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12-22-2020 05:46 PM
TLDR: Is there any chance of AVC support being introduced to the Mac ZCRB Receiver software in a future update?
I have been using RGS/ZCRB for most of the year in various configurations as work-from-home has continued to be the primary way work at my company has been done, and it appears that it will remain well into next year. Early on, I was using the Mac client and updating each time a new release became available in the hopes of getting as much performance out of it as possible. Having a pretty high-bandwidth connection available, I was able to keep the quality settings turned up relatively high and figured I was getting as much out of it as anyone could.
At some point in the middle of the year I started to notice a perceptible amount of lag and lack of responsiveness which may have been due to an increase in the number of users on the VPN, or just broadband users in my general area; either way, things out of my control. Around that same time it became necessary to setup a Windows box with the Windows ZCRB Receiver to troubleshoot an issue a user was having with a tool I support (don't ask me why, but activating a context menu in the QT GUI interface of the tool while connected via a Windows ZCRB client was registering as two right-clicks in quick succession, but only the expected single right-click when using the Mac ZCRB client). At that point I realized that the responsiveness of the Windows client was MUCH preferable to the Mac client I had been using and a little bit of testing confirmed that the increased responsiveness was mostly due to the AVC option that is not available in the Mac client.
I spent the rest of the year with a side-by-side Mac/PC setup and some network KVM software, which has worked fine at times, but frequently gets fiddly and has begun to require daily restarts of my router to keep running smoothly. Currently, I'm traveling with just a Mac laptop, and I have resorted to running the Windows ZCRB Receiver on a virtualized Windows 10 machine using Parallels. It has occurred to me how odd it is that a client running through x64 emulation on a virtualized pc (Mac laptop has an M1 ARM processor) is still such a better experience than the native Mac client. I figure, at this point, it couldn't hurt to ask: is AVC support planned for a future update to the Mac ZCRB Receiver? If so, is there an expected timeline on when that support might be available?
01-14-2021 04:40 AM
Aside from the fact a more powerful native Mac ZCRB receiver would be preferable of course, what is the problem running the Win ZCRB client over Parallels on Mac if it enables AVC for you?
I have an (2012) MBP, with which I use the win version of Siemens NX (CAD) running on Parallels professionally for the past 12 years.
I’d like to buy a Z workstation and use ZCRB instead, but the lack of AVC is exactly my concern. The vendor of the Z is unable to provide a test setup, and it is impossible to anticipate the real-life implications of not having AVC (as I read your post, I suspect BIG implications now)
But it would be interesting to known if there are downsides to the workaround of using Parallels.
Aside from the fact my old MBP might not be able to handle AVC
01-15-2021 12:10 PM - edited 01-15-2021 03:54 PM
I guess the biggest downsides to the Parallels solution are having to purchase additional software licenses for Parallels Desktop and Microsoft Windows 10. In my case I have them now so it's no longer an issue, but it would be a barrier of entry for coworkers that also use Macs.
The other issue is that Parallels Desktop for Mac is not yet fully supported on M1 Macs. The current version can boot and run windows, but it doesn't support things like suspending virtual machines that lead to it being a bit of an inconvenience. It can also be tricky to get the ZCRB window resolution set right with the virtual display of the virtual machine being able to be all sorts of arbitrary resolutions, but the ZCRB client being more limited in what resolutions a session can be run at. The scaling feature helps with this, but for a lot of work I do it's best to turn scaling off to make sure I am viewing content at it's native scale as I work on it.
Finally there is the nature of running a virtual machine in itself, that requires me to divide the hardware resources on my machine and can impact the overall performance of other applications I might want to use at the same time as ZCRB in a way that wouldn't be an issue if I were just using a native client.
01-16-2021 05:30 AM
Your reply helped me, thanks a lot!!
Agreed, haven't thought about the first 2 disadvantages since I have those 2 licenses too. Of course (!) dividing the resources of your hardware is a real pity too.
M1 support for Parallels will be happening asap I guess, but I would think the M1 might open the path to add AVC to the mac's receiver. You asked about future plans about this and KellyRGS was going to PM you about it. Did you get good news? 🙂
I've managed to loan a small Dell workstation with a Quadro P1000 card, so I will be able do some testing after all.