Video, DVD, Flash, webcams




Video, DVD, Macro Media Flash, webcams, etc


From a conceptual point of view it is not a good idea to do video-related applications on a Terminal Server.

The details

If you are using Windows directly behind the console, directly behind the screen attached to the Windows system, you are looking at the screen that is attached to the video card of the system. This video card can be a good one, or a poor one. In case it is a good one, it is able to run DirectX video at a high speed, with very low cpu load. In case it is a poor video card, it might support DirectX, but at a low video quality and with a high cpu load.

If you are having a Remote Desktop Session, there is hardly any video card involved. The video card is used a little bit, but most of the remote desktop do only exist in the virtual memory of Windows. The remote desktop is transferred from your Windows Server to you remote client using the RDP protocol. This RDP protocol is highly optimized for slow connections. You could easily do a RDP-session using an old fashion modem. There is no DirectX involved in case of a remote desktop.

You might even state there is no desktop; it only exist virtual in memory while DirectX is not about something virtual; it is about direct access to the hardware of the videocard.

Video related software demands a high speed connection and a high speed update of the screen. Webcams want an update rate of 15 frames / second. DVDs want an 720x480 screen with an update rate that various from 25 to 29 frames / second. HD and Blueray do give you more details in the video image.

The RDP / T128 -protocol does not come even close to these specifications. For 1 webcam you need an average network speed while for DVD you need at least a 100 Mbps network. RDP is designed to be able to work with modem lines, or have a multiple RDP-connections using 1 DSL-network connection. If you do video on the same connection, it will consume all bandwidth and the RDP-connections will perform poorly.

RDP is about office applications; not video. This applies to AADS, MS-TS, Citrix and probably any remote screen solution like VNC, PcAnywhere, etc.

If you want video on a desktop, do not consider a Terminal Server. Consider 'fat' clients or proprietary solutions focused on the efficient delivery of video to multiple clients.

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