Day 12: How to Dial with a Cisco-TANDBERG Remote

This post continues our 20 Day Challenge to understand the technical aspects of videoconferencing, particularly the section on dialing.

Most parts of dialing are straight forward. Enter the numbers and connect. However there are some unique features or issues with each remote that we want to share.

Special thank you to Lori Colwill for her assistance with this post.

How to Dial

  • Press each number and be sure to enter the “*.” button after each octet. This may add a * instead of a . in between each set until after you get the third set of numbers entered. Then it will automatically switch the *’s to the dots. Remember the language of an IP address, though. The address is still correctly referred to with “dots” in between the numbers, not “star” or “asterisk”.
  • Access the directory, if it is set up, and dial directly from there without entering any numbers.
  • 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.

How to Dial an Alias

First of all, you may be given the number as either of these formats: alias@IP (1234@ or IP##alias (

Polycom users may give you an IP## alias number to dial. The TANDBERG remote cannot dial IP##alias. You may be able to turn it around and dial with the alias@IP format, depending on how the other site is set up.

  • Newer TANDBERG remotes (TRC5) have an @ sign on the 1 button, so it’s easy to enter by pressing again.
  • Older TANDBERG remotes (TRC3 and TRC4) don’t have an @ sign. But there are two ways to get around this.
    • Web interface: If you have access to the web interface for the TANDBERG system, enter it there. Even better, put it in the address book so you can get to it again.
    • Via the remote: To get the @ sign, follow these steps: Hold down the # sign (note that in the entry box it switches from 123 to abc). Then press the 1 twice (that enters the @ sign).  Then hold down the # sign again to go back to numbers. However using this procedure negates the use of the *. button. You will have to use this same method to switch back to alphanumeric mode to get the dots entered in between each octect.

Pay Attention to the Location of the Infrared Receiver

  • If you have a newer TANDBERG where the camera and the codec/box are separate, make sure you point the remote at the infrared receiver on the box.
  • If the remote doesn’t seem to be working well, check the batteries and the direction you’re pointing. Make sure you are pointing towards the infrared receiver.

Remote Control for the iPhone / iTouch / iPad

Vyopta makes a vControl remote that mimics the TANDBERG remote and can be used to control your TANDBERG videoconference system as well as the Codian bridge.

  • It costs $99; which seems a little steep for K12-education. But compare that to $400 for replacing a remote. At least it’s an option to consider.
  • Read reviews and comments of this tool from


Team-written by Lori Colwill, 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.

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.
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