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

DivX Plus Web Player is the first alternative to Adobe's Flash Player. It promises better performance, battery life, and video quality, all in one shot. If Flash content brings your computer to its knees, read on to find out if DivX is the answer.

A while back, Steve Jobs posted six reasons why Apple wouldn't support Adobe's Flash-based products on the iPad and iPhone. Those reasons ranged from the software's openness to the fact that it's from a third-party to its effect on battery life. Also listed is the performance of mobile devices playing back Flash-based content. We already spent a lot of time digging into the product's effect on system resources in Adobe Flash: A Look At Browsers, Codecs, And System Performance. If Flash can torpedo the performance of a desktop PC (and it can; we've seen it), just imagine what it could do to a smartphone.

Now, no one is debating the merits of streaming video. Apple simply believes the problem lies in video delivery. That's why it is promoting a new standard known as HTML5 for its mobile devices. However, Apple's overwhelming popularity is one of the factors preventing more widespread adoption. Most Web sites only enable HTML5 content when they detect the iOS user agent. So, if you're cruising the Internet on a PC, HTML5 compliance might not be as relevant right now. That leaves us with a big question mark over the desktop systems (or laptops or netbooks) that still struggle with Flash-based content.

This is where DivX steps in. The company is sidestepping a format war altogether by providing a player that supports HTML5 and Flash-encoded video.  For a long time, Adobe's Flash Player was the only game in town able to play back Flash video. But that's in the past. DivX isn't out to trash Flash, but it is out to prove that it can deliver better performance, battery life, and image quality.

CNN requires Adobe's Flash PlayerCNN requires Adobe's Flash Player

How important is Flash, really? If you enjoy following news sites like CNN, you generally have to install Flash to access all of the content. ComScore estimates that roughly 75% of all online video is Flash-based. For better or for worse, Adobe's Flash format is a fact of today's Web surfing experience. Clearly, DivX has a tall order to fill. Let's see how its solution stacks up.

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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.