Chromecast and Blu-rays and Dolby… Oh My!

Today we released DivX 10.3, the latest update to DivX Software that includes three major new features to help you do even more with your audio and video.

Chromecast – your most requested feature – is here

You’ve been asking for it. We’ve been telling you it’s coming (thanks for being patient!). Finally, DivX Media Server is Google Cast Ready so you can enjoy streaming videos from your PC or Mac on to the largest screen in your home using Chromecast.

Chromecast streaming from DivX Media Server means that you can enjoy local videos on your TV. Your DivX, MKV and other videos* stored on your computer can stream up to 1080p. To access this feature, open your video in DivX Player and select the “Cast To” option; choose your Chromecast from the list of devices to begin streaming.

Divx Player Cast To

You can also access this feature from DivX Player’s Library view. From the list of videos, right-click on the title you want to cast and select “Stream To” then choose your Chromecast device.

DivX Player Library Cast To
This will open your Chrome browser where you will see a DivX window with the name of your file. The Chrome browser and the Google Cast extension for Chrome are required. Want to know more? Check out our step-by-step guide.

*If FFMPEG is installed on your computer, additional formats like HEVC may be transcoded when streaming.

 

Dolby AudioTM—a new edition of DivX Software

A new edition of DivX Software—Dolby AudioTM Edition, to be exact—brings official support for playing back Dolby Digital Plus audio tracks in DivX Player and Web Player.

If you’re tired of installing sketchy filters from sites you don’t know if you can trust, or if you’re a Mac user who’s been bemoaning the retirement of Perian for your surround sound audio, this build’s for you. We’ve seen so many of you each month looking for a solution to play DivX, MKV and other video files with AC-3 audio tracks, so we knew we had to do something about it.

DivX Player Dolby Audio Edition

This edition of DivX Software has been certified by Dolby® for playing Dolby Digital Plus audio in your favorite digital video formats. It’s a paid version of our software for both Windows and Mac that unlocks native support for the immersive surround sound capabilities of Dolby Audio. You can learn more or buy it on DivX.com.

It comes as a separate download, so check your order confirmation email for the details to install it.

 

Video Pack—say good-bye to Blu-rays

We’ve combined our previous MPEG-2/DVD Plug-in for DivX Converter with the addition of VC-1 support for a new Video Pack.

DivX Converter already lets backup Blu-rays made with the AVC codec for free. Now, VC-1 files can be converted in DivX Converter to any of the high-quality presets, like DivX, DivX Plus (h.264/mkv) or DivX HEVC (h.265/mkv).

Video Pack for DivX Converter

Video Pack comes as a 15-day free trial in the free download of DivX Software, so you can try before you buy. After the trial is over you can buy the Video Pack to get both DVD and Blu-ray backup in DivX Converter; just enter your serial number in the free installation to unlock it.

Tip: If you purchased the MPEG-2 Plug-in for previous versions of DivX Software, you can upgrade to Video Pack for 50% off using your MPEG-2 serial number.

 

If you haven’t already, go download the latest version of DivX Software and enjoy the new features!

 

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!