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DivX Media Format

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DivX Media Format

This article is about the video codec. For the company, see DivX, Inc.. For the videodisc format, see DIVX.

DivX is a brand name of products created by DivX, Inc. (formerly DivXNetworks, Inc., later purchased by Sonic Solutions and currently part of the Rovi Corporation formerly known as Macrovision), including the DivX Codec which became popular due to its ability to compress lengthy video segments into small sizes while maintaining relatively high visual quality.

There are two DivX codecs; the regular MPEG-4 Part 2 DivX codec and the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC DivX Plus HD codec. It is one of several codecs commonly associated with "ripping", whereby audio and video multimedia are transferred to a hard disk and transcoded.

Rovi Corporation has announced that the support for DivX 8.x for Windows, DivX 7.x for Mac, DivX Author and MPEG-2/DVD Plug-in ends on December 28, 2012, albeit its DivX 9 software remains in development (beta stage).[1]


The "DivX" brand is distinct from "DIVX", which is an obsolete video rental system developed by Circuit City Stores that used custom DVD-like discs and players.[2] The winking emoticon in the early "DivX ;-)" codec name was a tongue-in-cheek reference to the DIVX system. Although not created by them, the DivX company adopted the name of the popular DivX ;-) codec. The company dropped the smiley and released DivX 4.0, which was actually the first DivX version, trademarking the word, DivX.[3][4]

DivX ;-) (not DivX) 3.11 Alpha and later 3.xx versions refers to a hacked version of the Microsoft MPEG-4 Version 3 video codec (not to be confused with MPEG-4 Part 3) from Windows Media Tools 4 codecs.[5][6] The video codec, which was actually not MPEG-4 compliant, was extracted around 1998 by French hacker Jerome Rota (also known as Gej) at Montpellier. The Microsoft codec originally required that the compressed output be put in an ASF file. It was altered to allow other containers such as Audio Video Interleave (AVI).[7] Rota hacked the Microsoft codec because newer versions of the Windows Media Player would not play his video portfolio and résumé that were encoded with it. Instead of re-encoding his portfolio, Rota and German hacker Max Morice decided to reverse engineer the codec, which "took about a week".[8]

In early 2000, Jordan Greenhall recruited Rota to form a company (originally called DivXNetworks, Inc., renamed to DivX, Inc. in 2005) to develop an MPEG-4 codec, from scratch, that would still be backward-compatible with the Microsoft MPEG-4 Version 3 format. This effort resulted first in the release of the "OpenDivX" codec and source code on 15 January 2001. OpenDivX was hosted as an open-source project on the Project Mayo web site hosted at[9] (the name comes from "mayonnaise", because, according to Rota, DivX and mayonnaise are both "French and very hard to make."[8]). The company's internal developers and some external developers worked jointly on OpenDivX for the next several months, but the project eventually stagnated.

In early 2001, DivX employee "Sparky" wrote a new and improved version of the codec's encoding algorithm known as "encore2". This code was included in the OpenDivX public source repository for a brief time, but then was abruptly removed. The explanation from DivX at the time was that "the community really wants a Winamp, not a Linux." It was at this point that the project forked. That summer, Rota left the French Riviera and moved to San Diego "with nothing but a pack of cigarettes"[10] where he and Greenhall founded what would eventually become DivX, Inc.[8]

DivX took the encore2 code and developed it into DivX 4.0, initially released in July 2001. Other developers who had participated in OpenDivX took encore2 and started a new project—Xvid—that started with the same encoding core. DivX, Inc. has since continued to develop the DivX codec, releasing DivX 5.0 in March 2002. By the release of version 5.2.1 on 8 September 2004, the DivX codec was substantially feature-complete. Changes since then have tended to focus on speed, and encouraging wider hardware player support, while the company has also focused its time on the formats and next generation codecs.

As of February 2011, the DivX brand has been owned by Rovi Corporation, upon completion of its acquisition of Sonic Solutions.[11]

DivX formats

DivX Media Format (DMF)

DivX Media Format
Filename extension .divx
Type code DIVX
Developed by DivX, Inc.
Type of format media container
Container for MPEG-4 Part 2–compliant video
Extended from AVI

DivX 6 expanded the scope of DivX from including just a codec and a player by adding an optional media container format called "DivX Media Format" ("DMF")[12] (with a .divx extension) that includes support for the following DVD-Video and VOB container like features. This media container format is used for the MPEG-4 Part 2 codec.

