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DIVX surprised many people by showing up in stores last month!

The coming of the digital age has been feared by many people in many industries for along time. The essence of the problem being rather obvious; a digital copy of an original, be it CD or DVD is just as good as the original less any fancy packaging. For years there was no way an average person could really make a copy of a CD. Sure, you could get a fancy tape deck even use metal tapes but the bottom line was, you had a cassette. You still missed out on most of a CD's benefits.

As CD burners drop in price almost everyday, exact duplicates can be made in less than an hour by the average Joe. The movie/video industry took notice and weren't real receptive to the idea of putting their movies on similar media. In fact only a few companies even put movies out on DVD at all during the first 6 months.

Somewhere along the line, somebody pissed somebody else off and the powers that be split up and brought forth two formats. Unlike the VHS and BETA war of the past, however, these formats are a little more compatible. Basically, in a nut shell:

 Current physical attributes Double sided, single layered Single sided, single layered
 Features Both normal screen and letter box, various languages and closed caption Normal screen
 Usage Whenever, wherever for as long as you want Whenever, on your player, for 48 hours
 Cost $14.99 to $29.99 $3.99 to $6.99
 Other No phone line needed. You can call and purchase another 48 hours of usage for about half the original cost. More features expected when double layering becomes standard.

DIVX, is essentially an expensive movie rental that you don't have to return. Better quality picture and sound and the fact that you don't have to return it means you can buy them anywhere. You can already buy movies at Circuit City and the Good Guys and more stores are taking them on each week. RCA is already shipping their DIVX compatible player. Just make sure you can connect your phone line to your player!

So you already have a DVD player? Unless you just bought it, you're out of luck, while the new players can play both DVD and DIVX, the old players cannot.

Stop by our message room to discuss the affect this will have on companies like Blockbuster and whether or not computer games makers might try the same format. You could play the game for the weekend for a few bucks and then if it sucked you wouldn't be out the big cash, if you wanted to play it again you just call them up!


Check out these other resources for more information:

Digital Video Express - Great source on availability, compatibility and just plain and simple explanations of what DIVX is and isn't.

And of course, DIVX has a great many detractors, check out Consumer Alert on DIVX for their side of the story.

And the venerable CNET offers a pretty good history and the situation with DIVX new convenience or digital disaster?





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