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DivX HiQ hijacks YouTube: Press play for smoother online videos

DivX HiQ is here to make the best of your Facebook, YouTube and other online videos, improving frame rate and colour and lessening the strain on your poor overworked processor.

Sick of jerky online video? DivX is helping you take charge with HiQ, a feature of the DivX Plus Web player that plays back your Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo videos.

Install the DivX Plus player, currently in beta, and a new play button will appear beneath the standard player on YouTube or other sites. Click on this new DivX play button and HiQ steps in, grabbing the source file and optimising performance for your hardware. You're still in the browser and can still click around the site as normal.

DivX promises smoother playback and better colour than default players, particularly at higher resolution. It also demands less from your computer, with significantly reduced use of your CPU compared to Flash. It even works for more than one video playing at a time. 

That's good news for anyone who isn't keen on Flash video but isn't yet sold on HTML5. It isn't, however, a work-around for playing videos on devices that don't support Flash, such as Apple's iPhone and iPad.

HiQ works with Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo, as well as DailyMotion, The Onion, Revision3, MetaCafe, and others. Advertising is intact, so the player doesn't lose any revenue for sites. Firefox 3.5, Internet Explorer 8, Chrome 5 and Safari 5 browsers support the player. It's Windows-only so far, with a Mac version in the pipeline.