  • DivX Media Format (DMF) features:
    • Interactive video menus
    • Multiple subtitles (XSUB)
    • Multiple audio tracks
    • Multiple video streams (for special features like bonus/extra content, just like on DVD-Video movies)
    • Chapter points
    • Other metadata (XTAG)
    • Multiple format
    • Partial backwards compatibility with AVI

This new "DivX Media Format" also came with a "DivX Ultra Certified" profile, and all "Ultra" certified players must support all "DivX Media Format" features. While video encoded with the DivX codec is an MPEG-4 video stream, the DivX Media Format is analogous to media container formats such as Apple's QuickTime. In much the same way that media formats such as DVD specify MPEG-2 video as a part of their specification, the DivX Media Format specifies MPEG-4-compatible video as a part of its specification. However, despite the use of the ".divx" extension, this format is an extension to the AVI file format. The methods of including multiple audio and even subtitle tracks involve storing the data in RIFF headers and other such AVI hacks which have been known for quite a while, such that even VirtualDubMod supports them. DivX, Inc. did this on purpose to keep at least partial backwards compatibility with AVI, so that players that do not support the new features available to the .divx container format (like interactive menus, chapter points and XSUB subtitles) can at least play that primary video stream (usually the main movie if the DMF file contains multiple video streams like special features like bonus materials). Of course, the DivX codec and tools like Dr. DivX still support the traditional method of creating standard AVI files.

DivX Plus HD

Main article: DivX Plus HD

DivX Plus HD is a marketing name for a file type using the standard Matroska media container format (.mkv), rather than the proprietary DivX Media Format. DivX Plus HD files contain an H.264 video bitstream, AAC surround sound audio, and a number of XML-based attachments defining chapters, subtitles and meta data.[13] This media container format is used for the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC codec.

DivX profiles

DivX has defined profiles which are subsets of MPEG-4/AVI and H.264/Matroska standards. Because the grouping is a specific subset of what is in the standards, there are certification processes for each of the profiles that device manufacturers must follow. Hence all DivX certified devices bearing a DivX logo will adhere to one of the profiles outlined in the table below as would any tools that support the DivX profiles.[14][15]

Handheld Portable Mobile Theater Home Theater HD 720p HD 1080p +HD 1080p
DivX Codec (MPEG-4 Part 2) 5,6 5,6 5,6 3,4,5,6 5,6 3,4,5,6 n/a
DivX H.264 Codec (MPEG-4 Part 10) n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 1.x
File Extension(s) .avi, .divx .avi, .divx .avi, .divx .avi, .divx .avi, .divx .avi, .divx .mkv
Max. resolution (px×px×Hz) 176×144×15 352×240×30


640×480×30 720×480×30


1280×720×30 3/4:

720×480×30, 720×576×25


1920×1080×30, 1280×720×60



Max VBV bitrate (bit/s) 600000 4854000 4854000 9708400 20000000 VCL: 20000000,

NAL: 24000000

Min. VBV buffer size (KiB) 32 138 384 384 768 2097 VCL: 3200, NAL: 3840
Macroblocks (per second) 1485 9900 40500 40500 108000 3/4: 40500

5/6: 244800

Subtitles optional optional optional 8×XSUB[16] 8×XSUB 8×XSUB,XSUB+ 8×SRT,[17] SSA[18]
Audio 1×MP3 1×MP3 8×MP3,MP2,AC3 8×MP3,MP2,AC3 8×MP3,MP2,AC3 8×MP3,AC3,AAC

DivX Video on Demand

DivX Video on Demand (DivX VOD) is DivX's version of digital rights management (DRM), which allows content copyright holders to control distribution. DivX, Inc. has received format approval from major Hollywood studios including Sony, Paramount and Lionsgate, which has allowed content retailers to sell protected videos that will play on current and previous generations of DivX certified devices.[19]

