DivX Web Player review or why DivX Web Player suck?


Why DivX suck? Well, DivX software does not work as expected. Their forum does not work as expected. I mean if guys cannot setup simple php and my sql web server than wth they are doing with video streaming? Long story short, I've tested DivX Web Player, tried to post my experience on their forums, but I could not. So I've posted it here ;)


DivX Web Player also sucks
DivX Web Player can't even display error message ;)
DivX forum sucks
DivX Labs forum does not do text-encoding on posts? :D

Introduction

I was researching available video solutions for SharePoint and somehow found DivX Web Player.

Features promised by DivX.com

  1. DXVA
  2. Rendering Flash video better than Adobe Flash Player

Looks great ;) So I've downloaded DivX Plus Web Player v2.1.0.900

Following systems were tested

  1. Windows Vista x86 on PC without DXVA, Windows Server 2003 x86 on PC with DXVA
  2. Internet Explorer 8, Mozilla FireFox 3

Installation

C'mon guys! It craps all over the system. It's like good-old-Windows-95 days >:) Please review DivXSetup.log after installing. It installs browser add-ons even if browser is not installed, creates registry settings for not-installed browsers. And the biggest problem it auto-registers file types without user approval. OMG. It copies some Norton security redist package on hdd even if you have not selected it.

And on uninstall it never deletes all the created shit. Even DivX main folder is left. Some registry settings (if not all) are left also, f.e. Qt registry settings. Also what about 'pings'? Submitting my private info? My country zone, for example, it was some-how detected wrongly by the way.[04:48:38] INFO AddPingRequest: [g_v2_r1] g_v2_r1_offer_country-ru

And why do you download not-yours redists from DivX.com, f.e. msvc? Best-practice is to download it from original software site thus it will be always up-to-date. [04:48:45] INFO Component: [MSVC80CRTRedist] http://download.divx.com/divx/package/MSVC80CRTRedist/Installer.exe

What if I don't want to install DivX software for all users on my computer? Why DDMService.exe is not a normal Windows Service?


Unexpected behaviours

Scenario

  1. Install DivX web player (all components in package)
  2. Uninstall it
  3. Install it again
  4. IE and FF hang up on loading DivX web player.

ProcMon from SysInternals shows that browsers try to unsuccessfully gain lock access to C:\Users\myuser\AppData\LocalLow\boost_interprocess\DDM0serviceLock and are stuck in the loop.

I've fixed Windows Vista by manually removing all registry keys/values which contain DivX and other keywords I've found in setup.log, and removing all files and folders from hdd which looked as being installed by DivX.

I did the same for Windows Server, but I've never tried installing player again, after all installing buggy-buggy-un-done-software on domain controller is not recommended best-practice by Microsoft at all.

Scenario

  1. Install only DivX web-player
  2. Browser window opens, to congratulate you, and Windows Media Player shows up instead of DivX web player

Following sites with video content were tested

Dailymotion.com

IE Player even don't show up
FF Ok

YouTube.com

IE

Displays error message with black squares, once it displayed '403 error' :D

FF Works fine

TheOnion.com

IE Sometimes plays, but displays nothing, Actually it plays only first video. I mean, when I click here DivX player shows up and plays it, If then I browse to another video, Onion’s ads show up and DivX player never shows up.
FF Works, but eats ~100 CPU, major slowdowns, even audio started cracking and sometimes there were no audio at all, also major freezes in video

Revision3.com

IE Ok
FF Ok, but CPU load is higher than in IE

Break.com

IE Does not show up
FF 404 errors or black squares (Sports.Break.com) or does not show up at all (Break.com)

Metacafe.com

IE Ok
FF Ok, but CPU load is much higher than in IE

GameReactor.eu

IE Shows up, JavaScript errors in js-files from DivX.com, does not work at all - pressing button has no effect
FF Ok

FoxNews.com

IE Ok
FF Ok, very high (~90) CPU load thought

funnyordie.com

IE - Ok

FF - Ok, but CPU load randomly spikes to ~90

CNTV Xiyou

IE - Ok

FF - connecting to download.DivX.com for ages, then plays fine.

So DivX.com promised Supported Video Web Sites is just a bunch of, how to call it politely, lies or dreams or whatever.

Some Observations
Conclusion

The only reason I've kept mocking DivX Web Player is that I really hate Flash :D But this product, for now at least, is a lot worse, well, it is not actually a product and should be classified as malicious. I hope that DivX will spent some more time on development... because what I see now is not really software it is a collection of bugs and not-expected-behaviours.


2010.12.15
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