Multimedia redirection for Azure Virtual Desktop (preview)

Important

Multimedia redirection for Azure Virtual Desktop is currently in preview. See the Supplemental Terms of Use for Microsoft Azure Previews for legal terms that apply to Azure features that are in beta, preview, or otherwise not yet released into general availability.

Note

Azure Virtual Desktop doesn't currently support multimedia redirection on Azure Virtual Desktop for Microsoft 365 Government (GCC), GCC-High environments, and Microsoft 365 DoD.

Multimedia redirection on Azure Virtual Desktop is only available for the Windows Desktop client on Windows 10 machines. Multimedia redirection requires the Windows Desktop client, version 1.2.2222 or later.

Multimedia redirection (MMR) gives you smooth video playback while watching videos in your Azure Virtual Desktop browser. Multimedia redirection remotes the media element from the browser to the local machine for faster processing and rendering. Both Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome support the multimedia redirection feature. However, the public preview version of multimedia redirection for Azure Virtual Desktop has restricted playback on YouTube. To test YouTube within your organization's deployment, you'll need to enable an extension.

Requirements

Before you can use Multimedia Redirection on Azure Virtual Desktop, you'll need to do these things:

  1. Install the Windows Desktop client on a Windows 10 or Windows 10 IoT Enterprise device that meets the hardware requirements for Teams on a Windows PC. Installing version 1.2.2222 or later of the client will also install the multimedia redirection plugin (MsMmrDVCPlugin.dll) on the client device. To learn more about updates and new versions, see What's new in the Windows Desktop client.

  2. Create a host pool for your users.

  3. Configure the client machine to let your users access the Insiders program. To configure the client for the Insider group, set the following registry information:

    • Key: HKLM\Software\Microsoft\MSRDC\Policies
    • Type: REG_SZ
    • Name: ReleaseRing
    • Data: insider

    To learn more about the Insiders program, see Windows Desktop client for admins.

  4. Use the MSI installer (MsMmrHostMri) to install the multimedia redirection extensions for your internet browser on your Azure VM. Multimedia redirection for Azure Virtual Desktop currently only supports Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome.

Managing group policies for the multimedia redirection browser extension

Using the multimedia redirection MSI will install the browser extensions. However, as this service is still in public preview, user experience may vary. For more information about known issues, see Known issues.

In some cases, you can change the group policy to manage the browser extensions and improve user experience. For example:

  • You can install the extension without user interaction.
  • You can restrict which websites use multimedia redirection.
  • You can pin the extension icon in Google Chrome by default. The extension icon is already pinned by default in Microsoft Edge, so you'll only need to change this setting in Chrome.

Configure Microsoft Edge group policies for multimedia redirection

To configure the group policies, you'll need to edit the Microsoft Edge Administrative Template. You should see the extension configuration options under Administrative Templates Microsoft Edge Extensions > Configure extension management settings.

The following code is an example of a Microsoft Edge group policy that makes the browser install the multimedia redirection extension and only lets multimedia redirection load on YouTube:

{ "joeclbldhdmoijbaagobkhlpfjglcihd": { "installation_mode": "force_installed", "runtime_allowed_hosts": [ "*://*.youtube.com" ], "runtime_blocked_hosts": [ "*://*" ], "update_url": "https://edge.microsoft.com/extensionwebstorebase/v1/crx" } }

To learn more about group policy configuration, see Microsoft Edge group policy.

Configure Google Chrome group policies for multimedia redirection

To configure the Google Chrome group policies, you'll need to edit the Google Chrome Administrative Template. You should see the extension configuration options under Administrative Templates > Google > Google Chrome Extensions > Extension management settings.

The following example is much like the code example in Configure Microsoft Edge group policies for multimedia redirection. This policy will force the multimedia redirection extension to install with the icon pinned in the top-right menu, and will only allow multimedia redirection to load on YouTube.

{ "lfmemoeeciijgkjkgbgikoonlkabmlno": { "installation_mode": "force_installed", "runtime_allowed_hosts": [ "*://*.youtube.com" ], "runtime_blocked_hosts": [ "*://*" ], "toolbar_pin": "force_pinned", "update_url": "https://clients2.google.com/service/update2/crx" } }

Additional information on configuring Google Chrome group policy.

Run the multimedia redirection extension manually on a browser

MMR uses remote apps and the session desktop for Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome browsers. Once you've fulfilled the requirements, open your supported browser. If you didn't install the browsers or extension with a group policy, users will need to manually run the extension. This section will tell you how to manually run the extension in one of the currently supported browsers.

