MKV video support in Windows Phone 8.1 GDR2

Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2 aka GDR2 is slowly making it out the gate to various phones. The update comes preinstalled on the new Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL. However, the OS update managed to sneak on a few phones due to a bug in the Windows 10 Technical Preview update a week back, including the Lumia 930.

Over the weekend, we dived deeper into some of the new features of Update 2, but we missed one: Matroska MKV video support.

Matroska Video Stream is a popular container file for media, like movies and TV shows and is used widely on the internet.

The feature was mentioned in our comments by brdloch, and we were able to confirm this observation this morning on a Lumia 930 running Windows Phone 8.1 build 15116.

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To test for the feature, we copied over a 5 MB MKV video file sample at 1280 x 536 resolution to two phones: Lumia 930 with Update 2 and a Lumia 929 (Icon) with Update 1 and Lumia Denim. Windows asks if you want to convert the file, to which we answered 'no' on both occasions.

The result is obvious. On the device with Update 2, the video and thumbnail preview are now listed in the Xbox Video app, whereas nothing is shown on the device with Update 1.

Of course, Microsoft has already added native MKV support to Windows 10 for both PC and mobile (phone), so even if you do not get Update 2 – which is looking likely – you will get it with Windows 10. Regardless, it is great see it finally arrive for Windows Phone 8.1 for at least some users.

Unfortunately, only the Lumia 735 and Lumia 830 are confirmed to be receiving Update 2 at some later point. It is not clear if other phones will as well.

Watch our video above to see it all in action!