MKV vs MP4

tvjunky_66's Avatar


15 Apr, 2013 04:20 PM

I could't help but notice the substancial size difference between .mkv and .mp4 files. Considering that our upload speed is so limited, mp4 files are much preferable. Our download is "up to" 40 Mb/s but our upload is "up to" 1 Mb/s. On days when there are 6-8 shows to download, each file has to share the upload when seeding. If I need the internet for anything, it slows the seeding that much more. Any delays while seeding, and I get more shows downloading for the next day. I've had as many as 17 files seeding at the same time and they all slow to 10 KB/s and less. .mp4 files, being so much smaller, take a considerably less amount of time to download and seed.

I wish I could have the choice of which file format to download. I find that the quality between the two in marginal and, as well, the .mp4 files are actually a lot better quality than recording from Windows Media Centre (Win 7 laptop user AverMedia USB tuner) as well as watching directly from our analog cable TV provider... which is coincidently being cancelled today!

I love your TVShows 2 application. I don't suppose you have a version available for Windows?! I have 2 iMac computers but my wife is still a Windows lover and is refusing anything else so our bedroom media is run through a Windows 7 Acer laptop.

Given a vote, I would chose to abandon .mkv files... they are far too big, especially if one, like me, is collecting episodes of given TV series.

Keep up the great work guys!!

On a side note, I find myself having a hard time setting up my own feeds. I love as my primary source for manual downloads but every attempt made to set up has failed. In short.. I really suck at it. :-)

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Cristina Gómez on 16 Apr, 2013 04:36 PM

    Cristina Gómez's Avatar

    Hi tvjunky_66,

    Actually, .mp4 is used for SD files whereas .mkv is used for HD files, so it's easy to prioritize .mp4 over .mkv: just uncheck the HD option ;)

    If you're using custom feeds you will have to add filters to the subscription so that files with "720p" or "1080p" in the title are not downloaded, since custom subscriptions don't follow the SD/HD setting exactly.

    We don't plan to port TVShows to Windows, mainly because we're Mac users and Mac is what we know (but it's free source, anyone can port it if they want).

    On the KAT issue, don't worry it's not you, it's them ;) Their feeds are not compatible with TVShows because their items don't link to the torrent file but to an html page where you can download the torrent file, and TVShows doesn't understand it.

  2. 2 Posted by Nick on 27 Apr, 2013 02:01 AM

    Nick's Avatar

    I'd like to second the original request. We have HD unchecked, but many shows have been downloading as mkv lately. Plex on our nas can't transcode the mkv files, so we need an option to "ignore" mkv files in TV shows. Is this a possibility?

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by Cristina Gómez on 27 Apr, 2013 08:34 AM

    Cristina Gómez's Avatar

    Hi Nick,

    If you're using preset list subscriptions and you have the HD option unchecked, then the only episodes TVShows should download in .mkv are those that aren't available in .mp4, which wouldn't be many (I am subcribed to all my shows in SD and I only get .mkv from time to time). The SD option doesn't ignore .mkv completely because we don't want you to miss an episode, but it only downloads them after 18 hours if the .mp4 is still unavailable.

    If you're getting too many .mkv (and I insist, using the preset list subscriptions… please check if there's a gear icon on the bottom right corner of any subscription cover image, this marks a custom subscription and you can accidentally end up with one even if you subscribed from the preset list), then something is not working properly. Can you please send us the log (About tab -> View logs, please paste the content into a text file and attach it to the message) and tell us which shows are downloading in .mkv?

  4. 4 Posted by john.brand on 05 Jul, 2013 05:42 PM

    john.brand's Avatar

    I just added all my shows moving from another app, and you basically ONLY download HD mkv files. Ugh. Now I have to convert them and they are HUGE! Can't you allow a blocking on size AND extension.

    Download Option (per show and global)
    [SD: mp4 200-350MB]
    [HD: mp4 500MB - 1GB]
    [HD: mkv 500MB - 1GB]

    Then at least we have some control.

  5. Support Staff 5 Posted by Cristina Gómez on 05 Jul, 2013 08:31 PM

    Cristina Gómez's Avatar

    Hi John,

    Please read this thread. I explained a couple of times that SD does prioritize mp4 over mkv and in which cases mkv are still downloaded. So you have some control.

    Your issue as I've seen on another thread (you don't need to duplicate your messages, by the way) appears to be a one time thing, but let me reply to you there so we can keep the support forum organized.

    I'm closing this thread since I've answered the original request.

  6. Cristina Gómez closed this discussion on 05 Jul, 2013 08:31 PM.

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