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ID: AR04Q01022
Applies to: FAQs
Added on: 2019-04-08
Last update: 2020-06-18
Does NoMachine software use the H.264 codec?

Yes, it does.

All NoMachine products support GPU-accelerated encoding and decoding, and from version 6.6.8 all products provide H.264 software acceleration capabilities.

NoMachine always prefers to use hardware encoding to produce the contents of the screen, using the GPU and the tools and methods it makes available. However, there are cases in which the GPU does not provide these tools or hardware encoding is not available.

When the server or client doesn't have the necessary hardware requirements to use GPU-based acceleration, H.264 software acceleration can be used. In these cases, NoMachine "falls back" to software encoding, which is slower and does not allow us to offer the same level of interactivity. Similarly on the client, where a hardware decoder is not available, software decoding is used.

In versions prior to 6.6.8, the software encoder and decoder used were based on the VP8 standard, unless the user had purchased the additional AVC Pack which includes the libraries, protected by an international patent by the MPEG LA consortium, and which therefore require a license fee. The Enterprise server products have always shipped the H.264 software encoder as part of its functionality.

With the release of version 6.6.8, NoMachine decided to include these libraries in all free products, covering the costs of the user license fees at its own expense and thus offering the best performance offered by the AVC/H.264 video encoding standard. When the GPU or HW system in use does not offer an H.264 hardware encoder or decoder, H.264 software encoding will be used.

This decision effectively eliminates the need for the AVC Pack and the open-source libraries, making H.264-enabled video encoding completely seamless for users and guaranteeing a video streaming experience with unparalleled quality.

More details about H.264 support are available here: