Microsoft Releases DirectShow SDK – Universal Playback for DVD, Digital Video and Audio, and the Internet

NEW YORK, Dec. 10, 1997 — At Fall Internet World ’97, Microsoft Corp. today released its DirectShow
™
API SDK, a universal architecture for capture, control, processing and playback of multimedia streams, including digital audio and video, and animation data. DirectShow provides a much-needed universal infrastructure for next-generation PC digital devices such as DVD players, DV cameras, and PC television tuner cards, in addition to providing a standard application programming interface (API) for a variety of industry software developers creating applications that take advantage of these devices. DirectShow also includes an ActiveX
™
Control that can be embedded in Web pages and applications for instant playback of audio and video data in a variety of popular formats, including Intel Indeo Video, Intel Indeo Audio, MPEG, AVI, MOV, WAV, AIFF and AU.

The DirectShow run time is available now for the Windows® 95 and Windows NT® version 4.0 operating systems and is integrated into Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0. DirectShow will ship with the upcoming Windows 98 and Windows NT 5.0, ensuring wide compatibility for playback of all types of content from over the Internet, intranets and next-generation PC devices.

Support for Next-Generation Technologies

The contemporary design of DirectShow offers a comprehensive, versatile approach for developing next-generation hardware and software solutions. Today, developers can take advantage of built-in support for the latest devices, standards, codecs and file formats, including these:

  • DVD. DirectShow provides an easy-to-use standard API for playback of DVD-video content. DirectShow frees developers from MCI extension incompatibilities and insulates developers from differences in various DVD playback configurations such as hardware-only, software-only or hybrid decode. DVD-specific DirectShow filters eliminate the need for developers to use proprietary navigators or other nonstandard components. This ensures the widest possible compatibility of DVD titles for the PC, while still enabling third-party content enhancements through the DirectShow filter graph.

  • Digital Video (DV). DirectShow support for the DV standard opens the door for software developers to broaden high-quality video authoring solutions from the professional market to the business presentation and consumer market. Today’s plug-in support and Windows 98 direct support for the IEEE 1394 standard lower the price barriers for users to connect DV video cameras to their PCs for recording, playback and editing. Time-stamped DirectShow streaming media can be layered in multiple video tracks, composited with animation, or enhanced with DirectSound for multitrack audio and spacial sound effects.

  • Broadcast PC. Equipped with DirectShow, a television tuner card and Windows 98, the broadcast-enabled computer will blend television with a new world of interactive entertainment and information possibilities. The extremely flexible “filter” architecture of DirectShow manages the process of receiving, decoding, transforming, scheduling and displaying interdependent video, audio, and data streams. With nearly all the technology and infrastructure currently in place, applications are being authored to allow users to interact with shows, express opinions, test knowledge and game skills, and obtain stock quotes, sports scores, news, software upgrades and whatever else they choose to subscribe to.

  • Popular codecs and file formats. DirectShow supports cutting-edge codecs such as Intel’s Indeo Video Interactive, The Duck Corp.’s TrueMotion 2.0 video, and a variety of third-party MPEG-2 video and AC3 audio decoders, such Mediamatics’ DVDExpress A/V Pak, for theater-quality movie playback via DVD. The DirectShow run time natively supports a variety of popular formats, including MPEG, AVI, WAV AIFF, AU, and plays Apple QuickTime (MOV) files in place.

  • Internet playback. The DirectShow client-side optimization becomes increasingly important as streaming media technology continues to evolve on the Internet and intranets. DirectShow will become the universal client for the Advanced Streaming Format (ASF) supporting future versions of NetShow
    ™
    Player and other Internet streaming players. DirectShow provides a solution to bandwidth limitations for richer multimedia playback. The ability to take advantage of progressive download, client-side hardware acceleration and devices like CD and DVD greatly expands the breadth of hybrid Internet applications and vastly enriches end-user experience.

Comprehensive Media Processing Architecture

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, DirectShow, ActiveX, Windows, Windows NT, DirectX, NetShow and Direct3D are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors : If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

Industry Leaders Applaud DirectShow

Leading vendors of hardware and software products announced support for DirectShow and new DirectShow-enabled products:

“Adaptec is very excited about DirectShow and we are committed to supporting our strategy around DV and 1394 technology.”

– Adam Silver

Marketing Manager

Advanced Media Products Group

Adaptec Inc.

