Microsoft DirectX 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 using Windows Driver Model (WDM) devices or older Video for Windows devices. DirectShow is integrated with other DirectX technologies. It automatically detects and uses video and audio acceleration hardware when available, but also supports systems without acceleration hardware.

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 applications you can write with DirectShow include DVD players, video editing applications, AVI to ASF converters, MP3 players, and digital video capture applications.

DirectShow is based on the Component Object Model (COM). To write a DirectShow application, 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.)

This section contains the following topics: