This year, almost every major consumer electronics manufacturer is offering a multi-format DVD player capable of handling video encoded in many advanced compression formats. And these players cost less than you might think ? around US $70 for the basic models.

Dude? Nice Betamax!

Joshua Covington | DivXNetworks, Inc.

Dude… Nice Betamax!
by Joshua Covington, DivXNetworks, Inc.

This year, almost every major consumer electronics manufacturer is offering a multi-format DVD player capable of handling video encoded in many advanced compression formats. And these players cost less than you might think - around US $70 for the basic models.

www.divxnetworks.com


Remember Reel to Reel projectors? Remember VHS? Remember Laser Disk players? How about MPEG-2 only DVD players?

Every few years another video storage format slips into the annals of consumer electronic history. And yes, your DVD player is next. But before you pummel me with a lethal barrage of shiny little $30 plastic Frisbees, let me explain. Your DVD collection is safe (for now); it's the player that is due for an upgrade. A new generation of DVD players offering DivX video playback is here, and they're making the previous generation of MPEG-2 only DVD players look… just so last generation.

This new generation of DVD players will still play all your DVDs, but by supporting new compression formats made popular on home computers, they'll also do much more. Serving as a nexus between all your digital media entertainment, new DVD players will connect PC to TV and home office to living room. These devices will play everything from MP3s to burned digital video CDs or downloaded DivX® videos, and effectively bridge the convergence gap between the various devices and video formats in the connected multimedia home.

These new DVD players are not a figment of corporate demo-room dreams or trade show floors. This year, almost every major consumer electronics manufacturer is offering a multi-format DVD player capable of handling video encoded in many advanced compression formats. And these players cost less than you might think - around US $70 for the basic models.

Advanced video codecs (compression/decompression algorithms) like the DivX® video codec are complex chunks of code that intelligently squeeze digital video files down to sizes small enough to be transferred over IP networks and stored conveniently on computer hard drives. The DivX video codec can compress a standard DVD over 10 times (and a VHS over 100 times) while maintaining perfect DVD-quality playback. A full-length feature film in standard DVD (MPEG-2) format takes up approximately 4.7 gigabytes of space. That same film, encoded into DivX video, will weigh in at just less than 700 megabytes making it compact enough to fit on a standard CD-R. DivX® Certified DVD players can even play high definition movies with such crisp playback quality that the human eye barely notices a difference between the original video and the compressed DivX version.

If all this sounds familiar, well, it should. A few years ago the exact same transition happened with music. Shortly after a little compression format called MP3 gained popularity as the digital standard for music files, the electronics industry responded by offering CD players that could handle not only standard CDs, but also data CDs containing MP3 audio. Suddenly music on the home computer was freed and could be enjoyed in surround sound, five-speaker fury on your personal stereo.

That media revolution has quickly expanded to include video. A recent report concluded that over 1.9 billion video files exist on personal computer hard drives today. With DivX Certified DVD players those videos can be transported to your home theater and enjoyed from the comfort of your living room sofa. Yet DVD players are just the beginning of the video convergence revolution. More and more DivX Certified devices like digital video cameras and hand held video players are hitting the shelves every month, offering users new and exciting ways to enjoy their digital video collections and further entrenching DivX video as the next big thing in cross-platform multimedia.

DivXNetworks creates and distributes the popular DivX® video technology and offers a full range of video solutions for the software, hardware, and gaming markets, including the DivX Certified™ Program, a rigorous hardware certification testing program that ensures a high-quality user experience on all DivX video hardware devices.


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