Windows Mobile 6.5
A version of this page is also available for

DirectShow® is a middleware architecture that provides a pipeline for media playback and capture. The DirectShow API enables playback of multimedia content from local storage or from streamed sources over a network, or the Internet. The architecture is designed to support sources, formats, codecs, and hardware devices.

DirectShow uses filters to manage and manipulate multimedia data. These filters perform actions, such as parsing, decoding, formatting, or rendering, on a multimedia streams. You can extend DirectShow media support by writing your own filters.

The output of one filter can be directed to the input of one or more other filters in what is called a filter graph. By constructing filter graphs using the Filter Graph Manager (FGM), you can use DirectShow as a flexible intermediary to translate various types of input into various types of output.

Microsoft DirectShow allows for high-quality playback of multimedia streams by supporting codecs for a variety of formats. More information can be found in the following topics.

DirectShow Application Development

Provides architectural background information on DirectShow and practical design details you must know to create a DirectShow application.

DirectShow Security

Describes factors to consider when trying to make your DirectShow OS design or application more secure.

DirectShow Registry Settings

Provides information on registry settings that affect DirectShow OS designs and applications.

DirectShow Reference

Provides reference descriptions for DirectShow programming elements.

Supported DirectShow Filters

Provides a list of DirectShow filters provided to OS designers with. Support for these filters depends on the OS design.

Media Types and Sub Types

Provides descriptions of media types supported by DirectShow

DirectX Media Objects

Provides conceptual information on DirectX media objects (DMOs), which are data-streaming objects similar to DirectShow filters.


Provides information on DirectDraw, the API for supporting hardware-accelerated 2-D graphics operations.

Waveform Audio

Provides conceptual and reference information on waveform audio support.

Encoded Media

Provides links to other graphics and multimedia technologies supported.

Community Additions