Posts Tagged ‘DivX’

How DivX delivered DRM into the living room and finally won Hollywood's blessing

I’ve written before about DivX being the video format of choice for ‘grey’ (read: pirated) content, but now it seems that the near ubiquitous standard is finally on the road to legitimacy with relation to content owners.

Download-to-own movie site Film Fresh (U.S.-only), in partnership with DivX, has secured content from Hollywood studios Lionsgate, Paramount Pictures, Sony and Warner Bros. The deal marks the first time that major studio content has been offered for sale in the DivX format in the U.S., according to Film Fresh.

But what made this possible?

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DivX 7 adds support for Blu-ray rips

DivX looks set to continue to be the video format of choice for ‘grey’ content, with the company announcing that version 7 adds support for H.264 video and, more significantly, the Matroska (MKV) container.

Anybody familiar with Blu-ray rips found on BitTorrent sites or other filesharing networks will instantly recognize the MKV file format in combination with the H.264 codec as a popular way to deliver High Definition video on a PC. And now that DivX is throwing its weight behind the Matroska container, MKV support should increasingly find its way on a range of non-PC devices, such as Blu-ray players, HD televisions and set-top boxes.

See also: Samsung Blu-ray players to support YouTube and Blu-ray rips!

Look out for the “DivX Plus HD certified” badge and you should be good to go, says the company.

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The history and future of DivX

Davis Freeberg over at Zatz Not Funny provides some great analysis on the history and future strategy of DivX. On the company’s historical success, Freeberg notes the importance of creating an eco-system around the DivX codec, both in terms of becoming the preferred format for “grey” content on P2P networks, but also the way in which the company reached out to consumer electronics manufacturers — DVD players, media streamers, PMPs, and more recently Sony’s PS3 — through its DivX certification program. The result is that DivX has become the consumer facing brand for MPEG4, despite rival offerings from Apple and Microsoft, for example.

I still prefer DivX files because I know that I’ll be able to play them on the hardware devices that I own”, writes Freeberg. “By creating an eco-system that supports portability, DivX has been able to lock me into their format in the same way that Apple has been able to use iTunes to keep their customers buying iPods instead of MP3 players.”

However, the advent of H.264, and other more efficient codecs, means that DivX faces a new round of competition.

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