV will not handle MP3 as the audio format. Also make sure you add ‘.mp4’ to the filename in AviDemux’s save field, as AviDemux does not do this automatically.

If you’re lucky, it might just be audio encoding, so my first suggestion is to choose ‘AAC’ for the “Audio” drop-down in AviDemux before saving. This will convert the audio into the AAC format. If the video encoding itself is fine, then the resulting video should play fine.

If this does not work, then you will need to carry out a full conversion, e.g. choose “MPEG-4 AVC” for the “Video” drop-down and “AAC” for the “Audio” drop-down. This is a very time-consuming process and can take an hour or two for an hour of video, depending on your computer’s processing power and the video resolution of the source video.

can you suggest me any othe mkv convertor which is less time consumin…n the result is also good enough

If you have a Core i-2 series, you can purchase an encoder that will utilise the CPU’s quicksynch capabilities. to transcode the video stream.

Otherwise, you’ll just have to try using avidemux, and make sure the video is on "copy, the audio is stereo AAC,and the output is MP4 file format.

If the file doesn’t work, or plays badly, you’re up for a complete Transcode of the video stream, which takes ages.

This could be the header compression problem.


If the mkv file(s) were created with a version of mkvmerge that compresses the headers by default, then this could be causing the problem. Use mkvextractGUI to take the file a part then put in back together with a newer version of mkvmerge. Make sure that you disable header removal compression in the options.

Use tools like mediaInfo to do comparisons between files.

Know the supported codecs, containers and size/bitrate restrictions for your TV.


hii sean ,i have this (POTC On Stranger Tides 2011 720p BDRip Dual Audio Hindi English AC3 x264 NiCkkkDoN) movie file .and as u say i had converted it into .mp4 but if i play it in my sony bravia kdl-ex520 t.v ,the vedio works fine but audio does’nt work.
what shouls i do?

@kracker94: you should go and buy the movie. We will not help with illegally distributed material.

thank you. i am trying to view movie with subs. Is that possible?


thanks to whoever posted