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Real-Time Audio-Video Test Application for Horizon View Released As a VMware Fling

Author: Peter Brown

Working as Director of R&D in the End User Computing business unit based in London, UK, with an amazing team. Working at the speed of life, on next generation products with a cloud first strategy. Previous projects have includes Serial and Scanner Redirection, USB Redirection, RTAV, Persona Management, Horizon Workspace integration and Linux Desktops among other things!

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By Peter Brown, Senior R&D Manager, and Tarique Chowdhury, Senior Member of the Technical Staff, VMware

We have just released our Real-Time Audio-Video test application for Horizon View as a VMware Fling. This is a tool that we have used internally during the development of RTAV and which has proven very useful for quick tests, and also longer-term scale-and-performance testing in Quality Engineering. We have also held a number of internal demos and training events, and we have frequently been asked by the Systems Engineers if the application is available for them to use externally either for demos or for customers to use for qualification. As a result of high demand, we decided to release the tool as a Fling!

This application is useful for verifying correct installation and operation of the Horizon View Real-Time Audio-Video functionality. It provides a “player” application which will display the “virtual webcam” feed, and also loop back the audio-in if required. This allows testing to be done without the need for a 3rd-party app (which often requires user accounts to be created such as Skype, WebEx, etc.). The app can also be useful for performing load testing, by forcing the video and audio stream to continuously run (without a 3rd-party app dropping the call or ending it after a period of time). The application can also be used on a Windows Client OS to show that the physical webcam and microphone are correctly configured and installed. (On Linux clients, we used an application called “Cheese” for this purpose.) Note that if you loop back the audio, then the audio and video will not be synchronized. This is expected behavior due to the way the loopback is done. When using RTAV with a real 3rd-party app such as Skype or WebEx, the audio and video are synchronized. It is, however, still useful to have the loopback enabled so that you can verify the bandwidth requirements for a RTAV session in your environment.

The application

  • Displays webcam pictures at 1:1 resolution
  • Automatically starts streaming images, on launching the application (and audio will be looped back, if selected)
  • Loops the audio-in (e.g., from VMware Virtual Microphone) back out to the audio-out
  • Tests RTAV functionality without the need to create user accounts
  • Supports the VMware Virtual Webcam and Physical Webcams
  • Runs on x86 and x64 Windows OSes

Sample screenshot below, with a cheesy still image showing Peter and Tarique!

RTAV-vmware-view-fling

The application requires that the Microsoft 2008 C++ x86 (SP1) runtime components be installed. These are already installed on a Horizon View desktop, but if you want to run the application on a physical client machine without having Horizon View installed, then you may need to download and install these first. You can get them from the Microsoft Download Center.

Once the runtime components are installed, then the application can be run directly–it is a standalone executable which does not need installing or configuration. This makes it very easy to deploy for quick testing.

If you want to use the RTAV test application, download it from our Flings page.

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