Q

With VMware View and a zero client, is RTAV or USB redirection better?

Would USB redirection work better than RTAV with softphones and USB headsets in the VMware View client?

We have installed the Remote Experience Agent on the target virtual machines and would like to use softphones and...

USB headsets with the View 5.4 client. During initial testing, we tried both USB redirection and Real-Time Audio-Video (RTAV); the performance using RTAV was better in both call quality and call latency.

Since we are using the installed View client, we are wondering if zero clients would work. How good are zero clients for RTAV?

The short answer? Not good.

With USB redirection, the entire audio-video stream is sent from the client -- which could be a zero client -- to the virtual desktop running in the data center.

For most RTAV applications, this data stream requires more bandwidth than is available to your View client. Also, RTAV uses local Windows-device drivers to connect devices such as headsets and webcams. RTAV codes the audio and video data and sends this data stream to the virtual machine where it is processed by the driver.
Because zero clients don't have a local operating system, they have no local device drivers, so RTAV won't work with zero clients.

This is the current situation, which could change if zero client manufacturers find a way to circumvent the driver issue.

 

This was last published in November 2013

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With the release of Firmware version 4.2, USB headsets and other audio devices attached to Tera2 zero clients may now be terminated locally, improving performance and interoperability. This feature is enabled by default. New options are also available for configuring the preferred USB audio input and output device to use when more than one device is connected to a zero client. Note that this will not address any latency or audio quality issues introduced by hairpinning of the audio media or hypervisor scheduling jitter, but RTAV does not address those issues either.
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VMware released version 4.4 of Horizon Mirage and users will be able to seamlessly interact with softphones and CTI understanding Horizon View Real-Time Audio-Video RTAV
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