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Lync client video requirements for Lync Server 2013

Lync Server 2013
 

Topic Last Modified: 2014-04-07

This section describes video hardware support for Lync 2013 video calls and describes how to determine the expected video quality for various computer, tablet, and mobile device configurations.

Lync 2013 introduces hardware acceleration for video encoding and decoding based on the H.264/MPEG-4 Part 10 Advanced Video Coding standard. This feature allows computers with lower CPU clock speeds to encode and decode higher resolution video. Video hardware requirements vary depending on the computer configuration and the video resolution wanted.

 

Feature Requirement

Hardware accelerated H.264 decoding using DirectX Video Acceleration (DXVA)

  • Graphics card must support DirectX 9.0 and must expose the DXVA2_ModeH264_VLD_NoFGT decoding mode.

  • The latest graphics card driver must be installed.

noteNote:
For details about decoding modes, see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=268530.

Hardware accelerated H.264 encoding: Chipset Requirements

The following Intel hardware accelerated video encoding solutions are supported:

  • Second and third generation Intel HD Graphics 2000, 2500, 3000, and 4000 chipsets (or later versions) with integrated hardware video encoders. Installation of the Intel HD Graphics driver 15.28.9.2884 or the latest driver containing the following is required:

    • Display driver 9.17.10.2884 or the latest driver

    • Hardware media foundation transform (HMFT) version 3.12.10.31 or the latest HMFT

The following AMD hardware accelerated video encoding solutions are supported (requires CU1 Updates for Lync Server 2013):

  • AMD Video Codec Engine, which is available in several discrete graphics cards and in integrated accelerated processing units of AMD A-Series Accelerated Processors. The AMD Video Codec Engine driver 9.12.0.0 or higher must be installed.

Hardware accelerated H.264 encoding: Camera Requirements

USB video cameras with integrated H.264 hardware encoder that conforms to the USB Video Class (UVC) specification version 1.5.

noteNote:
Lync 2013 supports UVC 1.5 cameras with Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, which includes support for UVC 1.5. Because Windows 7 does not include support for UVC 1.5, Lync 2013 treats UVC 1.5 cameras as regular cameras with no hardware encoding support.

Generally, there are four major factors that determine the maximum encoding and decoding capability of a particular computer configuration:

  • Support for hardware accelerated decoding by using DXVA

  • Support for hardware accelerated encoding

  • Number of physical cores

  • Windows Experience Index (WEI)

The Windows System Assessment Tool (WinSAT) determines the WEI. When you run the WinSAT tool, it generates a Formal.Assessment XML document on the computer in the %windir%\Performance\WinSAT\DataStore directory. This XML file contains the following two scores that are of particular importance for determining encoding and decoding capabilities:

  • The VideoEncodeScore indicates the software-based video encoding capability of the computer.

  • The GraphicsScore value indicates the hardware accelerated encoding capability of the computer.

The following three tables explain the maximum encoding and decoding capability for different PC types depending on what hardware acceleration they support. For resolutions of 640x360 and higher, the maximum supported frame rate is 30 frames per second (fps). For resolutions lower than 640x360, the maximum supported frame rate is 15 fps.

Computer Without DXVA And Without Hardware Accelerated Encoder

Capable Encoder Resolution Capable Decoder Resolution Requirement

424x240

424x240 (640x360 at 15fps for receive only scenarios)

1 Core and VideoEncodeScore ≥ 4.0

640x360

640x360

2 Cores and VideoEncodeScore ≥ 4.5

640x360

1280x720

2 Cores and VideoEncodeScore ≥ 4.5

640x360

1920x1080

4 Cores and VideoEncodeScore ≥ 4.5

1280x720

1280x720

4 Cores and VideoEncodeScore ≥ 7.3

1280x720

1920x1080

4 Cores and VideoEncodeScore ≥ 7.3

1920x1080

1920x1080

N/A

Computer With DXVA But Without Hardware Accelerated Encoder

Capable Encoder Resolution Capable Decoder Resolution Requirement

424x240

1920x1080

1 Core and VideoEncodeScore ≥ 3.0

640x360

1920x1080

2 Cores and VideoEncodeScore ≥ 4.5

960x540

1920x1080

2 Cores and VideoEncodeScore ≥ 6.0

1280x720

1920x1080

4 Cores and VideoEncodeScore ≥ 6.7

1920x1080

1920x1080

4 Cores and VideoEncodeScore ≥ 8.2

noteNote:
The WinSAT score on Windows 7 is limited to a maximum of 7.9. Therefore, the encoding capability for a computer without a hardware accelerated encoder can only be achieved on Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, where the maximum WinSAT score is 9.9.

Computer With DXVA And With Intel HD Graphics Hardware Accelerated Encoder

Capable Encoder Resolution Capable Decoder Resolution Requirement

1280x720

1920x1080

All 2nd and 3rd generation Intel HD Graphics

1920x1080

1920x1080

2nd and 3rd generation Intel HD Graphics and GraphicsScore ≥ 5.0

The following table describes the maximum video capabilities for supported mobile devices. For more information about mobile device support, see Planning for mobile clients in Lync Server 2013.

 

Feature Windows Phone iPhone and iPad Android

H.264 encoding maximum resolution

640x480

iPhone 4: 192x144

iPad and all other supported iPhone models: 352x288

320x2401

H.264 decoding maximum resolution

320x240

iPhone and iPad: 352x288

320x2401

1For Android devices with a Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 or S4 processor using any 8x60 chipset, sending and receiving at 640x480 resolution is supported.

 
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