While the Matroska Video format supports full HD video resolutions such as 1080p, any such files stored on your hard drive takes up a significant amount of disk space. To conserve storage space, use third-party applications such HandBrake or VidCoder to downgrade your MKV files to 720p or 480p resolutions. While downgrading, you can configure both HandBrake and VidCoder to keep any additional audio or subtitle streams intact within the downgraded MKV file.

HandBrake

Step 1

Download and install HandBrake from HandBrake.fr (link in Resources). After installing, double-click the “Handbrake” icon on your desktop.

Step 2

Click “Source” on the upper left side of the HandBrake window and select “Open File” on the drop-down menu. Select the MKV file that you want to downgrade and click “Open.”

Step 3

Use the “Browse” button next to Destination to select a storage location for the downgraded MKV file.

Step 4

Click the “Container” button under Output Settings and select “MKV.”

Step 5

Click the “Picture” tab. Enter “1280” for 720p video output or “854” for 480p video output into the box next to “Width.” If the MKV file has additional audio tracks that you would like to keep, click the “Audio” tab and then click “Add Track.” Next, click the button next to “Source” and select the audio track that you need to add. For additional subtitle tracks, click the “Subtitle” tab, click add, and then use the button next to “Source” to select the subtitle track that you need to add.

Step 6

Click “Start” to downgrade the MKV file to the specified resolution.

VidCoder

Step 1

Download and install VidCoder from CodePlex.com (link in Resources). After installing, click the VidCoder shortcut on the Start screen.

Step 2

Click the “Video File” button and then select the MKV file that you want to downgrade.

Step 3

Use the “Select Output Path” button to select a storage destination for the downgraded MKV file.

Step 4

Click the “Settings” button and then click the “Picture” tab on the pop-up window.

Step 5

Enter “1280” for 720p video output or “854” for 480p video output into the box next to “Width.” Next, click the drop-down button next to “Container” and select “MKV.” Close the pop-up window. On the main VidCoder window, click “Add Track” to select any additional audio tracks from the MKV source file that you want to encode into the downgraded MKV file. For additional subtitle tracks, click “Edit” next to Subtitles and check the box next to the subtitle track that you want to add.

Step 6

Click “Encode” to downgrade the MKV file to the specified resolution.