We'll admit it, we've got a soft spot for DivX. The much-used video codec started as a hack of Microsoft's proprietary MPEG-4 codec, and was born out of frustration with Microsoft's video-playback lameness. DivX quickly became an important ingredient of Internet video, but in an HD era, something with a little more power is needed. Oh look, here's DivX 7. Just the ticket.
Although the origins of DivX are as a codec, the future is likely to be very different, and revolves around device certification. For example, you might notice that virtually every DVD player on the market now supports DivX playback. Well, the DivX chaps want to do the same with Blu-ray players, but extend the support to HD material too.
DivX 7 has, at its heart, an H.264 video codec and AAC sound. That means video encoded in 1080p will happily play, and if you want to get into the business of making your own video, the encoder tools will allow you to turn your footage into something you'll be able to play on any DivX Plus HD device too.
Hopefully Blu-ray player manufacturers will include the DivX Plus HD certification in future players, which will enable them to play MKV-encoded video. That would allow you to take advantage of downloaded video on your Blu-ray player. It's about time we got some MKV lovin' in the Blu-ray house, and although it's sure to upset movie studios, we're pretty sure the geeks will rush out and buy any player that can pull off such a trick.
Interestingly, MKV support will enable us to play 720p video on our, the D-Link DSM-330. Although this has been possible for some time with a series of complicated hacks, it's not been something most people would bother with. Our main irritation when we reviewed it was about the lack of MKV support, so this makes the 330 an even better buy.