Polycom Group series video degrades when joining a conference via Skype4B

By | September 3, 2016

Update: Polycom has hinted this will be resolved in the the 6.0 firmware for these devices!

Update 2: This still occours on a seperate customer of mines system on UCS 6.0, I have asked them to raise a ticket with Polycom and egarly await the outcome.

So another interesting one for the ranks. I had a customer who has deployed multiple Polycom Trio units along with a Polycom Group 500 series (Guide on those over here) and the deployment was working well. A few weeks later the customer calls me back to advise that the unit was experiencing terrible video quality.

Surely enough, I dialled into both the Trio and the Group series and both had perfect quality. After a whole bunch of test calls, everything still looked fine.

That is of course until we scheduled a meeting or added a third party. Then it clicked. Peer to peer calls had Media Bypass enabled with very high CAC limits set, yet when using the Conference bridge on the front end, the MCU by default limits non SVC video to 640×480 at 600kbps very crap quality indeed.

As the Group series didn’t have an Advanced HD licence installed, it would only use the RTV Codec and was getting capped at 600kbps

To resolve the issue, ether install the 1080p licence on the Group500 (enabling the SVC codec)
Or increase the bandwidth for RTV by running the command

Set-CsMediaConfiguration –Identity Global -MaxVideoRateAllowed Hd720p15M

Hope this helps someone else.

If your after more info on codecs in Skype4B / Lync and Polycom gear, head over to Jeff Schertz blog. I’m so jealous.. getting to play with all the cool stuff at Polycom.

HD Video in Lync 2013


6 thoughts on “Polycom Group series video degrades when joining a conference via Skype4B

    1. Avatar photoJames Post author

      Thanks for the update Adam, For those that arent aware Adam is the Principal Microsoft Architect at Polycom and a Skype4B MVP. So you can quote him 🙂

  1. John

    We have the same problem with quality when using Group 500 or 700 but only when joined into a Skype call. We already have 1080p licenses and Hd720p15M is enabled on Lync 2010 server. Any additional suggestions?

    1. Avatar photoJames Arber Post author

      Hi John. Does the issue only appear during conference calls or does it occour during peer to peer stuff as well? If peer to peer is affected id be checking that CAC isnt limiting the bandwidth.

  2. Alexander Ruch

    Do you need to apply the 1080p licence to enable SVC 720p on a RPG Series codec with Skype Interop. licence ?

    1. Avatar photoJames Arber Post author

      Alex, My testing seems to idicate so. I have a few customers who have tested this as well and have since raised a ticket with Polycom. I’d suggest if you want 720p using SVC that you raise a ticket with Polycom so this gets addressed


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