After you install Horizon Agent with Real-Time Audio-Video, the feature works on your remote sessions without any further configuration. The default values for the webcam frame rate and image resolution are recommended for most standard devices and applications.

Summary of Configuration Options

You can configure group policy settings to change the default Real-Time Audio-Video values to adapt to particular applications, webcams, or environments. You can also set a policy to deactivate or activate the feature. An ADMX template file enables you to install Real-Time Audio-Video group policy settings on your Active Directory server or on individual desktops. See Configuring Real-Time Audio-Video Group Policy Settings.

If users have multiple webcams and audio input devices built in or connected to their client computers, you might need to configure preferred webcams and audio input devices to be redirected. See Selecting Preferred Webcams and Microphones.

Note: You can select a preferred audio device, but no other audio configuration options are available.

The following sections on this page provide detailed background information for each configuration option to help you determine how best to adjust these settings when needed.

Support Matrix for Webcam Resolution

The following table summarizes whether Real-Time Audio-Video supports single or multiple resolutions for redirected webcams, depending on your system configuration. Your system configuration consists of the Horizon Agent running on the remote desktop and the client software running on the local system.

Horizon Client Horizon Agent Redirected Webcam Resolution
  • Horizon Client for Windows 2209 and later
  • Horizon Client for Linux 2212 and later
  • Horizon Client for Mac 2212 and later
Horizon Agent for Windows Multiple resolutions
  • Horizon Client for Windows 2206 and earlier
  • Horizon Client for Linux 2209 and earlier
  • Horizon Client for Mac 2209 and earlier
  • Horizon Client for iOS
  • Horizon Client for Android
  • Horizon Client for Chrome
  • HTML Access
Horizon Agent for Windows Single resolution
All versions of all clients Horizon Agent for Linux Single resolution

Webcam Resolution Settings for Real-Time Audio-Video

Webcam devices can typically support multiple resolutions for displaying video. When you run an online conferencing application directly on your client system, that application can automatically select the optimal webcam resolution depending on the network bandwidth, system resources, and webcam capabilities.

When you run an online conferencing application in a remote session, the webcam resolution is not selected automatically by the application. Instead, the redirected webcam uses a resolution based on the values configured in the Real-Time Audio-Video settings.

You can configure the following in the Real-Time Audio-Video settings: default webcam resolution and maximum webcam resolution.

Default webcam resolution - The default webcam resolution used by the redirected device. If your system configuration supports a single webcam resolution, the default resolution is automatically used. If your system configuration supports multiple webcam resolutions, the default resolution appears selected by default in the redirected device settings.

The following considerations apply to the default webcam resolution:

  • The default resolution is used by the redirected webcam device and presented to the conferencing application, but various application factors can affect whether the conferencing application honors this resolution. In some cases, an application might use a resolution other than the specified default.
  • If you set the value to a resolution that the local webcam does not support, the redirected webcam in the remote session translates this value to the nearest supported resolution. For example, if you set the default webcam resolution to an unsupported value of 400 x 300 pixels, the redirected device settings might instead show 296p, the nearest resolution supported by the local webcam device.

Maximum webcam resolution - The maximum resolution available for use by the redirected webcam. Use this setting to constrain the list of available resolutions in cases where the webcam device supports high resolutions that do not work well over remote connections.

For example, suppose that your local webcam supports Full HD and Quad HD resolutions, but your environment lacks the network bandwidth and system resources to render these high resolutions effectively in a remote session. In this case, you can constrain the maximum redirected resolution to the highest value that can be effectively used by the virtual webcam in the remote session.

The maximum resolution takes precedence over the default webcam resolution. For example, suppose that you set the maximum webcam resolution to 640 x 480 pixels. If the default webcam resolution is set to 1280 x 720, a redirected webcam can still only use the maximum resolution, 640 x 480.

Guidelines for Configuring Webcam Resolution

Keep the following points in mind when configuring the webcam resolution settings:

  • You can configure webcam resolution settings on the following components:
    • Windows agent machine, using a group policy (GPO) setting
    • Linux agent machine, using configuration settings in /etc/vmware/config
    • Client machine, using a registry key
  • When the agent-side setting conflicts with a client-side setting, the client-side setting takes priority.
  • After adjusting a webcam resolution setting, you must disconnect and reconnect to the remote desktop to make the changes take effect.
  • The effects of changing a setting can vary depending on whether your system configuration supports a single webcam resolution or multiple webcam resolutions. For a more detailed exploration of each use case, see the following sections.

