Have you ever wondered how the videos you are streaming on Netflix, or a movie playing from a DVD got on there? Of course not! Regardless, there is a lot of processing being done behind the scenes to get that GBs of data onto a disc, or through your limited internet bandwidth and onto your screens.
This is achieved through codecs, which essentially means coding and decoding, or compressing and decompressing. There are many different codecs to shrink the size of files so that they can be stored and transferred easily. But the codecs we are going to be talking about today are DivX and Xvid.
DivX and Xvid are video codecs used to encode video data through lossy compression algorithms. This means that the data they encode is compressed by removing the parts of the video that are not important to human visibility. That said, we find that the two can be confusing because of their similarities.
Today, we are going to discuss the two codecs in detail and highlight how they are different from one another.
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What is DivX Codec?
The DivX codec was developed by DivX Inc. in 1999 and was based on the MPEG-4 video codec. This new codec, at the time, provided the ability to deliver DVD-quality videos in significantly smaller file sizes. This codec got an overwhelming response from the public as it had never been seen before.
The DivX codec would compress video and audio data with a lossy algorithm while maintaining most of the original quality. This was done by dropping the video and audio ports of the data which could not be perceived by the natural human eyes and ears.
Even though some advanced video codecs have been launched since then, DivX still remains one of the popular video codecs.
What is Xvid Codec?
Apart from the fact that “DivX” spelled backward is “Xvid,” it can be said that the Xvid codec is based off of the DivX codec since the two codecs have a common history.
When the open-source version of DivX was created, which was known as OpenDivX, it was placed under a restrictive license, so that only the members of the DivX Advanced Research Center (DARC) could modify it. Later on, one of the members developed a better, improved version of the encoding core, known as “Encore2.”
However, due to an internal dispute between the developers, the Encore2 was later removed from the original OpenDivX codec. This move led to the creation of Xvid.
The original DivX team split. The DivX team developed upon Encore2 and created DivX 4.0, while the original developer of Encore2 and his team took this piece of code and created Xvid.
That said, the Xvid codec, just like the DivX codec, performs lossy compression of the original video data and encodes it.
Difference between DivX and Xvid
If both codecs are derived from the same encoding core, how are they different? Well, there are still a few differences between them.
DivX is a commercial product that has both a free and a paid version. However, Xvid is an entirely open-source codec. Xvid is published in the GNU General Public License, which guarantees the users the freedom to run, study, share, and modify the software. In contrast, DivX only allows limited functionality on their free version.
Xvid can be used on any operating system where it can be compiled. However, the DivX codec is only available for a limited number of platforms.
That said, it is not necessary that a video player that supports DivX must also support Xvid or vice versa.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
DivX VS Xvid
DivX and Xvid are both video lossy video codecs that shrink the size of a video by cutting out the parts not perceivable to the human eye while maintaining a similar quality to the original video. However, Xvid is an open-source codec that you can run, study, share, and edit, whereas DivX is a commercial product that cannot be edited.
Are DivX and Xvid the same?
DivX and Xvid are not the same. In fact, they are a competitor to one another. In terms of functionality, they both perform lossy video compression. However, the latter is an open-source codec, whereas the former is a licensable product.
Is Xvid better than DivX?
Many argue that Xvid is better than DivX as it provides better compression and better quality video. However, it is observed that there is no visible difference between the two codecs in terms of quality. Moreover, DivX is more popular than Xvid, which is why more devices may support it. With that in mind, videos encoded with DivX would have more compatibility.