Day 11: How To Dial with a Polycom Remote

This post continues our 20 Day Challenge to understand the technical aspects of videoconferencing.

We have covered the larger issues of setting up and optimizing the network, using gatekeepers, and how to tell people to connect with you via a firewall traversal unit. This week, we are shifting our focus on when you pick up the remote to your endpoint and dial to another site.

Most parts of dialing are straight forward. Enter the numbers and connect. Sometimes, there is a hidden button or a function that changes and it isn’t explained on the official equipment documentation. We are going to share some things that we have learned over the years.

How to Dial

  • Press each number and be sure to enter the “.” after each octet. Dialing a video conference unit is different than dialing a phone, in that you don’t add any “punctuation” in a phone number, but you must on a video conference system.
  • Access the directory, if it is set up, and dial directly from there without entering any numbers.
  • To Dial an Alias: Dial the main IP address, add ## and then the number of the extension, alias, or room number.
  • If you dial an IP address and arrive at a screen and if there is audio, listen to what it is saying to you. Codian bridges are “talky” bridges and will present you with an entry queue or auto-attendant. You can navigate this screen by using the far end camera control on your remote and the the up and down arrow keys. When you arrive at the conference where you should be, press enter.

Polycom ViewStation: Quirk

Remember, when you enter the IP address into the dialing menu, you must enter the “.” between each octet.

  • Older ViewStation remotes had no dot button. You press the red, right arrow key while in the address box. That makes the dot.
  • The call/hangup button is green and does both functions.

Polycom VSX 7000: True Love

This could possibly be our favorite video conference remote of all time.

  • Separate call/end call buttons.
  • Dot button.
  • Separate near and far camera control buttons.
  • Color-coded buttons separating the camera and call functions. (This went away in the HDX remotes.)

Polycom HDX Systems: Tip

Polycom HDX systems came with an entirely new remote design. This design was not made with classroom functionality in mind. It was created to appear attractive in a conference room environment. It takes a bit of getting used to the different shaped buttons and some of the design takes precedence over functionality, in our experience. And it takes more batteries!

If you are accustomed to the Viewstation or the VSX line, those remotes will also work with the HDX line. The color coded buttons on the old remote design were user-friendly and easy to train users on.


Your Turn

Anything we missed? Can you remember when you first began dialing? What was hard to remember?

Team-written by Janine Lim, Shane Howard, and Roxanne Glaser. The opinions expressed in these posts are based on our collective video conference experience connecting classes across multiple networks to connect them to zoos, museums, experts and other classes during the past 10 years. This series of posts reflects our usage and understanding, not that of any vendor or manufacturer. No one is paying us to write these. We are just sharing what we have learned.

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