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Divx rollout delayed again

The limited-use version of DVD is now due in early June, as a developer wraps up efforts to make sure enough movies titles are available upon release.

The rollout of Divx had been delayed again, as a developer finishes preparing movie titles for a limited launch now scheduled for early next month.

Intended for the rental market, the limited-use version of DVD (digital versatile disc) will hit the stores the first week of June when Digital Video Express (DVE) finishes up transferring the titles to the Divx format, according to Tom O'Reilly of the DVD Report, an industry weekly.

Divx was initially slated to be rolled out in San Francisco and Richmond, Virginia, on a trial basis in April, but that deadline was pushed back to late May. DVE has said previously it expects to launch with between 50-100 titles.

As a technology, Divx has been the subject of bitter debate among videophiles even before its arrival, with some DVD-ROM early adopters infuriated about another possible DVD standard that could render their products obsolete.

But Divx supporters, among them developer DVE and parent company Circuit City, argue that Divx offers a powerful alternative to the traditional rental paradigm by bypassing late fees and return trips to the video store. Proponents also argue that more compelling movie content would be available on the Divx platform.

"They want to make sure they have enough software available," Reilly said. "It would be worse to release Divx without any software available, but it adds a little more fuel to the fire for those who are anti-Divx."