Review: DivX Plus 9 is a handy player and all-in-one video tool

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder DivX Plus 9

DivX Plus Software is a desktop media player. And a video conversion application. And a Web browser plug-in. And a codec pack. And a DLNA server for streaming videos to compatible devices. In short, there's not much this free application can't do when it comes to video, and it handles most of the tasks very well.

As a desktop media player, DivX Plus is easy to use and attractive. It features a sleek black and gray design that looks more modern than the orange color scheme of VLC, another popular free media player. The design of DivX Plus is busier, though; where VLC tends to fade right into the background so you notice only the video you're watching, DivX Plus is harder to ignore. A column (collapsible, luckily) along the right side of the application reminds you that you can do more than just watch your video, as it sports icons for streaming your video or transferring it to another device. While the icons are large and make all of these tasks look super easy, they were not all quite as user-friendly as I'd expected.

DivX Plus' media player features a column with links to its many features; luckily, it's collapsible so you can focus on the video you're watching.

The first problem occurred when I tried to stream a video to a networked Samsung Smart TV. DivX Plus got me started on the task, leading me through the process of turning sharing on and identifying which folders I'd like to share, but didn't provide much additional guidance. I would have liked some notification that the files were actually being shared, as I was never able to view them on the TV. I was unable to figure out if it was the TV or the software causing the problem.

I had more luck with the DivX To Go feature, which helps you transfer your videos to DivX devices. You select the video you'd like to transfer, and what kind of device you'd like to view it on (such as a TV or Blu-ray player). You then decide whether to burn it to a DVD or save it to a USB drive, and DivX Plus handles the transfer for you. The process isn't super fast, as transferring a 22 minute TV show took nearly that same amount of time, but it worked well.

The DivX Plus Converter, which allows you to convert almost any video file to DivX, DivX Plus, or MP4 videos, opens separately from the media player. The manufacturer claims video conversion is up to 10 times faster in this latest version of DivX Plus. I haven't tested previous versions so I can't say for sure, but I can say it worked reasonably quickly.

DivX Plus 9's Converter makes short work of converting files between video formats.

I was also impressed by how easy it was. You can drag and drop a video file to the application's main window, or you can browse to find the file you want. You then select the output profile, and click Start to begin the conversion. Video novices may be overwhelmed by some of the output options, which can be confusing if you focus only on the file formats. DivX Plus does label them in plain English ("Plus HD," "Home Theater" and "Mobile," for example) which makes the subtle differences easier to understand.

Overall, DivX Plus is a full-featured video application that's (mostly) easy to use.  If all you need is a desktop media player, DivX Plus wouldn't be my choice: I'd opt for VLC instead. But if your video needs include DLNA streaming and transferring videos to other devices, DivX Plus is for you.

This story, "Review: DivX Plus 9 is a handy player and all-in-one video tool" was originally published by PCWorld.

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder DivX Plus 9

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