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The components of the DivX software package (player, codec and converter) have been completely redesigned visually, and even the version distributed free of charge comes with some unexpected tricks.

The DivX Player for Windows has a much cleaner interface. It also includes “DivX To Go”, a wizard-guided converter that prepares videos (and entire playlists if desired) for various DivX-compatible devices such as DVD/Blu-ray players, the Playstation 3 or mobile players with just a few clicks and copies them to a USB medium or disc. Once configured with DivX To Go, the player saves profiles so that only one click is needed for conversion in the future. As before, the player supports chapters as well as switching between audio and subtitle tracks. If the video does not contain chapter markers, the player automatically creates ten equidistant sections for faster navigation; DivX-certified end devices should do the same. Out of the box, DivX Plus Player now supports MP4 and MOV containers in addition to .divx, .avi, .wmv/.asf and .mkv files. Other formats can be upgraded via DirectShow splitters (containers) and filters (codecs) – for example to play AC3 and DTS sound.

DivX Web Player now also plays MKV files and supports multiple audio and subtitle tracks; when using AAC sound, 5.1 sound is now also possible. DivX is particularly proud of its efficient H.264 decoder, which in a demonstration used a dual-core CPU to only 30 percent capacity when playing a 1080p video, even without hardware acceleration. By comparison, Flash Player 10 used nearly 100 percent; the upcoming Flash Player 10.1 will use less CPU resources thanks to hardware acceleration. The H.264 decoder of DivX 7 already managed to play 720p videos almost smoothly even on netbooks with weak Intel GMA950 graphics.

Since the DivX Player already handles simple encoding tasks, the DivX Plus Converter is aimed at more experienced users. It is still available as a 15-day trial version; what is new, however, is that you can still produce videos in “DivX HD” (H.264 up to 1080p with AAC or AC3 audio tracks) after that. Only those who want to produce videos in the classic hardware profiles DivX Home Theater, DivX Mobile and DivX HD must purchase a DivX Pro license for just under 16 euros.

Via drop-down menus, resolution, target size, bit rates for video and audio (audio tracks are passed through unchanged if desired) can be adjusted in DivX Plus Converter and a “smooth fast forward and rewind track” can be created. The latter makes it easier to fast forward in DivX Player and on DivX devices. With one click you can combine several videos into one.

Finally, the DivX Plus Codec Pack includes the DivX codec itself, the H.264 decoder, AVI and MKV splitters for DirectShow and the Media Foundation introduced in Windows 7, and the AAC decoder. Under Windows XP and Vista, the H.264 decoder uses the DXVA acceleration (DirectX Video Acceleration) of the graphics card if desired and should thus also enable HD videos on newer netbooks.

DivX MKV Demux, previously available as a pre-release, integrates the MKV format into the Windows 7 Media Center, provides thumbnail previews and display of play time in Explorer, and enables streaming of MKV content to game consoles (Xbox 360 and PS3); however, it still only supports the first audio track of Matroska files. Those who purchase DivX Pro can use the DivX codec to create videos in third-party programs.DivX Plus is currently only available for Windows.


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