Microsoft Edge

To run the extension on Microsoft Edge manually, look for the yellow exclamation mark on the overflow menu. You should see a prompt to enable the Azure Virtual Desktop Multimedia Redirection extension. Select Enable extension.

Google Chrome

To run the extension on Google Chrome manually, look for the notification message that says the new extension was installed, as shown in the following screenshot.

A screenshot of the Google Chrome taskbar. There's a notification tab that says "New Extension Added."

Select the notification to allow your users to enable the extension. Users should also pin the extension so that they can see from the icon if multimedia redirection is connected.

The multimedia redirection status icon

To quickly tell if multimedia redirection is active in your browser, we've added the following icon states:

Icon State Definition
The default Azure Virtual Desktop program icon with no status applied. The default icon appearance with no status applied.
The Azure Virtual Desktop program icon with a red square with an x that indicates multimedia redirection isn't working. The red square with an "X" inside of it means that the client couldn't connect to multimedia redirection.
The Azure Virtual Desktop program icon with a green square with a check mark inside of it, indicating that multimedia redirection is working. The green square with a check mark inside of it means that the client successfully connected to multimedia redirection.

Selecting the icon will display a pop-up menu that has a checkbox you can select to enable or disable multimedia redirection on all websites. It also lists the version numbers for each component of the service.

Support during public preview

Microsoft Support is not handling issues for multimedia redirection during public preview.

If you run into any issues, you can tell us in the feedback hub on both the client and VM host.

To send us feedback:

  1. Open the feedback hub on both the client and server.

  2. Select Report a problem.

  3. Use the same title on both issue reports, but specify where you're submitting the report from by putting either "[Client]" or "[Host]" at the beginning.

    For example, if you're submitting an issue from the client, you'd format it like this:

    [Client] Title of your report

    If you're submitting an issue from the host, you'd format it like this:

    [Host] Title of your report

  4. In the Explain in more detail field, describe the issue you're experiencing. We recommend also including the URL of the video you were watching when the issue happened.

  5. Once you're done, select Next.

  6. Select the Problem bubble, then select Apps and Remote Desktop from the two drop-down menus, as shown in the following screenshot.

    A screenshot of the "2. Choose a category" window. The user has selected the Problem bubble, then has selected Apps and Remote Desktop in the drop-down menus below it.

  7. Select Next.

  8. Check to see if there's a similar issue in the list to the one you plan to submit.

    • If a bubble appears that links to an active bug, make sure the bug's description matches the issue you're reporting. If it does, select the bubble, then select Link to bug, as shown in the following screenshot.

    A screenshot of the "3. Find similar feedback" window. The user has selected the bubble for the option "Link to bug number 32350300 Active."

    • If you don't see a similar issue, select Make new bug.

    A screenshot of the "3. Find similar feedback window." This time, the "Link to bug" option is absent, and the user has instead selected "Make new bug."

  9. Select Next.

  10. In the Add more details window, select Include data about Remote Desktop (Default), then answer all questions with as much detail as possible.

    If you'd like to add a video recording of the issue, select Include data about Remote Desktop (Default), then select the Start recording button. While recording, open Remote Desktop and do the process that led to the issue happening. When you're done, return to the browser, then test the video to make sure it recorded properly.

    Once you're done, agree to send the attached files and diagnostics to Microsoft, then select Submit.

Known issues and limitations

The following issues are ones we're already aware of, so you won't need to report them:

  • Multimedia redirection only works on the Windows Desktop client, not the web client.

  • Multimedia redirection doesn't currently support protected content, so videos from Pluralsight and Netflix won't work.

  • During public preview, multimedia redirection will be disabled on all sites except YouTube. However, if you have the extension, you can enable multimedia redirection for all websites. We added the extension so organizations can test the feature on their company websites.

  • There's a small chance that the MSI installer won't be able to install the extension during internal testing. If you run into this issue, you'll need to install the multimedia redirection extension from the Microsoft Edge Store or Google Chrome Store.

  • Installing the extension on host machines with the MSI installer will either prompt users to accept the extension the first time they open the browser or display a warning or error message. If users deny this prompt, it can cause the extension to not load. To avoid this issue, install the extensions by editing the group policy.

  • When you resize the video window, the window's size will adjust faster than the video itself. You'll also see this issue when minimizing and maximizing the window.

Next steps

If you're interested in video streaming on other parts of Azure Virtual Desktop, check out Teams for Azure Virtual Desktop.