It seems that the folk behind the DivX video codec are working on an imminent hardware launch.

A device that could rival Apple TV was shown to media by DivX co-founder Jerome Rota.

The Rota prototype shown streams DivX media to your television via your computer with the necessary software installed.

Described as efficient and low-cost the networked media player offers 720p resolution and could go on sale for as little as $99, compared to the lowest Apple TV price tag of $299.

It appears that the DivX device is cheaper and sleeker as it concentrates only on stream-decoding hardware, as opposed to the Apple TV which is a computer tweaked for media streaming.

The user interface is described as "nice" - all the interface rendering is done on the PC and sent to the player as very small DivX files, which again streamlines the process.

It was revealed that DivX would releases the application programming interface to users to let them create their own plug-ins or applications.

This would mean potential for more technically minded users to create casual games, or alternative multimedia options for the product.

The DivX codec, although embraced by many major manufacturers producing "DivX Certified" DVD players, is blocked by some major names over concerns, and previous controversy due to links to pirated material.