About Jim Styn

Jim Styn works on marketing at DivX. He can usually be found working hard at his desk, giving gum away to fellow employees, or quoting ‘The Big Lebowski’.

Deep, Dark (DivX-related) Secret

Actually, not that juicy

I have a secret to share. Most of my co-workers don’t know this about me, but sometimes you just have to be able to face the man in the mirror. Okay – here goes … I, an employee of DivX for over 10 years, wasn’t using our software to its full potential. To be more specific, until recently I had never tried using the DivX Media Server to watch video on my TV from my computer.

DivX Media Server
It’s surprisingly easy to cast from your computer to your TV

So maybe that’s not the type of truth bomb that’s going to make it onto Wikileaks, but it still feels shameful. Co-workers in the kitchen would talk about casting to the TV through the DivX Media Server and I would nervously laugh and nod along, all the while having no idea what they were talking about.  When they asked me how I used the media server, I’d pretend my phone was ringing and rush out of the room while attending to “an important call.”

I think I came across more like an I-hear-imaginary-sounds person than a very-important-and-busy person.

Oh the shame.

I had, however, been using the DivX Mobile app. I had been casting video from my phone to the TV for the family to enjoy. Mostly videos and photos I had taken – rather than full shows or movies – and it was fun to watch family hijinks on the big screen instead of huddled around a phone or passing it around for each person to see.  Later, when setting up a video for my son to watch on my computer, he wanted to watch it on the TV.

DivX Mobile App

I could sense the stares of disapproval from my co-workers as I stopped dead in my tracks. Wait, I can cast video from my computer to the TV! I simply turned on “Sharing” in the DivX Player, found my device (in this case a Samsung TV), and the video showed up on the TV. Magic!

To my son, I was a technical genius. To my co-workers, I was no longer inept. It’s not much, but I’ll take it. (Want to join me on the esteemed level of “no longer inept”? Here’s a blog post on the topic and a Support article.)

And now, when I’m in the kitchen with co-workers, I don’t have to pretend my phone is ringing … except when the topic shifts to codec algorithms.


Algorithms are hard.

Make More Compelling Videos With Subtitles

In the age of scrolling by videos in a Facebook feed or on a website, adding words to video can add a huge benefit. Whether it’s just adding in some details (location, date, etc.) or the inner monologue of your cat (“I can haz you stop filming me”), putting captions or subtitles on your videos can make them more interesting and engaging. Let’s talk about how to go about doing this…

For example, a 34-second video of my fierce worm-eating bearded dragon. Filmed on my iPhone and created with DivX Converter.

NOTE: All the files used to make the video above (original video from my phone, SRT file and converted files are linked at the bottom.)

DivX Player and DivX Certified devices support video subtitles in a variety of formats. Some subtitles are embedded within the video file, but some are in external, companion files. One of the easiest ways to create subtitles for your own videos is to use the external SRT file format. It’s just a simple text file that you can edit using Windows Notepad or TextEdit on Mac*. For example, if you have a video called “myEpicVideo.mkv”, then you can create a text file called “myEpicVideo.srt” with subtitles in it. Just give your SRT file the same name as your video file and create some subtitles like these:

1
00:00:00,000 --> 00:00:02,000
An Epic Monster Movie

2
00:00:02,500 --> 00:00:04,500
By A Brilliant Filmmaker

Each subtitle is given a number. Typically you’d start at 1 and count up but the numbers aren’t really important. Following the number are the time codes that indicate when the player should display the text. The time is written as hh:mm:ss,millisecond format. Following the timecodes is the text you want to display (e.g. “An Epic Monster Movie”). Finally there is a blank line before the next subtitle.

If you make your subtitle file wrong, DivX Player will display an error message that says “unsupported subtitle format”. Go back and correct your SRT file and try again.

Turning on subtitles
Don’t forget to turn on subtitles in DivX Player.

