AfterDawn: Tech news

DivX-DVD stand-alone players are on their way!

Written by Lasse Penttinen @ 30 Aug 2002 4:49 User comments (27)

If I remember correctly, KiSS was one of these 1st generation MP3/DVD hybrid players to hit the european market. Now they have annouced that an MPEG-4/DivX supporting players are coming up. The MPEG-4 codec is provided by Sigma Designs, that was recently accused of open source GPL license abuse.
MILPITAS, Calif.—August 28, 2002—Sigma Designs (Nasdaq: SIGM), a leader in IP video streaming solutions, and KiSS Technology, a leading European vendor of DVD and DVB products, jointly announced an agreement to use Sigma’s EM8500 progressive DVD decoder chip in a new line of advanced DVD players. This new generation of DVD player goes beyond the bounds of a simple plug-and-play appliance, enabling consumers to play downloaded content, in several formats including MPEG-4, and view them on their television in superior quality.

About MPEG-4 in DVD Players

MPEG-4 is the latest digital video compression standard, enabling content developers to create sophisticated programs containing audio, video, text, graphics and interactivity. The object-oriented environment of MPEG-4
provides for complex scene compression at low bit rates with correspondingly small file sizes, making it ideal for either lower cost or higher capacity storage. Moving forward, MPEG-4 will make its way into all forms of set-top appliances, including digital cable systems, media gateways, video endpoints and now consumer DVD players.

Price-driven consumers are poised to embrace this advantage and record up to two-hour, full-length movies on low cost CDs. This segment may include downloaded content available through DivXNetworks (tm) or user-created content, such as the output from Panasonic’s new MPEG-4 Digital Palmcorder® MultiCam™ Camcorders. The premium user, seeking the benefits of high resolution viewing, is set to embrace the upcoming adoption by the DVD Forum of an MPEG-4 based standard for high definition DVD. Both segments will also benefit from future content that employs rich, object-based interactive capabilities.

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27 user comments

130.8.2002 10:17

Uh.. KISS, one of those "let's take bunch of cheap PC hardware and stuck it into black box and call it a DVD player" thingys.. And using Sigma's decoder chip, even less likely to even consider such thing (and as we all know, Sigma's decoder can't decode DivX3 nor DivX5 movies -- and 99% of "kazaa movies" are in DivX3..).

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)

230.8.2002 18:49

Ah well, for better or for worse, it's a start. I'd like a nice, tasty, freely available patent-free video codec that I could use to make a decent, better-than-vcd quality movie, the whole thing of which would be fittable and burnable on a single, standard, inexpensive cdr, with widespread standalone player support perhaps incorporated within a dvd player, with NO friggen restrictions built in. [pant pant] I also want a million dollars, a beautiful blonde-haired woman, a BMW, fame and fortune, and to go to heaven when I die. (I'll probably get the latter before I get the former.) -- K.A. --

331.8.2002 7:08

How `bout we just all spend a buck and get a 50" plasma-screen to go along with our PCs and DVD-drives?

431.8.2002 7:44

There is no way I'm buying a thing like this My Dreamcast with dcdivx plays all my kazaa movies. Sure I have to convert some so they use a lower res but it looks has great as on my PC which is enough for me considering I'm watching a movie that hasn't come yet for the general public!

531.8.2002 14:28

There are a lot of promises made in this world, a lot of flash-in-the-pan, a lot of hype. Don't be an earlier adopter right away (whenever) this stuff filters down into a standalone product. When it does, look keenly at what it *can't* or *won't* do as much as what it promises to do, and of what it *can* do, see how *well* it does it, and to what degree those capabilities are hampered, restricted, locked out, controlled. Look for web reviews first, read-read-read. Learn. Plunk down your cash only after hearing many good independant reports from others. Don't be a scmuck. Don't believe everything you hear, take future predictions/promises with a grain of salt, be patient. Don't take any wooden nickles, do unto others as they would do unto you, [violins coming out], look both ways before crossing the street, and always put the toilet seat down after you've finished. "Ah-menn..." (Bless you, my child). -- The Right Honourable Reverend Klingy --

61.9.2002 3:32

Amen to that, brother! :)

717.11.2002 4:05

Klingy, I wish you would have told me that before I bought DVDXCOPY! Hahahaha!

