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PS3 Gets DivX Support, Coming Soon to Xbox 360 117

Mpegged writes "The popular DivX video codec will soon be supported on the PlayStation 3 via a future firmware update. DivX CEO Kevin Hell also hinted that support is coming to the 360 as well. 'During the SMid Cap conference call with investment firm JP Morgan, Hell was asked if the recent deal that will see DivX codecs shipped with new versions of Microsoft's standalone Media Center Extenders means that such support will also be arriving on the Xbox 360. "Yes!" was his immediate reply, although he quickly qualified that confirmation with a disclaimer that the deal was still in the negotiation process and had not yet been finalized.'"
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PS3 Gets DivX Support, Coming Soon to Xbox 360

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  • by PhrostyMcByte ( 589271 ) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @11:49AM (#21336597) Homepage
    Everyone I know uses an XviD or h.264 codec these days. I haven't seen a new DivX video for a couple years.
    • Xvid support (Score:3, Informative)

      by ProfBooty ( 172603 )
      The article indicates support for XviD, or at the very least being able to detect XviD files in the PS3 2.0 firmware.
    • True, but lots of people, myself included, have large digital video libraries that we don't want to spend time and effort on transcoding. Digital video can stick around, usefully, in older formats - unlike, say, VHS, Beta or Laserdisc. This is a welcome announcement.
    • I have a few older movies from my library in DivX, though most now are XviD. I definitely do not want to go through all 100+ of them and transcode to H.264 though. Besides, most DVD players play DivX and XviD just fine, so why move to 264?
    • by Wordsmith ( 183749 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @12:04PM (#21336867) Homepage
      Divx support means the ability to decode those Xvid files (at least in theory). Mpeg-4 Part II, of which both codecs are implementations, is set up so that implementations can vary in their encodes (like, say, two different MP3 encoders would do), decoding should work identically.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        No. The two encoders have some mutually incompatible features. Some xvid encodes will work with the divx decoder, while the ones that actually use xvid's good features (like multiple b-frames) simply won't. (unless divx has changed radically in the last year or so)
        • by Shrubbman ( 3807 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @01:13PM (#21337985)
          That's simply an issue with Divx's decoder not fully supporting the spec, similar to how certain h.264 encoded videos with some of the more advanced features enabled can't be played back on the ipod. The only reason not to support the full spec in software would be hardware limitations, which shouldn't be an issue for either the PS3 or 360.
          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            That's not the only reason. According to TFA, this is being done by the divx team: what incentive do they have for providing support for features their codec does not use? Features that, as a matter of fact, puts show product in a bad light. I guess we'll see when the thing is released, but I'm not holding my breath. Well, I don't even own a PS3 so why should I...
    • by m50d ( 797211 )
      As others have said, XviD==DixX. And it's still useful for older hardware, though generally inferior to h.264.
    • According to the online user's guide [playstation.net], PS3 already supports h264.
  • I thought DivX was dead...and XviD is IMHO dying to H.264
    Anyway there should also be support for the Matroska container so I can play the DRM free versions of my HD movies.
    • by damaki ( 997243 ) *
      DivX dying? I guess you did not see all these certified players. And you probably do not know that some DivX certifications include h264 too.
    • I think wishing for Matroska will be about like wishing for Ogg Vorbis support on DVD players a few years ago. Corporations are always the last to accept a free and popular format - look how long it took to accept mp3's! Regardless, I think this is a decent step forward.
      • by Amouth ( 879122 )
        i am still wanting a decent Music player that supports FLAC..
        • by karnal ( 22275 )
          Look up Cowon's audio players. Got myself a D2 (flash based, 4gb or 8gb now with a usable SDHC slot to boot!)
        • get a last gen ipod and use rockbox, i previously used cowon players but i broke it and the ipod represented better value for money and i was using rockbox on the cowon so it was an easy move!
    • I second the appeal for Matroska support.
  • Huh? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Silverlancer ( 786390 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @11:56AM (#21336713)
    Both the PS3 and Xbox 360 already support H.264; why in the world would anyone use DivX when a better option is available?
    • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Funny)

      by king-manic ( 409855 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @11:58AM (#21336739)

      Both the PS3 and Xbox 360 already support H.264; why in the world would anyone use DivX when a better option is available?

