How to enable multipoint support on a Polycom HDX Series 6000/7000/8000/9000 endpoints?

Alina Krukova
June 19, 2015
Alina Krukova

polycom Polycom HDX is a line of worldwide-known HD endpoints of the previous generation (as of 2015) for video conferencing. They are fit for meeting rooms and conference halls of various sizes as they support 1 to 3 displays.

Additional license allows to hold a multipoint video conference with four participants on endpoints of these series (except HDX). In fact, these endpoints are shipped with built-in MCU that transmits video in a fixed symmetric layout (Continuous Presence) 4-on-4, but it’s locked and sold separately).

And that would be a gorgeous feature, if it were not for one thing: very few users purchase this extension, and oftentimes an endpoint just sits idle in a meeting room as it can be only used to connect with other endpoints, commonly in other meeting rooms or locations. Meanwhile, it could be used inside an office or to hold group video conferences with other endpoints.

We have found a solution to this problem!

The release of a free software video conferencing server TrueConf Server Free with built-in SIP / H.323 gateway and support for 12 participants in multipoint HD video conferences eliminates the problem. Of course, we won’t be able to activate a locked MCU, but we can easily create a multipoint meeting between the endpoint and TrueConf client applications for Windows, OS X, Linux, Android, iOS and WebRTC. Let’s get our feet wet.

depositphotos_5282295-Light-bulbWith these instructions, you can add support for multipoint video conferencing on any other H.323 / SIP endpoint.

So, we need to register a Polycom endpoint on a TrueConf server that will allow us to monitor the endpoint’s status (online / offline) and invite it to multipoint conferences created on TrueConf Server Free.

Benefits for Owners of Polycom HDX

  • Full-featured group video conferences with 12 points without having to purchase a Polycom license.
  • The ability to invite users to a conference through a URL link (in WebRTC-capable browsers).
  • The ability to share various content during a conference.
  • The ability to join a conference from mobile devices and on the go.
  • Easy scalable system without having to purchase additional equipment.

Connecting Polycom HDX 8000 to TrueConf Server

You need to create a new account for Polycom HDX on the server to hold a group conference between a Polycom endpoint and a TrueConf server.

depositphotos_5282295-Light-bulbPlease read our instructions on how to easily install and deploy TrueConf Server in the company’s local network in 15 minutes. You will also find instructions on creating accounts there. Any PC running Windows, including Windows 7 and 8, will be fit for TrueConf Server as we are not going to connect a large number of users to the server.

Oftentimes, an endpoint is already registered on an MCU or Gatekeeper through H.323, therefore, to avoid resetting the settings, we are going to connect it to the TrueConf server through SIP.

Using TrueConf ID and a password of a new user, you can now register a Polycom endpoint on TrueConf Server FREE. Go to the Admin Settings tab and select Netwrok/IP/SIP Settings.

On the SIP Settings tab, enter a TrueConf ID in the fields Authentication Name and User Name, a password in the field Password and an IP address of the computer with TrueConf FREE installed in the fields Registrar Server and Proxy Server:

Polycom HDX 8000 - Console

Wait for the endpoint to register on the TrueConf Server.

Open the User Accounts tab in TrueConf Web Manager to make sure that the Polycom endpoint has been successfully registered. The user account created for the Polycom endpoint should have Online (green rectangle) status:

user_accounts

We did it! Now we can schedule a meeting that will automatically gather participants, including the Polycom endpoint, in a multipoint conference, or we can create a conference ‘on-the-fly’ from any client application as the endpoint has appeared in the Address Book of all subscribers.

The images below show how a group conference will look like on a Polycom endpoint and on TrueConf Server:

Group conference Polycom    Group conference TrueConf

How to Create a Multipoint Video Conference in TrueConf for Windows

How to Create WebRTC Conference – Step by Step Tutorial