I'm trying to play a .mkv file (created with handbrake) in Windows Media Center.

  • I'm running Win 7 x64
  • I've installed haali media splitter (file: MatroskaSplitter110109)
  • I've installed ffdshow tryouts (file: ffdshow_beta6_rev2527_20081219)

GSPOT says the codec is MGEP1 and that "Codecs are installed"

Below is what MediaInfo has to say.

When I try the file in WMC, it doesn't play. What do I need to do to get this to work?

Format: Matroska
File size: 1.39 GiB
Duration                         : 2h 16mn
Overall bit rate                 : 1 462 Kbps
Writing application              : HandBrake 0.9.4

ID: 1
Format: AVC
Format/Info                      : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile                   : [email protected]
Format settings, CABAC           : Yes
Format settings, ReFrames        : 3 frames
Muxing mode                      : Container [email protected]
Codec ID                         : V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC
Duration                         : 2h 16mn
Width                            : 720 pixels
Height                           : 352 pixels
Display aspect ratio             : 2.35:1
Frame rate                       : 23.976 fps
Resolution                       : 24 bits
Colorimetry                      : 4:2:0
Scan type                        : Progressive
Writing library                  : x264 core 79
Encoding settings                : cabac=1 / ref=3 / deblock=1:0:0 / analyse=0x3:0x113 / me=hex / subme=7 / psy=1 / psy_rd=1.0:0.0 / mixed_ref=1 / me_range=16 / chroma_me=1 / trellis=1 / 8x8dct=1 / cqm=0 / deadzone=21,11 / chroma_qp_offset=-2 / threads=3 / nr=0 / decimate=1 / mbaff=0 / constrained_intra=0 / bframes=3 / b_pyramid=0 / b_adapt=2 / b_bias=0 / direct=1 / wpredb=1 / wpredp=2 / keyint=240 / keyint_min=24 / scenecut=40 / rc_lookahead=50 / rc=crf / mbtree=1 / crf=20.0 / qcomp=0.60 / qpmin=10 / qpmax=51 / qpstep=4 / ip_ratio=1.40 / aq=1:1.00
colour_primaries                 : BT.601-6 525, BT.1358 525, BT.1700 NTSC, SMPTE 170M
transfer_characteristics         : BT.709-5, BT.1361
matrix_coefficients              : BT.601-6 525, BT.1358 525, BT.1700 NTSC, SMPTE 170M

Audio #1
ID                               : 2
Format                           : AAC
Format/Info                      : Advanced Audio Codec
Format version                   : Version 4
Format profile                   : LC
Format settings, SBR             : No
Codec ID                         : A_AAC
Duration                         : 2h 16mn
Channel(s)                       : 2 channels
Channel positions                : L R
Sampling rate                    : 48.0 KHz
Resolution                       : 16 bits
Language                         : English

Audio #2
ID                               : 3
Format                           : AC-3
Format/Info                      : Audio Coding 3
Codec ID                         : A_AC3
Duration                         : 2h 16mn
Bit rate mode                    : Constant
Bit rate                         : 384 Kbps
Channel(s)                       : 6 channels
Channel positions                : Front: L C R, Surround: L R, LFE
Sampling rate                    : 48.0 KHz
Stream size                      : 375 MiB (26%)
Language                         : English

3 Answers 3


Install the DivX Plus Tech Preview of MKV on Windows 7; your file is perfect because it's H.264 video, aac audio in MKV, which I te same as DivX Pkus HD. It's totally free, and more info is at http://www.DivX.com/en/windows-7 and labs.DivX.com

  • Seems to work for video. Some MKV's don't play audio. Dec 14, 2009 at 2:05
  • Intalling ac3filter helps for files with Ac3 audio (ac3filter.net) and users in the labs forums have found some tricks
    – Porfitron
    Dec 14, 2009 at 2:15

Try to install Haali Media Spliter, which is pretty much the official codec for opening MKV containers and now supports both 32-bit and 64-bit (since December 19, 2009! The version you listed was only 32-bit). Note that Haali only "opens" the file, or container, it does not read the audio/video content.

So if Media Center seems to try to opens them now, but still can't play them, maybe you miss the proper codecs to play it. To handle this, install the ffdshow experimental 64-bit codecs. The 32-bit ffdshow tryouts that you listed will only work with 32-bit players.

Don't forget that you can configure ffdshow (in Decoder configuration) to tell it which type of content to read or not to. This provides you fine grained control over any compatibility issue.

Btw, gspot possibly only look at 32-bit codecs to determine that you have all codecs installed, and could therefore be wrong in this situation. It's really two universes side by side...


Windows Media Player and Center will not play MKV files without some extra work. You'll have to install the x64 registry file from this site. You can skip the first two steps. Just install the appropriate registry file. MEdia Center will now be able to play MKV files.


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