818.11.2002 5:12

DVDXCOPY will only get better BurnedOne. It's only in the most preliminary of it's "final" phase, and will continue to be honed and improved. And Rob has promised full refunds to anyone requesting them. (But why ask?) Updates are free for registered owners. Hang in there! -- Mike --

95.2.2004 12:28

With a divx player are you supposed to be able to play divx movies without even encoding or converting them. I've tried with my new one I bought today and I am getting no where the only ones that will play are the mpeg encoded ones. The reason why I got it in the first place was to forget about the VirtualDub and TMPGEnc. Any ideas?

105.2.2004 14:29

WoW! It's interesting to read a reply something like 1-1/2 years after-the-fact ! I have no idea, but I'm just assuming that a Divx disc would be burned as a standard Data cd-r/rw, and contain the raw Divx video files. I'll be honest with you though - Since the time this post was started such a *l-o-o-o-n-g* time ago, I have yet to see ONE Divx-capable player in any store. Divx is more suited, methinks, to the internet and pay-per-view movies - if you're into that kind of stuff. (I'm not).

115.2.2004 23:42

I still haven't had a satisfactory answer to my question so I will put it to the room again. Is it at all possible to with a Rimax MPEG4 divx player to playback files that haven't been encoded but just burned on to disc, perhaps the teminology is call raw. If anyone knows plse let me know, as I may end up taking the product back

126.2.2004 2:13

to playback files that haven't been encoded but just burned on to disc
Is the movie you are trying to watch a DivX encoded movie or not?

136.2.2004 3:44

Easybut...... What machine are you specifically using? I am not familiar with the Rimax MPEG4 Divx Player you mention. Are you using something like this? : This is the "Rimax Divx DVD Multi Player" No model number is given for this model. If this machine is anything like your machine then learn more here: Perhaps we're using the word "encoded" incorrectly here. I think we are confusing "encoding" with "formatting". (Bear with me). In the case of mpeg1 files, if you wanted to use them to produce a VideoCD, those mpeg1 files would have to be burned to a disc in the correct VCD FORMAT. (Filename extension gets changed to ".dat", etc.) I don't think any such restriction applies to mpeg4 divx files, but I'm not certain. All video files are encoded. In the case of Divx, a file either IS or IS NOT Divx-encoded. If it is, then I think you should be able to simply burn it to a cd-r data disc. (Use simple Mode 1, and make certain that your disc has been finalized). To save yourself from possible coasters, use cd-rws (re-writeables) if you're not certain the files are properly divx-encoded or not. Also check out the OFFICIAL Divx website: They have important information regarding playback machines in general, and about the various versions of the Divx codec. Check your machine's Documentation! (if it has any). Look to see that it carries the specific Divx Logo(s) that the divx website describes. Since you CAN (apparently) play back some divx files, then you've answered your own question. You don't need to 'format' them in any particular way. If some "divx" files won't play back, they are either corrupted/altered in some way, or they are not genuine Divx-encoded files, OR (more unlikely), your machine doesn't support that particular version of the Divx codec. Hope this helps.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 06 Feb 2004 @ 3:59

146.2.2004 7:40

A Klingen thanks for your msg you too Ghostdog. No Ghostdog they weren't encoded divx movies. That was the whole idea I was trying to get them to play without having to go through all that fuss. I finally have and the reason why they wouldn't play on the Rimax (the one u posted Klingen) was because even though they were divx they were set to open with realone player and WMP and u can't burn them with them so I had to go into document and settings and set my movies to open with divx player. Now the second hurdle. I burned them with Nero and the pic quality is awful, I presume that this is because it only uses 700MB for a full length movie. What can I do to perfect this on a DVD any suggestions? Thanks for listening, look forward to feeback

156.2.2004 8:45

Well DVD´s offer enough capacity for quite really high-quality DivX movies, so the best thing to do is to rip you own DVD´s and convert them to a DivX movies with high bitrates or to find some raw DVD-ripped data and convert that into DivX.

166.2.2004 9:09

Ghostdog as a newbie I am not sure if I understand the "rip" however, would this mean having to encode (i.e. tmpgenc) the 700MB divx file I already have in order to set a higher bitrate for a better quality movie. If so, surely this would defeat the object of plug and play? Thanks for your help up to now anyway

176.2.2004 23:38

Easybut..... (Some time ago)I downloaded every free divx movie that was (then) available from the official site. Not the pay-per-view s--t, or the DRM-riddled limited-use s--t, but just the free stuff. This "stuff" spans several Divx-codec versions. If you want to <P>rivate <M>essage (PM) me with your snail mail address, I will burn this free stuff to a disc for you. (Or else you can just download the files yourself). If your machine fails to satisfactorily play back ANY of these files, then I DO heartily suggest you follow your initial, possible reaction, and RETURN THE PLAYER. After that I am afraid your latest post loses me. What business is it of RealPlayer (gagg) or WMP (double-gagg) HOW your Divx files are 'set to open'? Pardon my French, but F--- RealOne. Also, F--- WMP-compatible files. If either of these attrocities are afflicting your (supposedly) genuine Divx files, I suggest you get rid of them. (Either that, easybut, or else I'd learn how to cozy-up to TMPGEnc.) :-)

187.2.2004 1:15

Ghostdog as a newbie I am not sure if I understand the "rip" however, would this mean having to encode (i.e. tmpgenc) the 700MB divx file I already have in order to set a higher bitrate for a better quality movie.
to "rip" a DVD means to extract the contents of it to your hard-drive. From there you can do whatever you like with the material, like converting the actual film and/or the extra footage into DivX movies. Converting the raw DVD-files into DivX is a long process (mainly due to the time it takes to encode the film into DivX). I´ve personally used AD´s original DVD to DivX guide but there are alternatives. I haven´t really checked out the newer material in the "Guides" section.

197.2.2004 7:21

Ghostdog is quite right, easybut -- if you want to create stellar-looking movies for playback on your new machine, you've come to the right website. You don't really need Divx. Visit any of the helpful threads that have been created in here for that purpose; also take a 'boo' at any of the wonderful step-by-step tutorials you will find in here. Then, just to get your feet wet, visit the free software download section to try out some ripping/encoding software. Much of the software is FREE and will give you less headache(s) than Divx. Divx is a sort-of 'extra'-capability thing these days - nice to have (I suppose) if you have access to a large collection of previously-encoded Divx content, but as I said in an earlier post (above), Divx is more ideally suited to pay-per-view or streaming, or online downloading. (Divx is a variant of the mpeg4 codec - a not-too-shabby compression system it's own right) and has the advantage of being storable (and playable) on inexpensive cd-r discs. But with the retail cost of blank DVDs coming down all the time, this is really not much of an advantage anymore. 'Ripping' as Ghostdog suggests, is the way to go, IMO. Ripping is much faster than Encoding, unless you are going to use compression. (Ripping usually involves nothing more than a bit of decoding and transference to you HDD). Genuine *encoding* on the other hand (whether into Divx or something else), takes forever in comparison. In other words...... WELCOME to the Wild & Wacky World of AfterDawn !!!!!!!!

207.2.2004 8:02

Klingon, since most DVD´s contain more material than a a blank DVD-R can handle (so I´ve heard), what do you think is the way to go when backing up DVD´s. I kind of figured with DivX you could keep both the movie and a large part of the extras on one blank DVD, while still enjoying high quality.

217.2.2004 9:16

Thanks Ghostdog and A_Klingen for your kind feedback. I've already been down that alley of encoding with TMPenc and have no desire to go down there again as it kind be such a nightmare to synch etc, anyway I have one movie split into 3 hence the quality is alot better than that of before, however, all my trial software is now exhausted but believe there is a way of launching an appeal so to speak, unfortunately I do not know how to do this, could someone maybe private me & explain how I may achieve this task. So downloading from imesh/kazaa etc is effectively ripping, am I right? Call me dumb but it takes alot to get ones head around all of this stuff.

227.2.2004 9:47

GhostDog: You can have it ALL, my friend. Even with maximum compression, you can put (backup) ANY retail DVD to a simple blank DVD, and the quality will put a run to Divx. If you have a dvd burner, you don't need Divx. If cost is a consideration, get the two FREE programs (from right here in AfterDawn), "DVD-Decrypter" (to do the rips), and the magnificent FREE 'DVD-Shrink', a program which will enable you and easybut to backup the WHOLE disk (or just whatever parts you wish) to a blank dvd. (Technically speaking, you don't even need DVD-Decrypter, but I'd certainly get it anyway. Shrink works with or *without* DVD-Decrypter. Naturally, you'll also need something to burn your Shrink-created files to the blank dvd. Since (I assume) you *have* a dvd burner, it is very likely that you already have dvd-burning software bundled with your drive. If not, you can use any number of dvd-burning software(s) like Nero, or Prassi Primo (I use both with equal facility), as well as many others. It's simple: RIP ---> PROCESS ---> BURN. Bye-bye Divx.

237.2.2004 9:59

Easybut: You're NOT "dumb". 'Getting you head' around all of this stuff IS confusing and takes a lot of careful thought. TMPGEnc has it's place. I still use it occassionally for (unrelated) reasons. Using TMP, I created hundreds of VideoCDs, and Oh Yes! The audio/video synch issues drove me right up the wall! But with the advent of DVD, it (TMP as well as divx) has become far less of a necessity as much as an 'exta' thing. If you'll trust me on this (and have faith), backing-up dvds becomes as routine as brushing your teeth. If you're already smart enough to be able to use TMP, you can create successful dvd backups *without* it! Rip some dvd files, easybut, and create some wonderful movies to watch on your new dvd player. Within a very short time you'll even forget that your player is Divx-capable. :-) -- Mike -- <update> No easybut, downloading video files from kazaa and ripping dvds are not the same thing, although they DO in effect have the same result. Both methods provide you with the basic CONTENT to further process and BURN. I would suggest you learn how to get your basic content from dvd (rip) rather than the internet (download). It's a hell of a lot faster, more reliable, and the resulting video quality is *always* superior.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 07 Feb 2004 @ 10:09

247.2.2004 10:08

Since (I assume) you *have* a dvd burnerc
Nope, not yet. I´m mainly saving up for some new hardware I´m buying later this year. Besides that, I don´t have a screaming need to switch to recordable DVD´s yet. The media is kind of expensive and I´m waiting to see what happens with the next-generation DVD standards. My previous question was purely out curiosity. What format (or codec) does DVD-Shrink output to? MPEG2?

257.2.2004 10:17

OK, well, if you don't yet have a dvd burner, then don't worry. (You'll just have to work a bit harder and be WAY more patient with the time it's going to take to do your encoding.) In a non-dvd world, easybut, both TMP and Divx become more attractive alternatives because they will both create files *fittable* on a standard cd-r. No, DVD-Shrink is a DVD-only thing. It outputs dvd-compliant VOB files which, yes, _are_ high quality Mpeg2 files. (But they won't fit on a standard cd.) Please join the various conference threads here, easybut. You have many wonderful journeys ahead of you. :)

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 07 Feb 2004 @ 10:19

267.2.2004 12:23

OK, well, if you don't yet have a dvd burner, then don't worry. (You'll just have to work a bit harder and be WAY more patient with the time it's going to take to do your encoding.)
No you missunderstood. I´m wasn´t the one who was asking about this stuff originally. I was trying to advice Easybut.

278.2.2004 6:44

Okie Doke!

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