matroska-logoIn this guide I will describe you the steps on how to easily convert MKV video files to  AVI. Of course someone would ask why to do this, MKV along with the H.264 codec has better quality. Well a simple answer is in order to reproduce the video file on a standalone divx player and watch it in your TV or in any other portable device that doesn't support mkv files. Just for the record MKV stands for Matroska Multimedia Container and it is an open standard free container format, in other words it's a file format that can hold video, audio and subtitles in a single file.

First of all we have to check what is the video codec of our MKV file. To do so open the video with VLC (download VLC). Go to Tools > Codec Information and check the video codec. Now there are two cases:

Case avc1:

If the video codec is avc1 it means that our video is encoded with H.264 and therefore we must convert it to DivX. Download and install Xvid4PSP, a freeware software which allows many video types convertions.

Load your video file and choose the following:

Format > AVI Hardware or AVI Hardware HD
Video encoding > Xvid HQ Ultra
Audio encoding > MP3 CBR 128k

Press E next to Video encoding

Encoding Mode > Constant quality if you want a fast convertion or 3-pass quality if you want a good quality/size ratio

If you choose the 3-pass quality and you want the best quality set the Quantizer to 1. If you want a smaller video file set it to 2.5 - 3.0

Finaly press the Encode button. Depending on the original video size, your options and your computer it might need a lot of time for the convertion to be accomplished..

Case XVID, DX50, DIVX or 3ivx:

If the video codec is XVID, DX50, DIVX or 3ivx it means that the MKV files is encoded with Divx and therefore we will just have to demux the video and audio from the mkv file and then put them in an AVI container.

First download MKVTollnix and install it. Next download MKV extractGUI and unzip it in the same directory with MKVToolnix. The default location of MKVToolnix is C:\Program Files\MKVtoolnix . Run MKVextractGUI2.exe

Now open the mkv file and check the video and audio tracks and press Extract.

Two files will be created a .avi (video) and a .mp3 or .aac (audio).

Next download AviMux (the binary file is the one you want), run it and open the .avi file and the .mp3 or .aac file. Press generate data from source files and finally press Start.

This case is much faster than the previous one sinve no convertion is needed. In a couple of minutes you will have your avi file ready to be played in any standalone DVD player!

Comments (27)

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Does not work
No AVI appears.
Barack , September 09, 2010
Hmm Need Some Help Please?
when i convert it to divx when its an avc1 what do i do with it?
Tidus , September 13, 2010
Barack, which case have you followed? Did you follow all the steps as mentioned above?

avc1 is the first case Tidus. Just read it from the start.
axel , September 13, 2010
I get an error from xvid4psp when trying to convert
vlc reports
Stream 0:
Codec: H264 - MPEG-4 AVC (part 10) (avc1).
Stream 1:
Codec: DTS Audio

VLC can play it without problems.
But when I ask XviD4PSP 5.0 to convert it, I can see the ffd is launched, then it says audio demuxing, but then I get an error, it says that ffmpegsource: can't create decompressor: Unsupported compression method.
Then what?
Kenneth , September 29, 2010
I Love MKV
I Love your post, and also love Blu-ray movie to MKV), and M2TS to MKV), because the MKV is so flexible that has quickly become the preferred file extension for high definition video on the Internet.
norris1990 , October 19, 2010
How about subtitles?
Hi axel,

I just have a question.

I want to convert my MKV file to an AVI but it has some subtitles on it because this file is an English subbed video. So I was wondering if the subtitles will remain there once it has been converted into an AVI?

Some advice would be appreciated. Thank you.
Bendee , January 05, 2011
Hi Bendee,

In mkv files the subtitles aren't hardcoded in the video. They are different streams. Therefore they won't remain when you convert it into an avi file.
axel , January 05, 2011
Hi again axel,

I tried converting those MKV files(which are 'fan subbed' episodes btw) that I was talking about before and it actually worked. The subtitles remain there. I may need to do more testing though just to see if they stay there once I have burned them as AVI files into my DVD disc.

I have another question. Is there any way that I can make the conversion process a bit faster? I am using the first case solution and it usually takes me 1 hour and 20 mins per file. Any suggestions? smilies/cry.gif

Bendee , January 06, 2011
What I just said in the title: Thank you for this. You, sir, are a gentleman and a scholar and all that.

I'm an all-around self-thaught geek and I'm usually good by myself, but I was going mad with this. I went through about a dozen programs and three times as many discs and I couldn't figure the whole thing out. I guess it pays to ask to the people who actually know every now and then.
schadenfreude , January 19, 2011
Works like a charm. Easy to read and understand and easy to use. Thank you.
Fisketing , February 20, 2011
What about languages?
Hi, I was just wondering if there is any way to include the different languages I have here in this file also in the conversion. I have used example 1. The file has demuxed audio files for each language. I just kept the one that I needed but since it is an extra file....
Any suggestions?
And thanks a lot for the good explanations, I was totally helpless so far.
Biene , May 16, 2011
Best AVI quality conversion for DLNA/HDTV purposes
Well, actually there's another reason to convert mkv files to avi: DLNA. I have a Sony BDP-270 and it isn't capable to receive wirelessly in any other format from my Windows PC. It's a mix of Sony & DLNA limitations.

I have my video files in mkv containers (mostly h264 video) and I don't want to reduce the quality (have an excelent HDTV connected to the bd above). I need to know if is it possible to make this convertion keeping the original video quality.

Thank you a lot in advance! Excelent guide...
Dialog , May 25, 2011
DLNA get Samsung
My Samsung HDTV [6 series] streams mkv over the DLNA connection. It isn't wireless, but my router is already in my entertainment center. Just a note if someone is looking for a tv.

Thanks for the guide, hoping this will work on my Coby V-ZON.
Keith , May 26, 2011
Any way to define file size ?

This is a fantastic method and I am trying it while I am typing this. My appreciation goes to you for posting this guide and also your efforts. I used to use Megui and I have a question. I am trying to convert an MKV to AVI to be viewed on my DVD player. Hope it works! My question is, is there a way we can define the size of the output in xvid4psp similar to Megui or do we have to rely on the software ? If there is not, is there an alternative to keep the size to 700mb or near about ?
Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance
ace_ventura2 , November 06, 2011
Continuation of previous inquiry
Sorry I forgot to add....defining a size without losing much quality...

Thank you
ace_ventura2 , November 06, 2011
Hi ace_ventura2. Play with the video encoding settings such as the Quantizer or the Profile to see if you can get your desired file size.
axel , November 13, 2011
Audio doesn't sync with Video.
When i try to mux audio, video and subtitle using avi mux it completely destroys the syncing b/w audio and video. Any fix?
Adam , November 16, 2011
Will this only work for DVD players or can i put this on my hard drive and run it on a media center? I run all my files through the media center and the PS3 wont read MKV
Axle , November 27, 2011
Only to make something clear:
Mkv is not better quality than Avi. Only uses little space in comparison, but quality of video is the same.
Last Xvid codec, used in avi videos, can work with 1080p.
1 mkv(h264) video 1080p 2gb = 1 avi(xvid) 1080p 3.5gb

Dont believe it?
Try it before any kind of complains.
Gino , July 01, 2012
Converting Files - im new
I have downloaded an mkv file, there's four of them actually and it's a movie. But then when i downloaded it on IDM- after its done downloading it just says "dete.brr.mkv.001" and the icon is like a white page. What do i o next? How do I convert it to a movie? Someone please help, thank you smilies/smiley.gif
zainab , August 03, 2012
mkv files
I have a netbook and i have downloaded the most current VLC Player but when i plan a mkv file it is very jerky audio and video are not in sync my netbook has 2 gig memory and has Windows XP i play the same movie on my pc computer which has 3 gig of memory and plays fine. it it because i only have 2 gig memory on my netbook???? please help?? thank you
Kathy , August 05, 2012
Not working for me
I have a ".MKV" file, but none of these programs or converters will do anything with this file. I am able to watch the video file but cannot get it to convert to AVI
Glen , November 05, 2012
you idiots, you can convert AVI files to mkc or avi, but u cant convert mkv to avi, why nobody protest ?
Arminiuse , November 10, 2012
you idiots, you can convert AVI files to mkc or avi, but u cant convert mkv to avi, why nobody protest ?
Arminiuse , November 10, 2012
Thank You for all your help
MK5 , December 11, 2012
Sir How Do You Convert Mkv To Avi Having A Smaller File Size While Having A Good Quality?What Setting Do You Use?Thanks In Advance
Oz , August 04, 2013
With subtitle
Hi! need help!
My Vlc Codec: H264 - MPEG-4 AVC (part10)(avc1) on Stream 0
And I want to put some subtitle. I don't know how. Still newbie on this please guide me. Thanks smilies/grin.gif
NikeLyka , December 19, 2013

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