if all I just want to play 720p mkv videos, is the iPad 2 wrong for me?


macrumors member
Original poster
May 20, 2011
if all I just want to play 720p mkv videos, is the iPad 2 wrong for me?

all of my Blu-ray discs, about 90 of them, are converted to 720p mkvs and saved on my HTPC... (it took me hours to convert each disc, using my old HTPC)

I don't have my iPad 2 yet. Right now, I can't seem to find out how the iPad 2 plays 720p mkv videos. I did try the videos on a Samsung Galaxy 7-inch tablet that I borrowed. It plays the 720p mkv videos without any problems, even the soft subtitles work on some of them. Unfortunately, I absolutely hate the Android OS running on the Samsung.

Obviously I can covert all those videos again(either from the Blu-ray disc or from the 720p mkvs), but that'll take a long time....

any advice appreciated!


macrumors regular
Jun 10, 2010
There is another few threads about this very topic.

My summary is yes -- the iPad 2 does a very decent job of playing back 720p mkv files.

Although ios doesn't support mkv (or xvid or divx, etc.) formats there are video playback apps that do.

If you are looking at mkv files then I would recommend AVPlayerHD for the iPad. I don't have much experience with subtitles but I know it supports the standard flavors of subtitle files and also supports mkv files with the subtitles "built in" to the mkv data file. (although I have no experience with the latter).

Give a search for "mkv" on the forums and you will find a handful of posts that should answer your questions and address any concerns..


macrumors 68020
Mar 15, 2008
There are other devices that play 720p MKV files you, and you could both save some money and have a better experience if you considered one.

Take the Acer EEE Iconia Tab for example. Tegra-2 dual core 1Ghz with GeForce GPU. 1280 x 800 screen. Download the MoboPlayer app and related codecs. You'll get a wide-screen view, 10.1" and a better match to your movie's screen ratio. Stereo speakers. HDMI output to TV with a cheap accessory cable. Tab: WiFi 16gb model for $449. Has MicroSD slot for an addition 32gb if you wish.

There is also a $39 case for it that holds it up at a nice viewing angle.

Born Again

macrumors regular
May 12, 2011
OP i have a large collection of mkvs

i use airplay

it streams it from the network or through 3G
best yet u can just hit convert and it will convert it for u so next time u sync with itunes it will be there in mp4 format

ur trade off is a big one with android; no apps yet


macrumors G3
Feb 23, 2010
One fundamental issue.

If all you want to do is play back movies, then I'd not go for an iPad.

It has a 4:3 screen and for this 1 function it's obviously not suited to the task.

I cannot suggest what, but you would be better looking for widescreen playback devices to start with.


macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2009
Buzz player HD plays all sorts of codecs and can stream from NAS as well. I used it on my ipad and it did the job. However if all you want is to watch movies I'd wait for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 since it's widescreen and has a PLS LCD.

Sent from my Xoom using Tapatalk


macrumors newbie
Mar 25, 2011
I would suggest looking at Archos, but you mentioned you hated android on the Samsung and I believe the Archos is running the same (Gingerbread?). From my experience it all just depends on how your MKV's are currently encoded. If they aren't High Profile, I would go with 4D's suggestion into Acer or the Asus Transformer... or if they are High Profile and you don't mind re-converting them, then these would be good options (along with other Tegra2 tablets like the 10.1 coming out).

Now if they are High Profile and you don't want to do any type of converting, I would push you towards the iPad 2 and get AVPlayerHD. A lot of people don't understand that there's a lot more involved than just saying "I want to play my 720p MKV's".

If you're not sure what profile you encoded with, I would get MediaInfo (it's free) and throw one of your rips into it and see what profile you encoded with and then decide what route you want to take.


macrumors 65816
Jul 17, 2007
Tokyo, Japan
If someone here can confirm that the A5 will decode 720p MKV h.264, ACC with no problems WITH ASS subs, I will definitely buy an iPhone 5. I'm on Android and seriously, the only good thing is that it has hardware acceleration and knows to use both cores for a good MKV decoding experience.

If it can play the MKV like I named as smoothly as my Galaxy S II as shown below, I will definitely buy an iPhone 5 that uses the A5 and switch from Android.

Can someone confirm?


macrumors 6502a
Apr 30, 2007
South Dakota
If you want to live in the Apple universe, you'll always have trouble with MKVs.

I recommend picking up a copy of MKV Tools. It's a great little app that converts your MKVs to MP4s. The brilliance of it though is that it DOESN'T re-encode the video. All it does is pull the video out of the MKV container and drop it unconverted down into an MP4 container.

You won't sit there for hours waiting for it to re-encode like you would with Handbrake, you just sit there for minutes as it converts it. I use this app everyday for new TV content I'm converting to play on my iOS devices and Xbox, it works great.


macrumors newbie
Jun 7, 2011
iCheddars solution works great if you have a mac. If not its a little more involved.

Firstly when you say you have 720p MKVs that doesnt tell up much since MKVs can contain a variety of different kinds of Video and Audio files. Is your video encoded in h.264? And how is the audio encoded? If your file meet these requirements all you have to do is remux the files into mp4.

"Video formats supported: H.264 video up to 720p, 30 frames per second, Main Profile level 3.1 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; MPEG-4 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; "

This can be done with tsMuxer to demux the MKV and MP4Box w/ YAMB as gui to make a mp4. But if your MKV doesnt match those specs you have to demux the file then convert the audio to AAC-LC then mux the files back together into an mp4. I have a batch script somewhere that does this exact thing with the program eac3to. Ill find it in a bit and post it.

eac3to - http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=125966