Hardware Encoding on AVD Teams (PREVIEW)

The Windows Remote Desktop Client has had a new update that has something interesting mentioned in the release notes.

Looks like version 1.2.3213 has the ability to use hardware encoding to improve the video quality on outgoing video from the AVD Teams client. This is very interesting.

This feature will allow the encoding of the outgoing video to be handled by the client machine on a hardware level, rather than relying on any software encoding. The idea is that this should increase the quality of the video calls from within the AVD Session Hosts.

Be aware though, that the release notes are quick to point out that this is not enabled by default in case there are any compatibility issues, as the client machine will be responsible for the encoding so it is advised to test first.

So we can test this by configuring a Registry Key on our client machine. The registry key is as below:

You can set this with the below PowerShell:

$RegistryPath = 'HKCU:\Software\Microsoft\Terminal Server Client\Default\AddIns\WebRTC Redirector'
$Name         = 'UseHardwareEncoding'
$Value        = '1'

New-ItemProperty -Path $RegistryPath -Name $Name -Value $Value -PropertyType DWORD -Force 

With this registry key configured we should now be using hardware encoding for our AVD Teams outgoing video.

I couldn’t immediately see any massive improvement, but my Teams video already seemed to be quite good quality so it was hard to tell.

However, I did some testing on my other platform and it did seem to produce a slightly cleaner and smoother video for the external participant. So this will be a feature I will have to do a little more testing on, but it does look positive.

Regardless, the ability to use hardware encoding is a great addition to the Remove Desktop Client, and I am sure with further testing and usage it will prove its worth.

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