1. RajeevT's Avatar
    Hello Windows RT experts, please help a newbie out! :)

    Of the following apps which would you recommend for MKV playback (moderate to high bitrate 720p/1080p files with multiple audio tracks (AC3, AAC, DTS...) and embedded/external subtitles in both text (SRT, SSA...) and bitmap based (SUB+IDX) formats):

    1. PressPlay Video (Free)
    2. Metro Media Player Pro ($1.49)
    3. mobile.HD Media Player ($3.49)
    4. CyberLink Power Media Player (was $9.99, now $14.99)

    If there are any more apps after 1.5 years that fit the bill please let me know. Also no recommendations to convert formats or use streaming apps like Plex please.

    Thanks a lot!
    Last edited by RajeevT; 07-14-2014 at 01:15 PM.
    05-03-2014 01:42 AM
  2. Ashutosh Ashutosh's Avatar
    05-03-2014 04:40 AM
  3. Celandine's Avatar
    Last I checked, VLC doesnt work on the RT...yet. You can find it in the store but it only works on x86 I believe.
    05-03-2014 09:25 AM
  4. Ed Boland's Avatar
    Why no recommendations for PLEX? You say you're a "newbie"... have you tried it? I bought the PLEX apps ($4.99 each) for both my Surface 2 and my 1020 and I've got say, once you start using it, you'll never look back.. or ever have to worry about video conversions or compatibility. It plays them all!

    Granted yes, you'll have to have a PLEX server running, but who doesn't have a PC of some sort at home (an old laptop?) with a decent internet connection?
    JasonKruys likes this.
    05-03-2014 10:00 AM
  5. Guzzler3's Avatar
    Personally, I caved in, and converted my MKV collection to MP4. I got tired of trying different apps, and finding limitations, bugs, etc..

    I found MkvToMp4 (MkvТоMp4 v0.224 - rapid tool for repack Mkv to Mp4 - Doom9's Forum) to be quick, and free. But it won't run on RT, you have to run it on W7/8 x86.
    05-03-2014 10:25 AM
  6. RajeevT's Avatar
    Why no recommendations for PLEX? You say you're a "newbie"... have you tried it?
    Thanks for the reply. I'm new to Windows RT for sure, and yes I have tried Plex. I am not interested in a streaming solution that transcodes audio and video and want something for local file decoding and playback even on the move. That is why I spelt out my requirements quite explicitly and was hoping knowledgeable people here can recommend the best MKV playback solution. I am not quite sure at this point VLC will ever be released for Windows RT. We've been waiting for way too long and I don't believe in them any more. I'd rather pay for a good solution and start watching all my videos immediately.

    Personally, I caved in, and converted my MKV collection to MP4. I got tired of trying different apps, and finding limitations, bugs, etc.
    Did you try all the apps (including the paid ones) I mentioned above? I'm not averse to shelling out a fair amount for a one-time purchase that will do what I'm looking for. Conversion is not something I'm interested in. Got too many files (both downloaded and that's also the format I rip and dump my DVDs and BluRays in) and since MKVs can be played on all my other devices there should be a solution available for Windows RT too.
    05-03-2014 01:05 PM
  7. Ed Boland's Avatar
    Thanks for the reply. I'm new to Windows RT for sure, and yes I have tried Plex. I am not interested in a streaming solution that transcodes audio and video
    Why not?

    It's instantaneous. You'll never notice any transcoding going on. I too was skeptical at first, when I got my first RT device (the Surface 2) and like you, was searching for a solution for playing all my MKV files. Now, 8 months later, PLEX is the number one used app on my Surface2. I really don't think you've given it enough of a try.

    That is why I spelt out my requirements quite explicitly and was hoping knowledgeable people here can recommend the best MKV playback solution.
    Yes, you did specifically state that you were not interested in a streaming solution. And I don't want to keep trying to push something on you that you don't want.. but you didn't really explain why you don't want it. So.. I'm going to try again, one more time, to recommend the "best MKV playback solution" (in my opinion) for Windows RT.

    I'd rather pay for a good solution and start watching all my videos immediately.

    PLEX is a good solution and you can start watching ALL of your videos immediately! :)

    I carry my Surface 2 with me to work and everywhere else I go, and have my entire movie collection at my disposal with PLEX. And if I'm somewhere where there's no WIFI (which is rare), I just share my 1020's LTE connection with my Surface2 and I'm good to go! There's no conversion wait, no transcoding wait, no lag at all really. It just works flawlessly!
    05-03-2014 11:15 PM
  8. Guzzler3's Avatar
    Did you try all the apps (including the paid ones) I mentioned above? I'm not averse to shelling out a fair amount for a one-time purchase that will do what I'm looking for. Conversion is not something I'm interested in. Got too many files (both downloaded and that's also the format I rip and dump my DVDs and BluRays in) and since MKVs can be played on all my other devices there should be a solution available for Windows RT too.
    I didn't try the paid versions (the ones without trial) because I'm a cheap SOB.

    The reason I pointed the MKVToMP4 program, is that you can cue up a bunch of files, make possible conversion tweaks, then let it run. On my laptop, if the MKV is already in x.264 and AAC or AC3, it takes about 5 min to convert a file, max.

    Now this next part is a heavily debated topic, and has been discussed before, but... What I've been able to find out is that MP4's is the most supported format out there. I don't think I've been able to find something that works with video, that doesn't play MP4's natively. MKV's on the other hand... Yes, MKV's do have more/better features over MP4's, but if you have something that doesn't play MKV's natively, what good is it? You're in the boat that you are in now. Desperately searching for a solution.

    I'll be quiet now. Let us know if you find something good.
    calfee20 likes this.
    05-04-2014 09:56 AM
  9. RajeevT's Avatar
    Yes, you did specifically state that you were not interested in a streaming solution. And I don't want to keep trying to push something on you that you don't want.. but you didn't really explain why you don't want it.
    I am not interested in a streaming solution that transcodes audio and video and want something for local file decoding and playback even on the move.
    I understand it does its job well and quite obviously works brilliantly for you, but internet access while on the move is extremely spotty where I live so not to belabour the point but no streaming solutions, please. I bought a 128GB microSD card for my tablet to go with the couple of 64GB ones I already had, so space wise I'm good to go and all I need is a playback solution.

    MKV's on the other hand... Yes, MKV's do have more/better features over MP4's, but if you have something that doesn't play MKV's natively, what good is it?
    I don't know if any smartphone or desktop OS plays MKVs natively. Just because Windows RT doesn't (yet) have an MKV player on par with its desktop counterpart is no reason for me to go converting all my MKVs, especially since my other devices handle them just fine. If there's no real solution I'll opt to toss this tablet in the trash and use a Pro/Pro 2 instead. However it looks like I may not have to go down that route after all...

    Let us know if you find something good.
    So far my testing has made me reject PressPlay Video since the MKV support seems quite iffy (as mentioned by the developer himself) and the huge amount of time taken on opening each MKV is a real turn off. I don't know what exactly the app's doing - looks almost like it is extracting the audio and video tracks or even perhaps remuxing into an MP4 on the fly, but whatever it is I'm not interested. Metro Media Player Pro's site says the app has issues even with basic MKVs on ARM devices and it can't even open files with multiple audio tracks, so that's out as well.

    Right now I'm testing my files with mobile.HD Media Player and CyberLink Power Media Player. Both have their pros and cons but both do play MKVs very well indeed. For that matter even Metro Commander Pro (despite media playback not being its primary role) does a fair job with most MKVs although of course things like DTS audio or MPEG audio/video will trip it up. Then again, mobile.HD doesn't support those either. I'm also lining up a few more promising apps (according to their descriptions at least) for thorough testing but I'd honestly hoped for a more informed response here since I thought you guys would have done all this by now instead of giving up and moving to alternate solutions. Maybe it's a paid vs. free apps thing, with some people just willing to wait indefinitely for VLC to show up. Anyway from what I've seen so far already no conversion will be required for my MKVs which is a real relief. I'm off to test more of my files (especially the really quirky ones) but so far I'm impressed that the Surface RT can handle even high bitrate 1080p files in the 30+GB range quite comfortably with no stuttering. This Tegra 3 ain't half bad!
    Last edited by RajeevT; 05-05-2014 at 01:48 AM.
    05-04-2014 08:39 PM
  10. Brad and Ellen's Avatar
    Try 8zip, 8zip Surface Edition, or Metro Commander Pro. No issues with any of these.

    As an aside, these guys also have a stand alone file manager and a torrent client app. Awesome devs, don't know why they don't get more love.



    Sent from our Surface RT.
    05-10-2014 03:49 PM

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