What's up With DIVX
DIVX (Digital Video Express). Before it became a pirate's paradise it was supposed to be
Circuit City's new ! Enterprise
Warning: this article is just a history lesson on the name DIVX - it in no way is meant to reflect a business connection between the Circuit CIty enterprise and the modern compression method - except for the modern and ironic use of such a strange word ... DIVX.
Back in the 20th century - way before Jack Van Impe and the other whackos were made to look foolish over a non-Armageddon Y2K - the DVD video and audio format DIVX made its debut. DIVX began life as the odd child of a major electronics chain and its legal gurus: a surprising coupling. It wasn't the match that was surprising, mind you, but rather that such a tandem could produce a compression format this popular.
When it first entered this world in the late 1990s, DIVX was the shared offspring of
How? Why? Profit, where?
DIVX showed potential because it was one of the earliest examples of Digital Rights Management, or DRM. While many Apple iPod, Sony Walkman, and SanDisk Sansa owners are more than familiar with annoying DRM rules now, before the turn of the millennium the rules were generally unheard of. DIVX allowed consumers to watch a movie as often as they wanted to for a mere four and a half bucks - so long as they did it before the 48-hour deadline. At that point, the disc expired and the contents were no longer viewable. Consumers were at one time given the option of extending their viewing period for a few extra dollars.
Call it the Cinderella CD/DVD or whatever you like,
In '99, DIVX DVD players were fairly rare, and for the rental scheme to work, people needed to invest in the necessary hardware. That's tough: imagine Blockbuster asking customers for $150 (consider the time period) just to watch a movie they're clearly not even willing to buy.
There were other problems, as well. For instance, consumers needed to place the hardware near a phone jack so that they could connect the DIVX device to an online account. This was mandatory before being granted the ability to even watch the disc.
even try this shtick? Circuit City
It makes sense for the retailer. Sell the consumer a premium-priced DIVX player, work your way into the very lucrative video rental market, and establish a network that keeps users coming back over and over to the
However, a plan that works this well for the retailer rarely translates without a few problems for consumers. In a way, it's kind of like dropping Japanese text in a literal, automated online English translator. Yeah, give it a try. It doesn't really work.
Neither did DIVX, for consumers, who - crazy souls - sometimes wanted to watch movies on players somewhere outside of their home. Many consumers also didn't want to have to run wires to telephone jacks (which is, sigh, pretty standard now with cable and satellite television).
So, where did DIVX go?
DIVX certainly didn't die when