Plex Supported Formats—Make Your Video Direct Play on Plex

Plex is a streaming media server that allows users to store, play, and stream all their personal media, including movies, TV shows, music, podcasts, etc., from their computer to any device. However, every platform has its own regulations on supported file formats, so you may find some errors when playing a file on Plex, like unsupported file formats, choppy playback, etc. To avoid such issues, you can learn what video formats are supported by Plex, the best video format for Plex, and how to convert video to Plex supported formats in this post. Just keep reading!
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Carina Carina | Updated on Feb 18, 2024

Part 1. Plex Supported File Formats

Part 2. Best Video Format for Plex Streaming

Part 3. How to Convert Videos to Plex Supported Video Formats

FAQs about Plex Supported Formats

Part 1. Plex Supported File Formats

Actually, Plex supports nearly all file formats, except for DRMed sources, ISO, IMG, VIDEO_TS, or other disk image formats. But the formats that can be directly played, are dependent on the client that is streaming the media file. That is to say, not every content can be Direct Play on your client device since your device also has requirements for media encoding formats, container format, and resolution.

The following is the list of the Plex supported formats for Direct Play.

Plex supported video formats for direct play:

ASF container: (Video Encoding: vc1, wmv2; Audio Encoding: wmav2)
AVI container (Video Encoding: mpeg4, msmpeg4, msmpeg4v2, msmpeg4v3, vc1, wmv3; Audio Encoding: aac, ac3, mp3)
MOV container (Video Encoding: H.264; Audio Encoding: aac)
MP4 container (Video Encoding: H.264, hevc (H.265), mpeg4, vc1, wmv3; Audio Encoding: aac, ac3, eac3, mp3)
MPEGTS, TS containers (Video Encoding: H.264, mpeg2video; Audio Encoding: aac, ac3, mp2)
MKV container (Video Encoding: H.264, hevc (H.265), mpeg4, msmpeg4v2, msmpeg4v3, vc1, vp9, wmv3; Audio Encoding: aac, ac3, alac, e-ac3,flac, mp3)
WMV container (Video Encoding: wmv2, vc1; Audio Encoding: wmav2)

Plex supported audio formats for direct play:

aac, alac, e-ac3, flac, mp3, m4a, wav

Source from:

Plex supported image formats:

JPG, PNG, RAW, TBN, and more

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Part 2. Best Format for Plex

As stated previously, MP4 is highly recommended as the output video format. That is because MP4 has the widest support among various devices, players, and web browsers. So if you don’t know which video format for conversion, MP4 is the Plex best video format. And here is a detailed specification of MP4 for Plex Media Server, which is also widely supported among other media players.

Best Video Format for Plex Media Server

Container: mp4
Resolution: 1920x1080 or lower
Video codec: H.264 (level 4.0 or lower)
Framerate: 30 fps (bit depth: 8)
Audio Codec: AAC (2 channels)
Bitrate: 20 Mbps or lower

Part 3. How to Convert Videos to Plex Supported Video Formats

After introducing the Plex supported formats and the best video formats for Plex in Part 1 & Part 2, you can check if your videos are compatible with Plex. If your video files are not supported by Plex, then you can convert your video files to Plex supported formats to ensure an error-free video playback.

And WonderFox HD Video Converter Factory Pro is an all-in-one video processing tool that can offer users a flexible video conversion experience for various video & audio incompatible issues. It supports all input formats and 500+ output profiles, including video & audio formats and presets for all popular devices. Meanwhile, with the support of hardware acceleration and batch conversion mode, it can process multiple files simultaneously, saving you a lot of time and energy. It also offers you the ability to customize the video codec, resolution, aspect ratio, and more to perfectly match your desires.

The workflow is quite simple. Just downloaddownload this recommended video converter and see the detailed guide to convert unsupported video to a Plex file format.

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Step 1. Import the Unsupported Videos to the Converter

Launch WonderFox HD Video Converter Factory Pro after the installation. Select “Converter” from the initial interface and then hit the “+ Add Files” or “Add Video Folder” button to import your videos (folders) to the workplace. You can also drag the source files and drop them directly.

Import Video

Step 2. Choose A Plex Supported Video Format as the Output Format

Click the format image on the right side of the interface to expand the output format library. Go to the “Video” tab and choose one supported video format for Plex from Part 1. (MP4 is highly recommended.) Head over to the “Parameter settings” window to make sure the video and audio codecs are also supported.

Best File Format for Plex

Step 3. Start Conversion

Click the inverted triangle button at the bottom of the interface to set an output folder for the converted files or leave it as default. Then press “Run” to start converting the video to the Plex file format.

Now, you can add new files to Plex for Direct Play and smooth streaming.

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Wrapping up

Above is all the information about Plex file formats and how to convert video to Plex supported video formats.

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FAQs about Plex Supported Formats

Q1. Can Plex support MKV files?

According to, Plex offers native support for MKV files but only when the video encoding format is H.264, HEVC (H.265), mpeg4, msmpeg4v2, msmpeg4v3, vc1, vp9, wmv3, and audio encoding format is aac, ac3, alac, e-ac3, flac, mp2, mp3. Moreover, some client devices / Plex players like the iPhone and Plex for PlayStation app do not support this container format via Direct Play in Plex. Direct Stream and Transcode may be necessary.

Q2. Does Plex support 4K?

Yes. Plex can support 8-bit 4K/UHD content in the MP4 container with HEVC encoding format and 30 fps. If your 4K video doesn't match the above requirements, then Plex will transcode it to 1080p.

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