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DivX lays out cheap competitor to AppleTV

updated 01:20 pm EDT, Thu August 23, 2007

DivX's AppleTV competitor

The owners of the DivX video codec have produced a prototype media streamer, one which appears to challenge the likes of the AppleTV. As opposed to the latter, which costs $300, the unnamed DivX system could be produced by a third party to meet a $100 retail price, according to DivX's co-founder, Jérôme Rota. It achieves this by omitting local storage, instead streaming media from a nearby PC, which is then simply processed locally in 720p. Similarly, the device's user interface is rendered on the PC to reduce dependence on extra processors.

The platform proposed by Rota would also be considerably more "open" than Apple's, or those found on similar devices. The center of the prototype is of course the DivX codec, which is favored by many users, but is blocked by the likes of Apple and Microsoft due to associations with piracy. The DivX company has also produced its own API, which allows the creation of user-made programs and plug-ins for media, or even games, all of which currently require hacking to install on the AppleTV.

Although Rota has demonstrated a working unit to the media, no timelines or other companies are currently attached for production. [via Ubergizmo]




By Electronista Staff
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  1. jarod

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2005

    0

    Cheap is right

    No thank you. Apple TV whips this inside out.

  1. scottnichol

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 1999

    0

    what's the point?

    so, in order to work, i've got to have this thing AND a PC? if the PC has to render the menus and store the content what's the point really? if i've got to rely on the PC for that much, why not just hook it up to the TV and bypass this device entirely?

    at least if i really wanted to, i could sync some content up to my AppleTV and take it with me to a friends house!

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: what's the point

    Maybe I missed the memo, but the AppleTV also requires a PC to work.

    And isn't the AppleTV $250, not $300?

  1. doctor9

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    As they say...

    Saying and doing are two different things. Let's do a thorough comparison when, and if, the DivX model comes out.

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    0

    Re: tostada/testuda

    The AppleTV only requires a MAC to copy onto the AppleTV content. It does NOT require a PC (I know this is hard, but think PC=a computer running Windows) to run an AppleTV. The DivX player requires a PC (I know this is hard, but think PC=a computer running Windows) to run it at ALL times. The DivX player makes NO MENTION of working with a Mac either.

    As for the pricing of AppleTVs, in the USA, the 40GB AppleTV retails for $299 and the $160GB version runs $399. But then again, you could have looked for yourself.

  1. jasonsRX7

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Jul 2003

    0

    USB

    If it has a functional USB port that could play media from external storage, it would trounce the AppleTV, at least for how I want to use it.

  1. russellb

    Junior Member

    Joined: Sep 2001

    0

    Apple TV

    I dont even use the hard drive on my Apple TV, I stream all my TV and movies, whats the point of synching to something with limited space.

    What really makes the Apple TV better and I think it's something yet to be released is hiring or renting Movies per view or per time period. Why else would apple have all these best TV shows and best movies as menus on apple tv .. no company puts that as a feature and wastes dedicated menus so you can see what the top few TV & movies are !!

    Those menu's are only there for future use... thats when Apple TV will kill all the opposition.

    For years I use Elgato's EyeHome which did exactly what this device does .. stream only from PC. EYE Home was great and worked well ... no problems streaming from your Mac.

    Apple TV will win because of what it will be able to do not for what limited feature set it does now

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: testudass

    The AppleTV only requires a MAC to copy onto the AppleTV content. It does NOT require a PC (I know this is hard, but think PC=a computer running Windows) to run an AppleTV.

    OK, how many things can you get wrong? First, it's Mac, not MAC. Second, it does NOT require a Mac, it can also be used with a Windows PC. If it required a Mac, it would have a really limited potential customer base. Third, it still requires one, just maybe not ALL the time (and a lot of people, like russellb, don't even bother syncing, because their libraries are much larger than the AppleTV can hold, and its not worth the hassle. Fourth, a Mac is a PC (personal computer), a Windows PC is a PC running Windows. (I know its hard, but try to follow along.)

    The DivX player requires a PC (I know this is hard, but think PC=a computer running Windows) to run it at ALL times. The DivX player makes NO MENTION of working with a Mac either.

    Oooh. ALL times? OMG, you're right, its completely different. And completely worthless then, because who wants to keep their computer on. You'd never have to do that with the AppleTV (unless, of course, you want to change or search for content).

    Of course, keep in mind that this device would be $200 cheaper.

    As for the pricing of AppleTVs, in the USA, the 40GB AppleTV retails for $299 and the $160GB version runs $399. But then again, you could have looked for yourself.

    Then again, I thought I had already known they were $250, so why would I bother looking. Maybe I was just thinking it couldn't possibly cost $300 for the limited feature-set of the AppleTV.

  1. gitcypher

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2007

    0

    nothing beats

    my modded (original) XBOX. Streams all media from Macs (directly from iTunes) or PCs. 500GB HD that I can access from anywhere on my network. Plays YouTube, streaming radio (and records directly to MP3), DVDs and just about any codec you throw at it.

    As for this Divx device... it doesn't even touch AppleTV. h***, I'd much rather hook up my laptop. It at least has HDMI and a remote.

  1. ViktorCode

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006

    0

    Wireless TV connection

    This is just a wireless way to hook up your computer to a TV. I see no other features here and no competition to AppleTV.

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