My sister sent me a video from her wedding reception in 4K UltraHD. Nice, but it’s an “MKV” file and QuickTime Player can’t handle that. Help!
You have two challenges facing you with the video from your sister: A lot of computers are too slow to properly play 4K UltraHD video content but more than that, the MKV (which stands for Matroska Video) video format is tricky too as it’s not widely supported. On your Mac QuickTime Player can mostly handle the 4K side, but MKV? It’s not pretty. That’s why it’s handy to know of third party apps that can solve the problem, and that’s what I’m going to focus on to solve your challenge: 5KPlayer, a free video player for Mac and Windows with a whole lot of additional features that make it a must-download for just about everyone.
To start, let’s see what you’re probably experiencing with QuickTime Player, whether you have the very latest version of MacOS X or an older install. I have a 4k UltraHD video of a drone flying over a beach-side amusement park called “beach.mkv”:
Frustrating, no way around it! To solve it, jump to the 5KPlayer download page and grab the appropriate version. On the Mac once it’s downloaded installation is as simple as a drag and drop:
Pretty hard to get that wrong, isn’t it? Once you’ve copied it into the correct location, double click to open the program, then drop the video file directly onto the main window. It instantly begins to play:
You can see it’s a straightforward video player and even has support (on the top right) for DLNA, which is “Digital Living Network Alliance”, a protocol for sharing media content with your TV and other computers and devices.
What might not be obvious is that you can also right-click (on a Mac use Control-click) and access a menu with oodles of different playback options, including speed:
If you’re watching a boring college lecture or similar, speeding things up just a bit can be a huge win, and if the professor is hard to understand, well, maybe slowing it down a bit is a better strategy!
5KPlayer has some neat tricks up its digital sleeve, however, one of which is that it can download YouTube videos if you want to enjoy some content while offline. Simply go to the CONVERT tab on the main screen and click on “YouTube” on the left side. Then you can copy & paste a YouTube URL as shown:
Once the URL’s pasted, click on “Paste URL & Analyze” and in just a moment or two it’ll automatically figure out the various offered resolutions and begin to download the highest res version of whatever video you specified. For this demo, I grabbed an interview with David Tennant about Doctor Who, as you can see below:
That’s a mighty handy feature for a video player that can also handle a lot more formats than QuickTime Player, I’d say!
As you can see, 5KPlayer is a solid option for you to be able to enjoy your sister’s 4K UHD MKV video from her wedding. The fact that it does a lot more is just a great bonus. Note: There are some in-app purchase upgrades for things like converting video formats, but you are safe eschewing any of those if you just want the basic functionality.
5KPlayer for Mac or Windows. Free. Check out www.5kplayer.com for details.