No HTML5 video in IE11 on RDSH 2012 R2

Have had a thread open on TechNet forums about this for a while.

Essentially, I use System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) to build VMs that are then made into Remote Desktop Session Host Servers by a combination of PowerShell and VBScript.

Some of these publish RemoteApp applications, others publish full desktops. Thanks to the much improved method that RDP 8 uses to stream and transcode video the multimedia performance is pretty good. Except that HTML5 video wasn’t working in Internet Explorer 11. If you could convince websites that IE wasn’t up to HTML5 video then the site would sometimes drop back to trying the Flash player (e.g. add youtube.com to the Compatibility View list).

I discovered that the key to this problem was the state of Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration (IE ESC). If the setting was turned off for users, the HTML5 video played back fine, but turn it on for users (as is the default) and HTML5 video doesn’t work, even if you’re logged on as an administrator.

You can see and alter the state of the IE ESC via Server Manager – Local Server. Changing it programmatically proved to be more difficult and the only method I’ve found that worked was to turn it off via the unattended settings when VMM is customising the new VM. The VM at this point is just a regular server, the RDSH role is added later in the build process.

I was already having to turn IE ESC off for admins as otherwise the PowerShell build script that runs after autologon of the build user would not run.

Sample code as follows:

Template = Get-SCVMTemplate -Name $TempTemplateName
$Unattend = $Template.UnattendSettings
# Unattend sections: 0 = windowsPE, 1 = offlineServicing, 2 = generalize, 3 = specialize, 4 = auditsystem, 5 = auditsystem, 6 = oobesystem
$Unattend.Add("3/Microsoft-Windows-IE-ESC/IEHardenAdmin","false")
$Unattend.Add("3/Microsoft-Windows-IE-ESC/IEHardenUser","false")
Set-SCVMTemplate -VMTemplate $Template -UnattendSettings $Unattend | Out-Null

Turns off IE ESC for both users and admins.

This entry was posted in PowerShell, Remote Desktop, VMM 2012 R2, Windows and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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