DivX software

DivX Plus for Windows

DivX Plus for Windows is a suite of software for Microsoft Windows that contains the DivX Codec, a standalone media player, a video converter and media player Plug-in for web browsers.[20] It was released on 16 March 2010.[21]

DivX Plus for Windows is a successor of DivX suite of software. The latest version of this suite, DivX 7, was released 6 January 2009, which added H.264 video, AAC audio and Matroska container support.[22]

DivX Plus Player

DivX Plus Player
Developer(s) DivX, Inc.
Stable release 10.0.0 / September 5, 2013[23]
Operating system Microsoft Windows
Type Media player
License Freeware

DivX Plus Player (version 8) is a standalone media player.[24] This player is a successor to DivX Player (versions 6 and 7) and Playa (version 5), made by the Project Mayo team that later became DivX, Inc.

DivX Plus Player also features DivX to Go as an additional panel on the right side of the interface with four buttons targeting consumer electronic devices. When a user drags a video file onto one of the icons, a transfer wizard is invoked, which walks the user through the steps needed to convert and transfer a video file that's compatible with their DivX Certified device, via USB or optical disc.

DivX Plus Player also features a media library as well as a set of Digital Rights Management features that help authorize purchased commercial content for the consumer's computer and his DivX Certified devices.[24]

Supported formats

DivX Plus Player supports the following media formats:[24]

File formats Video compression algorithms Audio compression algorithms
Native support
Advanced Systems Format[25] .wmv, .asf H.264 Advanced Audio Coding
Audio Video Interleave .avi MPEG-4 ASP MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3
DivX Format .divx Windows Media Video[25] Windows Media Audio[25]
Matroska .mkv Vorbis
MPEG-4 Part 14 .mp4
QuickTime Format .mov
SubRip .srt
SubStation Alpha .ssa, .ass
SAMI[25] .sami, .smi
MicroDVD[25] .sub
SubViewer[25] .sub
Extended support
MPEG-1[25] .mpg, .mpe, .mpeg, .m1v MPEG-1 Video MPEG-1 Audio Layer I[25]
MPEG-2[25] .vob, .ts, .m2v MPEG-2 Video MPEG-1 Audio Layer II[25]
RMVB .rmvb RealVideo RealAudio
M2TS[25] .m2ts, .mts Dolby Digital(AC-3)
  Has native support in DivX Plus
  Requires external components installed

NOTE: Table is not accurate
The format support table is incorrect, as is the master reference on The following entries are affected:[25]

  • Advanced Systems Format is not natively supported. It is natively supported by Microsoft Windows, and therefore no additional software is required. On other platforms, additional installs are required
  • Windows Media Video. Same comment as ASF
  • Windows Media Audio. Same comment as ASF
  • SAMI subtitle files are supported natively
  • MicroDVD subtitle files are supported natively
  • SubViewer subtitle files are supported natively
  • The MPEG-1 Audio Layer I and Layer II are natively supported, as is most of MPEG-2 Audio.
  • MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 file format parsing is natively supported, including transport streams. Only MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 Video Decoding require additional software.
  • Native support for MPEG-4 draft "h.265 (HEVC) Video" has been released as a community beta add-on through, and full support is imminent in the upcoming DivX 10.0 release.

DivX Plus Converter

DivX Plus Converter
DivX, Inc.
Stable release 10.0.0 / 5 September 2013; 9 months ago (2013-09-05)
Operating system Microsoft Windows
Type Video converter
License Converter: Freeware
Converter Pro: Proprietary commercial software

The DivX Plus Converter (version 8) introduced a dramatically changed interface from its predecessor. The former had a small round interface that allowed for little more than selecting the type of output and displayed the number of videos in the queue. The DivX Plus Converter interface contains a large window that exposes each video that has been added in a row with drop-down options for quality, size, audio, subtitles and more. Another notable change is while both the previous and DivX Plus versions have 15-day trials, the DivX Plus Converter still allows users to create DivX Plus HD files for free after the trial is complete.[26]

