Faster Than Real-Time: MPEG-4 Encoding With DivX 4.11


Helping Out The Encoder

Converting a DVD into the popular MPEG-4 format used to take longer than the actual length of the movie, but there has been phenomenal progress made with conversion tools in the recent past. First, Intel helped to make the conversion process in DivX 4.11 considerably faster. Second, several popular utilities have just been equipped with important features that improve performance even further. The bottom line is that simultaneous conversion of DVD video and Dolby Digital Audio in real-time has become reality. Until now, this was reserved for MPEG-4 video only, and MP3 audio was left out in the cold.

Intel's "Help" With The DivX Codec

The news that Intel helped to optimize the DivX codec has made the rounds. The manufacturer's development team came to the aid of the software developers. In return, of course, the software engineers had to allow Intel to give their goods a once-over. After taking a peek, Intel examined the applications' source code more closely and optimized it for SSE accordingly. This is what happened at DivX Networks , which recently released the SSE-optimized version 4.11. In addition, Intel directly sent us a manipulated version of the conversion tool FlaskMPEG 0.6, although we don't recommend using it. This utility is only faster when used in conjunction with Pentium 4 processors, which will disappoint many users. CPUs from other manufacturers are out of luck. We'll include these effects in our benchmarks.

Uwe Scheffel