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The DivX codec is based on MPEG-4 video compression standard, designed primarily for video transfer over low to mid bandwidth networks (eg. Internet, WAP ...).

There are in fact 3 major versions of the codec, all name DivX.

The oldest version, a hacked version of Microsoft's MPEG-4 V3 implementation, is often referred to as the "DivX ;-) Codec". The hacked nature of the codec means it's legality has always been in question. The version number used is DivX 3.x.

Project Mayo was an open-source project started to replace DivX ;-) 3.x with a legal, developed from scratch version of the codec, OpenDivX.

The work done during Project Mayo allowed DivX for Windows/Linux/Mac/... to be produced. It is a commercial development, with free versions of the codec available for basic playback and encoding, and a paid for version with more advanced features. The version numbering started at 4.0 and is now in version 6.x.

From the same Project Mayo code source, the XviD codec was also released as an open source alternative to DivX.


DivX Timeline

1998 Microsoft's MPEG-4 V3 codec is hacked by Gej to allow all encoding modes, and released as the DivX ;-) Codec
April 2000 DivX ;-) Codec 3.11 Alpha released - this would be the last release of the original "hacked" DivX ;-) Codec
June 2000 DivX Digest launched! One of the first, if not the first, website dedicated to DivX.
January 2001 DivX Scene Detect Patch for DivX ;-) Codec released, allowing automated scene detection and keyframe insertion
January 2001 OpenDivX (DivX Deux) made available to the public to signal the release of the first completely legal version of the DivX codec
July 2001 DivX 4.0 Beta released by DivXNetworks (now known as DivX Inc.)
August 2001 DivX 4.0 Gold/Final released
March 2002 DivX 5.0 released
June 2005 DivX 6.0 released


Handheld Portable Home Theater High Def
Version 5+ 3.11 4+ 3.11+ 4+
Max. resolution (px×px×Hz) 176×144×15 352×240×30, 352×288×25 720×480×30, 720×576×25 720×480×30, 720×576×25 1280×720×30; 6.5: 1920×1080×30
Macroblocks (kHz) 1.485 9.9 40.5 40.5 108
Max. average bitrate (Mbps) 0.2 0.768 4 4 4
Max. peak bitrate (Mbps) 0.4 2 8 8 20
Min. VBV buffer size (KiB) 32 128 384 384 768

See Also

Digital Digest Links:

External Links:


Profile table Design courtesy of Crissov