Technology / Multimedia

Media Foundation Transforms

Media Foundation Transforms

LEADTOOLS SDKs offer a full range of multimedia technologies for .NET (C# & VB) and C/C++ developers creating applications built upon Microsoft's Media Foundation technology. With the Media Foundation Transforms offered in LEADTOOLS, programmers can significantly lower the complexity of playing, capturing, converting, streaming and processing audio and video media while guaranteeing a high level of quality, speed and compatibility.

Overview of LEADTOOLS Media Foundation Transform Technology

  • Create Media Foundation applications with the ability to compress, decompress, process, stream and enhance audio and video data
  • Utilize and control many Media Foundation Transforms
    • Encoders
    • Decoders
    • Multiplexers
    • Demultiplexers
    • Sources
    • Sinks
    • Processors
  • Use LEADTOOLS proprietary Media Foundation Transforms or any other third-party transform installed on the machine
  • Includes .NET (C# & VB) and C DLL libraries for 32 and 64-bit development

What is Media Foundation?

With the release of Windows Vista, Microsoft Media Foundation was introduced as the eventual replacement of DirectShow. It features many enhancements and improvements audio and video playback quality, high definition content, hardware acceleration and more. Like its predecessor, Media Foundation is a COM-based multimedia framework whose primary object model is based upon Media Foundation Transforms (MFTs) to do the processing work.

What are Media Foundation Components?

Since the entire concept of rendering, converting, and capturing files in Media Foundation in based on components and transforms, it is important to understand the role of each component within the topology.

Media Source. This is usually the first filter in the topology. It is responsible for reading the input data and splitting the media streams. The data may come from a file on disk, a network, a hardware device, or any other method. Each media source contains one or more streams, and each stream delivers data of one type, such as audio or video.

Video / Audio Decoder. These transforms handle the actual decoding or decompression. They do not demultiplex (split), so data should be demultiplexed before it is passed to the decoder. Therefore, they are usually connected to the media source output. For example, the video decoder input might be a compressed video stream such as MPEG2, and the output could be raw video data.

Renderer. These components are used to actually render data. Data could be audio, video, or both. For example, when playing a media file with both audio and video, a video renderer would handle displaying the video on the screen, and an audio renderer would handle directing the audio data to the sound device. The input of the renderer is usually uncompressed data coming from the decoder.

Audio / Video Encoder. These transforms are used to compress data, audio or video. The input is usually uncompressed audio or video data, and the output is the compressed version of the same data.

Media Sink. These components are usually the last transforms in the topology. They are responsible for joining media streams and handle writing the data to disk to create a media file, or they can send the data to some other location, such as over a network.

Video / Audio Processor (Transform). These are usually custom transforms used to perform some type of data processing or generate some type of event. LEAD has created many video and audio processors, such as the Video Resize Transform, used to resize a video stream. Usually, these transforms only handle uncompressed data, so they would be inserted in the topology before the encoder or after the decoder.

Other LEADTOOLS SDK Technologies Related to Media Foundation Transforms

LEADTOOLS SDK Products that Include Media Foundation Transforms SDK Technology

Hover over each product for a description. Click for more details.


LEADTOOLS Multimedia SDK is specifically designed for the development of audio/video applications across a wide variety of industries including defense, broadcast and security. The SDK offers a full range of technologies to developers and turns normally complex DirectShow & Media Foundation projects into simple tasks. Integrating core multimedia functionality such as playback, capture, conversion and processing into applications is easier than ever before with LEADTOOLS Multimedia.

LEADTOOLS Multimedia Suite SDK

The LEADTOOLS Multimedia Suite SDK is a comprehensive collection of multimedia development technology that provides developers with everything they need to create enterprise-level multimedia applications for a wide variety of industries including defense, broadcast, security and more. By bundling features from the Multimedia SDK, DVD Module, Streaming Module, MPEG-2 Transport Module, Imaging Pro SDK and Distributed Computing SDK, Multimedia Suite offers a tremendous value for the world-class technology it includes.

NOTE: LEADTOOLS Media Foundation Transforms are very diverse and cover the gamut of multimedia features and technologies. Many transforms are included with the base SDK products above, while some can be added á la carte or bundled together with various add-on modules. See the Multimedia Product Comparison Chart for more details on how to obtain each Media Foundation Transform.

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