Introduction to DirectShow

Microsoft DirectShow 9.0

Introduction to DirectShow

Microsoft® DirectShow® is an architecture for streaming media on the Microsoft Windows® platform. DirectShow provides for high-quality capture and playback of multimedia streams. It supports a wide variety of formats, including Advanced Systems Format (ASF), Motion Picture Experts Group (MPEG), Audio-Video Interleaved (AVI), MPEG Audio Layer-3 (MP3), and WAV sound files. It supports capture from digital and analog devices based on the Windows Driver Model (WDM) or Video for Windows. It automatically detects and uses video and audio acceleration hardware when available, but also supports systems without acceleration hardware.

DirectShow is based on the Component Object Model (COM). To write a DirectShow application or component, you must understand COM client programming. For most applications, you do not need to implement your own COM objects. DirectShow provides the components you need. (If you want to extend DirectShow by writing your own components, however, you must implement them as COM objects.)

DirectShow applications must be written in C++. There is no managed API for DirectShow.

DirectShow simplifies media playback, format conversion, and capture tasks. At the same time, it provides access to the underlying stream control architecture for applications that require custom solutions. You can also create your own DirectShow components to support new formats or custom effects.

Examples of the types of application you can write with DirectShow include file players, TV and DVD players, video editing applications, file format converters, audio-video capture applications, encoders and decoders, digital signal processors, and more.

This section contains the following topics: