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DivX

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This article is about the video codec. For the pay-per-view DVD system, see DIVX (Digital Video
Express). For the company behind the codec, see DivX, Inc..
DivX

Developed by DivX, Inc.


Latest release 6.8.3.9 / June 3, 2008; 59 days ago
OS Cross-platform
Genre Media player/Codec/Media format
License Proprietary
Website DivX.com

DivX is a brand name of products created by DivX, Inc. (formerly DivXNetworks, Inc.), including the
DivX Codec which has become popular due to its ability to compress lengthy video segments into small
sizes while maintaining relatively high visual quality. The DivX codec uses lossy MPEG-4 Part 2
compression, also known as MPEG-4 ASP, where quality is balanced against file size for utility. It is one of
several codecs commonly associated with "ripping", whereby audio and video multimedia are transferred to
a hard disk and transcoded. Many newer "DivX Certified" DVD players are able to play DivX encoded
movies, although the Qpel and global motion compensation features are often omitted to reduce processing
requirements. They are also excluded from the base DivX encoding profiles for compatibility reasons.

Contents

[hide]

• 1 History
o 1.1 Name
o 1.2 Early work
o 1.3 DivXNetworks
• 2 DivX formats
o 2.1 DivX Media Format (DMF)
o 2.2 DivX Subtitles (XSUB)
o 2.3 DivX metadata (XTAG)
• 3 Features
o 3.1 Web player
o 3.2 Gaming system compatibility
o 3.3 Profiles
• 4 Encoding applications
• 5 Competitors
• 6 Spyware in prior versions
• 7 See also
• 8 References

• 9 External links
[edit] History

[edit] Name

The "DivX" brand is distinct from "DIVX" (Digital Video Express), an unrelated attempt by the U.S.
retailer Circuit City to develop a DVD rental system requiring special discs and players[1]. The winking
emoticon in the early "DivX ;-)" codec name was a tongue-in-cheek reference to the failed DIVX system[2].
The DivX company then adopted the name of the popular DivX ;-) codec (which was not created by them),
dropped the smiley and released DivX 4.0, which was actually the first DivX version (that is, DivX ;-) and
DivX are two different things created by different people, the former is not an older version of the latter).
The DivX name is its trademark[3][4]. It is pronounced DIV-ex.

[edit] Early work

DivX ;-) 3.11 Alpha and later 3.xx versions refers to a hacked version of the Microsoft MPEG-4 Version 3
(MPEG-4v3, Microsoft internal numbering scheme, unrelated to MPEG-4 parts) video codec (which was
actually not MPEG-4 compliant), extracted around 1998 by French hacker Jérome Rota (also known as
Gej) in Montpellier. The Microsoft codec, which originally required that the compressed output be put in an
ASF file, was altered to allow other containers such as Audio Video Interleave (AVI). Rota hacked the
Microsoft codec because newer versions of the Windows Media Player wouldn't play his video portfolio
and résumé that were encoded with it. Instead of re-encoding his portfolio, Rota and German hacker Max
Morice decided to reverse engineer the codec, which "took about a week".[5]

From 1998 through 2002, independent enthusiasts within the DVD-ripping community created software
tools which dramatically enhanced the quality of video files that the DivX ;-) 3.11 Alpha and later 3.xx
versions could produce. One notable tool is Nandub, a modification of the open-source VirtualDub, which
features two-pass encoding (termed "Smart Bitrate Control" or SBC) as well as access to internal codec
features.

[edit] DivXNetworks

In early 2000, Jordan Greenhall recruited Rota to form a company (originally called DivXNetworks, Inc.,
renamed to DivX, Inc. in 2005) to create clean-room DivX and steward its development. This effort
resulted first in the release of the "OpenDivX" codec and source code on January 15, 2001. OpenDivX was
hosted as an open-source project on the Project Mayo web site hosted at projectmayo.com (the name comes
from "mayonnaise", because, according to Rota, DivX and mayonnaise are both "French and very hard to
make." [5]). The company's internal developers and some external developers worked jointly on OpenDivX
for the next several months, but the project eventually stagnated.

