No, Not That DivX

The four letters D, I, V, and X will trigger memories of horror for most DVD and home theater fans. The ill-fated pay-per-view DVD format from Circuit City died an ugly death a couple of years back. However, the acronym has been reborn as DivX, a video compression technology from DivXNetworks that is seeing the kind of popularity its former namesake only dreamt of.

Last week, DivX 5.0, the format's latest incarnation, reportedly reached the milestone of 1.5 million downloads less than 48 hours after release to the public on the company's Website. DivXNetworks says the 5.0 version is optimized for "seamless distribution and playback of true DVD-quality video" over broadband networks and is capable of data compression ratios that exceed "virtually any technology available today."

DivXNetworks adds that the new product line also includes DivX Pro 5.0, the first version of its video technology built specifically for video professionals that, the company says, can achieve equivalent video quality at file sizes up to 41% smaller than previous versions of the technology, at over twice the encoding speed of competing technologies.

The company's stated goal is the rapid proliferation of video content over Internet Protocol (IP) networks, using its DivX MPEG-4–based codec. According to DivXNetworks, the adoption rates for DivX 5.0 surpass the publicly announced download rates for the first week of competing video product releases, including QuickTime 5 and Windows Media 7.

DivXNetworks' Jordan Greenhall, clearly excited by the public support for DivX 5.0, says, "In just two days, we've achieved adoption numbers that surpass any of our competitors' in an equivalent period, and we've done it without multi-million-dollar marketing campaigns or promotional clips that force people to download our technology. Millions of people all over the world are seeking out DivX because it offers unparalleled quality and performance, and the global DivX phenomenon continues to grow at a brisk pace."