Wednesday, May 20, 2009

DivX Tech Preview: MKV on Windows 7

What's in this preview?

This technology preview introduces support for DivX Plus HD video in applications using the Microsoft Media Foundation, a new framework introduced in Windows 7. The package includes a native version of the DivX MKV Demux as well as shell extensions that provide thumbnail images and detailed file information for files with either ".divx" (DivX 6) or ".mkv" (DivX 7) extensions for an enhanced experience.

Updated 5/13/2009: Support for Windows 7 RC1

Why is this cool?

Although Windows 7 maintains support for established frameworks such as DirectShow, there was no other solution for rendering content in an MKV container through the Media Foundation framework - until today!

The advantages of enabling MKV file support in the Media Foundation framework include the ability to use hardware acceleration for H.264 video decoding via the system H.264 decoder (where supported), as well as adding support for serving both DivX and DivX Plus HD video through Windows Media Center Extenders and the Windows Media Network Sharing Service for UPNP devices. However, be aware that transcoding creates an additional CPU load on the server, some loss of quality and potentially reduces picture resolution.

Known issues (05/13/2009)

The following are known issues or important information for this DivX Tech Preview:

  • We are currently providing only 32-bit binaries, this means 64-bit versions of Windows Media Player and Windows Media Center cannot use these components to play MKV files - Windows 7 uses the 32-bit versions by default

  • Latest testing has been against Windows 7 RC Build 7100

  • The DivX MKV splitter currently exposes only the primary audio track.

  • This tech preview does not yet support subtitle tracks

  • Offloading of H.264 decoding to hardware is subject to the capabilities of your video card

  • ASP file thumbnails may not display correctly in Windows 7 Build 7100

  • This Tech Preview does not include the standard DivX 7 for Windows software, so it will not provide support of DivX or DivX Plus video under DirectShow or Video for Windows frameworks. You can install the DivX 7 for Windows software separately to add these capabilities, but you'll need to re-install the tech preview to restore the Media Foundation support.

Downloading the tech preview

To download the tech preview you need to create a free DivX Labs account then join the Project Rémoulade Apps group. Downloads for Project Rémoulade are available at the top of the group homepage for signed-in members.

We want to hear your feedback on this technology preview! Please submit your comments and questions to the DivX Technology Preview forum (requires sign-in). If your feedback relates to performance issues or software stability, please consider attaching some of the following to your post:

  • Screenshots from CPU-Z that show your CPU, memory and mainboard configuration.

  • Screenshots from DXDiag, which you can launch by simply typing DXDiag into the Run box on your Start menu, so that we can see information about your graphics card (e.g. vendor/model/memory/driver revision).

  • Screenshots of any crash dialogs, including the details view if available.

  • In the case of crashes, an export from MSInfo32, which you can launch by simply typing MSInfo32 into the Run box on your Start menu, so that we can see information about the operating system, running software and application errors.
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