In early 2001, DivX employee "Sparky" wrote a new and improved version of the codec's encoding
algorithm known as "encore2". This code was included in the OpenDivX public source repository for a
brief time, but then was abruptly removed. The explanation from DivX at the time was that "the community
really wants a Winamp, not a Linux." It was at this point that the project forked. That summer, Rota left the
French Riviera and moved to San Diego "with nothing but a pack of cigarettes"[6] where he and Greenhall
founded what would eventually become DivX, Inc. [5]

DivX took the encore2 code and developed it into DivX 4.0, initially released in July 2001. Other
developers who had participated in OpenDivX took encore2 and started a new project—Xvid—that started
with the same encoding core. DivX, Inc. has since continued to develop the DivX codec, releasing DivX
5.0 in March 2002. By the release of version 5.2.1 on September 8, 2004, the DivX codec was substantially
feature-complete.[7] Changes since then have tended to focus on speed, and encouraging wider hardware
player support.
[edit] DivX formats

[edit] DivX Media Format (DMF)

DivX
Filename extension .divx
Type code DIVX
Developed by DivX
Type of format media container
Container for DivX encoded video and other media

The latest generation, DivX 6, was released on June 15, 2005 and expands the scope of DivX from
including just a codec and a player by adding a media container format. This optional new file format
introduced with DivX 6 is called "DivX Media Format" ("DMF") (with a .divx extension) that includes
support for the following DVD-Video and VOB container like features.

• DivX Media Format (DMF) features:


o Interactive video menus
o Multiple subtitles (XSUB)
o Multiple audio tracks
o Multiple video streams (for special features like bonus/extra content, just like on DVD-
Video movies)
o Chapter points
o Other metadata (XTAG)
o Multiple format
o Partial backwards compatibility with AVI

This new "DivX Media Format" also came with a "DivX Ultra Certified" profile, and all "Ultra" certified
players must support all "DivX Media Format" features. While video encoded with the DivX codec is an
MPEG-4 video stream, the DivX Media Format is analogous to media container formats such as Apple's
QuickTime. In much the same way that media formats such as DVD specify MPEG-2 video as a part of
their specification, the DivX Media Format specifies MPEG-4-compatible video as a part of its
specification. However, despite the use of the ".divx" extension, this format is an extension to the AVI file
format. The methods of including multiple audio and even subtitle tracks involve storing the data in RIFF
headers and other such AVI hacks which have been known for quite a while, such that even VirtualDubMod
supports them. DivX, Inc. did this on purpose to keep at least partial backwards compatibility with AVI, so
that players that do not support the new features available to the .divx container format (like interactive
menus, chapter points and XSUB subtitles) can at least play that primary video stream (usually the main
movie if the DMF file contains multiple video streams like special features like bonus materials). Of
course, the DivX codec and tools like Dr.DivX still support the traditional method of creating standard AVI
files.

[edit] DivX Subtitles (XSUB)

DivX, Inc. have since DivX 6 their own proprietary subtitle tracks that they call "XSUB" (which they also
trademarked as XSUB). These subtitles are not text-based like many other subtitles, instead they are bitmap
(digital image) based like vobsub subtitles for DVD-Video are. And like vobsubs for DVD-Video are
supposed to be, XSUB does not come in standalone files but are only embedded in .divx containers, which
can be created with Dr.DivX, (Dr.DivX can actually convert/encode XSUB from vobsubs inside DVD-
Video). A .divx container can contain multiple XSUB subtitles in several languages.

[edit] DivX metadata (XTAG)

DivX, Inc. have since DivX 6 used their own proprietary metadata tags, for information tagging, that they
call "XTAG" (which they also trademarked as XTAG). These tags are only supposed to be embedded into
.divx containers. Most other containers have their own metadata format and the players usually use them,
the most used tags on music files are probably ID3 (ID3v1/ID3v2) and APEv2.

[edit] Features

The current version of the DivX Community Codec for the Windows platform is version 6.8, and for Mac
OS X is 6.7, both available from the DivX website. The latest version of the DivX package for Windows
2000/XP (which contains DivX Player 6.6, DivX Community Codec 6.8, and DivX Web Player 1.4) is
version 6.8, released November, 2007. DivX Player 6.5 now fixes the problem of the player forcing Vista
out of Aero mode (although the Web Player still has this problem as of version 1.3.1). The latest version of
the DivX package for Mac OS X (which contains DivX Player 2.1, DivX Community Codec 6.6.0, DivX
Converter 1.2 and DivX Web Player 1.3.1) is version 6.7, released Dec 12, 2007. In addition, an unofficial
DivX for Linux codec update has also been released at version 6.1.1.[8]

