Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops

Windows Media redirection

Windows Media redirection controls and optimizes the way servers deliver streaming audio and video to users. By playing the media run-time files on the client device rather than the server, Windows Media redirection reduces the bandwidth requirements for playing multimedia files. Windows Media redirection improves the performance of Windows Media Player and compatible players running on virtual Windows desktops.

If the requirements for Windows Media client-side content fetching are not met, media delivery automatically uses server-side fetching. This method is transparent to users. You can use the Citrix Scout to perform a Citrix Diagnosis Facility (CDF) trace from HostMMTransport.dll to determine the method used. For more information see, Citrix Scout.

Windows Media redirection intercepts the media pipeline at the host server, captures the media data in its native compressed format, and redirects the content to the client device. The client device then recreates the media pipeline to decompress and render the media data received from the host server. Windows Media redirection works well on client devices running a Windows operating system. Those devices have the multimedia framework required to rebuild the media pipeline as it existed on the host server. Linux clients use similar open-source media frameworks to rebuild the media pipeline.

The policy setting Windows Media Redirection controls this feature and is Allowed by default. Usually, this setting increases audio and video quality rendered from the server to a level that is comparable to content played locally on a client device. In the rare cases, media playing using Windows Media redirection appears worse than media rendered using basic ICA compression and regular audio. You can disable this feature by adding the Windows Media Redirection setting to a policy and setting its value to Prohibited.

For more information about the policy settings, see Multimedia policy settings.


When you’re using Windows Media Player and Remote Audio & Video Extensions (RAVE) enabled inside a session, a black screen might appear. This black screen might appear if you right-click on the video content and select Always show Now Playing on top.

Windows Media redirection

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