With DivX 7 comes the new DivX Plus HD profile, providing everything you need to watch true H.D. digital video files on your computer.
DivX Plus HD is a new DivX media solution for MKV files containing high-definition H.264 video and surround-sound AAC audio. It will be integrated across the DivX ecosystem to both our software and DivX Certified consumer electronics devices.
Free with the DivX 7 for Windows bundle, H.264 playback means an even better H.D. experience in DivX Player and other DirectShow-based media player software (for example, Windows Media Player & Real Player).
What are H.264, AAC, and MKV?
The H.264 video codec is the most new-and-improved industry standard for video compression. Also referred to as MPEG-4, part 10 or AVC, it improves upon earlier standards such MPEG-2 and MPEG-4, part 2 ASP (around which the original DivX codec was created). Many formats and platforms have already adopted it thanks to its super efficient compression of high definition video content.
AAC refers to a compression for multichannel audio streams often used in conjunction with H.264 video within the MKV file format. Requiring less bitrate and suffering fewer audible artifacts than MP3 audio compression, AAC audio provides crystal clear theatrical surround sound at a fraction of the resources.
H.264 video and AAC audio can be combined in the MKV container format for even greater quality and flexibility. Although it is conceptually similar to containers like AVI or MP4, MKV can hold limitless a mounts of tracks inside a single file and boasts an open design that is useful for greater feature specification.
Why is DivX including H.264 in DivX 7?
DivX was originally created to fill a gap in digital video technology. Its digital video file compression allowed users for the first time to easily create near DVD-quality video at a fraction of the file size. This meant more efficient and less costly storage, online transfer or playback.
With its certification of consumer electronics, DivX extended this usability from the computer to a multitude of devices, from DVD players to portable media players and mobile phones. This added openness and interoperability to the high-quality efficiency of DivX video.
As the industry changes and grows, DivX is building in its commitment and vision of high-quality digital video on any device, in any location. H.264 is not only the most efficient format for HD video, but it has already been accepted as the new H.D. standard and implemented for next-generation devices.
Implementing H.264 into DivX 7 means it is evolving along with the advent of new technologies. It also means DivX is again working to fill a gap that other implementations of H.264 have not yet offered.
What's different about H.264 in DivX?
Currently, H.264 video is available either under a proprietary system that prevents interoperability with other platforms, devices or technologies or in open and free but unlicensed software. The proprietary systems under which it has already been licensed are only available in a few electronic devices, and unlicensed software does not have the same potential to carry the technology into the consumer electronics market.
Instead of creating yet another proprietary offering of H.264, DivX is leveraging its already established technology and certification program to introduce openness and interoperability to High Definition H.264 video. With almost half of the world's DVD players supporting DivX playback, there is already a widespread acceptance of the DivX format across platforms.
To the consumer, DivX Plus HD's support of H.264 brings seamless transition between the digital video library and electronic devices as well as other media player software. The DivX Plus video profile in DivX 7 software also includes the DivX H.264 Decoder filter and the DivX MKV Demux filter*. These DirectShow filters extend playback support for MKV files with H.264 video streams to all DirectShow-based media players in addition to your DivX Player 7 for Windows.
* The DivX MKV Demux filter does not override any other MKV file splitters you have installed.
Is the original DivX codec still relevant?
Of course! Just because DivX is adding support of H.264 video to its repertoire doesn't mean that what you know and love as the DivX format will cease to exist or play an important role in the future of digital video compression.
Previous video standards will continue to co-exist, both in terms of compression technology and platform availability. Just as MPEG-2 is still the format of standard definition DVD files, DivX Certification of DVD Players will remain and grow in availability. And standard definition video remains much easier to distribute online than its H.D. counterpart, even with the efficiency of H.264 encoding.
You will still be able to use the DivX format anytime, anywhere, only now with even more options and enhanced functionality.
Will I be able to play my DivX Plus HD files in my DivX Certified device?
The DivX Plus HD profile will be supported in the next generation of DivX Certified devices as an extension to our original certification program. The consumer electronics devices supporting this profile will carry the DivX Plus HD label and will support DivX video files created with Home Theater, High Def and HD 1080p profiles as well as the new H.264-based MKV files created under the DivX Plus HD profile.