Can You Get Flash Without Adobe? Meet DivX Plus Web Player

DivX Plus Web Player: Not A Catch-All Solution

Supported Web sites
  • Funny or Die
  • ESPN
  • CNTV Xiyou

It’s important to point out that DivX isn't offering a catch-all solution. It doesn't work as a comprehensive Flash Player replacement. So far, the list of supported Web sites is limited in scope. YouTube is the only major site that supports it. Keep in mind that video is the only type of Flash content that DivX accepts; there is no support for Flash-based animation or games.

HTML5 Video Tag
Supported Video Container
Supported Video Codec
Supported Audio Codec
MP3, AC3
H.264, MPEG-4 ASPAAC, MP4, AC3
H.264, MPEG-4 ASPMP3, AC3
H.264, MPEG-4 ASPMP3, AC3

DivX loves talking about HTML5 support, but we want to clarify a few points. HTML5 is just a Web element that marks a video for identification. For the moment, it’s technically blind with respect to file formats and codecs. So the HTML5 standard isn't really set in stone, and this is the cause of another debate. Fortunately, HTML5 and Flash video have something in common. The most pervasive codec for both standards continues to be H.264, so that's the one in which we're most interested.

Test Hardware

We tested DivX's plug-in with three systems. Intel's single-core Atom N450 remains the most prolific CPU in the netbook space, so it's a good one for testing the limitations of not having a hardware acceleration engine; it only supports MPEG-2 decoding, and relies on limited CPU horsepower for decoding H.264. AMD's E-350 offers something better than Atom, with the added benefit of H.264 hardware acceleration. Meanwhile, our Sandy Bridge-based system offers a glimpse into DivX on a more robust system.

Test Hardware
Intel Atom N450 (Single-Core, 1.66 GHz)
AMD E-350 APU (Dual-Core, 1.6 GHz)Intel Core i5-2500K, (Quad-Core, 3.3 GHz)
Hynix 1 GB DDR2-800
Kingston Hyper-X 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) DDR3-1600
ASRock E350M1Asus P8P67 Deluxe
Intel GMA 3150
Broadcom Crystal HD (disabled)
AMD Radeon HD 6310
Intel HD Graphics 3000
Dell Inspiron Mini 1012
Power Supply
Seasonic 760 W, 80 PLUS
Adobe Flash Player
DivX Plus Web Player
DivX Plus Web Player 2.4
Operating System
Windows 7 Starter
Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bitWindows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
Graphics Driver8.14.10.2230
Catalyst 11.3
Benchmark and Settings

Flash Video Playback, Custom Tom's Hardware Benchmark

Web sites

YouTube: All Resolutions, Windowed and Full screen video tested


IE8 32-bit: 8.0.7600.1685
Firefox: 3.6.15

Adobe Flash Player Settings

Hardware Acceleration Enabled

Windows Settings
Aero enabled (disabled on Dell Mini 1012)

We played all Flash videos within the browser, only after the entire video was fully buffered. We also disabled wireless networking during playback. Furthermore, all CPU usage and FPS values were generated from complete video playback.

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  • henydiah
    one of challenges of adobe flash player, i hope this can support my mobile
  • The Halo Don
    Useful! I'll take it!
  • Anonymous
    Does not work in chrome
  • Anonymous
    so according to the title, divx can do the same funcionality as a whole, regarding flash plugin?

    can it be programmable, you can make animations, games, applications with divx player?

    or does the text admit that flash is only about video? so adobe is pushing a whole software just to play video on browsers?

    to the dear writer of this report, please understand that tom´s hardware is a long standing website, and it conquered the credibility of millions of people around the world, so be more carefull next time you wanna write a sensationalist title to bring people to your text.

    flash does a lot more than playing video. and there´s no such thing as "flash video"... video is VIDEO, no matter played by flash, html5, "bleep-blam-bloom technology", whatever else.

    and the day you have so many calculations and big chunks of scenery, characters, audio, and server liasons, you´ll have an impact in the system, no matter if its flash, html5, or anyother app.

    magic doesnt happen out of flash. data weights anyway it comes, and theres no guarantee that producers are the best for their jobs, by working with optimizations in many levels of production.

    simply theres no guarantee at all, so expect a heavy ugly bad optimized html5 applications in the future, that will impact on browser´s performance anytime sooner or later.
  • Soul_keeper
    I'm not impressed
    adobe may suck, but divx isn't much better as far as openness goes.

