pcAnywhere and real-time graphics applications

Article:TECH106774  |  Created: 1999-01-16  |  Updated: 2014-06-17  |  Article URL http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH106774
Article Type
Technical Solution


You want to know if you can use pcAnywhere to remotely view a real-time video application running on the host.



While there is nothing about pcAnywhere that prevents you from launching a real-time video application at the host, you cannot effectively use pcAnywhere to view the output of that application. This is due to the connection's inability to transfer the video information fast enough or to pcAnywhere's ability to process the graphics.

pcAnywhere can take from one to five seconds to display a single frame change at the host, depending on the connection and the amount of change to the host screen. A real-time graphics application may change the image in a frame 20 times per second. Even at half that rate with the fastest connections, the host will change the image 10 times before the remote can display the first frame. As a result, the remote displays either a grey blank screen, a blurred frame, or a patchwork of two or more frames blended together. The image seen at the remote will have no smooth visual flow or useful coherence.

Other applications may not use the standard Windows graphics routines to display their output because these routines are too slow. Instead, these applications use their own routines. pcAnywhere cannot capture the video output from these applications, so you usually see just a blank frame.

Because real-time applications make such intense demands on the host processor, it can become nearly impossible to control the host - at least any useful control. If this occurs, you will need to stop the application to regain reasonable control over the host.

The following categories of applications are subject to the limitations just discussed:

Computerized movie files
Computerized movie files such as *.mov, *.avi, *.qt, etc., may work if they are small and have a low frames per second count. In most cases, viewing them remotely will result in dropped frames and reduced color. The larger the movie window size, the more frames will be skipped. The best workaround is to transfer the movie file to the remote for local viewing.

TV tuners or other live video, such as from a video input feed from a camera, VCR, etc.
pcAnywhere usually cannot display the output of TV tuners or other types of video equipment. TV and video signals are usually encoded, decoded and displayed outside of the normal functioning of your computer's video card through a special chipset. In many cases, the computer may have a separate controller card specifically for the purpose of processing and displaying specialized video. Whether the video is handled by the computer's video card or a separate, proprietary card, pcAnywhere usually displays only a blank frame.

DVD movies
Because DVD movies also bypass the normal video card's driver or use a separate controller card, pcAnywhere will probably display nothing or only a black window.

Computer Games
pcAnywhere is not designed for and does not support playing games remotely. Relatively static games like Solitaire will be displayed correctly, but real-time action games will not work. These require precise, real-time responses from the user, usually keyboard or pointer input, which is impossible over a remote control connection.

3D games compound the problem further. These games utilize special calls to the video card, such as Direct3D, Glide, OpenGL, etc. These access the video driver differently and use texturing memory which pcAnywhere does not support. This kind of game or application that use 3D card functions may display nothing or only a blank window.

pcAnywhere cannot control a joystick remotely or play sound or music remotely.

For more information about using pcAnywhere with games, please see the following documents:


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Article URL http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH106774

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