A long term customer came to us wanting to implement video conferencing for a new boardroom on an additional floor they had recently taken over. Unfortunately they had had it wired already with only the bare minimum of cables to the central table. With no possibility of getting any extra cables through such as a USB cable for a conventional video conferencing setup so how were we going to make it work? Obviously they also wanted to use the room for audio conferencing too and it would be awkward to have separate mic and speakers for audio and video conferencing like a conventional conferencing phone for the audio conferencing and maybe a pair of Jabra 710's for the video conferencing audio.
Fortunately a solution was to hand in the new Yealink CP960 conferencing phone with Hybrid UC Meeting. The CP960 is a SIP-based conferencing phone with an Android operating system allowing considerable flexibility. In addition to the network port supporting PoE it also has 802.11ac wireless, USB and Bluetooth. Setup is very straightforward using the standard Yealink interface. This interface is standard across all the Yealink products with minor variations such as the number of SIP accounts the device is capable of. It is very easy use and therefore allows the device to be configured quickly.
Using the network port and Bluetooth with Hybrid UC Meeting it has been possible to configure the CP960 to do the following:
- Work as a normal audio conference phone using an extension on the Avaya IP Office phone system. It can be dialled into directly on the extension, it can dial into a meet me conference bridge on the phone system and it can dial up to 4 additional parties and combine them through the Pentagon feature. A 3rd-party SIP endpoint license is required.
- Work as the microphone for the video conferencing setup. When in this mode it is possible to bring in additional parties using the Pentagon feature. The audio for the video conferencing runs out of the PC into external speakers.
To increase the microphone pickup range, the CP960 can also have two external microphones added - CPW90. In this particular application the base unit is fine but for their larger room downstairs the external microphones would be necessary.