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Setting Frame Rates and Resolution for Real-Time Audio-Video on Horizon View Clients (2053644)

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Real-Time Audio-Video (RTAV), introduced in VMware Horizon View 5.2 Feature Pack 2, allows webcam and audio-in devices to be redirected from a local client system to a remote desktop. With RTAV, Horizon View users can run Skype, Webex, Google Hangouts, and other conferencing applications on their virtual desktops. For more information on an overview of this feature, see VMware Horizon View: Using Webcams and Microphones.

After you install RTAV, the feature works on your desktops without any further configuration. On client systems, the default webcam frame rate is 15 frames per second. The default webcam image resolution is 320 x 240 pixels. The default settings are recommended for most webcam and audio applications.

You can modify these settings to change the user experience in the conferencing application.

You can configure group policy settings that control the maximum frame rate and image resolution on your Horizon View desktops. For more information, see the VMware Horizon View 5.3 Feature Pack Installation and Administration Guide. In addition, you can configure the frame rate and resolution on your client systems. This article describes the methods to configure these settings on client systems and offers guidelines to help you determine the best settings for your environment.

Note: Audio configuration settings are not available for RTAV.

Solution

On View Client systems, you can configure the webcam frame rate and image resolution up to the maximum values specified in the group policy settings on the desktops. If you specify a value on a client that exceeds the maximum value set on the desktop, the value is capped at the maximum desktop value.

You can adjust frame rates from 1 fps up to a maximum of 25 fps and resolution up to a maximum of 1920 x 1080. However, RTAV cannot guarantee that a high resolution at a fast frame rate can be supported on all devices or in all environments.


RTAV Settings on Client Systems

Windows Registry Value Linux Configuration Key Default Value
Description
IsDisabled  
rtav.IsDisabled  
0
Determines whether RTAV is enabled or disabled.
RTAV is enabled by default. (This value is not in effect.) To disable RTAV on this client, set this value to 1.
srcWCamFrameWidth
rtav.srcWCamFrameWidth
Not set
Determines the image width. The value defaults to a hard-coded value of 320 pixels.
You can change the image width to any pixel value.
srcWCamFrameHeight
rtav.srcWCamFrameHeight
Not set
Determines the image height. The value defaults a hard-coded value of 240 pixels.
You can change the image height to any pixel value.
srcWCamFrameRate
rtav.srcWCamFrameRate
Not set
Determines the frame rate. The value defaults to 15 fps.
You can change the frame rate to any value.
srcAudioInId** 
rtav.srcAudioInId** 
Not set
Determines the preferred microphone (audio-in device). When this value is not set, RTAV uses the default recording device set in the operating system Sound control.
You can specify any microphone connected to (or built into) the client system.
srcWCamId**
rtav.srcWCamId**
Not set Determines the preferred webcam. When this value is not set, the webcam is selected automatically by system enumeration.
You can specify any webcam connected to (or built into) the client system.
 
**The srcAudioInId and srcWCamId values let you set a preferred audio device and a preferred webcam,
if more than one device is connected to the client system. RTAV uses the preferred device in conferencing or other third-party application sessions. If a preferred device is not available, RTAV uses the next available webcam, as determined by system enumeration, or the default audio recording device set in the Windows Sound control.

In most environments, there is no need to set a preferred audio device. You can simply select a default audio recording device in the Windows Sound control. For information about selecting a preferred webcam and a default microphone, see the VMware Horizon View 5.3 Feature Pack Installation and Administration.


Configure RTAV Settings on Windows Client Systems

  1. Click Start > Run, type regedit, and click OK. The Registry Editor window opens.
  2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\VMware, Inc.\VMware VDM\RTAV.
  3. Set the registry values.
  4. Save your changes and exit the registry.
  5. Start a new call in your third-party application.

Configure RTAV Settings on Linux Client Systems
  1.  Edit the /etc/vmware/config file.
  2. Set configuration values by adding key pairs in this format:

    rtav.<
    key>="<value>"


  3. Save your changes.
  4. Start a new call in your third-party application.

Guidelines for Setting Frame Rate and Resolution

If you are on a high-latency network with limited bandwidth, you might want to reduce the default values to maintain a working video image or to manage the available bandwidth for each user.

Raising the resolution and frame rate increases the demand on network bandwidth. Depending on your environment, you might want to run scaling tests to determine the performance impact of raising these limits.  

If you find that after changing these values, video does not display well with your third-party application, you might revert to the default values.

For example, Skype displays video well at 320 x 240 resolution at 15 fps. With sufficient bandwidth, Skype also works at 640 x 480 resolution, but certain Skype versions do not perform as well with this resolution.

If you change the resolution on a client, you must stop and restart the Skype application before making another call. If you change the resolution while Skype is running and make another call, the video image might be distorted or incorrect. 

In general, devices support a specific set of resolutions. Not all devices support all resolutions. If you configure a resolution that a webcam does not support, RTAV samples the resolutions that are closest to the one that was requested until a supported resolution is found. RTAV implements client-side scaling up to the resolution supported by the device.

Depending on client-side scaling, the CPU cycles needed to encode and decode the video data, and network bandwidth limitations, you might not be able to achieve a required frame rate for the requested resolution. RTAV cannot guarantee a desired frame rate for any specified resolution on any device.

At the end of a call, you can determine frame rates by examining the debug logs on View Agent, which show the resultant frame rate achieved. The View Client logs show the transmitted frame rate.

For some third-party applications, not all resolutions are be supported.

Although RTAV has been tested with--and supports--several third-party applications, and will work with many other standard applications, it is possible that some third-party applications are not supported by RTAV.

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