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Cisco C20 Plus solution with 5 simultaneous video conferences

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Jul 6th, 2012
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Our customer wants to buy 5 x C20 Plus codecs for 5 branches. They want a solution that allows them to have 5 simultaneous video conferences.

I was wondering if in order to achieve this they would need to buy a VCS (Control/Express) or just with the 5 x C20 Plus codecs is sufficient.

Any help is much appreciated.

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Jens Didriksen Fri, 07/06/2012 - 14:47
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Theoretically; no, VCS-C/VCS-E are not required as the calls can be made using IP addresses, however, this really depends on the users requirements,network topology etc.

A VCS solution is certainly more elegant; scalable and introduces other dialling options as well as firewall traversal, but they won't be able to have 5 simultaneous video conferences though, unless they have their own MCU, or use a hosted MCU solution.

Edit: Let me clarify; they can have indvidual simulatneous, point to point connections to different sites, depending on network capabilities, but if head-office wants to connect to all 5 branch offices in the one conference, then a MCU solution is required.


jacinto1m Sat, 07/07/2012 - 03:24
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Thanks for your answer Jens.

Which MCU would you recommend for this specific solution?

Jens Didriksen Sat, 07/07/2012 - 05:14
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Big thing with MCUs: cost - so this will not only depend on your requirements, but also very much on how big your budget is...   Again, contact you Cisco rep to discuss your requirements.


Tomonori Taniguchi Sat, 07/07/2012 - 04:50
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Here is port matrix for Cisco TelePresence MCU (excluding 5300 series MCU).

It will be very depending on what video quality you are looking for and possibility of future expansion.

If there is no plan for expanding the VC solution, probably 4505 will fit your needs quite well.

If you have plan for expanding the VC solution, probably better to investigate 4510 or even higher model.

Additional Note:

* Can be doubled using the MCU 6 to 12 HD port upgrade feature key

† Can be doubled using the 1080p capacity upgrade feature key 

‡ Can be doubled using the MCU 6 to 12 HD port upgrade feature key.

   Can be quadrupled using both the MCU 6 to 12 HD port upgrade feature key  and the 1080p capacity upgrade feature key

jacinto1m Sun, 07/08/2012 - 03:23
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Hi Tomonori,

Wouldn't the 4203 be enough for my current needs?

Tomonori Taniguchi Sun, 07/08/2012 - 05:03
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If you are looking for simply have a conference call with 5 x C20 and dual stream capability but doesn’t require the HD video quality on conference call, yes 4205 will meet this requirement.

If you are looking for conference call with HD video quality, recommend for 4500 series MCU.

I’d suggest to reach out Cisco representative and review your requirement and find best match MCU including price of that MCU model.

jacinto1m Sun, 07/08/2012 - 12:39
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Hi Tomonori,

If I choose the SX20 Quick Set instead, which comes with MCU included onboard, would I be able to have 5 simultaneous video conferences without the need of an extra MCU?

Patrick Sparkman Sun, 07/08/2012 - 13:30
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    2017 TelePresence

From the SX20 data sheet it looks like it can only support 4 endpoints with its internal MCU, so 3 external endpoints + 1 host endpoint = 4.

MultiSite Features (Embedded Multipoint Switch)

• Four-way SIP/H.323 MultiSite; resolution up to 576p30

• Full individual audio and video transcoding

• Individual layouts in multisite continuous presence

• H.323/SIP/VoIP in the same conference

• Support for Presentation (H.239/BFCP) from any participant at resolutions up to 1080p15/WUXGA

• Best Impression (automatic continuous presence layouts)

• H.264, encryption and dual stream from any site

• IP Downspeeding

• Dial in and dial out

• Conference rates up to 6 Mbps

Nick Halbert-Li... Sun, 07/08/2012 - 16:06
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Do you already run CUCM?  If so, your cheapest option would be to get CTMS rather than an MCU + VCS.  CTMS can host multipoint conferences, the only limitation being that everyone has to be using the same codec/resolution etc - if everyone is running C20s then this should be fine.

Also, not sure if 1080p works with CTMS when using C-series endpoints, it might only be 720p? (this still looks pretty good though!)

Tomonori Taniguchi Mon, 07/09/2012 - 01:23
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Please note CTMS only support voice switch.

If end user is looking for all 5 sites (or 4 sites excluding own site video) to be on screen same time (i.e. CP5+1, CP4 video mode), MCU will be required.

CTMS is switching base hence TelePresence MCU is transcoding base product (excluding few modes in MCU which will be switching base).

jacinto1m Mon, 07/09/2012 - 02:41
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Hi Tomonori,

I understand that if I buy 5 x SX20 with multipoint licenses + a VCS I would be able to have 3 sites in screen, right?

or do I still need to a MCU?

MultiPoint Support


• Four-way embedded SIP/H.323 MultiPoint reference MultiSite


•  Cisco TelePresence Multiway support (requires Cisco TelePresence Video  Communication Server [Cisco VCS] and Cisco TelePresence MCU)


• Ability to natively join multipoint conferences hosted on Cisco Telepresence Multipoint Switch (CTMS)

Tomonori Taniguchi Mon, 07/09/2012 - 02:56
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For using Multisite option on SX20 (embedded MCU feature), you able to host 4 sites conference (meaning connect three other SX20s from one master SX20).

I highly recommend for deploying with VCS but you still able to run multi sites conference on SX20 by dialing IP address (H323 call) of other SX20 Endpoint without VCS.

And yes, during 4 sites conference on SX20 using multisite conference, you able to display other three sites view on single display as CP video mode (also able to change to Voice Switch mode as well).


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