Video for Windows

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Video for Windows ( VfW ) is a programming interface from Microsoft Windows that allows video signals to be encoded and decoded as well as being read from recording devices. It is the standard interface for AVI .

Video for Windows was introduced in 1992 for Windows 3.1 and was originally commercially available software for creating and cutting videos. The runtime version for playing the videos was made available as a free add-on and was integrated as standard in subsequent versions of Windows.

Many newer media players use the DirectShow interface instead of VfW to play media files, since DirectShow automatically decodes the media signals (with the help of installed codecs , e.g. ffdshow ). This is particularly advantageous if - especially new - codecs no longer support the (older) VfW interface. In general, Video for Windows is being replaced more and more by DirectShow and - on the recording side - by WDM drivers.


  • Horsch, Michael (1993): The Video for Windows Book, Sybex Verlag, ISBN 3815570476
  • Eirich, Dietmar (1995): The video for Windows workshop, market and technology publishing house, ISBN 3877916708