How to write a decoder?

posted in Video Codecs


I have this question in my mind for a long time from I starting using K-Lite Mega Codec.

If each company has its own codec and format, how to decode their video?

Even if they use mpeg/mpeg2/mpeg4 as their basic technology, they can easily change a bit to let you can not decode this stream with the standard codec.
So I wonder how they could get so many codecs together, such as .mov, .rmvb, .avi formats with different codecs.

There are two questions here; one is how to decode container, one is how to decode video stream.

I thought they should buy the spec from each company, but it seems not possibile.

Could anyone give me some hints?

Thanks a lot!

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