Hollywood finally embraces DivX

Stale studios attempt to Freshen up with DivX downloads
Stale studios attempt to Freshen up with DivX downloads

Hollywood finally gets it. After years of shunning DivX as the favourite file format of movie pirates, four major film studios are finally jumping on board.

Film Fresh is the first download-to-own (DTO) retailer to offer Hollywood films in the DivX format, albeit with fairly tight DRM.

The site (www.filmfresh.com) is selling standard definition DivX movies for between $10-15 (£6-9), which can watched on your computer or a DivX certified device.

Big panicky studios

Lionsgate, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures and Warner Brothers are providing the catalogue of 600 new and recent films, which is expected to grow "quickly". Titles on offer from day one include Pineapple Express, 17 Again and Watchmen plus franchises like Spider-Man, Harry Potter, The Matrix and Batman.

The DivX files are secured by DRM that limits playback to devices linked to the users unique ID. On computers and the PlayStation 3 it involves entering a code, although on the "millions" of consumer electronics devices that are DivX certified it's a bit more complicated. On a DVD player, for instance, users need to copy down the device's registration number, download some software from DivX, burn a file onto a blank DVD and then run in the machine.

This will enable user to then burn DVDs directly at home and play them on their DVD or Blu-ray player without further permission issues. Probably. Rick Bolton, founder and CEO of Film Fresh says, "Our partnership with DivX goes back to the founding of Film Fresh. We have always believed that DivX offers the best download choice for consumers, since it gives people the freedom to own and watch films on a wide variety of electronic devices from many different manufacturers."