In this example, the words “An Epic Monster Movie” appear as soon as the video starts to play since the code above starts at 00:00:00,000. The words will be on screen for two seconds before vanishing as it ends at 00:00:02,000. Then there’s a 500 millisecond gap before the next subtitle appears at 00:00:02,500. The humble words “By A Brilliant Filmmaker” are also displayed for two seconds and then vanish.

As noted before, subtitles don’t have to just be for transcribing dialogue. You can use SRT files to add a title and credits to your film, for example. You might throw in subtitles to make a joke or add to a story. The SRT format is a quick way to put text over your video. What you do with it is up to you.

Speaking of “up to you”, here’s another example:

1
00:00:00,000 --> 00:00:04,000
<b>An Epic Movie</b>
By: <i>A Brilliant Filmmaker</i>

2
00:00:04,500 --> 00:00:06,500
(epic but only 30 seconds long)

3
00:00:27,000 --> 00:00:30,000
THE END

The gap between displaying subtitles can be as short or as long as you’d like. In this example, we display a film title, then a half second pause (500 milliseconds), followed by the next line of copy. After that there’s a long delay before “THE END” appears.

As you can see, subtitles might be multiple lines long. Our first subtitle here is two lines of text. You can typically include up to four lines but the player will start chopping off lines if you have too many or if your subtitle font is too large. You can also include some simple formatting like bold or italic using the common HTML codes — but don’t expect any fancy HTML formatting. Bold and italic are basically it and not every player will support even those simple codes.

Displaying your videos with subtitles is easy with DivX Player but not all players will properly display subtitles. That’s why DivX Converter has a “burn in” option for subtitles. Take your video and your SRT file to DivX Converter and create a new version. Select the “burn subtitles into video” option. DivX Converter will create a new video with the subtitles permanently encoded into the video. This removes the ability to change the appearance using the options in DivX Player and removes the ability to turn off the subtitles — however, it does ensure that the text is always visible when your share your video. Sometimes that’s exactly what you want like when you’re about to upload to YouTube or Facebook.
Burn in feature in DivX Converter

Here are some other tips to keep in mind.

    - The index number doesn’t matter to DivX Player. You could number every subtitle as 0 but you should probably give each a unique, sequential number to make things easier.
    - The order of the subtitles doesn’t matter to DivX Player. The player will sort them according to the timecodes but you should probably put them in order so you don’t go insane.
    - The size and color of the subtitles are options within DivX Player’s settings. You can change all the text to more readable color and size by adjusting the preferences.
    - The Player settings don’t affect Converter. When you choose to “burn subtitles into video”, DivX Converter will always burn in subtitles using the default color and size.
    - The filenames don’t have to be the same. Your subtitle file can have any name and you can use the “Open Subtitle File” option to choose your subtitles. This can help if you have multiple subtitle files perhaps in multiple languages.
    - Automatic subtitles is an option. Within DivX Player preferences, you can turn off the “Automatically use corresponding subtitle files” option if you want to always open the subtitle file separately.

For reference, below are a list of all the elements used to create a short video:

  • IMG_0477_Kwanna.MOV (Original file shot on iPhone 6.)
  • IMG_0477_Kwanna.srt (SRT file created in TextEdit.)
  • IMG_0477_Kwanna.mkv (File created with DivX Converter with .srt file and .mov file muxed together. This file needs subtitles turned on to view in DivX Player.)
  • IMG_0477_Kwanna_burned-in.mkv (File created with DivX Converter and “Burn subtitles into video” turned on within Converter. This file will show subtitles wherever it’s played and can’t be turned off.)

Also, here’s a great Support article (with screenshots) on adding subtitle tracks to a file in DivX Converter.

* NOTE: If using TextEdit for Mac, make sure to go to Format>Make Plain Text and then Edit>Substitutions and turn off “Smart Quotes” and “Smart Dashes” to make sure the file is in UTF-8 and will work properly as an SRT file.