“The DirectX APIs help ATI Technologies combine multiple media types together to bring comprehensive multimedia solutions together on the PC. With DirectShow for video capture and TV streaming and Direct3D® for gaming, ATI has transformed the PC into the ultimate entertainment platform for consumers.”

– Alfonse Licata

Product Marketing Manager

Graphics and Multimedia Software

ATI Technologies Inc.

“DirectShow support for our TrueMotion 2.0 video codec means that PC users everywhere can now enjoy full-color, full-screen, full-motion video for games, streaming applications and other multimedia applications. This is a great opportunity for game developers and multimedia content creators to deliver compelling titles for a broad target audience of Windows users. Microsoft and The Duck Corp. have made this possible in an authoring environment that allows for problem-free development and accelerated time-to-market.”

– Stan Marder

Chief Executive Officer

The Duck Corp.

“FutureTel is advancing products like the multimedia suite, Video Sphinx Pro for business and Internet professionals, that depend on standards – and Microsoft lays the standards foundation with DirectShow. DirectShow eliminates proprietary bottlenecks and enables plug-and-play capability for FutureTel customers, from consumers who wants to add video to their Web pages to professionals sending their multimedia presentations back to the home office.”

– Max Hata

CEO

FutureTel

“With DirectShow, users of the acclaimed Hitachi MPEG Camera are able to easily play back MPEG video clips taken by the camera without a separate run time under the Windows 95 and Windows NT platform. The combination of Hitachi’s MPEG Camera and DirectShow makes the production and viewing of MPEG video clips easier and cost-effective.”

– Yoshi Sakurai

Product Marketing Manager

Hitachi Home Electronics (America) Inc.

“The integration of Matsushita’s DV software Codec into DirectShow will create a standard for DV cameras on the PC platform, enabling customers to author or edit DV video and audio while maintaining very high quality for professional use. I am convinced that the fusion of DV with PCs will vastly broaden the range of customers to take advantage of audio and video on the PC.”

– Dr. Masaaki Kobayashi
General Manager

AVC Products Development Laboratory
Matsushita Electric

“Microsoft turned to Mediamatics to bring software DVD functionality to the DirectShow API. As a result of our long-term relationship with Microsoft, our DVDExpress software decoder fully supports DirectShow 2.0 and provides OEMs, for the first time, with complete flexibility to design cost effective DVD-enabled Entertainment PCs.”

– Prem Nath

President

Mediamatics

“Microsoft DirectShow provides an essential decoding function in MGI VideoWave allowing novice users to easily produce and play back professional-quality video on their PCs and the Internet. Adoption of video publishing is dependent on universal video file support and media distribution. Microsoft DirectShow delivers the technology to make video publishing a widespread reality among home and business users.”

– Ihor Petelycky

Director of Product Management

MGI Software

“Rockwell continues to support and work with Microsoft on key video initiatives. Our Bt48 and Bt829 video drivers provide the basis for Microsoft’s WDM driver development kit (DDK) and support the new DirectShow software developers kit. Video-based applications are becoming increasingly popular, and computer and add-in card makers now have a solid foundation for creating a wide range of innovative PC video products.”

– Dana Witt

Software Product Manager

Digital Infotainment Division

Rockwell Semiconductor Systems

“We expect the DirectShow open standard and the SDK, through broadened availability and ease of integration, to positively improve all aspects of media delivery, including Web development and streaming media technology. Because of this, DirectShow will have far-reaching impact on the Internet’s media convergence effort. Sonic Foundry itself has been one of the early adopters of this new and emerging open standard. We feel DirectShow goes a long way in defining a universal specification for the entire development community.”

– Rimas Buinevicius

CEO

Sonic Foundry Inc.

“We believe DirectShow is a major advancement for the digital video market. DirectShow eliminates several technology limitations and restrictions, making the entire video editing and production process significantly easier and more productive. And we’re very excited about its open architecture, which makes it easier for Ulead to develop and implement third-party plug-ins, and thus offer more options to end users.”

– Steve Stautzenbach

Director of Sales and Marketing

Ulead Systems Inc.

“DirectShow easily integrates into our group videoconferencing client, CU-SeeMe. By offering a standard method for handling video services, DirectShow simplifies video technology. We can now quickly add new features to CU-SeeMe using the DirectShow SDK.”

– Forrest Milkowski

Director of Product Marketing

White Pine Software

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