Was it Divx?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Wayde_R, Oct 31, 2005.

  1. Wayde_R

    Wayde_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi, I have another 'name-that-technology' blast from the past question. I can't name it but believe I am remembering it correctly.

    Divx today seems to be another a/v compression format like Mpg2. But I seem to recall that Divx was a format of disc you could rent from Best Buy, it was a kind of exclusive with Best Buy. You buy a Divx player from BB and then you could rent the discs. Its pitch was a movie rental you didn't have to return because the movie erased itself in a week, or something like that. Does anyone know what I am think of ? I sure don't remember the name.

    I recall reading an article saying this was a text book example of a paradigm in entertainment retail that won't work. It seemed to prove people are unwilling to buy disposable discs.

    I don't know about that, people rent movies. But I guess when they buy a disc they don't like the idea that it only works for a set period.

    Is there any relation to that and the current Divx that some new DVD players are able to decode?

    Thanks
     
  2. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    None. And it wasn't Best Buy, but Circuit City.

    M.
     
  3. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    And it wasn't rent. You bought the Divx disk, and played it in your Divx player. For any subsequent viewings, your DVD player dialed in to the Circuit City mother ship and charged your account a fee. One of the most disastrous products in history and a business lesson for the ages to anyone who proposes a "pay to play" model in the future.
     
  4. Wayde_R

    Wayde_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks guys. So it was Divx after all, but the name has no relation to the current compression called Divx?

    Why would Divx want to name their compression method after a failed business venture with Circuit City?
     
  5. Tom S

    Tom S Agent

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    I was curious about that too. It's like Ford coming out with a model called Edsel. Or selling Chevy Novas in Mexico, Novas means "no go".

    The CEO of circuit city got fired by the shareholders and the consumer bascially ignored the product. It was introduced during DVDs infancy and really screwed up things. First adopters and true HT fanactics were against it vehemently. It was roundly thrashed in every HT and DVD forum and review site on the internet. The format was pan&scan only with no extra features and no liner notes, then they had the audacity to market players that were Divx "enhanced" LOL. The DVD business model was never predicted to be so sucessful so that in itself was probably enough to bury CC Divx in the long run. It lasted for about a year and stopped selling discs and later the service itself. I think you can still find the useless pieces of plastic on ebay for the cost of shipping. They make great HT coasters!

    I read somewhere on the net that the codec Divx was actually named after the CC Divx as a joke, however, they were sucessful and unfortunately the name stuck. I understand that they sell DVD players with the Codec Divx loaded into the player. So I think that means that downloaded Divx movies can play, but I'm not sure. I really, really hope that these players start showing up at Circuit City - poetic justice!
     
  6. Zack Gibbs

    Zack Gibbs Screenwriter

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    My DVD player plays DIVX files, (the codec, not the joke) and you can indeed burn a divx file to a cd-r or dvd, and play them like a regular movie. You can also buy them at Circuit City.
     
  7. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Early adopters do take some risk, it's regrettable.... [​IMG]
     
  8. wally

    wally Second Unit

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    The Circus Food Analogy

    Have you ever taken a big chunk of cotton candy and packed it like a snowball until it was a tiny ball of pink, sugary goodness? Well, if you could take that piece of compressed cotton candy home and, when you wanted it, fluff it back up to a near-perfect piece of cotton candy again, you'd have a pretty good representation of how DivX technology works. Essentially, you take a huge digital video file, compress it into a tiny DivX video file and re-open it later restoring the video to its original glory, all without getting your hands sticky.

    http://www.divx.com/
     
  9. Wayde_R

    Wayde_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Divx in its current incarnation is very very cool, no doubt. I am all for it and surely if I were in the market for a DVD player I would look for compatibility with the codec.

    However the first time I saw... Divx this or that on a feature spec I was like ... barf! Stay away! Evil! And I saw it more and more persistently (I read specs and try to keep a bit up to date for my blog)

    Thanks for clearing it all up. The Edsil analogy is a great way to look at it.

    My reason for looking into the Divx story was that I see parallels to something else. Some people on this board haven’t liked my parallels in the past. Last time I was here asking about an old technology was because I saw parallels between Msoft delving into WebTV and Xbox 360. I see WinMC and Extenders like 360 as the destination of a journey that started with their acquisition of WebTV. WebTV was a venture that started life as Philip’s own CDi.

    Today it’s Divx a mistake in judgment of what the consumer will tolerate in toying with the ownership of media they have purchased. To a lesser risk on behalf of the media suppliers, I see the same misjudgment being applied by the online music services like Yahoo Music and Napster. Many industry insiders believe the subscriber service is the way of the future, how everyone will soon buy their music and indeed someday maybe all digital media. The subscriber services work hand in hand with DRM’s like Janus or Playsforsure and give subscribers a false sense of being able to take it with them “on the go” I think is the term Yahoo Music uses. But I think these industry insiders (I don’t know any names) who claim this is the way of the future risk their own reputation, we’ve seen the same paradigm applied before as Circuit City’s Divx that’s why I think the subscriber services might be doomed to a quick death, but I could be wrong[​IMG]

    Thanks for the info guys.
     
  10. Chris Gerhard

    Chris Gerhard Screenwriter

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    What software should be used to burn DivX video to CD-R?

    Chris
     
  11. Brian R

    Brian R Stunt Coordinator

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    Divx files are .avi files. You can burn them to cd-r with Nero or similar program.
     
  12. Ronn.W

    Ronn.W Second Unit

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    I never messed around with Divx (the codec) until last week when a friend gave me a file. It was about 350mb, and ran about an hour. I put it in my player, and while it wasn't quite DVD quality, it was much better than VHS or VCD. About the same as standard broadcast.
     

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