Office Communicator 2010 (Lync) MCU Query

NorthernGuru
NorthernGuru used Ask the Experts™
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Hi all,

We've just installed Lync (RC) for a 25 user trial.  The first thing we've noticed though, is that we're unable to see more than 1 video feed at any one time when in a video conference with 3+ participants.

From what I've read so far, this is standard behaviour and an MCU (multi-point control unit) is required.  The following thread advises that there is a software MCU which was first established in OCS 2007 R2.  Is anybody able to advise on whether we're able to use this - and if so, how?

http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/communicationsservermcu/thread/32646178-8dc6-4d69-a7a8-65b61d2a6fc8

Please be aware that we literally have only just installed Lync yesterday, so we're absolute novices on the subject.

Cheers

Andy
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Andy,

That is the as-design behavior of the OCS/Lync AVMCU, to only display the video of the active speaker.  Multi-party, or 'continuous presence' video conferences are not possible with the Lync software MCU and third-party solutions (like a Polycom RMX hardware MCU) would need to be brought into the environment to add the 'Hollywood Squares' type of video experience.

The discussion you linked is worded poorly as the same MCU experience is used between OCS R1/R2 and Lync.

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Commented:
Thanks Jeff.  I've been doing more research and was beginning to come to that conclusion myself, although its been difficult to confirm this is definitely the case.

Do you have any recommendations in terms of a low cost hardware MCU?  We're unlikely to need any more than 12 simultaneous feeds, but will probably have difficulty raising the funds for the likes of a Tandberg device.

I found the price for a Polycom MGC-25 on an American site - $14,000 - but this is likely to be well beyond our budget.

Cheers
If a dedicated bridge is outside or your bidget than one alternative might be to look into a room-based system which also contains a limited onboard MCU.  For example the Polycom HDX 7000 could be placed in a conference room where, for example, 10 participants would be and then allow 3 or 4 external OCS users to dial into the same conference.
I'm also looking for a MCU or Multipoint solution. Low budget here. I really just need something that allows the hollywood square style meetings. If I need to open a new question I will. Thanks in advance.

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