What’s the Difference Between DivX and Xvid?



Both sound identical, and both are video codecs. So what is the difference between Divx & Xvid?

You’ve probably heard the terms DivX or Xvid if you’ve ever watched movies on a DVD player or downloaded videos from a peer to peer network.

You might be wondering what the differences are between these terms. Read on to find out.

Video Codecs DivX, Xvid and Xvid are available.

What is a video codec, then? Codec is a combination of coder and decoder.

It would be difficult to stream raw video files over the internet or store them on your computer. A standard Blu-ray disc can typically hold around 40GB. Video codecs are here to help.

The video files are made smaller by compressing and encoding the data and then decoding and decompressing them to be played back and edited.

We can now efficiently conduct Zoom business meetings on our phones with minimal bandwidth. Codecs are the key to this.

Both DivX, Xvid and other video codecs have lossy or incorrect data compression. Lossy compression reduces file sizes by removing only the picture details that are unimportant for human perception without sacrificing quality.



Both codecs can decode the output of each other and are based on MPEG-4. They are still used extensively, but they are often only for video encoding.

What is DivX? What Has It Done to Digital Video?

DivX is a MPEG-4 codec. The DivX codec can compress long video segments into smaller sizes while maintaining high visual quality. Most DivX videos use AVI files (Audio Video Interleave), file extensions, DivX and Div extensions.

1999, Jerome “Gej” Rota, a young French animator, created a version of the MPEG-4 video codec, which allowed for DVD-quality video with small file sizes. Rota and a few other budding entrepreneurs further developed the codec. Finally, in August 2001, DivX 4.0 was made public.

DivX allowed for near-DVD-quality video via the internet (which was almost unheard of at that time) and received a massive response from the digital community. DivX quickly became the standard for high-quality, full-length video transfers over a peer-to-peer network.

Hundreds of millions were released from 2003 to the present to support DivX OVS playback. This was one of the first Internet-based video-on-demand platforms. Over one billion DivX downloads have been made worldwide, and 1.5 billion DivX Certified devices were shipped.

What is Xvid, and how does it relate to DivX?

Xvid (or DivX as it is spelled backwards) is an open-source MPEG-4 encoder. Xvid is capable of compressing a full-length DVD movie onto one CD.

  1. Interesting facts can also be found about the origins of Xvid. First, it can be said that Xvid originated from DivX.
  2. DivX Networks was able to create OpenDivX in January 2001. This is an open-source MPEG-4 codec. However, the source code was subject to a restrictive license, and only members from the DivX Advanced Research Centre (DARC) had access to it.
  3. Sparky, a DARC member, wrote an improved version (encore2) of the encoding code core in 2001. This code was then included in the OpenDivX public repository but later removed. It was then that the project forked.
  4. DivX developed DivX 4.0 from the encore2 code. OpenDivX participants took encore2 and created a new project using the same encoding core. They named it Xvid.
  5. Many modern Blu-ray and DVD players can play Xvid videos.

What is the Difference Between DivX and Xvid?

Xvid, a free and open-source codec, is the main rival to Divx. Xvid is available under the GNU General Public License. This license grants end-users four freedoms: the ability to use, study, share and modify the software.

  1. DivX is a commercial product. However, it offers a free download with limited functionality.
  2. Xvid is a codec that can be used on all platforms.
  3. Xvid files are supported by video players with the DivX logo, even though it is a different codec than the Xvid codec.
  4. DivX, Xvid and Xvid are no longer popular as H.264 has emerged. However, it offers better compression and supports up to 4K UHD.

Enjoy Your Favorite DivX or Xvid Movies

You now know the connection between DivX, Xvid and how they differ.

If you have a collection of classic DivX and Xvid movies, you can either relive them on your computer or project them onto your TV to enjoy the full-screen experience.

Mark Funk
Mark Funk is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.