Bandwidth issues and slow connection speeds have always plagued remote support applications. These problems create painful delays between what the guest and host are respectively seeing on their computers. In best case scenarios, both parties are seeing the mouse movements and applications opening at approximately the same time. However, in less ideal conditions, hosts could be seeing a lag time of five to ten seconds or longer. This lag creates a frustrating experience for both parties and results in a waste of valuable time.
Many remote support tools on the market have tried to correct this nuisance by modifying the color depth of the data shipped from the client PC to the host. In other words, these tools take the high-resolution color screen of the guest computer and remove colors, making the appearance a bit more “cartoony.” Another quality settings method will bypass color all together, returning the guest’s screen image in full grayscale. By making these quality changes, a remote support tool can transmit less data, effectively reducing the impact slow connection speeds have on the remote support session.
Up until ScreenConnect 1.7 we have primarily focused on improving the software to better handle the packets of data sent from the guest to the host. But with 1.7 we have made huge strides forward, allowing more control and access to the quality settings of ScreenConnect.
ScreenConnect 1.7 has three color quality settings: high, medium, and low. The high quality setting displays the guest’s remote screen in full color, while the low quality setting displays the screen in complete grayscale. The medium color setting, however, is a sort of hybrid of the high and low quality settings. With the medium color setting enabled, ScreenConnect’s screen capturer will first send screen changes in grayscale mode. Then, when there are no more screen changes to send, ScreenConnect will send the true color information. Interestingly, color and grayscale elements can be displayed on the host’s screen at the same time; a video may be playing in grayscale while the rest of the desktop is in color. This provides improved performance over slow connections while still maintaining some color information. By default, ScreenConnect 1.7 will begin in high color mode and should ScreenConnect’s message queue fill up, the program will automatically switch to medium mode.
ScreenConnect 1.7, a stable release, is now available for download. Test it out for yourself at http://www.screenconnect.com.