Real-Time Audio-Video allows Horizon 8 users to run Skype,Webex, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, and other online conferencing applications in their remote sessions. With Real-Time Audio-Video, webcam and audio devices that are built into the system or connected locally to the client system are redirected to the remote sessions. This feature redirects video and audio data with a significantly lower bandwidth than can be achieved by using USB redirection.

Real-Time Audio-Video is compatible with standard conferencing applications and browser-based video applications, and supports standard webcams, audio USB devices, and analog audio input.

Horizon Client on the client system and Horizon Agent on the remote desktop must work together to deliver the full capabilities of Real-Time Audio-Video. For details on the setup requirements for clients and remote desktops, see System Requirements for Real-Time Audio-Video.

How Real-Time Audio-Video Works

Unlike USB redirection, Real-Time Audio-Video does not forward webcam and audio devices from the client system to the remote session. Instead, these devices remain local to the client system. Real-Time Audio-Video pulls multimedia data from the local devices and encodes and delivers it to the remote desktop, which then decodes the data.

The local devices are redirected as virtual webcam and microphone devices in the remote desktop. When a conferencing or video application is launched, it displays and uses these virtual devices, which virtually "play" the decoded multimedia content received from the local client devices. The encoding and decoding process results in efficient bandwidth usage, allowing Real-Time Audio-Video to scale effectively across many desktops.

The VMware Virtual Webcam uses a kernel-mode webcam driver that provides enhanced compatibility with browser-based video applications and other third-party conferencing software.

When webcam images and audio input are redirected to a remote session, you cannot access the webcam and audio devices on the local computer. Conversely, when these devices are in use on the local computer, you cannot access them on the remote session.

Optimizing Real-Time Audio-Video Performance in Applications

The Real-Time Audio-Video feature is mainly used for running conferencing applications, such as Zoom and Webex, in a remote desktop.

For best results, ensure that you have sufficient network bandwidth and system resources to process the encoding and decoding of audio-video content in the remote desktop and the data transfer between the client machine and remote desktop. Performance issues can result if you try to use Real-Time Audio-Video in a compromised environment with limited network bandwidth and system resources.

You can optimize the performance of Real-Time Audio-Video in certain conferencing applications by using plug-in software that offloads data processing to the client machine. When available, such optimization software can yield results that approach the user experience of running the application locally on the client system.

The following table describes several Horizon 8 and third-party optimization plug-ins available for conferencing applications.

Conferencing Application Optimization Software Documentation Link
Microsoft Teams Media Optimization for Microsoft Teams, provided as a feature of Horizon 8 Media Optimization for Microsoft Teams
Zoom Meeting optimization for VDI, provided by Zoom and compatible with Horizon 8 Zoom for VDI
Webex Meeting optimization for VDI, provided by Cisco and compatible with Horizon 8 Webex for VDI

Devices Supported by Real-Time Audio-Video

To determine whether a local media device is compatible with the Real-Time Audio-Video feature, connect the device to the client system. Then navigate to the Real-Time Audio-Video settings in Horizon Client, as described in the documentation guide for that client. Compatible devices appear in the device list.

In this example from Horizon Client for Windows, the Real-Time Audio-Video settings show two compatible webcam devices: the integrated webcam built into the client system, and a third-party webcam connected to the client system.


The Real-Time Audio-Video settings show a drop-down menu with two compatible webcam devices.

Real-Time Audio-Video Logs

Various log files across Horizon 8 components capture details about Real-Time Audio-Video activity that can help with troubleshooting. For instructions on using the Data Collection Tool (DCT) to collect logs, see the Horizon 8 Administration guide.

The following table lists the location of files that contain Real-Time Audio-Video logs.

Component Log File Location
Horizon Agent for Windows C:\ProgramData\VMware\VDM\logs\rtav_agent_[blast|pcoip]_session[session_id].log
Horizon Agent for Linux Files with naming pattern vmware-RTAV-xxxxx, located in /tmp/vmware-vmwblast/
Horizon Client for Windows
  • (Versions 2206 and later) C:\ProgramData\VMware\VDM\logs\rtav_[yyyy]-[mm]-[dd]_[hhmmss]-[ms]_[pid]_[sid].log
  • (Versions 2203 and earlier) Log entries with [ViewMMDevRedir] flag in C:\users\[user_name]\AppData\Local\VMware\VDM\logs\debug-xxxx-xx-xx-xxxxxx.txt
Horizon Client for Linux Files with naming pattern vmware-RTAV-xxxxx, located in /tmp/vmware-[user_name]/
Horizon Client for Mac Files with naming pattern vmware-RTAV-xxxxx, located in ~/Library/Logs/VMware
  • Horizon Client for iOS
  • Horizon Client for Android
  • Horizon Client for Chrome
Refer to the pages on enabling log collection or sending logs to VMware in the Horizon Client documentation.