Online meetings get better with Lync and new Polycom Unified Conference Stations, CX5100 and CX5500

Sometimes when you’ve been around great technology for a long time, you take for granted that others also know about it and use it. Such is often the case with Lync and the original Lync RoundTable device (Polycom CX5000), which we built in partnership with Polycom. At Microsoft, we use these devices every day as we collaborate in teams that span multiple locations around the world. If you haven’t used a RoundTable device, you’ll be impressed by the ease of use, 360-degree view of the meeting room, sound quality and automatic detection of the person speaking. It’s a simple, well-designed tabletop device that nicely fits within a meeting room.

To give you an idea of how a RoundTable works, the following screenshot shows a Lync online meeting with 10 participants, five of whom are sitting around a conference table with a Polycom CX5100 on top, in a room with a Polycom CX8000 Lync Room System. The conference room participants are all equally visible because the Polycom device is picking up a panoramic image (as seen on the bottom of the screen). The device detects the active speaker in the room (the gentleman in the sport coat) and camera focus goes to him. In a room full of people, focus shifts automatically to active speakers dynamically as each person speaks.

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Lync conference call with multi-party HD video and Polycom CX5100.

To round out the experience, the device is plug-and-play for Lync—simply insert a USB cable from the device into a PC with Lync installed. Lync recognizes the device for audio and video. No need to dial phone numbers or long conference IDs.

Introducing the next generation of Polycom Unified Conference Stations

Polycom just released the successors to the original CX5000 RoundTable device—the CX5100 and CX5500 Unified Conference Stations, which have attained the Microsoft Lync qualification. These both can be used for HD voice and 1080p video calls when plugged in to a PC running Lync. The new devices are already winning recognition in the industry, with integrated media company TMC awarding the CX5100 a 2014 INTERNET TELEPHONY Lync Pioneer Award.

With the latest versions of the Unified Conference Stations, users can:

  • Get a 360-degree “around the table” panoramic HD video experience for viewing all of the meeting’s participants.
  • Clearly see and hear the person currently speaking via zooming in on the speaker portion of the panoramic view in a separate video and experiencing the state-of-the-art concept of active speaker detection.
  • Speak comfortably with a microphone range of up to 20 feet (6 meters) and hear clearly through Polycom’s legendary audio quality.
  • Quickly and easily operate the device through plug-and-play technology—no need for IT to deploy or train.
  • Enjoy versatility and simplicity by placing stand-alone audio calls from a color touch display—no need for a second conference phone in the room.

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Polycom CX5500 used in Lync Online Meeting.

You can use one of the new RoundTable devices for your Lync meetings right now and turn any conference room into an HD video conferencing room. And when Lync becomes Skype for Business later this year, these new devices will be fully compatible, providing a seamless and hassle-free upgraded experience.

Visit Polycom to learn more about their video solutions for Microsoft Lync.