The DivX codec and DivX Player are available for free at the DivX website. Paying customers can access
additional features of the DivX codec in the registered version, known as DivX Pro, and can also use DivX
Converter, a one-click encoding application as a revamp of Dr.DivX and associated encoding tools (such as
the Electrokompressiongraph, or EKG, which helped increase the viewability of highly compressed high-
motion scenes). The latest version of DivX Converter for Windows is 6.5, and the latest version of DivX
Converter for Mac is 1.2. Current versions however do access a domain name server.[citation needed]

[edit] Web player

Recently DivX has also released the DivX Web Player 1.0.1 (formerly known as the DivX Browser Plug-In
Beta) via the DivX Labs website, demonstrating 720p HD playback live inside major browsers for
Windows and Mac OS.[9] Dr DivX 2 OSS, an Open Source DivX transcoding application, is available from
SourceForge.[10]

[edit] Gaming system compatibility

On December 4, 2007, native MPEG-4 ASP playback support was added to the Xbox 360.[11] This means
video encoded with DivX and other MPEG-4 ASP codecs can be played back on Xbox 360.[12]

On December 17, 2007, the version 2.10 update for the Sony PlayStation 3 was released and included
official DivX Certification.

[edit] Profiles

DivX has defined many profiles, which are sets of MPEG-4 features as determined by DivX. Because the
grouping is different from what is specified in the MPEG-4 standard, there is a DivX-specific device
certification process for device manufacturers. [13] DivX's profiles differ from the standardized profiles of
the ISO/IEC MPEG-4 international standard.

Profiles
Handheld Portable Home Theater High Def
Version 5+ 3.11 4+ 3.11+ 4+
1280×720×30;
Max. 352×240×30, 720×480×30, 720×480×30,
(px×px×Hz) 176×144×15 6.5:
resolution 352×288×25 720×576×25 720×576×25
1920×1080×30
Macroblocks (kHz) 1.485 9.9 40.5 40.5 108
Max. average
(Mbit/s) 0.2 0.768 4 4 4
bitrate
Max. peak
(Mbit/s) 0.4 2 8 8 20
bitrate
Min. VBV
(KiB) 33 128 384 384 768
buffer size

[edit] Encoding applications

Dr.DivX is an application created by DivX, Inc. that is capable of transcoding many video formats to DivX
encoded video. The original closed source Dr.DivX terminated at version 1.06 for DivX 5.21, that was the
last version of DivX capable of running under Windows 9x/Me. Work on an open source version has
begun. Dr.DivX OSS offers greatly expanded features over the free DivX Converter application, that was
bundled with the codec from version 6 onwards.[14]

Other applications exist, such as AutoGK, VirtualDub, TMPGEnc and DVDx.

[edit] Competitors

The main competitors in the proprietary commercial video compression software market are Microsoft's
Windows Media Video series, Apple Inc.'s QuickTime, and the RealNetworks RealVideo series.

While DivX has long been renowned for its excellent video quality, its free and open source equivalent
Xvid today offers comparable quality, also based on MPEG-4 Part 2 (MPEG-4 ASP). In a series of
subjective quality tests at Doom9.org between 2003 and 2005, the DivX codec was beaten by Xvid every
year.[15] Similar tests were not undertaken for newer versions.

The open source library libavcodec can decode and encode MPEG-4 video that can be encoded and
decoded with DivX (and other MPEG-4 codecs, such as Xvid or libavcodec MPEG-4). Combined with
image postprocessing code from the MPlayer project, it has been packaged into a DirectShow filter called
ffdshow, which can be used for playback with most Windows video players. This library is highly
customizable and offers a great variety of features to advanced users.

Since the standardization of H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, also known as MPEG-4 Part 10, a new generation of
codecs has arisen, such as x264 and Nero AG's Nero Digital AVC codec. Despite being at a relatively early
stage of development, these codecs out-performed DivX in Doom9's 2005 quality test, thanks to the more
advanced features of MPEG-4 Part 10. Part 10's advanced features come at a cost: AVC decoding is two to
three times more CPU intensive compared to MPEG-4 ASP; lightweight algorithms used in faster modes of
DivX (or Xvid) codec allow one to achieve reasonable quality in a small fraction of time required to take
advantage of all features of AVC. So far, DivX Labs has released a new decoder based on the H.264
specification[16].

[edit] Spyware in prior versions

At one point, DivXNetworks offered for download an "ad supported" version of their DivX Professional
product free of charge to users who were willing to view advertisements. The ads were delivered by the
GAIN ad server software. While this attracted much criticism at the time, users had to manually select the
"ad supported" download rather than the for-pay professional version or the free version. Additionally,
users were informed during installation of the ad-supported version that the Gator software would be
installed on their PC and were presented with a license agreement to which they had to consent in order to
continue the installation. Regardless, the Gator software would still install parts of itself without the user
agreeing to this installation, and was difficult to remove after installation. This raised considerable
consternation amongst DivX users, causing many to turn to its free software rival, Xvid. The latter is freely
available without installing adware and has been demonstrated in independent comparisons to produce
better quality output (see section on competitors above).

