DivX Connected Hands-On

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I got to play with DivX's Connected set top box that we showed you last night, and found a few more things out about the prototype. (Much of this could change by launch.)
•DivX Connected Server runs on PC, and does the file serving as well as the decompression of most video content.
•Only supports DivX video. No WMV or Quicktime files worked for us.
•Non-HD video files stream and play quickly / Fast-forward with no delay or lag over b/g WiFi. Without N support for WiFi, HD content needs ethernet.
•Music doesn't support AAC or WMA formats.
•There's nice integration with Stage 6 (DivX's version of Youtube, but mostly filled with geek/porn content) but there's delay in streaming, and it doesn't buffer, even when you pause.

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Illustration for article titled DivX Connected Hands-On
Illustration for article titled DivX Connected Hands-On
Illustration for article titled DivX Connected Hands-On
Illustration for article titled DivX Connected Hands-On
Illustration for article titled DivX Connected Hands-On
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Illustration for article titled DivX Connected Hands-On
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Illustration for article titled DivX Connected Hands-On
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Illustration for article titled DivX Connected Hands-On

•You can download videos from Stage 6, and since the box doesn't have storage, it actually is queuing the server PC to download the file directly. Download screen shows the speed of the DL and the ETA.
•But over a Wireless G connection 1080p and even 720p HD content will not be playable without stutter.
•Over Wifi G, the menu lags at times; With Ethernet, the UI is quick and works very well (We think the thumbnails don't cache).
•The remote feels cheap but highly functional with dedicated music / photo / video / stage6 buttons, and a mysterious and currently unused internet button.
•The box is a pretty thin client, doing basic openGL graphics for the UI and doing much of the processing of content on the PC. The client software (beta) uses 150 MBs of RAM and put the CPU at about 5-20% on a modern notebook while playing back 1080p video. Not bad.

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DISCUSSION

corvettejoe-old
corvettejoe

Xbox plays 480p HD content, but chokes on 720 or higher because of CPU limitation. You also have to ask yourself. Do you REALLY need an HD copy of the latest comedy or chick flick? I've found that there is a VERY SMALL handful of movies I care enough about in my collection that I'd like to have in HD format, but again, how often do I re-watch a movie?

I'm perfectly happy with my media server adn 3 XBMC's. (2 in the house 1 in the car)

I hear the 360 is totally moddable now and it DOES have the power to play HD content, and the cheap one is $199.

HRMMMMM, Could this be a wicked alternative to the DivX Connect, or AppleTV or a full blown HTPC?