I recently received a couple customer comments about disappointing video quality when using Polycom Group Series devices with Lync 2013. I also made similar observations in a previous blog when testing Verba call recording with Lync but was unsure if Verba might have been contributing to the issue. To better understand the problem I spent a little time testing this for myself to see if the issues were reproducible.

I set up a test environment consisting of a Lync 2013 deployment based on a single Standard Edition Lync server, WAC, Edge and Exchange 2013 installed to provide calendaring for the Polycom devices to facilitate conference join.

Two Polycom Group Series devices were used, a Group 300 and Group 500. Both have 1080p and Microsoft Lync Interop licences.

In every test involving the Lync client on the PC I maximized the video window.

Sure enough I found problems similar to those reported. The following is a list of my tests and results.

  1. Lync Client running on Windows PC point to point call with Polycom Group 300 – see the stats below, good quality call running 720p

 

 

two

  1. Polycom Group 300 making Lync point to point call with Polycom Group 500 – again the stats below show a very good quality call 1080p, very happy with that.

three

  1. Lync client doing a ‘meet now’ to create a conference call and then dragging the Polycom Group 300 onto the call. So now we have the same two devices as in test 1 but video resolution has dropped off from 1280×720 to 640×368.

one

  1. Group 300 and Group 500 in a Lync MCU hosted conference call – this test has the same endpoints as test 2 but look how resolution has dropped from 1080p(1920×1080) to 640×368 now it is a Lync MCU hosted call.

four

  1. Three endpoints: Lync client, Polycom 300, Polycom 500 participating in a conference call – this is typical of the call my customers have complained about where they may have two Polycom devices and additional desktop users dialling in with Lync on a PC. You can imagine on a large Conference room screen these resolutions look pretty poor.

five

Anyone else found the same results using Group series or HDX with Lync 2013, more importantly, anyone found a way to improve picture quality on Lync conference calls involving the Polycom devices?