      Because they're too lazy to convert 500 gigs of porn.
      • It's funny, but you make a good point. Pornography has definitely played a part in the history of media format wars and is credited in part for the win of VHS over Beta. Sony wouldn't allow porn on betamax. More recently, Sony initially refused to allow porn on the Blu-ray format, but I think they have quietly relented on that. So it is not too far fetched to say that DivX support may have something to do with porn. At the very least, the legacy DivX libraries other posters have mentioned may play some role
        • I don't think there was ever a ban of blu-ray porn, just no one wanted to make it as filming porn in HD was expensive, and face it, you don't want 1080p man-butt on your 40 inch screen. Toss in how the internet killed the porn video industry, and it just wasn't a high priority for the pron companies.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by king-manic ( 409855 )

          It's funny, but you make a good point. Pornography has definitely played a part in the history of media format wars and is credited in part for the win of VHS over Beta. Sony wouldn't allow porn on betamax. More recently, Sony initially refused to allow porn on the Blu-ray format, but I think they have quietly relented on that. So it is not too far fetched to say that DivX support may have something to do with porn. At the very least, the legacy DivX libraries other posters have mentioned may play some role in the decision of support. But, of course, a lot of those libraries probably contain a fair amount of, *ahem*, adult material. It certainly won't hurt PS3 sales!

          In the end though, my guess is that adding DivX support is not a huge technological problem, and given the fierce battle Sony and Microsoft are engaged in, each wants as many bullet points as possible. In the end, competition is good for the consumer!

          Actually both your stories are myths. Beta did in fact have porn on it in every time span VHS did. The myth that it didn't may have been common and motivated people to buy VHS but Beta did indeed have porn. The myth itself is what likely had influence.

          HD DVD vs Blu-ray is even less influence due to the wide scale spread of porn on the internet but also because it's untrue. The CEO of Digital Playgrounds (a Porn studio) complained Sony wasn't giving him enough support and claimed Sony didn't want porn on bl

          • by rworne ( 538610 )
            Yup. Back in the late 80's The Wherehouse had a sizeable Beta section for rent that rivalled the VHS section, along with a porn section divided into VHS and Beta.
        • by nuzak ( 959558 )
          > Sony wouldn't allow porn on betamax.

          [[citation needed]]

          > More recently, Sony initially refused to allow porn on the Blu-ray format

          Urban legend. They won't press porn discs in their facilities. Neither will Disney. There's already plenty of blu-ray porn out there (me, I think a certain level of definition is just too much).
          • by hurfy ( 735314 )
            "They won't press porn discs in their facilities. Neither will Disney. There's already plenty of blu-ray porn out there (me, I think a certain level of definition is just too much)."


            Maybe that is why someone is building* a blu-ray factory here. The volume estimates seemed kinda low to me but this could explain a lot ;)

            *building really meaning remodeling an old hotel and putting a press on one floor until they get enough juice hooked up for more.
          • I did a little more digging and came up with this

            http://www.informationweek.com/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=197004081 [informationweek.com]

            which would imply that while Sony didn't seem to want porn on Beta, they did not actually forbid it. Indeed their blunder was that Beta was initially designed for a 1 hour format, which is fine for TV shows, but people were recording and watching a lot of movies, many pornographic. Sony was slow to come out with a longer format, so VHS won the day. They just guessed wrong on how people were g
    • They use them because most people don't want to re-rip and re-encode their library of movies AGAIN. They'll probably use the new codec for new things, but for everything already done, they're not going to spend the time to re-do them for questionable benefit (the source material is only up to a certain quality anyways).
    • by DrXym ( 126579 )
      I think you are right for new content. There is no earthly reason whatsoever for encoding content to ASP if your devices support H264 (AVC). The quality of AVC is better, the compression is better and AVC is the chosen format for portable devices going forward.

      ASP is still good for existing legacy content though. Transcoding ASP to AVC yields pretty awful quality vids so anything that allows you to watch them without conversion is a good thing.

