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MKV, is a multimedia container format. It is another container format that similar to AVI. It is an open source container that houses an unlimited amount of video, audio, and even subtitles data in a single file. MKV files contain video and audio streams. The streams are likely compressed and have been produced with an encoder. In order to play these streams a codec is required. Codec, as a word is an abbreviation of Coder / Decoder. The video stream located in the MKV file has been "coded" by the source and now it must be "decoded" by the end user who wishes to play it.