Compare LAV Filters with FFDShow

download codecLet’s compare LAV Filters with ffdshow. I will explain below the difference between the two filters. There are only two well known tools when it comes to filters. There is the LAV Filters and the FFDShow filters. They do differ and we can see this below. Lets see which each of these offer the user as well as for the user experience.

Compare LAV Filters with ffdshow

LAV Filters

You will note that the LAV Filters are a relatively recent addition to the multimedia scene. The LAV Filters was developed by Hendrik Leppkes.  This all started in around 2011 as it was very good at dealing with the FFmpeg library. This was the cornerstone of open-source multimedia handling. This choice of backend ensures robust support for a vast array of formats and codecs, continuously updated to keep pace with the latest advancements in multimedia technology.


Next is the history of the ffdshow which has a longer history. This started in the early 2000s as a DirectShow decoding filter. This was mainly for use with the following formats. For the DivX, XviD, and other MPEG-4 video codecs. Likewise over time, this evolved into covering even more formats. This also offered a number of audio and video post-processing features. Despite its rich feature set, development on ffdshow slowed down significantly around 2012, with subsequent updates being sporadic.


Supported Formats and Codecs

LAV Filters

One of the many features of LAV Filters is its extensive support for both common and obscure formats. Likewise leveraging FFmpeg, so that it can decode virtually any multimedia format. This includes but is not limited to the following:

Video: H.264, H.265/HEVC, VP9, AV1, MPEG-2, and more.
Audio: AAC, AC3, DTS, TrueHD, FLAC, MP3, and others.
Containers: MKV, MP4, AVI, MOV, TS, and others.

The continuous development of FFmpeg ensures that LAV Filters remain up-to-date with new formats and standards.


ffdshow also supports a wide range of codecs. This mainly due to its integration with libavcodec from the FFmpeg project. Its supported formats include:

Video: DivX, XviD, H.264, MPEG-4, MPEG-2, and others.
Audio: MP3, AC3, AAC, Vorbis, and others.
Containers: AVI, MKV, MP4, and more.

However, the scope and speed of updates for ffdshow are less aggressive compared to LAV Filters, potentially leaving users behind on the latest codec advancements.


Performance and Efficiency

LAV Filters

If you are looking for performance then the LAV Filters outshine everyone. Likewise the use of modern coding practices as well as the ongoing optimizations in FFmpeg will always ensure that the LAV Filters provide efficient decoding. This with minimal resource usage. Additionally, LAV Filters support hardware acceleration. This is both for video as well as audio decoding. Lastly you will note that this includes technologies such as DXVA2, CUVID, and QuickSync. These significantly reducing the CPU load as well as for allowing smoother playback. You will notice this when it comes to high-definition as well as for 4K content.

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While ffdshow was something new in its time. It ioffered a number of post-processing options such as deinterlacing, sharpening, as well as noise reduction. It does however fall short in terms of modern hardware acceleration support. Most of its processing is CPU-bound, which can be a drawback when handling high-resolution content. Moreover, the lack of active development means that ffdshow might not fully exploit newer hardware capabilities.


Configuration and User Experience

LAV Filters

The LAV filters are easy to use. Likewise its configuration interface is straightforward. Likewise allowing users to set up and tweak settings without delving into overly complex menus. Additionally the key settings include enabling or disabling specific codecs, choosing hardware acceleration options, and configuring audio bitstreaming for high-definition audio formats.


The ffdshow offers a more complex and feature-rich configuration interface. This however can be good or bad. Like everything there can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. Likewise on the one hand, advanced users have access to a wealth of options for fine-tuning playback. This as well as applying various post-processing effects. On the other hand, the sheer number of options can be overwhelming for novice users. Additionally, some settings in ffdshow require a deeper understanding of multimedia processing to use effectively.


Community and Support

LAV Filters

LAV has a very active development community. Likewise, LAV Filters benefit from regular updates and a responsive support system. Users can report issues and request features through platforms like GitHub, where the project is hosted. This active engagement ensures that bugs are fixed promptly and new features are added based on user feedback.


The ffdshow community, while passionate, has dwindled over the years. The slowdown in development has led to fewer updates and less active support. Forums and discussion boards that once buzzed with activity are now less frequented, making it harder for new users to find help or solutions to specific problems.


Compatibility and Integration

LAV Filters

You will note that the LAV Filters are designed to integrate into a number  DirectShow-based media players. These are the Media Player Classic Home Cinema (MPC-HC) and other popular players. This ease of integration extends to media center applications like Kodi and MediaPortal, making LAV Filters a versatile choice for different playback environments.

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Likewise the ffdshow also integrates well with DirectShow-based players. Having said that its a bit of a dated development, some newer applications might not support it as seamlessly. Compatibility issues can arise, particularly with software that relies on more modern codec implementations or hardware acceleration methods.


Future Prospects

LAV Filters

The future looks good for developments for the LAV Filters. Likewise, with continuous development ensuring that it keeps up with the latest multimedia trends. As new codecs and formats emerge, users can expect LAV Filters to support them promptly. The commitment to maintaining and improving the software positions it as a reliable choice for long-term use. Likewise see also the LAV Filter Format Settings on here as well.


In contrast, the future of ffdshow is uncertain. While it remains a functional tool for many existing formats and codecs, its lack of active development means it may not keep pace with new multimedia standards. Users looking for long-term solutions might need to consider alternatives that promise ongoing support and updates.



In conclusion, both LAV Filters and ffdshow have their own sets of strengths and weaknesses. Likewise the LAV Filters excel in terms of modern codec support, performance efficiency, and ease of use, making them ideal for users seeking a straightforward, reliable multimedia playback solution. Meanwhile, ffdshow, with its rich history and extensive post-processing options, might appeal to advanced users who require more control over their media playback experience.

As multimedia technology continues to evolve, staying current with the latest developments is crucial. For most users, LAV Filters represent a more future-proof choice, backed by an active development community and continuous updates. However, ffdshow remains a valuable tool for those who need its specific features and are willing to navigate its more complex configuration. Lastly also see the Alternatives to Haali Media Splitter on here.

Ultimately, the choice between LAV Filters and ffdshow depends on individual needs and preferences. Understanding the strengths and limitations of each can help users make an informed decision, ensuring the best possible media playback experience.