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Old 17th November 2008, 18:18   #1  |  Link
Neillithan
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 124
DivX 7 With H.264 Support, worth the exitement?

For the record, I will be using the terms "H.264" and "AVC" interchangeably. When you read either of those words, assume that I'm referring to the same thing no matter how politically incorrect I am. I honestly don't care how poorly I misuse them.

This is more of a thoughts and musings type post that I hope will spawn some discussion, so I'll start by saying that I'm not a pro or a genius at video encoding and terminology.

DivX 7 is getting ready to come out and I did a bit of research on it, it seems like they're embracing H.264. I expect they'll trademark "DivX HD" or something and try to push the new DivX HD format. We'll begin to see DivX HD Certified players arrive on the market.

My question, is it really worth the excitement? From what I can gather, they are going to be using the .mkv (matroska) container, which IMO is a great thing. However, this poses a problem with existing videos already using the .mkv container.

Currently, HD movies and videos using the .mkv container usually have no restrictions when it comes to video and audio compression settings. To my knowledge, .mkv files come in 2 flavors of AVC: High@L4.1 and High@L5.1. L4.1 is playable on all blu ray players assuming you change the container to something that plays nices with Blu Ray players. L5.1 is a gamble. Depending on the compression settings used, the video will either play or not play. Will DivX be able to play "all" existing .mkv files?

For DivX to be standardizing the .mkv container seems like quite an undertaking, or is it a massive mistake? Are they just introducing more complications?

It may be too soon to tell what compression settings "exactly" DivX 7 supports, but I'm not getting my hopes up. We've seen Quicktime boast H.264 playback only to support a very limited range of AVC potential.

Real Bloat player (I believe) is jumping ship to H.264, but who knows what proprietary methods they're employing to get their grubby little hands in our wallets.

Now DivX has an opportunity to revolutionize HD video, but will they? Will they further diversify videos or will they be the driving force .mkv needs?

It's not like there is going to be an XviD HD offspring of DivX HD. I don't think they want to open source their code this time around. Funny thing though, considering H.264 is already open source, how do they seriously expect to compete? By embracing H.264, it seems more like admitting defeat.

Maybe you guys know something I don't. Please enlighten me.

Thanks,
-Neil
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