DivX Searches for New Identity

By Chris Chinnock
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DivX is a company I (CC) have a hard time understanding, so in our meeting at CES, I asked them to explain what they did and what their mission is. Even after their explanation, I am still a little fuzzy, but I will try to explain what is going on with this rapidly changing company.

In 2000, DivX was focused on developing MP4 compression and digital rights management (DRM) technology, which it licensed to chip makers and playback platform providers. It went public in 2006, and acquired Main Concept (a codec developer) the next year. Sonic Solutions bought DivX in 2010 and quickly sold themselves to Rovi, an electronic program guide company. Rovi decided to spin out DivX and Main Concept in April 2014 as a private company.

At CES 2015, DivX announced that it was being acquired by NeuLion, Inc. a leading enabler of live and on-demand content to Internet-connected devices. NeuLion helps content owners and distributors, cable operators and telecommunications companies deliver video content to PCs, smartphones, iPads and other similar devices. NeuLion’s customers include major entertainment, sports, global content and news companies.

NeuLion and DivX believe the transaction will place the combined company at the forefront of the global shift to 4K video and Over-The-Top (OTT) services. By bringing together NeuLion’s managed services and DivX’s technology products, NeuLion will be able to give customers the choice of either building and managing digital video platforms internally or licensing a fully integrated managed services solution. DivX recently introduced an end-to-end 4K OTT solution.

“By delivering interactive viewing experiences to consumers watching live and on-demand content on digital platforms, from desktop to mobile to connected devices, NeuLion has built a roster of the best known brands in professional and college sports and TV Everywhere, such as NFL, NHL, NBA, UFC, Rogers and CCTV. Now, we are extending our franchise and bolstering our capabilities with our acquisition of DivX’s entertainment and consumer electronics customers, advanced 4K video enabling technology products and expansive geographic reach,” said Nancy Li, chief executive officer of NeuLion in a press release.

At CES, CEO Kanaan Jemili explained that the company sees 4K content coming as sports, Hollywood movies and UGC (user generated content) and they want to be able to deliver all of this. DivX already licenses its technology to global brands spanning consumer electronics manufacturers (LG, Samsung, Toshiba and Hisense), entertainment content rights holders and cable network operators.

In addition, DivX made a number of announcements at CES along with demos to showcase these capabilities. This included:

  • DivX Live was launched allowing secure live streaming up to 4K using HEVC and MPEG-DASH. The new addition to the DivX Certified program for HEVC enables Pay TV operators and OTT services to securely stream live video content to multiple platforms, including web, iOS, Android, smart TVs and other consumer electronics devices. DivX Live adds additional functionality to the encoded stream like a manifest file, DRM, security and more to help deliver a managed solution. DivX Live is part of the DivX OmniView solution that includes studio-approved DivX DRM to enable secure video distribution and high-quality streaming playback across multiple screens, including Android, iOS, Web, PCs, Smart TVs and set-top boxes.
  • GoLive Movie, a new international video entertainment service, has selected its DivX OmniView solution to power the secure delivery of high-quality, on-demand premium movie content to smart TVs. The new GoLive Movie service will first be available on television sets from TCL. By selecting DivX DRM and adaptive bitrate streaming technology, the service ensures an optimized viewing experience to suit a range of Internet speeds. With an initial launch in China, the company plans to further extend the GoLive Movie service to a worldwide audience in 2015.Divx Omniview architectureDivx Omniview architecture
  • DivX launched its secure, In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) solution. An extension to DivX OmniView, the new solution enables airlines and aircraft manufacturers to differentiate their in-flight entertainment experience and reduce costs by allowing passengers to use their own mobile devices to access content stored on the airplane’s server.
  • Siligence, a leading European manufacturer of Internet access and video devices for the digital home, will implement DivX HEVC technology in its set-top boxes, enabling the playback of high-quality, highly efficient video at up to 4K resolutions in the living room.
  • Realtek Semiconductor’s RTD2984DX-GR Ultra HD SoC has achieved DivX HEVC Certification, enabling streaming of highly efficient DivX HEVC video at up to 4K resolutions on new Ultra HD television sets. The RTD2984DX is a comprehensive and cost effective smart TV controller offering HEVC video decoding up to 4K2K and encoding up to 1080p. It features a powerful multi-core ARM CPU, and a high-performance 3D GPU to support 4K Internet streaming, direct-drive of 4K panels, and applications for Android 4.4 TVs.

DivX’s HEVC 4K solution supports 30 fps, 8-bit, 4:2:0 content. A 10-bit version has been developed, but it is still a prototype. 60 fps support is coming too, as well as support for HDR (High Dynamic Range). (CC)