    Star Trek on cbs is an absolute annoyance to watch ...
    My gnash plugin don't work there
  • dark_lord69
    mayankleoboy1i wont use IE8 instead of FF to save any amount of battery.

    Why not use IE9? Toms found it to be one of the fastest browsers...
    Yes, IE 8 is slow...
  • gm0n3y
    While its great to have an alternative to flash, without support for the latest browsers (IE9, FF4, and most importantly for me Chrome) its not going to spread very far.
  • ph0b0s123
    Wow, what a puff piece. About that software came out over 6 months ago. Even the graph which is supposed to show how much better this software is for playing flash shows that CPU utilisation is the same if not worse than without. The article did also not mention that most have binned this version of divx player and gone back to older versions due to the amount of crashes the software causes in browsers. Cannot believe 6 pages was spent on this.

    And while I am complaining, cause normally I love the site, it's very annoying that comments I leave on the UK site don't appear on the US site, and visa versa. Can understand when a site is in a completely different language but Brits and Yanks can talk to each other yer know.
  • computertech82
    It's an article i already know about, but i've found divx CRASHES by ie8 browswer. While an OLDER version, doesn't.
    Only if they fix the program to run stable, will i use it. I don't need something that doesn't work most of the time.
  • Anonymous
    People still use Internet Explorer?

    mayakleoboy & ph0b0s123: +1 and +1
  • slicedtoad
    it doesn't work on chrome so divx looses.
  • slicedtoad
    besides, you can play youtube in html 5 anyway. it's in the options in your youtube account.
  • zybch
    Anyone who uses DivX is a complete tool. It was once okay (pre v4) buyt its now just a substandard crashy piece of bloatware that takes over your PC even more than the king of all take-over-ware iTunes.
  • DSpider
    A plugin that plugs into a plugin. Brilliant !

    Yo dawg, we put a plugin in yo plugin so now you can watch Flash videos through DivX, through the Flash Player container.

    Hahaha. :slap:

    zybchAnyone who uses DivX is a complete tool. It was once okay (pre v4) buyt its now just a substandard crashy piece of bloatware that takes over your PC even more than the king of all take-over-ware iTunes.

    Just like Nero was once ok. Now it's a big fat cow.
  • Anonymous
    Hasn't Adobe been doing hardware acceleration support for many months?

    Also, for locally stored files, VLC is doing hardware support now. Capturing a Flash stream without decode is available in lots of free applets.
  • CerianK
    I had high hopes that this would breath a little extra life into a Win XP Pentium III 1GHz box w/ATI 9600 graphics. Nope... IE8 YouTube video plays ok for 5-10 seconds without audio and then locks up while buffering. It was almost tolerable at 360p before, so I uninstalled this DivX widget. If they kick it out of beta, I might try again.
  • fb39ca4
    Someone needs to write an open source flash alternaive that simply plays back all flash content, but is portable to any device.
  • Anonymous
    "DivX Plus Web Player is the first alternative to Adobe's Flash Player"

    Hmm...try again. Check out Gnash, which dates back to December of 2005:
  • Anonymous
    DivX Plus Web Player is one of the worst pieces of software I've installed. Its goal was to provide better performance than Flash? Well it's certainly failed there. My Celeron can handle Flash video better than a video playing with the DivX web player. Not only that, but DivX doesn't like Tout videos. It'll play the audio but no video motion. I've also had it not buffer videos completely on numerous occasions. I'm going to VLC.