DivX Plus Converter can convert AVI files (.avi), MP4 files (.mp4), QuickTime Video files (.mov), Windows Media Video files (.wmv), AVCHD video files (.mts and .m2ts) and RMVB files (.rmvb) to DivX Plus HD format (.mkv files). When a DivX Pro license is purchased, it can also convert video files to DivX Media Format (.divx files). In addition with the purchase of an "MPEG-2/DVD Plug-in", the input support range of DivX Plus Converter will be extended to support MPEG video, MPEG-2 video, DVD Video and Video CD.[26]

DivX Plus Codec Pack

The DivX Plus Codec Pack is an upgrade to the former DivX Community Codec, which enables system-wide playback of MPEG-4 ASP and H.264 video (DivX Plus files). This pack includes a free H.264 decoder with optional DXVA hardware acceleration that can be activated in the control panel.[27]

DivX Plus Web Player

DivX Plus Web Player
Developer(s) DivX, Inc.
Stable release 3.0 / 5 September 2013; 9 months ago (2013-09-05)
Operating system Microsoft Windows / Mac OS X
Type Media player
License Freeware

DivX Plus Web Player (formerly known as DivX Web Player and DivX Browser Plug-In) is a web browser plug-in for playing embedded video on web pages. Web Player supports playing DivX (.divx), AVI (.avi), Matroska (.mkv), MP4 (.mp4) and QuickTime (.mov) video formats on Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Safari.[28][29] It also supports multiple audio tracks and muxed UTF-8 subtitles and is able to save video files locally upon completing of full-length buffer.[30]

On September 2, 2010, a public beta of the Web Player, called DivX HiQ, introduced the following features in the DivX Plus Web Player for Windows:[31]

  • Support for replacing the playing embedded web video with DivX HiQ instead of the Adobe Flash Player on video portals like YouTube and DailyMotion[32]
  • Support for H.264 video in MP4 or QuickTime Video files
  • A plug-in that parses HTML5 for the web browser, thus enabling it to play .divx, .avi, .mkv, .mp4 or .mov video embedded in this manner with DivX Web Player
  • Hardware accelerated video decoding of H.264 bitstreams

On February 10, 2011, The DivX HiQ Beta experiment is over, and will be uninstalled from any computer system in the latest release of the DivX Plus Web Player.[33]

On December 15, 2011, DivX released the new DivX Web Player 2.2. New release information for this version is unknown, and not yet published.

DivX 7 for Mac

DivX Player for Mac

DivX Player for Mac
Developer(s) DivX, Inc.
Stable release 9.1.2 (Build / 10 June 2013; 12 months ago (2013-06-10)
Operating system Mac OS X
Type Media player
License Freeware

DivX Player for Mac, first introduced with DivX 6.5 on the 25 May 2006, is a standalone player that plays DivX encoded files and DivX Media Format features such as subtitles, multiple audio tracks, and DivX VOD content. The DivX Player for Mac also can play DivX Plus HD compatible files — namely .mkv files encoded with H.264 video and AAC audio. Unlike the DivX 7 and DivX Plus (version 8) Windows counterparts, DivX Player for Mac does not include a burn engine or a utility for moving videos to USB. Starting with DivX 7.3, it can now play MP4 and MOV files, and now has HTML5 support. The player has since been updated to 9.1.2.

  • Bundled playback of MPEG-4 ASP video with MP3 audio (.divx/.avi) and DivX Plus files (Matroska with H.264 video and AAC audio)
  • Mouse gestures to control video
  • Media manager via a video library window
  • Play any QuickTime supported file
  • Play video as desktop background
  • Manage certified DivX devices to enable playback of purchased/protected content
  • Playback of purchased/protected video content

DivX Converter for Mac

DivX Converter for Mac has remained virtually unchanged since DivX 6 for Mac, which is most apparent in its small and round interface and lack of ability to generate DivX Plus HD files.

DivX Plus Web Player for Mac

As of DivX Plus Web Player version 2.0.2, DivX Plus Web Player for Mac has feature parity with the DivX Plus Web Player for Windows.

DivX Author

DivX Author is a licensed version of Pegasys TMPGEnc DVD Author 3 with DivX Authoring without the DVD output capability. DVD Author 3 is already superseded by TMPGEnc Authoring Works 4 and Pegasys has ceased development since 2008. Even though it's obsolete, DivX is still selling it on their web site.

Community applications

Dr. DivX OSS

Main article: Dr. DivX

Dr. DivX is an application created by DivX, Inc. that is capable of transcoding many video formats to DivX encoded video. The original closed source Dr. DivX terminated at version 1.06 for DivX 5.21, that was the last version of DivX capable of running under Windows 9x/Me. An open source version has been made, which supports DivX 6. Dr. DivX offers greatly expanded features over the free DivX Converter application, that was bundled with the codec from version 6 onwards.[34] Dr. Divx is not compatible with DivX Plus HD.

DivX H.264 encoder

DivX has released a command line interface (CLI) for the divx264 encoder used in the DivX Plus Converter as beta, free for non-commercial use.[35]

DivX AAC encoder

To complement the CLI divx264 encoder released on DivX Labs, DivX has also released a DivX AAC encoder CLI as a Windows beta binary.[35]

DivX MKV Mux

The DivXMKVMux is a free Windows CLI available through DivX Labs with documentation on the DivX Developer Portal; DivX describes the release as a reference mux to demonstrate DivX Plus MKV extensions like World Fonts and Smooth FF/RW.[36]

Hardware support

DivX, Inc. markets a certification program to consumer electronics and IC manufacturers for the purpose of guaranteed compatibility and playback of video files that fall within DivX profiles. Devices that have been DivX certified usually brandish one of the following marks:[37]

  • DivX Certified
  • DivX Certified for HD 720p and 1080p
  • DivX Certified for DivX Plus HD
  • DivX Connected
  • DivX Certified for DivX Ultra

DivX certified devices have included DVD players, car stereos, mobile phones, televisions, Blu-ray players, and even alarm clocks.[38]

Aside from verifying proper decoding of files conforming to the DivX profiles the certification also confirms the device can play back DivX Video on Demand content, which includes Hollywood content that can be purchased from Internet retailers.[39]

Gaming system compatibility

On 4 December 2007, native MPEG-4 ASP playback support was added to the Xbox 360,[40] allowing it to play video encoded with DivX and other MPEG-4 ASP codecs.[41]

On 17 December 2007, firmware upgrade 2.10 was released for the Sony PlayStation 3, which included official DivX Certification. Firmware version 2.50 (released on 15 October 2008) included support for the DivX Video on Demand (DivX VOD) service, and firmware version 2.60 (released on 20 January 2009) included official DivX Certification and updated Profile support to version 3.11.[42]

With introduction of DivX to Go in the DivX Plus Player for Windows, a PlayStation 3 icon is readily available on the interface, which will invoke a transfer wizard for freely converting and copying video files via USB or optical disc.[43] The output from DivX to Go's PlayStation 3 preset is also playable on the Xbox 360.


The main competitors of DivX Inc. in the proprietary commercial software market are Microsoft corporation, Google Inc. and Apple Inc. Microsoft develops Windows Media Video codec (an implementation of VC-1 used on Blu-ray Discs) as well as Windows Media Player, a video player and Microsoft Expression Encoder, a video converter. Google Inc. develops WebM, a royalty-free video file format chiefly used for online video. Apple Inc. also develops QuickTime, a suite of software that can encode, decode and play digital video (including H.264–compliant video).

Additionally, all software products that create (encode) MPEG-4–compatible digital video also compete with DivX. One of these products that can produce MPEG-4–compliant digital video is Xvid, a free and open source codec that offers comparable quality. Both DivX Codec and Xvid are compliant with MPEG-4 Part 2 (MPEG-4 ASP); however, the most commonly used DivX encoding profile (Home Theater)[44] does not employ the same MPEG-4 ASP features enabled in the most commonly used Xvid encoding profile (home).[45] In a series of subjective quality tests at between 2003 and 2005, the DivX encoder was beaten by the Xvid encoder every year.[46] Similar tests were not undertaken for newer versions.

Another notable codec is libavcodec, a free software library that can create and play digital video formats that comply with MPEG-4 Part 2 and MPEG-4 Part 10. This library is also used by ffdshow, which can be used for playback with most Windows video players and video converters.


External links

  • DivX Labs Community DivX website, with betas and ongoing projects
  • DMOZ
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