DivX CEO Looks Beyond Web Video


DivX, the company that’s gotten its codec compatible with well over 100 million video devices around the world, hasn’t had similar success on the web. So new CEO Kevin Hell is looking past online video to the living room. We spoke with Hell last week about DivX’s acquisition of H.264 shop MainConcept, and what it means for getting DivX into web video. Hell’s answer seemed to be “not much.” In fact, after deciding to spin off high-quality video destination site Stage6 to cut costs, DivX would rather be a service provider to video sites than actually get involved. But you don’t have to take our interpretation — we recorded the interview and embedded it below:

[blip.tv ?posts_id=554729&dest=-1]

Some key quotes from Hell:

The ideal experience for digital video is one where you’re not in your office on a PC, but you’re actually in your living room with a remote control.

As content communities decide that they want to move beyond being just a PC experience, we’re one of the only games in town that can do that across the many devices in your life.

Shares of DivX (DIVX) fell more than 6 percent in Friday trading to change hands for $14.20 after the company said late Thursday that founder and former CEO Jordan Greenhall has resigned. Greenhall stepped down from the CEO role in July, to lead the spinoff of Stage6; Hell replaced him as acting CEO, then was named as the company’s permanent head in November.

DivX also said in its statement today — and this is not in keeping with what Hell said in our interview, which was that the Stage6 spinoff was on track to happen by the end of December — that “it expects to take additional time to consider the alternatives available…related to the future of the Stage6 service.”



I think they are too concerned about the street seeing the capital expenditure and freaking out when there are no revenues.

If they keep stage6, they would learn a huge amount about delivering community oriented consumer video services. If you think about it, where does DivX go now? It has a great codec, with players in millions of consumer devices. It has bought MC for it’s H264 capability so effectively it will support industry standards. Video availability is exploding, both professional and amateur and everything in-between.

What’s left after they license the codec to everyone under the sun? DivX has to move beyond the codec.

They have to start delivering services to support the video experience for all types of video content. They have to dig deep into the video experience. Hell says the TV is the best device on which to watch video. If so, do something about it. That means keeping Stage6. Sure, DivX wants to enable one hundred or even one thousand stage6’s, but they can’t do this if they don’t learn by doing one themselves.

Unless they have learnt enough already! What does it take to make a video community?

I reckon we will see DivX announce a sale, not a spin-off. Companies that are trying to solve the last-20 feet problem (Sandisk, D-link et al) have a huge oppo. Imagine if they acquired stage6. I can think of many cool services to deliver internet video to TV’s. And with a community of 10 million viewers, it would be a kick start to make it a success.


Well ok, but in your video, the guy says Stage6 has 10 million visitors per month, that is a lot considering Stage6 bitrate is 4-5 times more than Youtube, so the bandwidth used for Stage6 is equivalent to 50 million monthly visitors to Youtube.

As far as I have tested, streaming DivX looks better and is more usable than streaming WMV, Quicktime, RM for movies since DivX Web Player supports progressive downloading which is the best way to instantly watch DVD quality and still store the video on the hard drive.

Liz Gannes

You’re right — I was talking about online video. Should have been more specific about it being web video that was streamed.


What do you mean about DivX not being successful on the web? DivX is the number 1 video codec used worldwide for movies on the traded on the Internet since 1999.

About 30% of wordwide bandwidth is used for transfering DivX video files. Mostly using BitTorrent and Emule.

That certainly sells a lot of DivX Pro packs which serious encoders of those videos use to obtain the best video encoding quality.

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