Take the 2-minute tour ×
Server Fault is a question and answer site for professional system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I seriously need to minimize the "eye candy" traffic overhead and only leave the graphics quality enough to actually manage the server. I've like to switch to 16 or 256 color mode if possible but the lowest color depth offered by the client settings is 15-bit High Color. Is this possible to overcome?

The problem is that the app I need to configure on the server side is a stupid surveillance dashboard and it always displays 9 real time video streams all the time it is open (though I only need to adjust its settings) giving a pure zen training experience.

share|improve this question
add comment

3 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I have found the answer myself, so sharing it for further reference of whoever may need it.

The solution is to open the .rdp file (%USERPROFILE%\Documents\Default.rdp by default) and edit (or add if missing) the following line:

session bpp:i:8

The number (8 in this case) sets the color resolution in bits per pixel. 8 (for 256 colors) is the lowest value available through manual editing (while the lowest value available through the RDC GUI is 15).

Other .rdp file commands can be found here.

PS: I am also glad to mention that my practical problem (unintentional but unavoidable video streaming jamming the whole RDP channel) is solved completely! The thing works lightning-fast now. So the idea to lower the color depth was right what I needed.

share|improve this answer
1  
Nice detective work, thanks for sharing the answer –  Dan Mar 26 '13 at 19:55
add comment

Go the the Experience tab in the RDP client and set the connection speed to: Modem (56kbps).

share|improve this answer
    
It does not help to switch color depth below high-color. –  Ivan Mar 26 '13 at 15:29
    
I'm afraid that's as close as you're going to get. –  joeqwerty Mar 26 '13 at 16:28
add comment

Not with a modern version of the MicroSoft Terminal Services Client, no. The best you can do is head over to the Experience tab and select Modem (56 Kbps), which should be more than sufficient. (Note the Persistent bitmap caching option).

Of course, as this is rated for a 56 Kbps connection, I'd advise that if you need something less bandwidth intensive, your primary focus should be on upgrading your network capacity, because 56 Kbps hasn't been a normal amount of network bandwidth for a couple decades now.

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
    
Helps slightly (subjectively) but doesn't solve the problem. I am reading about the .rdp file format now, perhaps I could configure it manually. The problem is that the app I need to configure on the server side is a stupid surveillance dashboard and it always displays 9 video streams all the time it is open (though I only need to adjust its settings) giving a pure zen training experience... –  Ivan Mar 26 '13 at 15:16
    
@Ivan Ugh, developers. Can you RDP in with an older version of the client? Say, if you have a pre-SP3 XP disc lying around, fire up a VM from that and use the older version of the client that allows you to select the lower color depth values? –  HopelessN00b Mar 26 '13 at 15:36
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.