Our progress with MFormats SDK

The number of companies who have licensed MFormats SDK has more than doubled since last September. I thought it was the right time to review our progress and share the experience of some of our committed users.

If you haven’t been following our newsletters, MFormats is a frame-based video SDK and codec library that is the basis of everything we do here at Medialooks. We’ve designed it as a tool that we’d like to have had when we were just starting our business more than 10 years ago. Like most video developers, we were huge fans of DirectShow. We made our own implementations for looped playback and seamless switching using multiple graphs (which wasn’t a very easy thing to do). Some of our customers considered us, along with Geraint Davies, to be one of the few teams who were true experts in DirectShow.

However, things like retrieving a specific frame (or making sure that the frame on the preview is exactly the frame you’ve paused on) or synchronising playback or capture of several streams still remained a problem. MFormats took all this pain away and allowed us to be in full control of the video pipeline. We also made sure that our API is simple and easy-to-use. “We value your superior quality and performance against DirectShow,” — said one of our customers. Another developer mentioned, “Playing around with MFormats is the most fun I’ve had coding in a very long time!” Hey, that is exactly why we created this product!

Of course, if you’ve heavily invested in DirectShow, GStreamer or a custom video framework, you might think that replacing it would be too much work. In this case, you can simply use the MFormats API out of your existing application to implement some of the more specific tasks — such as decoding, encoding or interfacing with video hardware (today we support Blackmagic, Bluefish, AJA, DekTec, Stream Labs, Magewell and Deltacast).

Also, at this year’s IBC it became very clear that we’re on the right track with our WebRTC implementation and the fact that we also support NewTek NDI: the combination of these two technologies allows low-level video transfer both within a local area network or over the Internet. The use case, however, that attracts most attention today, is using WebRTC to create remote interfaces for Windows applications.

Here’s a few examples of how real companies use MFormats SDK today:

  • A well-known playout company relies on MFormats as their playback and capture engine.
  • At Rohde & Schwarz the SDK is used as part of a real-time video analysis system.
  • A company that produces medical applications for dermatology uses our live preview feature to get video from cameras and freeze still frames. They find live performance and image quality to be of most importance.
  • Evoux, a company in Bulgaria, uses MFormats for as much as 4 TV applications.
  • Starfish uses MFormats as a playback and scrubbing engine in their audio description system.
  • Finally, our friends at x-dream-media (we were part of their booth at this year’s IBC) use MFormats SDK as the basis for their MXF Ingester and Multi-Format Player.

Finally, here’s what another customer told us:

“Very happy with the product. No additional thoughts. You guys do a great job of adding new features and hardware options.”

We are very happy to hear that!

See also