Learning more about my Tandberg MPS

I have expressed my frustration earlier that I could only use conference 1 for IP address dialing on my Tandberg MPS 32+32 MCU. I’ve also blogged previously about how we do VCs with everybody under the sun and usually they don’t want to/can’t register with my gatekeeper.

In March 2006, with the new Tandberg J3.0 (now J3.1) MPS upgrade, several other dialing schemes became available. I hadn’t tested these since they came out because I didn’t have time and didn’t want to mess up my currently scheduled programs. But now I’ve had time to explore and these are the results. Over two days, I’ve spent several hours with Arnie Comer, Macomb ISD, testing the various conference configurations on my Tandberg MPS version J3.1. I wanted to know how these different types of conferences work with old & new Tandberg endpoints, old & new Polycom endpoints, and the Polycom MGC MCU.

Regular Conferences
The following tests were done using the IP address of the bridge and the 4 digit extension of conference 2. On the Tandberg MPS, only one conference can receive IP address dial-ins. The rest of them use extensions. I’m working and testing with the assumption/experience that when I run projects with videoconference units anywhere in the world, they may not want to or be able to register to my gatekeeper. So I want this to work without gatekeeper registration where possible.

Endpoints are not registered to any gatekeeper.

  • Polycom VSX 7000 v. 8.0.3 can dial the IP address of the bridge, put the extension in the extension box and connect successfully without being registered to the gatekeeper.
  • Polycom Viewstation v. 7.5.4 can’t dial the IP address of the bridge plus extension. I tried it with the ##, two commas, and the @ sign. None of them worked.
  • Polycom MGC 100 v. 6.0.2 can dial the IP address of the bridge, put the extension in the alias type/party number box, and connect successfully without being registered to the gatekeeper.
  • Tandberg 800 v B10.0 can’t connect without being registered to the gatekeeper. When registered to the gatekeeper, it connects successfully with the conference 4 digit number.
  • Tandberg MXP 880 vF3.0 can’t connect without being registered to the gatekeeper. When registered to the gatekeeper, it connects successfully with the conference 4 digit number.

Endpoints are registered to a different gatekeeper (not mine). I’m trying this because this is a common scenario of other schools “out there” connecting in to me.

  • Polycom VSX 7000 v. 8.0.3 can’t dial the IP##extension when registered to a different gatekeeper.
  • I didn’t try the other ones because they can’t call without being registered, so I can’t see them working this way either. And no one is going to register their MGC to my gatekeeper. Not a chance.

Endpoints are registered to my gatekeeper. Of course this all works because that’s the way Tandberg expects me to use it!

Personal Conferences
The Tandberg MPS has a feature to allow personal conferences to be set up ad-hoc based on an e.164 or H323ID number. So these tests are with a 4 digit e.164 number. The interesting thing is, the personal conference e.164 number doesn’t match the “conference e.164 number”. It seems the personal conference number somehow “calls” the conference that is available.

Endpoints not registered to any gatekeeper.

  • Polycom VSX 7000 v8.0.3 can call the IP address##personalconferenceID.
  • The Polycom Viewstation v7.5.4 can’t call without being registered to the gatekeeper.
  • Polycom MGC 100 v. 6.0.2 can dial the IP address of the bridge, put the personal conference ID in the alias type/party number box, and connect successfully without being registered to the gatekeeper.
  • The Tandberg 800 v B10.0 can’t call without being registered to the gatekeeper.
  • The Tandberg 880 F3.0 can’t call without being registered to the gatekeeper.

Endpoints registered to my gatekeeper. Of course this all works because that’s the way Tandberg expects me to use it!

Single Dial In Conferences
The Tandberg MPS also has the ability to have a single dial in number “waiting room” where users then use DTMF tones to move to the conference room they are suppposed to be in. This feature is designed for ad-hoc conferences, so conferences with this feature can’t be scheduled ahead of time with the Tandberg Management Suite.

Endpoints not registered to any gatekeeper.

  • The Polycom VSX 7000 v 8.0.3 can call and create a conference and can join a conference.
  • The Polycom Viewstation v 7.5.4 just rings & rings dialing the IP address of the MCU.
  • The Polycom MGC 100 v. 6.0.2 can’t call in with DTMF tones (at least that we can figure out).
  • The Tandberg 800 v B10.0 can call and create a conference and can join a conference.
  • The Tandberg 880 F3.0 can call and create a conference and can join a conference.

Conclusions & Questions

  • There isn’t a standard for extension dialing without a gatekeeper. There should be!
  • What’s the difference between e.164 dialing with a gatekeeper and e.164 dialing without a gatekeeper?
  • Clearly IP address dialing works fairly consistently connecting across networks and to rogue units. This other dialing has a long ways to go to become consistent and useful.
  • These designs are clearly made for closed networks. If we all have closed networks, and we can only place outgoing calls, then how do we connect to each other? There are two options. Neighboring our gatekeepers together. I still think there’s too many of us to make this work. The other solution is to use an MCU so both dial outs can meet in a conference. In this scenario the MCU needs to be able to accept incoming IP address calls to more than one conference, which at this moment the Tandberg MPS can’t do.

Please comment if you have other thoughts or comments! Vendors, you’re welcome to comment too!

Update: I wrote this July 14, 2006. Since then, a new version of the Tandberg Gatekeeper has come out. It has some new features related to Single Dial In Conferences that may change things. When I have time to learn about them I’ll write more.

May 21, 2007 Update:  See the latest comments on my bridge here.

About Janine Lim

Janine Lim, PhD, currently serves as associate dean for online higher education in the School of Distance Education at Andrews University, in Berrien Springs, MI. She and her team support over 200 online courses, provide training for faculty teaching online, and work with the campus infrastructure support of online learning. Her department also provides educational technology and Moodle support for faculty and students. In addition, Janine is responsible for the faculty and courses of the Consortium of Adventist Colleges and Universities. Janine has taught over 15 unique graduate educational technology classes online numerous times over the past 15 years, with some classes attracting participants from all over the world. Her undergraduate teaching includes social media courses for communication and digital media majors. Janine has served on the board of the United States Distance Learning Association since April 2015. Prior to her work at Andrews University, Janine coordinated distance education for 22 K12 school districts in southwest Michigan for 14 years. In that position, as one of the co-founders of TWICE, Michigan’s K12 Videoconferencing Organization, Janine has spearheaded popular international K12 videoconference projects such as Read Around the Planet and MysteryQuest. While still serving on the board of TWICE, she was instrumental in designing and implementing the CAPspace website for collaborative videoconference projects. Janine also served on a team of Michigan educational technology trainers providing a workshop called ATA Technology Academy. Her current online learning research interests include successful teacher behaviors, quality online discussions, and student activity patterns in self-paced courses.
This entry was posted in Techie Stuff. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Learning more about my Tandberg MPS

  1. Doug says:

    have you tried dialing IPADDRESS,Ext This seems to work for me. I have basicly having the same issues you are having!

    >>Polycom Viewstation v. 7.5.4 can’t dial the IP address of the bridge plus extension. I tried it with the ##, two commas, and the @ sign. None of them worked.

  2. Tom says:

    Polycom VSX 7000 v. 8.0.3 can’t dial the IP##extension when registered to a different gatekeeper.

    When registered to another gatekeeper you must use the following:

    Ext@IP

  3. Dennis says:

    “IPAddress,Ext” worked for me too. Thanks for tip!

Comments are closed.