Due to the generally hostile opinion towards spyware on the Internet, DivXNetworks announced on the
DivX web site that, from July 15, 2004, no further DivX software would incorporate any adware.[17] Free
versions of DivX Pro before 5.2 typically contained spyware. From 5.2 onwards, including version 6, no
spyware was included. When accessed in April 2007, the Professional version of DivX was only available
in the form of a paid release or a 15-day free trial with no adware included. The DivX Player remains
available in a long-term free license.

[edit] See also

• Comparison of container formats


• List of codecs
• Comparison of video codecs
• Container format (digital) definition and article
• FFmpeg (and ffdshow) - collection of software libraries that can record, convert and stream digital
audio and video in numerous formats.

[edit] References

1. ^ "The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time".


2. ^ "DivX support coming to PlayStation 3".
3. ^ "DivX Trademarks".
4. ^ "An Intellectual Property Case Study".
5. ^ a b c "Escaping the Napster trap". Retrieved on March 15, 2001.
6. ^ "DivX CEO on Video, YouTube, iPod". Retrieved on December 8, 2006.
7. ^ Answer
8. ^ DivX 6.1.1 codec for Linux developers (Tux: We still love you!) | DivX Labs - Everywhere
Communication Occurs Community Happens
9. ^ http://labs.divx.com/archives/000072.html
10. ^ DrDivX's blog | DivX Labs - Everywhere Communication Occurs Community Happens
11. ^ Xbox.com | Personalities - A Fistful of Features in the December 2007 System Update
12. ^ "Xbox 360 DivX/XviD Playback Tested (Verdict: It's Almost Perfect)". Gizmodo. Retrieved on
2007-12-19.
13. ^ "DivX Profiles from support forums".
14. ^ DivX Video Converter - Free Movie Converter Trial - Convert Video Files
15. ^ Codec comparisons
16. ^ Divx Project Remoulade
17. ^ [1][dead link]

[edit] External links

• DivX Labs Community DivX website, with betas and ongoing projects
• DivX Media Format The page where you can download the "DivX Media Format File SDK" (aka
.divx file format)
• DivX resources at the Open Directory Project
[hide]
v•d•e
Data compression software implementations

3ivx · DivX · Nero Digital ·


MPEG-4 ASP
FFmpeg MPEG-4 · HDX4 · Xvid

CoreAVC · Nero Digital AVC ·


H.264/MPEG-4 AVC
QuickTime H.264 · x264
Video codecs
(Comparison CorePNG · FFV1 · Huffyuv ·
) Lossless Lagarith · MSU Lossless ·
SheerVideo

Cinepak · Dirac · Indeo · VP3 ·


Others VP7 · Pixlet · RTVideo · Snow ·
Sorenson · Tarkin · Theora · WMV

ADPCM · ATRAC · Dolby


Digital · Dolby Digital
General
Plus · DTS · Musepack ·
TwinVQ · Vorbis · WMA

iLBC · AMBE · IMBE ·


Audio codecs Speech/Voice iSAC · QCELP · RTAudio ·
(Comparison Siren · Speex · Truespeech
)
Apple Lossless · Dolby
TrueHD · DTS-HD Master
Audio · FLAC · La ·
Lossless
Monkey's Audio ·
OptimFROG · TTA ·
WavPack · WMA Lossless

7-Zip · Ark · File Roller · Info-


Open Source ZIP · KGB Archiver · PeaZip ·
The Unarchiver

7zX · DGCA · Filzip · GCA ·


IZArc · StuffIt Expander ·
Freeware
TUGZip · Zipeg · ZipGenius ·
WinUHA
Archivers
(Comparison
) ALZip · Archive Utility ·
MacBinary · PowerArchiver ·
Proprietary
Squeez · StuffIt · WinAce ·
WinRAR · WinZip

ARC · ARJ · JAR · bzip2 ·


compress · gzip · Info-ZIP ·
Command line
LHA · lzop · PAQ · PKZIP ·
RAR · SBC · UPX · UHarc
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DivX"
Categories: Video codecs | Multimedia frameworks | Windows media players | Subtitle file formats