Tuesday, January 20, 2009

DivX 7, Is It Really Worth It?

DivX, the codec which has revolutionised the world of video downloads finally released its much awaited latest version of the popular DivX Media Player 7, on the 6th of January, 2009.

Amidst all the hype surrounding the codec, a very valid argument is being pitched against DivX 7. Is DivX 7 really worth all the hype?

To analyse the question we need to travel back in time a few years when h264 and mkv were just born. They were awesome codecs in themselves (although many prefer to call mkv a container rather than a codec) supporting high definition videos with unparalleled compression capabilities. It immediately attracted the attention of audio and videophiles everywhere and soon became one of the most popular codecs in the arena.

DivX was losing the battle, the very basis of DivX (a patented codec), was being used against it! DivX was being beaten at its own game. Mkv and h264 went on to become the next most popular codec in almost no time and was breathing down heavily on DivX.

Lo and behold! DivX finally decided to acknowledge the presence of mkv and h264 and included it in its latest pack of codecs and released it as DivX 7.

Many may argue that DivX Player is hardly used by many these days. True, very true indeed. With the advent of super sleek and super light media players like the Mplayer and VLC Media Player (which support nearly all formats including mkv and h264), DivX Media Player indeed doesn't match up to the competition.

However, the importance of a new DivX version being released is not in the introduction of another media player. As soon as DivX 7 was released publicly, it was announced that DivX would be releasing a new system of certification called the DivX Plus Certification which would have a new chip set supporting DivX 7 encoded video files and guess what, play h264 and mkv!

Now unless you aren't completely out of touch with the video codecs scene, you can't possibly imagine the importance of that statement. Playing mkv on a DVD player or a Blu-Ray player would be a dream come true for any movie buff!

However not all is well and good with DivX 7. Some companies as well as Blu-Ray Disc manufacturers have already expressed their discontent over the use of this codec in DVD/Blu-Ray standalone players for fear of the breach of copyright. Now one can only hope things get sorted out soon and we get to buy a new DivX 7 supported DVD player from a store nearby!

Cheers to DivX 7!

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