Use Case: When a Single Webcam Resolution is Supported

For system configurations that support a single resolution, the redirected webcam can only use one resolution in the remote session even when the local webcam on the client system supports multiple resolutions. By default, the single supported resolution is 240p (320 x 240), also represented as 240p 4:3.

In this example of a webcam redirected to a remote session, the device settings show that only a single resolution is available for use.


A device settings window in the remote desktop shows that only a single webcam resolution is available.

You can change this default resolution to one that is more optimal for your particular environment. In the following example, device settings in the remote session show the effect of setting the default webcam resolution to 720 x 1280 pixels. The resulting resolution, 720p 16:9, becomes the single resolution available for use by the redirected webcam.


Device settings in the remote desktop show the result of changing the default webcam resolution.

Use Case: When Multiple Webcam Resolutions are Supported

For system configurations that support multiple resolutions, Real-Time Audio-Video retrieves the complete list of resolutions supported by the local webcam device and redirects this list to the remote session. Therefore, the redirected virtual webcam supports the same resolutions in the remote session as the local webcam supports on the client system.

The following example shows a full list of supported resolutions redirected from the client system to the remote session. The default webcam resolution specified in the Real-Time Audio-Video settings becomes the resolution selected by default in the redirected device settings.


Device settings in the remote desktop show that multiple redirected webcam resolutions are available.

You can use device settings in the remote session to select a different webcam resolution from the default. You can also limit the available resolutions shown in the device settings by configuring the maximum webcam resolution in the Real-Time Audio-Video settings.

How Webcam Frame Rate Works in Real-Time Audio-Video

Webcam frame rate, expressed as frames per second (fps), represents the frequency at which consecutive frames in a video are captured or displayed. A higher frame rate consumes more resources but results in smoother video and a better viewing experience for the end user. Most consumer webcams can provide VGA-resolution video at a frame rate of 30 fps. Many newer devices can provide video at even higher frame rates such as 60 fps.

When you use a webcam device directly on a client system, you may not encounter any performance issues. However, webcam performance can become a concern when using a virtual webcam in a remote session. Each video frame captured by the local webcam must be encoded, transmitted over the network to the remote desktop, and then decoded to the virtual webcam. Factors such as the network bandwidth between client endpoint and virtual desktop, as well as the CPU resources available for video encoding and decoding, can affect the performance of the redirected webcam.

Configurable Real-Time Audio-Video settings let you limit the maximum allowable frame rate to a value that your remote session resources can handle.

In addition, Horizon 8 provides the following features to enhance the performance of redirected webcams in remote sessions when using Real-Time Audio-Video:

  • All the Horizon clients (except Horizon Client for iOS) support the H.264 codec for webcam video encoding and decoding. With the use of H.264, Real-Time Audio-Video can support higher webcam frame rates at high webcam resolutions.
  • When the client machine is equipped with a compatible GPU, Horizon Client for Linux and Horizon Client for Mac support GPU acceleration for video encoding.
  • Horizon Client for Mac also supports the H.265 codec for webcam video encoding, provided that the corresponding agent machine is equipped with a GPU model that supports H.265 decoding.

Guidelines for Configuring Webcam Frame Rate

Keep the following points in mind when configuring the maximum webcam frame rate:

  • You can configure the maximum webcam frame rate on the following components:
    • Windows agent machine, using a group policy (GPO) setting
    • Linux agent machine, using configuration settings in /etc/vmware/config
    • Windows client machine
    • Linux client machine
    • Mac client machine
  • If no maximum frame rate is configured, the default maximum of 15 fps takes effect.
  • After configuring the webcam frame rate, you must disconnect and reconnect to the remote desktop to make the changes take effect.
  • When the agent-side setting conflicts with a client-side setting, the agent-side setting takes priority.

Microphone Settings for Real-Time Audio-Video

This section describes the settings that you can configure for microphone devices used with Real-Time Audio-Video.

Audio sample rate - Microphone devices can operate with different sample rates and audio channels. A higher audio sample rate translates to better audio quality. By default, redirected microphones use a sample rate of 48 kHz in remote sessions. You can change the sample rate to 8 kHz or 16 kHz using one of the following methods:

  • GPO setting on a Windows agent machine
  • Advanced device properties in system settings on a Windows agent machine

For virtual desktops, the audio sample rate is persistent for each redirected microphone device across session logins. For example, if you set the sample rate of a microphone device to 48 kHz and then disconnect and log in again to the virtual desktop, the sample rate of this device remains 48 kHz.

Audio echo cancellation - This feature reduces the echo that sometimes occurs when using a microphone with a meeting application. To use audio echo cancellation, you must be running Horizon Client 2309 or later, and use the default audio-out device. This feature is turned off by default.