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DivX TV

Digital video specialist DivX unveiled DivX TV, a software platform for streaming video from the internet to a television, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

"This is a critical turning point for DivX," said DivX chief executive officer Kevin Hell, adding that streaming content is rapidly growing in popularity.

The DivX TV software will allow people to access content while using their regular television set. It's also designed to deliver smooth, high-resolution video just like a regular television broadcast.

DivX, a California-based global digital media company, has teamed up with LG Electronics to build consumer electronics products based on the technology. DivX TV will be added to LG Blu-ray players, digital TVs and other devices equipped with NetCast Entertainment Access software, which allows users to access internet content through their TV, Hell said.

Hell said the company is actively signing new partners to develop products around its technology, including set-top box maker Advanced Digital Broadcast (ADB), multimedia device maker Iomega and display specialist Viewsonic. The DivX TV software can also be added to some existing consumer electronics devices, such as Blu-Ray players and TVs, though a firmware update, he said.

DivX TV was designed to be easy to use and it "mimics the TV experience," Hell said, adding that the company has received positive response from those who have used it.

Others are more reserved about the outlook for products such as DivX TV. "I think the TV screen is dead, or will be dead soon," says Ean Jackson, president of Analytics Marketing Inc. and a part time internet marketing professor at Simon Fraser University, adding that the TV medium will be replaced by a screen that can display any type of content from any source. 

Jackson doesn't own a regular TV and has been streaming content through his computer browser for years. While streamed video is sometimes choppy or low-res, he says he prefers the convenience of having online access to everything he wants to watch in one place through a browser, and cares more about the content itself than the quality of the streamed image.

The DivX TV content lineup includes more than 70 channels from a variety of genres, including free internet content as well as premium, full-length films and television shows. Content providers include Associated Press, CNET, Dailymotion, Picasa, Revision 3, Rhapsody, TED, Twitter and many more, with a number of additional content partners expected to sign on, Hell said.