How the Original “DivX ;-)” Guides Us Today

Next year, DivX® will celebrate 20 years of creating video technology. While we’re still hard at work on some new and exciting innovations, this looming milestone has us reflecting on our past and the wild ride of nearly two decades in the tech industry. There have been impressive accomplishments (Over 1 billion software downloads! Live 4K streaming! A billion DivX Certified® devices worldwide! Occasional blog posts!) and interesting twists and turns along the way (multiple acquisitions, massive shifts in how we consume media). Even as the industry changed and our role shifted, we’ve always remained true to our original mission: to create a better media future.

The original mission, and the story of how DivX came to be, is an interesting one. Instead of a garage in Silicon Valley, the DivX story began in an apartment in Montpelier, France when Jerome “Gej” Rota created “DivX ;-)”, so he could better share his video creations online. The name was a dig at Circuit City’s DIVX (Digital Video Express) product that sold proprietary DVDs that could only be played on DIVX players and would expire after 48 hours. (Here’s a great TV ad for this failed product.)

 
DivX (the company) was formed soon after, as a collaboration between Rota and Jordan Greenhall, a former MP3.com executive based in San Diego, and three other founders. DivX quickly developed a codec that offered DVD-like visual quality with great compression and became an immediate internet phenomenon.

 

Long story short, after many versions of the DivX codec and adoption around the world, the company they formed continues to be guided by the initial desire to create a better video experience. Through many different products and years of innovation, this same desire drives us to create products today with the optimism and enthusiasm the team felt nearly 20 years ago.

Whether you’re a DivX user from when it was called “DivX ;-)” or downloaded the software for the first time this week, thank you for being a part of this journey and for helping us create a better media future. (And stay tuned … more to come soon!)

Still striving for a better media future…

The Goods Under the Hood

Some of the most exciting things we get to do at DivX are found “under the hood”—tweaks and technology that you don’t necessarily see but that are essential to a high-quality DivX video experience.
One of these things is hardware acceleration, which has several benefits to computer resources and functionality, especially when it comes to high-resolution video.

So, what is hardware acceleration?

Ever tried playing back HD or 4K video on your computer and notice issues? Media players may struggle with larger, higher resolution files like HD or 4K when playback is done through the software using CPU, eating up valuable system resources. This can result in playback issues like noise, stuttering or frames being dropped.
With hardware acceleration, the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) is used to offload some of the processing effort from the more general-purpose CPU. The result? Heavy-process tasks like playing HD or 4K video is handled with ease so you can sit back and enjoy the quality or multi-task.

What’s the benefit in DivX Software?

DivX Software uses hardware acceleration to encode and decode both ASP (DIVX/AVI) and AVC (H.264/MKV) video content on a variety of popular systems.
The latest versions of DivX Player and DivX Web Player offload the heavy lifting to GPUs through a video decoding specification called DirectX Video Acceleration (DXVA)—yep, even for 4K videos!
We’ve done some preliminary tests of playback with and without hardware acceleration—same system, same video but very different results. Here we tested 4K AVC and HEVC clips on Intel Core Broadwell 2GB Windows 8.1-based device.
CPU Utilization with hardware acceleration
Battery life with hardware acceleration

Note: CPU utilization with software decoding is the same for AVC and HEVC.
Hardware decoding results apply to AVC clips only.
Results may vary depending on device and system configuration.

So basically, you can watch an entire extra TV episode and still have time for a snack break on the same battery if you’re using hardware decoding.
If you have a system that supports hardware decoding in our software and want to compare this yourself, you can try it out by downloading some sample clips below. We used 4K raw MP4 files as sources and did a combination of 4K and 1080p encodes in h.264/MKV format with a few different bitrate settings.

That gives you an idea of the benefits of using the GPU to decode your videos. You can turn hardware decoding on/off in DivX Player by going to the player’s advanced preferences:
disable hardware decoding in DivX Player
 
DivX Converter uses hardware acceleration for encoding as well. When your system is able to make use of GPU for your encoding, you’ll see the DivX Accelerated logo appear like this:
Hardware acceleration to convert MKV DivX AVI MP4
 
Not only will this make conversion more efficient, but battery life and multitasking ability is improved like during playback.
Regardless of your interest in GPUs and CPUs, there’s great technology working behind the scenes to help DivX provide a great video experience. The next time you have a high resolution file you want to play or convert in H.264 or DIVX/AVI format, make sure hardware acceleration is enabled if your system is supported. It will make a big difference in playing or converting those high-quality videos!
 

DivX Media Server 101 Part 3: Stream to Sony PS3

If you’re following our DivX Media Server 101 video series, you already know from Part 1 how to set up your media server for sharing files from your computer to devices like your TV, tablet and gaming consoles.
This video is for Sony Playstation® 3 users who want to stream DivX, AVI, MP4 and MKV videos from a PC. Check out Part 3 in the series now:

Watch other videos in this series:
Part 1: Setting up DivX Media Server
Part 2: Stream to Xbox 360
Watch this video on YouTube

DivX Media Server 101: Part 2

If you’re following our DivX Media Server 101 video series, you already know from Part 1 how to set up your media server for sharing files from your computer to devices like your TV, tablet and gaming consoles.
For Xbox 360 users, this one’s all for you. Part 2 of the video series below shows you how to stream DivX, AVI, MP4 and MKVs from a PC to a Xbox 360.

Watch other videos in this series:
Part 1: Setting up DivX Media Server
Watch this video on YouTube

Upgrade to the Next Version of DivX Plus Software

MADE IT MO BETTA’
To follow up on last November’s release of DivX Plus Software 9, we’ve been working hard to make our awesome software even better. Our latest version (9.1) delivers the same great video creation and playback capabilities you expect, along with some new features and a host of improvements. Here are the highlights:

  • Playback core: Start watching your videos faster with the new and more efficient DivX Player core
  • Adaptive streaming: DivX Web Player now supports DivX Plus Streaming™ so you can enjoy purchased movies and TV shows without buffering right in your browser
  • MKV streaming: Use DivX Media Server to stream those MKVs to your PS3 without CPU-intensive transcoding
  • New subtitles: Already supported in devices that are certified for DivX Plus HD. DivX Converter now supports the popular MKV subtitle formats SSA/ASS
  • Video rotation: Great for videos captured on your phone, DivX Converter lets you rotate videos from portrait to landscape or vice versa

Find a full list of features and fixes on our support page. And help us reach a major milestone of 1 billion downloads by upgrading to 9.1 now. Continue reading “Upgrade to the Next Version of DivX Plus Software”

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