Two Simple Ways to Cast Video to Your TV

I’m no psychic, so don’t be freaked out, but I’m guessing you have videos saved on your computer. And even more videos – maybe a million or so – on your phone. Was I right? You probably also have a TV that is a larger and more comfortable screen to watch your videos. You also like bacon and gummy bears and sometimes lay awake at night wondering why they haven’t made a remake of “Demolition Man” yet. Okay, maybe I’m a little psychic.

Demolition Man
What’s not to love? It’s got Stallone and Snipes cryogenically frozen … and even Dan Cortese (from MTV Sports fame in the ’90′s) as a ‘Taco Bell Entertainer’. Need I say more?

So, you have all these videos on small screens – let us help you enjoy them on your big screen! There are two easy (and FREE) ways to do this with DivX tools.


1. CAST WITH DIVX MEDIA SERVER IN DIVX PLAYER

Get comfortable on your couch and watch your videos (not just DivX files) from your computer to your TV. Cast to a connected TV, Roku, Chromecast, PS3, Xbox and more. Available on Windows and Mac

How?
1. Make sure DivX Media Server has sharing turned on. To do this:
Open DivX Player, rollover the DivX Media Server icon in the bottom right of the control bar and select “Settings”. You can also access the settings using Player> Tools> Stream Videos…
Stream
   Streaming icon on DivX Player for Mac

Make sure “Sharing” is turned to ON. Note that your TV or device must be on the same network as your computer.
DivX Media Server
   Sharing on DivX Player for Windows

2. From the DivX Media Server icon in the bottom right (again), select “Stream To” to select a video and choose your cast device. If a video is currently playing in DivX Player when you select “Stream To”, that video that will be casted. (You can also right-click on a video in your library and select “Stream To”.)

3. Your video should start playing on your TV!

If you run into any challenges, please check out our Support site for more help with DivX Media Server. Note that instead of casting, you can also change your input on the TV or device to find DivX Media Server and pull videos directly from your computer. Your TV or device should be a DLNA Client in this case.

What devices work with DivX Media Server?
Lots of devices! Many smart TVs (LG, Samsung, etc.) as well as most media streamers (Roku, Chromecast, etc.) plus game consoles (Xbox, PlayStation).
Free Software
DivX Media Server comes with free DivX Software.


2. CAST WITH DIVX MOBILE APP

Connect to your TV and cast your videos (taken by your phone or saved to your phone) onto your TV. DivX Mobile works with Android or iPhone

How?
1, Download the free DivX Mobile app for Android or iPhone.

2. Open your shiny, new app and choose a video from “My Videos” (or a photo from “My Photos”)
DivX Mobile
   Yes, I know, I have a lot of photos. My food doesn’t take pictures of itself.

3. Once you’ve picked a video, choose “Cast” and pick a device that’s on your network
Cast
   We’ve cleverly named the casting button, “Cast”.

4. Your video should start playing on your TV!

What devices work with the DivX Mobile app?
The app works with Android or iPhone, but you can cast to many different devices including smart TVs (LG, Samsung, etc.), media streamers (Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, Fire TV, etc.) and game consoles (Xbox, PlayStation).

Download DivX Mobile for FREE today:
apple_app_store google_play_store

Now go out there, sit your butt on your coach and cast some videos!

DivX 10.7: Head in the Clouds, Eyes on the Screen

DivX 10.7 is now live! (Feel free to stop reading to go download the free update.) So why is this news? Well, there are several new features that we’re excited about. First off, if you use a Roku box, you can now easily stream video to Roku through DivX Media Server (in DivX Player). But the feature we’re most excited about is Cloud Connect.

Free Update

Cloud Connect enables DivX Software to sync videos from Google Drive and Dropbox. This means you can easily import videos from cloud storage to watch in DivX Player, or convert them into any profile with DivX Converter. You can even save converted videos directly to cloud storage to save space on your computer.

cloud_connectCloud Connect

When you download free DivX Software, you get a 15-day trial of Cloud Connect. If you like it, you can purchase Cloud Connect separately, or as part of the DivX Pro Bundle. (Keep in mind that when you buy DivX Pro, you save 50% compared to buying each pro feature separately.) If you already own DivX Pro, you’re in luck … Cloud Connect is included when you update to DivX 10.7. Learn more about DivX Pro.

