(1) Short for Digital video express, a new DVD-ROM format promoted by several large Hollywood companies, including Disney, Dreamworks SKG, Paramount and Universal. With Divx, a movie (or other data) loaded onto a DVD-ROM is playable only during a specific time frame, typically two days. As soon as you begin playing a Divx disc, the counter starts. Each Divx player is connected to a telephone outlet and communicates with a central server to exchange billing information.
Divx discs have the potential to ultimately replace video tapes. They're especially convenient for video rentals because there are no late fees. Once you purchase a Divx title, you never need to return it. However, Divx has thrown a monkey wrench in the DVD market because the Divx format is not backward-compatible with current DVD-ROM players. This means that you need to buy a new Divx player to play Divx titles. Understandably, people and companies who have already invested in non-Divx players are not pleased.
(2) When spelled DivX, a trademark of DivXNetworks, Inc. DivX is a digital video compression format based on the MPEG-4 technology. DivX files can be downloaded over high-speed lines in a relatively short time without sacrificing the quality of the digital video.