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Can You Play MKV Files On Samsung TV? (Updated 2023 Guide)

Can You Play MKV Files On Samsung TV

Can You Play MKV Files on Samsung TV?

1000-1250 words


Those video formattings are what most of us are familiar with.

Then you saw that the video you wish to watch on your Samsung TV is different…

This time it’s an MKV file.

Makes you think:

“Will my Samsung TV allow this to play?”

Continue reading to find out:

  • What you can do with MKV files (must-know).
  • 1 quick way to play MKV files on your Samsung TV.
  • 3 reasons and fixes when an MKV file won’t play on your Samsung TV.
  • And many more…

Can you play MKV files on Samsung tv?

You can play MKV files on your Samsung TV. However, users still encounter errors with playing MKV files on their Samsung TVs. That’s because there are limitations on Samsung’s video specifications. Occasionally, it can also be due to an incompatible USB device or corrupted file.

How to play MKV files on Samsung TV

To play MKV files on your Samsung TV, you’ll have to use a USB device. 

So, take the USB drive containing your MKV files. Then, plug it into your Samsung TV. 

If you do that while your TV is on, a pop-up message will show on your screen… 

It tells you that it detected a newly-connected device. And it’s asking whether you want to proceed and access its contents. 

But if this doesn’t happen automatically…

Here’s how you can access the MKV file on your USB device:

Step 1: Open your USB device on the TV through Source

  1. On your Samsung TV’s remote, press Source.
  2. Find and select USB Device USB.

Another way to find the USB device is to:

  1. Click Home on your Samsung TV remote.
  2. Select Source.
  3. Find and choose USB Device or Connected Device.

Curious about how you can access Source without a remote?

I got you. Here’s a video tutorial on how to get to Source with no remote at hand:

You might also want to know: Is Samsung TV Remote Universal? 5 Surprising Facts 

Step 2: Select the video you want to play

Once you access your plugged-in device…

You only need to look for the MKV file you’re trying to view. Just select it, and it should play.

Editor’s pick: Is Samsung TV a Smart TV? 5 Things You Need To Know

Why your MKV file won’t play on your Samsung TV

Well, what if the media you selected won’t play at all? 

Instead, your Samsung TV flashes an error on your screen…

Or, the video plays but it’s:

  • Buffering.
  • Stuttering. 
  • Without audio.

Whichever it is between not playing or playing annoyingly

Before I help you out on fixing those issues…

It’s best to know the reasons behind them first. Starting with:

#1: Incompatible or improperly plugged external device

As you just found out, you can play an MKV file using a USB device. Which you need to plug into your Samsung TV.

But when your screen screams an error…

There are 3 plausible and simple reasons tied back to your USB device:

1st, your USB drive isn’t correctly plugged in

Your external device might be loosely plugged into the back of your TV. Which can be causing the video to lag or not to play.

2nd, your USB device isn’t compatible with your Samsung TV

For Full HD Samsung TVs, a high-powered USB device may not be supported…

So if your drive is more than 500mA or 5V, then it won’t open on your Samsung TV.

3rd, you have too many external devices plugged in

Your Samsung TV might have trouble recognizing your USB drive…

That’s because too many other devices are connected to it.

#2: The MKV format/codec/frame rate isn’t supported

As I mentioned before, Samsung can play MKV files. However, there are limitations…

And this is where they come in. Therefore affecting your viewing experience.

That’s because your Samsung TV can’t support all types of MKV files.

For one, Samsung tells their users that their TVs can’t support DTS audio. That’s an audio format that MKV can store. 

So if that’s something that your MKV file uses…

Unfortunately, your Samsung TV can’t access it.

Moreover, your Samsung TV might not be able to handle your file’s bit or frame rate. With that, it won’t play the media stored on your MKV file.

To guide you with that, here are the video specifications for Samsung TVs:

#3: The MKV file is corrupted

Most of all, your TV can’t play your MKV file if it’s corrupted. 

Or it could be that the information stored in your MKV file is incorrect.

How to fix the MKV file not playing on your Samsung TV

#1: Double-check the USB device connected

If the reason behind this issue lies in the USB device that holds the MKV files…

Ensure that it’s properly plugged into the TV.

As I said, if it’s loosely attached to the USB port, it’ll cause video lag and errors.

Moreover, double-check to see whether you connected it to the right port. Sometimes, your USB drive can fit into other ports. But your Samsung TV won’t read it because it’s wrong.

Lastly, if there are too many devices connected to your TV at the moment…

Disconnect those that you aren’t using for now. This gives way to your USB drive. With that, your TV can scan it.

#2: Convert MKV to other supported formats

Let me be honest…

Using an MKV file isn’t the best container for this case.