Buy-Pro Buy-CC

See what else is new in the latest version of DivX Software … then download it and start making the most of your media.

Should I Download DivX Mobile? (Yes, and here’s why…)

If you haven’t downloaded DivX Mobile, you should really go ahead and do so now. It’s free, it’s available for iPhone and Android, it’s got some great features and it’s free. Did I mention that it’s free? (And if you’ve already got the app on your phone – thank you!)

So why should you trust me and rush off to download DivX Mobile? Great question – and thanks for the convenient prompt.

First off, what is this app? In the simplest terms, DivX Mobile lets you cast video (in up to 4K resolution) to your TV and play video (including DivX files) on your phone.

Let’s look at that more closely…

VIDEO CASTING
What this means: You can cast video from your phone directly to supported smart TVs OR you can use a variety of media devices such as Roku, Apple TV, Xbox, Chromecast, etc. to watch your videos. The app can even handle casting 4K video.

Why this is cool: This means that you can watch video from your phone on your TV regardless of brand or device types. Now you can cast from an Android phone to an Apple TV, or to your connected Samsung TV from your iPhone.

For example: No need to huddle around your phone – share the great (and not-so-great) videos and photos you’ve captured on your phone with your family and friends on the big screen.

Cast

VIDEO PLAYBACK
What this means: Enjoy popular video files, including DivX video, on your phone. Some files may require DivX Mobile Pro ($3.99 USD) to enable Dolby and DTS audio or to play MPEG-4 AVI files.

Why this is cool: You can now enjoy videos on your phone that your native video player can’t play. Just get the videos from your computer, DivX Media Server, Dropbox or Google Drive, and it’s like having DivX Player in your pocket. If you have a video that won’t play, you can also use DivX Converter (in free DivX Software) to convert your video so it will play in the DivX Mobile player. (See the FAQ for the full list of what files are supported.)

For example: You have movies/shows you’ve saved on your computer that won’t currently play on your phone. Download your files to your phone and take them to go.

watch

There are more features to talk about (e.g. easily upload and download media to/from Dropbox and Google Drive, use the free DivX Media Server to browse videos on your computer and download or stream them to your phone), but we’ll save that for another day.

Just a reminder, DivX Mobile is free (I know I already said that several times) and available in the  iTunes App Store or from the Google Play store

Learn more about DivX Mobile

=========================

Take 40 seconds to see what the DivX Mobile app is all about…

DivX Mobile lets you cast video (in up to 4K resolution) to your TV and play video (including DivX files) on your phone. 

Download it for FREE today:
apple_app_store google_play_store

DivX Announces First DivX Certified® Contact Lens

New advanced contact lens plays DivX Plus® HD video with only minor discomfort to eyes

SAN DIEGO, April 01, 2012 – DivX today announced to a roomful of confused press the world’s first DivX Plus® Certified contact lens for easy and mostly painless video on the go. The new lens plays high-quality DivX® (.avi and .divx) and DivX Plus (.mkv) video on a flexible screen fitted to the user’s eyes. More…

Variety (and Organization) is the Spice of Life

I’ll admit it — I love watching TV. Nothing beats sitting on the couch with my feet up enjoying a new episode of 30 Rock. However, and don’t tell my TV, but I also love watching shows online. There are some amazing, innovative, wild, hilarious and sometimes disturbing shows that I can only find online. This is why I love DivX TV. I get the comforts of my TV plus limitless online content. More…

DivX and FIFA Fever

There’s a fever spreading in the DivX offices and it’s infecting more and more of us each day. Fortunately, it’s World Cup fever and much of the globe has it too. Our demo room has turned into World Cup central, showing the games in the morning and lunchtime—for those of us in the San Diego, CA headquarters—and it’s been getting crazy. More…