What is Ffdshow?
When it comes to media decoder and encoder, ffdshow is the most commonly used tool by professionals. Ffdshow is primarily utilized for quick and high quality video decoding in MPEG-4 ASP. Videos are encoded with Xvid, DivX, AVC(H.264) and Ffmpeg MPEG-4 formats. However, it also supports several other audio and video formats as well. The good thing about ffdshow is that it was licensed under GPL. This means that it is a free software and it is capable of running on Windows. Moreover, it is applied as VFW and DirectShow decoding filter.
Ffdshow was design to standalone and it does not incorporate any media player with it. It does not even have container parsers. As an alternative, after a user installed the ffdshow, all the compatible VFW media players or DirectShow like the Winamp, Windows Media Player and Media Player Classic automatically utilizes the ffdshow decoder. This averts the requirement of installing separate codecs for different ffdshow supported formats. To enable the user to configure the audio and video setting of ffdshow, a user may launch the ‘ffdshow video decoder configuration program’, which is not dependent of whichever media player.
However, supplementary media splitter is required to be installed to play transport stream files like AVC(H.264). There are various media splitter available for download in the internet. One good example of such free media splitter is the ‘Haali Media Splitter.
Ffdshow has added several features that a user can configure. Users may configure ffdshow to capture screenshots, allows keyboard control, enable and disable different codecs that are already built-in, enable the show of subtitles, increase the resolution and sharpness to enhance movies, and more filters used for post-processing.
As mentioned earlier, ffdshow is not just for video manipulation but as well as audio manipulation. It enables the use of equalizer to enhance the sound, it also has reverb feature, plugins of Winamp DSP, Dolby decoder and more. Ffdshow borrowed a few post-processing ability from AviSynth filters and MPlayer project.
The history of ffdshow can be traced back when its first versions were made public in 2002, month of April. The main objective is to utilize ffdshow as substitute for DivX3.11 and DivX 5.02, for which both are bundled with Gator. DivX3.11 and DivX 5.02 are the decoders at that time. Ffdshow also aims to bring together the quality and speed of Mplayer with widespread video players used by Windows.
The person that needs to be credited with the ffdshow is no other than Milan Cutka. Unfortunately, Cutka made a halt in updating his ffdshow project when the year 2006 came. It was a good thing that many developers maintained the ffdshow and they worked together to fix stability, fix bugs, added new features and updating of codecs were continued.
Until now, ffdshow continues to support more formats, regardless if the format is old or new. The most common video formats decoded by ffdshow are Flash Video, H.263, VP6, MPEG Part-2, AVC(H.264), WMV and Theora. When it comes to audio, ffdshow supports AAC, Dolby AC3, MP3, FLAC, WMA, Vorbis and others.