Difference Between MKV and AVI Format

In the video files used in computers or other devices with multimedia capabilities we can see the extensions  mp4, m4v, AVI, MKV, VOB, among many others. MKV and AVI are usually found commonly among these types of files and in essence it could be said that both work as wrappers that are used to arms the contents, that is, the audio and video files, inside. The AVI format was developed in the early 1990s by Microsoft, while the MKV format was introduced in 2002.  C

Let’s see now what is the difference between these two video formats.

MKV      Difference Between MKV and AVI Format

It is a multimedia container format with an open and free standard that can contain any number of data streams in a single file, for example, a movie can be encoded in MKV to contain the audio tracks in two different languages ​​in one same file. The required audio can be selected when it is played. Conceptually this format is very similar to MP4 or AVI and they share a fairly similar architecture. For this same reason, it is easier to edit and store multimedia files in MKV format, and it also allows you to store a greater amount of data in the same file.


For its acronym in English ( Audio Video Interleave ), it is a multimedia container format developed by Microsoft for the Windows operating system environment. AVI was developed from the resource sharing of the RIFF file format, which was owned by IBM and Microsoft. The AVI format compresses both audio and video data, therefore its quality will depend a lot on compression.

Key differences between MKV and AVI:

  • MKV is an open container format, while AVI is a closed container format owned by Microsoft.
  • Both can use the most widely used codecs, such as H.264 and A3C, but AVI has limitations for H.264 / AVC. Therefore, HD content may not be available.
  • AVI can only store a single video stream and a single audio stream while MKV can store multiple video and audio streams in the same file (container).

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