The Benefits of PCoIP versus H.264 Protocols

PCoIP is an innovative multi-codec remote display technology designed to streamline performance under varying network conditions with remarkable versatility. This protocol delivers pixel-based desktop videos to client endpoints while simultaneously ensuring that a dedicated physical desktop in the datacenter receives internal and external device data. With a focus on adaptive-UDP based networking, PCoIP’s multi-codec approach and lossless spatial compression abilities work together to facilitate a dynamic end user VDI experience.

Conversely, the H.264 protocol has been developed to overtake early video compression technologies in terms of leveraging bandwidth and storage for cost savings. Apart from being ideal for AV distribution to multiple video sources, H.264 specializes in recording, compressing and transmitting content at a reasonable bit rate, enabling users to save quality footage and images.

What are the characteristics that differentiate PCoIP from H.264? The following section analyzes both protocols to see how they measure up against one another.

Bandwidth and Latency


Evaluating the expected amount of PCoIP traffic on the LAN/WAN is crucial for developing a detailed VMware View system deployment plan and delivering a truly lossless user experience. This is because the user type, applications and techniques implemented in running programs determine the level of bandwidth needed to accommodate View client-server traffic. However, with VMware View leveraging the PCoIP protocol for facilitating near-zero latencies and PCoIP’s ability to deliver packets in a UDP flow, users can experience uninterrupted desktop connectivity without the hassle of potential network choke.

Bandwidth requirements also vary depending on whether an organization leans more towards basic tasks or graphic-intensive programs. Mission critical applications, audio, screen resolution, monitor count and desktops with challenging video requirements also accelerate bandwidth consumption and lead to considerable latency. However, PCoIP’s capacity to synchronize multiple codecs including video, graphics, texts and images makes it suitable for high-performance industries such as government, military, healthcare, media and entertainment. The reason is PCoIP codecs are specifically optimized for resourceful bandwidth and CPU consumption in extensive workloads. Thus, PCoIP is a network-friendly protocol which promises superior UX by delivering higher frame rates and lower latency.


The availability of H.264-based protocols for basic, mid-range and professional level cameras allows users to simultaneously draw the benefits of megapixel resolution while consolidating storage space and bandwidth usage. Choosing H.264 over previous compression technologies especially in the video surveillance industry enables smaller file sizes, moderately better audio synchronization and image optimization efficiencies. All this owes to the H.264 codec’s long-distance signal transmission abilities in the user’s current physical infrastructure.

Nevertheless, using H264 results in increased processor requirements and GPU is frequently used to accelerate H.264 encoding by rendering graphically intense workloads. While GPUs create rich user experiences in deep 3D applications, H.264 without GPU assistance delivers lower frame rates especially during video playback where the footage may run at consistently low frames per second. In such cases, the visuals run at reduced speeds, have more motion blur and graphic stability is disrupted.

In the absence of GPU, H 264 is not ideal for industry-level 3D applications or VDI environments that frequently run these types of programs. Even if users choose to implement the H.264-based protocol without GPU, the impact on the network bandwidth will accelerate, thereby resulting in higher latencies and affecting H.264 encoding and decoding capabilities for time-critical applications. This will also increase the time required for executing routine tasks including system login, device and program monitoring, hence disrupting workflow and productivity.

Text and Color Accuracy


The PCoIP’s multi-codec design preserves clarity and upholds user productivity by delivering interactive applications. This protocol’s lossless support competency is crucial for performance-intensive use cases in high sensitivity industries. This is because with PCoIP’s optimized multiple codecs and lossless imaging features, the delivery of mission critical data, complex text, icons, images and graphics is never compromised. For instance, a healthcare organization would rely on the timely production of distortion-free information and images to relay accurate patient diagnosis and enhance patient care. PCoIP’s high spatial compression eliminates the possibility of motion artifacts, incomprehensible texts, incomplete and imperfect colors in the content. Using PCoIP algorithms, users can also preserve the clarity of anti-aliased text, thereby increasing text and color content smoothness and accuracy for enlarged pictures.


H.264 is essentially a lossy encoder suitable for consumer-grade video streaming because its compression algorithm can be programmed to identify and separate redundant data from the video content. However, the process of replicating screen content as per the standards of relevant graphic applications often consolidates such eliminated particulars. This is something which the H.264 protocol fails to compensate, therefore resulting in inaccurate texts and colors. This can lead to detrimental consequences in crucial industry-level projects.

Furthermore, H.264 algorithms implement a reduced color palette which delivers images lacking in depth and color correctness, thereby sacrificing text clearness and rendering relatively blurry pixel sprites. Another drawback of the H.264 protocol is that it does not have the anti-aliasing capabilities of PCoIP. In this situation, users would experience reading speed discrepancies and difficulties in deciphering text.

Conclusions and Recommendations

By reviewing the advantages of choosing PCoIP over H.264-based protocols, we can see that the latter is not at feature and performance parity with the former, making H.264 more suitable for passive streaming and smaller-scale projects or deployments. However, H.264-based protocols are highly recommended for video transmission functions, given their ability to facilitate online streaming for videos from high definition and high resolution cameras.

Conversely, PCoIP is the suggested alternative for enterprise-level undertakings on account of its active streaming features, capacity to maintain spectrum efficiency and retain most of the original text and color content in its deliverables.

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