Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Playing DivX Videos Over The Network

DivX's recent announcement of their DivX Connected initiative is pretty exciting. The client/server model now allows a remote DivX-capable player to get its video input stream from a "DivX Connected Server" over a TCP/IP network -- wired or wifi. The Connected Server is just a software that you would install on your Windows XP or Vista. It listens for incoming requests and streams data to the remote player. This is pretty convenient. That means when you download stuffs from BitTorrent; you can convert it to DivX; then start sharing it to your devices!

This is pretty cutting edge for now. Aside from their highlighted product -- the D-Link DSM-330 DivX Connected HD Media Player, there seems to be no other consumer electronic product available yet that supports this streaming protocol. The DSM-330 is very interesting though. It has a wired+wifi interface to the TCP/IP network, and a video out interface (S-Video, Component, Composite and HDMI) on the other end. It can playback in 720p HD.

The DSM-330 is available for pre-order at Amazon for US$280.99. A bit still pricey. Also, according to its specs, the DSM-330 only plays DivX (of course) and Windows Media Video (WMV). No support for MPEG4, Quicktime MOV, etc. At that price, I might still consider just buying several US$60 DivX Ultra-certified player like the Philips DVP5982, and just use DVD-RW discs to transfer the movies around the house.

I'm sure in the next several months, mainstream consumer electronics manufacturers like Philips will eventually embed network connections to their boxes. And if they get DivX Connected certified, there would be no need for intermediate/gateway devices like the DSM-330.

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