HD hero

View high-definition video as it was meant to be seen with this set of utilities.

With the advent of high-definition video, many people are finding that programs like Windows Media Player just aren't going to cut it for viewing HD content. HD video demands a player that can do it justice, and DivX Plus 8 for Windows is perfectly suited to handle this task.

DivX Plus 8 is a whole suite of utilities, including a desktop player, a converter, a Web player, and the necessary codec pack to handle the content. We put each of the applications through its paces and found them all to be intuitive and well designed. The player is specially designed to maximize the appearance and audio of high-definition video, and we could certainly see the difference in a head-to-head with the same clip played in Windows Media Player. The latest version also makes it easy to transfer content to DiVX certified DVD players or Blu-ray players (or the PS3). If you're looking to optimize videos for the platform on which they will be played, the DivX converter will come in handy. It's impressive how simple it is to use.

The DivX codec comes in handy if you want to view HD videos with other media players, such as Windows Media Player, while the Web player is exactly what it sounds like: an online plug-in that lets you stream HD videos. If any of this sounds confusing, that's because DivX 8 Plus isn't really made for users who aren't at least a bit familiar with the ins and outs of HD video. However, those who are will find this group of tools to be quite helpful. The program has no built-in Help file, but its online support page provides a comprehensive set of FAQs, tutorials, and how-to guides.

It's worth noting that the DivX 8 Plus player takes up a fair amount of processing power, though presumably you won't be using your system for much else while using it, and also that the program installs desktop icons without asking. The overall suite is free, but if there is an option to DivX Pro pack to unlock some features, such as the capability to transcode files for mobile device playback. We recommend this program to all users.

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