The Samsung Galaxy S4 is quite picky when it comes to playing video files. If you picked one up, hoping it would play all your MKV files out of the box, you likely ran into complications.
By installing a video player such as Dice Player or MX Player from Google Play or Amazon Apps, you can enable support for playing MKV files on your Samsung Galaxy S4 , however, you will likely run into playback issues such as stuttering video, freezing video, audio sync issues or even playback in slow-motion.
On Android devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S4, there are 2 different ways you can watch movies.
1. The movies you can download from Google Play and Amazon are optimized for Android, and use something called "Hardware Decoding", a special chip in the Galaxy S4 that is completely used for playing video. This chip, since it is specially designed for this purpose offers the best performance (no stutter/freezing etc), and, because it doesn't require the main processor of the Galaxy S4, doesn't use much battery power.
While the hardware decoding chip is quite powerful, it is only optimized to handle a few different video formats.
2. The other way movies can be played is by using a video player such as Dice Player or MX Player that uses its own internals to play the video, called "Software Decoding". Because this is actually part of the app, it relies on the main processor, rather than the hardware-decoding chip, and as a result, it uses more battery power.
Software decoding is not limited to just a few video formats, so it supports almost all video file types, however because it relies on the main processor of the Galaxy S4 for playing the video, it drains the battery quicker and, playback depends greatly on the size of the video file you want to watch. Especially with larger, HD video files, the processor of the Galaxy S4 has to do a lot of work, and it might not be powerful enough to handle it.
The hardware decoding chip is obviously the best choice for video playback, since it doesn't have limitations on the size of the video, and doesn't drain the battery as much, but in order to be able to use it, the video files have to be in a format that it supports.
The steps below explain how you can fix playback issues with MKV files for the Samsung Galaxy S4 quick and easy.
Step 1: Download and install DVD Catalyst 4 on your computer.
You can purchase DVD Catalyst 4 (for a limited time for only $9.95) by clicking here (link), or download the free trial version by clicking here (link).
Step 2: Start DVD Catalyst 4 and select your Samsung Galaxy S4 as a video player device.
Step 3: Add/drag your MKV video file(s)/folder(s) over onto DVD Catalyst 4.
Step 4: Tap Go to start the conversion process.
Once completed, copy the videos over to your Samsung Galaxy S4 and you can watch your movies using the build-in video player app without stuttering/freezing/sync issues.