What is ActiveMovie?
ActiveMovie was a multimedia streaming technology developed by Microsoft in the 1990s. The technology enables users to view media streams available over the Internet, an intranet, or CD-ROM, and was designed as a cross-platform framework for media delivery.

ActiveMovie was integrated into the DirectX series of media technologies and renamed DirectShow in 1997.

ActiveMovie is integrated with the Microsoft DirectX family of multimedia programming interfaces (API). ActiveMovie can be used to develop TV-quality MPEG video playback titles on average personal computers. ActiveMovie technology can also be used for files in AVI, QuickTime, or WAV format. The ActiveMovie API was developed to provide design capabilities for integrating new multimedia technologies, third-party enhancements, and real-time special effects.

ActiveMovie was first released in March 1996 and was embedded in the beta version of Internet Explorer 3.0. The ActiveMovie control option has been added to the start menu so that the application can then be used as a media player to play multimedia files. ActiveMovie has been renamed DirectShow for the second version as ActiveMovie became part of DirectX technology. The second version of the technology came a year later. DirectShow was eventually removed by DirectX, but is still part of several Microsoft software development kits (SDKs).

ActiveMovie was not compatible with DVDs, but DirectShow, the enhanced version of ActiveMovie, supports DVD.

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