Having the same issues as most people with the new release standard, I tried to find a workaround to continue watching movies on my TV without having to connect my computer to it. I previously used a player that of course does not recognize either mp4 or mkv....
Like momijigari mentionned, mp4 and mkv are readable on PS3, so U can either use a USB stick or an external HD to plug to your PS3 and watch as before using the PS3. I even enjoy the 5.1 sound now, having an optic cable to my sound system, when my old player only allowed for stereo. An issue is that your external HD has to be formatted in FAT 32, and Windows dos not allow that, U have to download a utility to reformat an old drive for example.
http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/Har ... nife.shtml
U can choose to reformat your old living room media player, but that would come at the expense of the OS, and so you could only use it as a HD and not as a standalone player, so I do not encourage that solution.
Some people mentionned in this thread a media player that costs only 25$ in Amazon, and that allows to read mkv and mp4, obviously a very good solution, only drawback is that again you will need either a USB stick or an external HD to plug in the reader, as it comes without built-in HD: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sumvision-Cyclo ... B0046SD2MK
Alternatively for those irreductibles of the old format, you can reencode your mp4 to avi using a series of available free tools. That takes time, and is ressource demanding on the systems, but if some cannot do without avi that's the way to go: http://www.filehippo.com/es/download_an ... converter/
And for the ones who want a player that can read anything on a PC, vlc is the way to go, or ffdshow with ssdshow. The later comes bundled in a codec pack that I recommend, that also has the Windows MP classic, wich can read mkv and so forth as well, despite being 'classic' (oldies but goodies):
http://download.cnet.com/K-Lite-Mega-Co ... 94603.html
And finally, if U want to watch mkv files on your PS3, it is possible, but demands a bit of work and the use of a demuxing program, U can find the complete tutorial here: http://www.manolution.com/2011/06/the-c ... -your-ps3/
It is a bit longer, but should not take more than 10 minutes per movie, so might be worth its while if U watch movies essentially encoded in mkv (French and Asian for instance).
To finsh this post, for those of you who wonder about the benefits of the new standard:
I was reluctant for the afore mentionned reasons, the way of simplicity always being preferable when it comes to computers, still, having tried to read the mp4 files with my PS3, here is my opinion:
File Size: Traditionnal avi Alcatraz episode more or less 357 Mo - Last episodes in mp4: 257 Mo.... thats a good 30% less so from that perspective, I must say I'm impressed.
Quality: Apart from the improvement in sound because of the optic cord which allows now for 5.1, i must say that the image is super crispy, cristal clear, when I was expecting a serious fall in quality because of the filesize.... most impressive.
As a conclusion, i recommend trying to adapt to the new standard, I believe it is worth the try, and like I said once everybody has renewed its old player for one that accepts all formats, this discussion will seem out of point. The overall encoding process is of better quality with the new formats, and so I believe we should all be happy in the end, not that it will not take some convincing
keep up da good work!!!