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.
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:
- When you open the MKV file, it'll say "H264 detected". Click 'Yes'.
- For the 'Video' drop-down select 'Copy'
- For the 'Audio' drop-down select 'Copy'
- For the 'Format' drop-down, select 'MP4'
- Save the video with a filename ending in '.MP4' and click 'Save'.
- 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.