The Polycom CX8000 Lync Room System is purpose-built for Lync 2013 environments and designed to extend the familiar Lync collaboration experience into conference room environments. Polycom CX8000 was built in partnership with Crestron and combines the powerful Microsoft Lync software with an intuitive touch control panel and display so that anyone can start face-to-face conversation with interactive content sharing in no time. For proper installation and configuration, users should refer to all the official documentation available from Polycom and Microsoft. This article is intended to supplement the official documentation and provide 5 useful tips for an enterprise CX8000 deployment.
While the default Polycom CX8000 comes shipped with a Logitech C930e webcam as the Front-of-Room (FOR) camera and a separate sound-bar for audio output, this setup is typically used for smaller meeting rooms where the participants are seated not too far away from the touch displays since the microphone is built onto the webcam itself. For medium sized rooms, then the Polycom CX5100 would be ideal as a Center-of-Room (COR) camera that also provides a unique 360 degree panoramic view of the room's participants. In this setup, the CX5100 will serve as both the audio input/output for the CX8000. For rooms with longer tables then the CX5100 also offers 2 USB extension microphones for wider audio coverage. The FOR and COR setup is shown in the diagram below:
Sharing PowerPoint content during Lync online meetings requires the proper setup and configuration of an Office Web Apps (OWA) farm. The deployment guidance for this is available on this TechNet page. If the steps in TechNet were followed correctly, then the OWA farm would work fine in rendering PowerPoint presentations for Lync clients that are have joined the AD domain. While Lync clients who are not joined to the domain would experience an error during PowerPoint sharing. The error message usually states that "There was a problem verifying the certificate from the server. Please contact your support team":
#3: External Microphones
For CX8000 deployments that use the Logitech C930 Front-of-Room webcam, audio input may become an issue in larger meeting rooms. This is because the microphone is on located on the webcam which is typically which is placed on the top of the touch display. In larger rooms then participants sitting far away from screen cannot be heard as the microphone on the webcam has a limited pickup range. Although the CX8000 does have a 3.5mm jack for audio input at the rear panel, this port is disabled and cannot be used. Obviously, if the Polycom CX5100 has been deployed along with the CX8000, then the CX5100 supports up to 2 extension tabletop microphones that can be placed to cover large rooms. Without the CX5100, another solution is to purchase an official USB microphone that was built for the CX8000. As an alternative, 3rd party USB microphones have also been known to work in customer environments, although this would not be officially supported.
For deploying the CX8000 in large rooms or auditoriums where multiple audio inputs are required including ceiling mics, tabletop mics, as well as video input from enterprise-grade PTZ cameras such as the Polycom EagleEye III, AV specialist manufacturer Vaddio offers a AV Bridge solution that accepts a variety of standard audio and video inputs and encodes them in HD before streaming it out as USB based UVC (Universal Video Class) and UAC (Universal Audio Class) output. This will allow AV integrators to install up to 128 microphones connected to a Polycom SoundStructure solution, then bridge the output of SoundStructure into the CX8000 using the Vaddio AV Bridge. In addition to multiple audio inputs, the Vaddio solution also provides HDCI to BNC/DB9 adapters for connecting the video output from Polycom EagleEye III cameras to the CX8000 via the AV Bridge. A simplified diagram of how this works is show below:
Sometimes, the system might have been used in one Lync environment where the administrator password has been changed from the default. In this case the new admins will not be able to reconfigure the system without the password. In this situation, a factory default will be required. To do this, a USB keyboard needs to be connected to the CX8000. Do note that wireless keyboards may not work for this purpose and using a wired USB keyboard is the best choice. Restart the system and during initial boot up, hit the F6 function key. This will bring up the boot up screen as shown below:
The CX8000 along with CX5100 provides a unique touch based room collaboration solution built on the Lync platform and is great for small to medium sized meetings rooms when used out of the box. For larger rooms the solution can be augmented with components from specialist AV solution providers such as Vaddio as mentioned in this article. This solution also allows Polycom SoundStructure to be deployed in auditorium style rooms where many microphone inputs are required. For more information, contact your local Polycom Sales office or Polycom certified partner.