      The PS3 is already an awesome multimedia device and it just

    • by siDDis ( 961791 )
      Because the Matroska container isn't supported! Which means you cannot have h.264 video + ac3/dts audio.
      • The MPEG-2 Transport Stream can contain H.264 video with AAC, AC3, or DTS audio. It is actually the format used by Blu-ray Discs. The BD file and folder structure can by placed on a DVD which is referred to an AVCHD. The PS3 needs the filesystem to be UDF 2.50 or higher though.
      • by dosius ( 230542 )
        I've got a ton of AVIs with ac3 audio. (Mostly in divx or xvid format.)

        • by iainl ( 136759 )
          .avi containers will hold ac3, yes - the problem is that .m4v containers won't. And that's what the 360 is looking to find an H.264 video stream in.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      h264 comes in many flavors. The PS3 cannot (won't) play anything above level 4.1, although there are rumors of 4.2. Either way, it's not good enough seeing just about every "x264" recording is set to 5.1, which should really be used for ultra-mega-wega HD.

      The other issue is the container. The PS3 will not play mkv, and mp4 doesn't like ac3 5.1 sound. Currently you can split the streams apart, try to fudge the video level down to 4.1 and remux to vob format, with an extension the PS3 will accept, say .mpg. H
      • What we really need is VLC to be on the PS3

        The PS3 can run Linux, so it already has VLC builds available.

        • by timster ( 32400 )
          Except that Linux support on the PS3 is lousy and useless. Just like it was on the PS2 -- that was so bad that everyone forgot it existed and got excited all over again about Linux on the PS3.

          I suppose this cycle will start all over again with the PS4.
          • Except that Linux support on the PS3 is lousy and useless. Just like it was on the PS2 -- that was so bad that everyone forgot it existed

            Smile when you say that, pardner. :-) Linux on the PS2 wasn't useless and it's not forgotten:

            [CronoCloud@midgar CronoCloud]$ cat /proc/cpuinfo
            cpu MIPS
            cpu model R5900 V3.1
            system type EE PS2
            BogoMIPS 392.39
            byteorder little endian

            [CronoCloud@midgar CronoCloud]$ cat /etc/redhat-release
            PS2 Linux release 1.0

            Heck PS3 Linux users have it easy, since it's a PPC Linux they ha

      • A better extension when playing the hit-or-miss game is .m2ts. But you are right, the fact that most of the .mkv files I find are H.264 5.1 is a pain.

        I just saw a post on another forum saying that .m2ts files played from the XMB will now output 5.1 audio with the 2.00 firmware upgrade. I'll have to check that this evening.
      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        What we really need is VLC to be on the PS3, and cut out all the crap. xbox360 owners seem to have their own limited support issues, but they're having great success with HD WMV, which sony won't touch.

        Too late. A variation of WMV-HD (WMV9) is already in every Blu-Ray player out there as part of the spec. You may know it by its alternative name, VC1. (Blu-Ray and HD-DVD all support the same codecs - MPEG2, H.264 (aka AVC), and VC-1.).

        Of course, most recent Blu-Ray releases use AVC while a number of HD-DVDs

      • by fyonn ( 115426 )
        What we really need is VLC to be on the PS3

        never mind VLC, what we need is something equivalent to XBMC on the ps3. hell, if sony made something that good as a PSN download, I'd pay for it.

        come on sony, do what your customers want for a change!

      • x264 is normally set to 5.1 because everyone uses --partitions all, and p4x4 partitions require Level 5.1. Of course, the PS3 isn't as restrictive as it should be; you can make it play simply by modifying the header to say "4.1".
    • Because the consumer electronics industry seems to be settling on DivX-on-DVD as the poor-man's HD format. If you walk into any electronics store, you'll find around half the DVD players are "DivX certified".

      In that context, it's as silly to talk about refusing to support it in the face of superior codecs as it is to talk about MPEG2 in the same way.

    • Well, my story. Everything I get from Bittorrent (tv shows) is in DivX. I'd like to watch them on my TV. Right now there is some kind of live transcoder but I'd really rather not have to deal with that.
      • Transcoder360, the program that does on the fly conversion of assorted file formats to something the 360MC can play, works well enough for me. Though I would prefer native DivX and XviD support because processes like Transcoder360 just add those two extra steps that make it that much more unusable for anyone in the household but me to get a movie or TV show going. I want devices that everyone can use, not ones that are reliant on me doing the button pushes.
    • Both the PS3 and Xbox 360 already support H.264; why in the world would anyone use DivX when a better option is available?
      http://thepiratebay.org/top/201 [thepiratebay.org]
  • PS3 Media Center (Score:2, Interesting)

    by king-manic ( 409855 )
    I've read a few dozen times people chiming in saying the PS3 isn't a good media center because it didn't support DivX, I suppose this is a move to address that.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by DrXym ( 126579 )
      DivX certainly represents the last significant piece in the puzzle. The PS3 already supports MPEG-2, MP4 pt 2 SP, AVC, jpeg, png, MP3, WMA, AAC, ATRAC and has streaming support via UPnP and DNLA. Next year it's getting PVR functionality in some regions and possibly downloadable content from PSN.

      I think it's shaping up to be the ultimate multimedia center. The 360 is also making efforts to improve it's multimedia support, but you'd probably have to get the 120Gb to make any decent use of it.

  • by CaseM ( 746707 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @12:07PM (#21336905)
    it's about f*****' time!

    I hate transcoding with a passion - the best media centers out there (TVersity, Orb) still seem somewhat buggy and just stop working sometimes. They're great, but if I have to remote admin to my media server to stop and restart the service to watch a TV show, then I'm less inclined to want to bother with it. At their best, transcoders (for obvious reasons) lower the quality of the video to get it over to your console/system of choice.
  • Why the moaning? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by coldgunner ( 890254 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @12:08PM (#21336927)
    Can't understand the complaints as to why we didn't get xvid etc, I mean, they didn't have to add divx and its better than having none at all
    • by m50d ( 797211 )
      It's not a lot better than nothing, really. I move from having to transcode all my media to....still having to transcode all my media (yes, it takes up a bit less space, but that's less of a factor than the convenience). Which suggests it's just a PR move rather than an attempt at something actually useful.
  • Too little.... (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by Seakip18 ( 1106315 )
    Too late. I just got mythTv setup and running and I like it a helluva a lot better than the Xbox360 and the Windows MCE I had on a virtual machine with transcoder. I'm now looking at a tuner card to get OTA shows. They are some big problems such as dealing with overscans and the resolutions. But I'm a lot more optimistic about OOS overcoming this than Microsoft eventually implementing a fully-functional media frontend with the xbox360.

    One more benefit is that my MediaCenter is actually quieter than the Xbox
    • The PS3 is a bit quieter than the 360. If you don't hit the cpu / keep it somewhere cool it will spin the fans right down (which is nice), but neither of the boxes are really as quiet as you might want.
    • by entmike ( 469980 )
      Too late, why? Because you, the minority, run MythTV and MCE in a Virtual Machine instance? Bravo! You are not the target audience!
      • I try not to go for the troll, but whateves.

        It's short sighted thinking like that kinda discourages looking for a better solution. MythTV offered a simpler/better way to show my ripped Dvds for example (BTW, it is running on a machine by itself, no virtual instance). Xbox360, with it's purported extender, was supposed to fill in this void, using a media center edition to do it all. What I got instead was the choice of encoding in WMV9 or transcoding it with a quality hit.

        I'm not saying the Xbox or PS3 is at
    • Good luck with playing PS3 games and BluRay films then.

      Seriously, I have a MythTV setup and it's good but to compare it to the PS3 is pointless. MythTV is exactly what Sony et al would prefer you didn't use, so clearly it will do lots of things you want it to. The kicker is that it also won't necessarily do what they don't want you to do (listings, anything DRM, proper PVR etc...) A PS3 will support 'endorsed media' as well as increasing varieties (soon to include DivX I read somewhere) of other media
  • My XBMC plays all of the above and more. It's a staple in my living room and even passes the wife acceptance factor. Everything is served from a Debian server using the XBMC streaming protocol.

    I can't wait until the linux port is complete and I can start doing HD stuff.
    • I agree with you. I have an XBMC and my XBOX is on 24/7. Best way to spend $150 and an afternoon, hands down. My G/F loves it and can use it without me home(!).

      For all you people that have tons of video and don't want to watch it on the computer, XBMC is the way to go.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DJProtoss ( 589443 )
      True, although the linux port is probably a ways off yet [ especially what I really would like, which would be a linux port running on the PS3. Yes, I'm somewhat sick like that ] Big problem with XMBC is ( as alluded to above ) it can't cope with HD, and (worse) it can only cope with h264 to a somewhat limited extent.
    • by CJ145 ( 1110297 )
      I also love xbmc and can't wait for the linux port to be finalized. If you have not used xbmc you are really missing out on a great media player. The ui is great and easy to use as well as easy to modify. Also it will be able to play the very popular mkv container.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by AbRASiON ( 589899 ) *
      I can't believe there's not more posts about this, XBMC is probably the best media server option for low definition there is.
      Simple and easy to use, looks good, works well, is now reliable and packed full of features.

  • In light of this and given that I'm not prepared to cough up money for a PS3 or an XBox360, does anyone have any recommendations for a DVD player which will play DivX and XviD?

    Most important requirement is the handling of multiple films on one DVD. Apart from that, I'm keen to go with a recognised brand name rather than an obscure Chinese one.

    The Philips DVP642 was an oft recommended one but has now been discontinued. Recently I've been hearing good things about the Pioneer DV-696AV-K.

    Any thoughts?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by someguy456 ( 607900 )
      I love my Philips DVP 5960.

      The killer feature for me was the front-side USB port, which lets me play movies right off of a flash drive.
      Throw in easy region-free hacks + HDMI/1080i support and I've got myself a winner for around $75
      • by iainl ( 136759 )
        I've got one as well, and while I use DVD+RW instead of a flash drive (it doesn't like my iPod as a drive), I find the framerate can be a bit stuttery. Transcode360 and the 360 media centre gives much nicer-looking results.

        When it works - Transcode360 is flaky and annoying on Vista. Which is why I'm looking forward to the 360 playing divx/xvid natively.
    • I have a Phillips DVP-642, it has serious bug though even in the last firmware made for it if you use a HDTV iva component with it. All XViD movies get squished and additional black bars added on the top and bottom, so you only get to use about 1/3 of your screen to see the movie, the rest is black bars. That bug was fixed in the DVP-5960.
  • The codecs I miss (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nonos ( 158469 )
    They removed the PS2 BC codec and added divx ? Is the PS3 a game console ?
    • by DrXym ( 126579 )
      Yes, the PS3 is a games consoles. And a kickass multimedia system. Why do you believe the two to be mutually exclusive propositions?

      As for BC, buy the 60Gb while you can and quit complaining.

      • by nonos ( 158469 )
        Concerning the price, I hardly can only buy a 40Gb right now :-( I don't complain, I just wish Sony marketroids change their mind and reintroduce the cost free software backward compatibility.
        • by DrXym ( 126579 )
          and reintroduce the cost free software backward compatibility.

          If it were cost free they wouldn't have dropped it. I guess in order to drop the price by $200 that was one of the things they had to remove to cut costs.

    • You do know that Backwards Compatibility isn't a codec, right? It's physical hardware that they removed from the PS3 to make it cheaper to build. The DivX codec is software which adds zero cost to the building of the PS3. Most people have been saying they don't want BC for higher cost so Sony removed it. They dropped $100 off the price. If you really need BC, go buy a PS2 for $100.

      And next time, try not to sound stupid and ignorant when bashing Sony.
      • by nonos ( 158469 )
        Of course I course I know, _you_ sound stupid not noting the irony here.

        PS2 backward compatibility was done in software on the 60 Gb PS3 models, so it costed nothing ; removing is not related with the $100 price drop. Removing it was just a (stupid) marketing decision.

        DivX codecs are implemented in software, ok, but DivX is not a Sony property : these codecs are licenced, licences cost money ; like for the rumble controllers, Sony will have to pay to get DivX playback on the PS3.

        So : PS2 backcompat costs no
    • by donaldm ( 919619 )
      Actually if you live in the US, Korea or Japan you can get the 80GB PS3 which has BC but only 85% to 95% of PS2 games work since BC is done in software although the PS2 graphics engine is still on board. If you are from Europe, Australia, New Zealand or the UK then the 60GB (BC done in software) is the way to go if you can find one. I personally find BC is the way to go on a PS3 since a smoothed and upscaled PS2 games looks great and improves the replayability of the game although to be fair a bad game stil
  • Call me when they agree to support Matroska (.mkv). Now that would be news.

"In matrimony, to hesitate is sometimes to be saved." -- Butler