capsule review

DivX Stage6 Beta

At a Glance
  • DivX Stage6 Beta

Stage6 is the only service we looked at that allows users with standard accounts to upload high-definition video (according to the site, 720p video requires a bit rate of around 450 kilobytes per second).

A newer entrant into the great online video land grab, Stage6 is run by the folks behind the DivX format, so it's no surprise that you need to convert your video into their format of choice before you upload. Thankfully, the site links to free and painless conversion software (Dr. DivX), and the resulting video quality was generally the best we saw outside of an original-source file. With Stage6, we saw fewer color gradients and less pixilation than with regular Flash video, but we did notice some exaggerated interlacing in clip 3 of our test video. Still, the DivX codec took just under a minute to squish our file down to just 10.5MB. The site supports the upload of files up to 2GB in size.

Though it took us just 2 minutes to upload our newly encoded .divx file, we were disappointed that it took 4 hours for the video to become live on the site. Discussions on Stage6's forums suggest it can take anywhere from 10 minutes to a whole day for uploads to finish processing.

When you've chosen a thumbnail to represent your video and you're set to embed it or share your link, those wishing to view it will need to install the DivX Web player. Fortunately, the plug-in is a quick and simple download for a variety of browsers on both the PC and the Mac. Most of the digital media receivers we recently tested will let you wirelessly stream Stage6's downloadable .divx files from your PC to a television. And registered Stage6 users can download a DivX Mobile player for Windows Mobile, Symbian, and Palm OS devices.

Bottom line: Though its use involves a few extra steps, Stage6 supports high-def video and has a well-designed online video player.

Resources: See our Top 10 Video Sharing Sites chart, find out how we tested, and visit our video-quality comparison page (requires QuickTime).

Danny Allen

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At a Glance
  • Though its use involves a few extra steps, Stage6 supports High-Def video and has a well- designed Web online video player.

  
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