Polycom CX5000 Lync Client Compatibility

Another Polycom related post here. Just about to ship out 2x Polycom CX5000 “Unified Conferencing Stations” to a customer, and thought I’d take the opportunity to work out exactly what client version they work with. The documentation only goes up to Lync 2010, so that’s where I’ll start.

Firstly, the language on the units I unboxed, were not in English. And there is no way of changing the language from the device itself, and it doesn’t automatically pick up anything from your machine either, not even the current time-zone or time.

You’ll need to download CX5000 Management Tool for Administrators, it’s only a small 3MB zip file. And all you get is a command line EXE, a sample XML file, and an XSN InfoPath document which is used to generate custom XML files.

Open up the InfoPath file and enter all the information you can, (Set language, time-zone, etc.), once you saved the XML you need to run the following commands. Each command will ask for the device’s passcode, which is set to 78491 by default out the factory.

The next bit is essentially the same as the Deployment Guide, so for more information it’s worth downloading that.

In a command prompt running from C:\Program Files (x86)\Polycom CX5000\Device Management\

CX5000Manage.exe -m:img -i:config -f:English.xml

CX5000Manage.exe -m:cfg -q:cfgparseresult

CX5000Manage.exe -m:cfg -r

So finally I got round to testing, here are the results, the remote side was running Lync 2013 in all cases. And running on Lync Server 2010 behind the scenes.

P2P Video Meeting Audio
Lync 2010 Yes, but only shows panoramic view below, with the main stream displaying the static profile photo. Yes, panoramic view below. But either no main stream, or just a solid grey box where the main video should be. Yes
Lync 2013 Yes, active speaker main video and panoramic view below. 

* Sometimes the call only started with main video, had to restart the video after the call had started to bring up the panoramic view as well.

Yes, active speaker main video and panoramic view below. Yes
Lync Basic Yes, active speaker main video and panoramic view below. Yes, active speaker main video and panoramic view below. Yes
Lync App Yes, active speaker main video, but no panoramic view. 

* occasionally I got the same results as ->

No, shows static profile image to others, and a slim letterbox panoramic locally. Yes
Lync 2011 (Mac) No, shows corrupt main video stream only, no panoramic view. No, shows corrupt video stream only, no panoramic view. Yes

The above table shows the best of the results I gathered, some of the P2P stuff didn’t work when the CX5000 was on-premise, and the other client was remote. But actually had better results when both clients were external. It would have been good to hang onto the CX5000’s a little longer.

I didn’t expect the full screen Lync App to support this device, but I would have been very happy to see it, even if it couldn’t display the panoramic view, at least it can treat the Polycom CX5000 like a normal webcam. As I said in my last post, I’m hearing a lot of interest for the Lync App to replace the more traditional tele-conferencing devices. Because of the simple touchscreen user interface, it’s perfectly suited to a large display and viewed from a distance (whether it’s used as a touchscreen or not). It would have been good news for a few clients if the Lync App supported the Microsoft RoundTable (Sorry, I meant the Polycom CX5000).

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About Graham Cropley

Working as a Senior Consultant for Skype for Business, Exchange, and Office 365.

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