DirectShow is a framework developed by Microsoft and included in the Windows SDK. Its purpose is to interact with media files or streams. Developers can create new filters or use existing ones, in order to read media files, decode them, and present them to the user.


  • No license fees
  • Uses COM objects
  • Includes filters for common media types


  • Contains an overwhelming amount of COM objects
  • Creating new filters from scratch can be a tedious job


  • Source filters (provide raw data)
  • Transform filters (decode the raw data)
  • Renderer filters (present the data)

Development tools

  • Microsoft Visual Studio


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