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!

 

DivX Media Server 101 Part 3: Stream to Sony PS3

If you’re following our DivX Media Server 101 video series, you already know from Part 1 how to set up your media server for sharing files from your computer to devices like your TV, tablet and gaming consoles.

This video is for Sony Playstation® 3 users who want to stream DivX, AVI, MP4 and MKV videos from a PC. Check out Part 3 in the series now:

Watch other videos in this series:

Part 1: Setting up DivX Media Server

Part 2: Stream to Xbox 360

Watch this video on YouTube

DivX Media Server 101: Part 2

If you’re following our DivX Media Server 101 video series, you already know from Part 1 how to set up your media server for sharing files from your computer to devices like your TV, tablet and gaming consoles.

For Xbox 360 users, this one’s all for you. Part 2 of the video series below shows you how to stream DivX, AVI, MP4 and MKVs from a PC to a Xbox 360.

Watch other videos in this series:

Part 1: Setting up DivX Media Server

Watch this video on YouTube

Stream to Your Biggest Home Screen with DivX Player

Want to stream video to the biggest screen in your home? Of course you do. And you can! Just download DivX Software and use its DivX Media Server, included free in DivX Player, with a DLNA compatible device.

Here’s how easy streaming gets with DivX:

(Watch this video on YouTube.)

Easy! Got questions about DLNA streaming with DivX Media Server? Check out our support forums.

Upgrade to the Next Version of DivX Plus Software

MADE IT MO BETTA’
To follow up on last November’s release of DivX Plus Software 9, we’ve been working hard to make our awesome software even better. Our latest version (9.1) delivers the same great video creation and playback capabilities you expect, along with some new features and a host of improvements. Here are the highlights:

  • Playback core: Start watching your videos faster with the new and more efficient DivX Player core
  • Adaptive streaming: DivX Web Player now supports DivX Plus Streaming™ so you can enjoy purchased movies and TV shows without buffering right in your browser
  • MKV streaming: Use DivX Media Server to stream those MKVs to your PS3 without CPU-intensive transcoding
  • New subtitles: Already supported in devices that are certified for DivX Plus HD. DivX Converter now supports the popular MKV subtitle formats SSA/ASS
  • Video rotation: Great for videos captured on your phone, DivX Converter lets you rotate videos from portrait to landscape or vice versa

Find a full list of features and fixes on our support page. And help us reach a major milestone of 1 billion downloads by upgrading to 9.1 now. More…

Why You Need DivX Now More Than Ever

Without it, you miss out on the freedom to play your favorite movies where you want

Not long ago, an article came out on Lifehacker called What’s the Difference Between All These Video Formats, and Which One Should I Use?

The article was a largely-useful breakdown of what the layman might need to know (and not know) about portable video formats. It talked about why video files need to be compressed and decompressed, gave a short history of codecs and containers, and pointed the reader toward a likely path to successful ripping and sharing of their favorite movies and TV shows.

But like most simplifications of complex things, it got some parts…well, wrong. And of course we noticed the errors that had to do with DivX.

Allow us to do a little DivX myth-busting!
More…

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…

DivX, Blender and Dragons….Hell Yes

is a proud sponsor of the Blender Foundation’s latest film, Sintel. We’re continually amazed at what a creative group of talented collaborators can accomplish. Building on the success of Elephant’s Dream and Big Buck Bunny, Sintel takes you on a journey with amazing landscapes, struggles for survival and, yes, dragons. The full video is available for streaming and download after the link. More…

A Recap of gdgt Live in Chicago

This was the 2nd stop on the gdgt live tour 2010. The tour kicked-off in Austin, TX during SXSW and this time we were headed to Chicago, IL. Hundreds of tech enthusiasts came out on a rainy night to check out the latest gadgets. DivX showed off some new devices that play DivX video, including the recently launched 1 TB Iomega Director multimedia hard drive and the LG Arena mobile phone. Attendees also had a chance to demo one of the first DivX Plus HD devices that play back MKV video (the Philips Blu-ray player BDP 5100).

We had a great time hanging out with all the DivX users that came by our booth to catch up on everything DivX. There are three more stops left on the gdgt live tour 2010. In July, we will be in Seattle, so if you are in the area, make sure to check back to get all the details.

Check out some photos and a video recap of the event after the break. More…