I know there are benefits to this type of file format. If you’re not that familiar with them, don’t worry. I’ll talk about those later on.

But for now, regardless of those advantages…

It isn’t the best pick for your Samsung TV.

That’s why I highly recommend trying other formats that Samsung TV supports. Some of those are:

  • AVI.
  • MP4.
  • MOV.

Now, all that you gotta do is convert your MKV files to those I mentioned.

And since I got your back…

Here’s how to convert your MKV to AVI/MP4/MOV

Step 1: Download/Open your VLC Media Player

Note: These processes will all be done using the VLC media player. That’s because it’s one of the easiest video players and converters out there. Moreover, it’s trusted and free.

With that, ensure that you download it on your PC first. It’s available on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

And once you have it on your computer, open it.

Step 2: Select Media

It’s located at the top left corner of your screen.

Step 3: Choose Convert/Save

You can find it last on the menu.

Step 4: Wait for the conversion window to open

It’s called Open Media, and once it pops up:

  1. Press the Add button.
  2. Look for your MKV file, which you’re planning to convert. Then, click it.
  3. Press Open.
Step 5: You should be on the Convert window now
  1. Click Settings.
  2. Select Profile.
  3. Click the dropdown menu.
  4. Click Video.
  5. Choose AVI for AVI, H.264 + MP3 (MP4) for MP4, or MOV for MOV format.

In case you don’t see any of those options:

  1. Click Edit, which appears as a wrench icon.
  2. Find and choose the intended format (AVI, H.264 + MP3 (MP4), MOV).
Step 6: To choose the file destination of your converted file:
  1. Find Destination File on the same window.
  2. Click Browse.
  3. Choose the folder you’re going to put your converted file in.
  4. Create a file name.

Note: Before proceeding to the next step, ensure that your file has the proper extension. For AV, it should be .avi. While MP4 should have .mp4. Then, MOV is .mov.

  1. Click Save.

After that, you should be back to the Convert window.

Step 7: Click Convert to start the transcoding process from MKV to AVI

Once this is done, you can now access your converted file in the intended folder. The one that you chose under Step 6. 

For further reading: 7 Easy Ways To Convert MKV To MP4

#3: Use Google Chromecast

Another way to watch your MKV files on your Samsung TV?

None other than using Google Chromecast. 

And guaranteed, you’ll be using it with ease. 

Moreover, I’ll give you 2 choices on how to do that:

You can cast from VLC Media Player

Since I prompted you to download this amazing media player…

Why not use it the way it’s supposed to be utilized?

So if converting files isn’t your type of thing…

Then use VLC Media Player to cast MKV files from your PC to your Samsung TV. Here’s how:

  1. Open your MKV file in your VLC Media Player.
  2. Select Playback.
  3. Choose Render.
  4. Select your Chromecast’s name.

It’s as simple as that. Your MKV file should now be playing on your Samsung TV with Chromecast.

You can cast from Google Chrome
You Can Cast On Google Chrome

First of all, I want you to know the difference between using Google Chrome from VLC Media Player.

With the former, your whole desktop will be cast to your Samsung TV.

Unlike the latter which only plays the MKV video.

So, note that this Chromecast option is less private than using VLC Media Player. 

If you wish to continue using Google Chrome to cast, follow these steps:

Step 1: Access Google Chrome on your desktop.

Step 2: Select the 3 dots found at the top-right corner of your window.

Step 3: Click Cast > Sources.

Step 4: Cast tab will be selected by default. To change that, click Cast desktop.

Note: This is an important step because you aim to cast your whole desktop. The Cast tab will only show your browser tab.

Step 5: Choose your Chromecast device to begin casting.

Step 6: Once your desktop’s screen appears on your Samsung TV, access your MKV video on your PC. 

And that’s how you do it. Now, you can watch your MKV video on your Samsung TV.

Reading tip: (11 Fixes) Samsung TV Chromecast Not Working

What can you do with MKV files?

You can contain multiple types of media in an MKV file. 

First of all, MKV files stands for Matroska Video files. 

And the year was 2002 in Russia when this was developed by Lasse Kärkkäinen.

Now, MKV files are containers. Not a compression format for either video or video, which most people assume.

That said, what does it mean to say MKV formatting is a container?

It tells us that MKV can store different kinds of files. Hence the term container

As for the files that it can hold, those are:

  • Audio.
  • Video.
  • Subtitle.

That’s why this is a popular file formatting when it comes to movies and TV shows. Because not only does it come with the needed video and audio…

The file also stores subtitles. And all of them will be just in 1 place.

Fun fact: Developers from Matroska ensured that MKV files are future-proof.

So not only is MKV adaptive because of its ability to support any video and audio format…

But it’s also carefully designed to never be outdated.