Using The Shure MXA910 Ceiling Array Microphone on Cisco Webex Devices

The Shure Microflex Advance MXA910 Ceiling Array Microphone is a ceiling-mounted array microphone intended for use in various AV conferencing environments, including meeting rooms, boardrooms, and
multi-purpose spaces. It utilizes up to eight adjustable lobes to pick up audio from participants.

This document provides guidelines on the use of the Shure MXA910 microphone with Cisco Webex® video devices. Apps for setting up and controlling the Shure products that must be downloaded include:

• Shure Web Device Discovery Application
• Shure Designer System configuration software
• Audinate Dante Controller

Connecting the Shure MXA910 and P300 to a Cisco SX80 or Room Kit Pro

The Shure MXA910 and IntelliMix P300 are Dante Audio Network devices. To connect their audio output to a Cisco® product requires an analog connection. The P300 has balanced Euroblock analog outputs, easily connecting to the inputs of the Cisco SX80 or Room Kit Pro. Note that these codecs have four-pin microphone inputs: signal +; signal –; ground; and mute control (marked with a microphone symbol). The mute control is for Cisco’s microphones and should not be connected.

Configure the MXA910, IntelliMix P300, and Cisco SX80 or Room Kit Pro for your room and applications according to the device’s user guide. The SX80 and Room Kit Pro microphone inputs can be configured via the admin web interface. The input should be configured as line input (turning off 48V phantom power). The default level setting on the SX80 and Room Kit Pro input is appropriate, provided that the Shure P300 analog output is configured with mic level (-46 dB) analog gain. Refer to Figure 2, which shows where to control this parameter within the P300 web-based control interface.

Alternatively, the P300 can be configured with line-level (0 dB) analog gain, and the input level on the SX80 or Room Kit Pro should then be reduced from the default 58 dB to 12 dB to achieve a level equivalent to the level from Cisco’s own tabletop microphone, and to ensure the input is not overloaded. To manage
noise performance, keeping the output from the P300 on line level and reducing input gain on the SX80 and Room Kit Pro is preferable.

When using the P300’s echo cancellation and noise reduction processing, the echo control and noise reduction processing in the Cisco codec should be disabled. This can be configured via the admin web interface.

Cisco’s MX700 and MX800 systems use a variant of the SX80 codec. Cisco Room Kit Pro and Room 70 G2 use the Codec Pro, and the same configuration guidelines apply to these products.

Connecting the MXA910 to other Cisco Webex video devices

As long as the Shure IntelliMix P300 is configured with mic level (-46 dB) analog gain, the Shure
MXA910 can be connected to any Webex video device with an analog microphone input. A connector adapter is needed for products with a 3.5mm jack microphone input.

Cisco products such as the SX10, SX20, MX200 G2, MX300 G2, Room 55, Room Kit, and Room Kit Plus do not have the same options or range on microphone input gain as the SX80.

Potential issues

Overloading the microphone inputs

Microphone inputs on Cisco products can easily be overloaded if the output gain from Shure IntelliMix P300 is not set to mic level (-46 dB) analog gain. This may result in microphone signal clipping and distortion.

Missing software support for third-party microphones

Some Cisco products have older software versions that disable third-party microphones. Software versions from CE 8.3 and newer are recommended.

See the note on here or on here

Casper™ Cloaking Technology

Casper™ Cloaking Technology by Designtex is an architectural film for glass walls that obscures digital screens to outside view. It acts as a smart shield to ensure data privacy, while providing the peace of mind to collaborate freely in any working environment. This is a breakthrough that will unleash space design in the networked modern world. Casper™ is the only cloaking technology of its kind anywhere. You have to see it to believe it.

Privacy as Standard.

It’s the perfect confidentiality cloak, obscuring only the light transmitted by large LED displays.

Anyone looking into the room from the outside sees just a black screen, while everyone in the room can work freely with peace of mind.

LED displays filter specific light oscillations.

By selectively filtering them again, Casper™ renders the display light invisible.

Promo Video

Casper Cloaking Technology Promo Video from Protective Film Solutions EU on Vimeo.

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Setting up Alexa for Business with Cisco Telepresence video conferencing

Alexa for Business helps you simplify your conference room experience. It lets you use your voice to start meetings and control your conference equipment. You can say “Alexa, join my meeting” and Alexa starts your scheduled meeting. When there is no meeting on the calendar, Alexa prompts you for a meeting ID to start a one-time meeting. Alexa for Business integrates with conferencing equipment providers, such as Cisco Telepresence and Zoom Rooms.

In this blog post, AWS describe how Alexa for Business integrates with Cisco Telepresence video conferencing endpoints.

No sound on SX10 after downgrade from CE to TC SW

Recently one of my friends discovered that if an SX10 is downgraded from CE8.x to TC7.x , then audio is no longer carried over the HDMI output. After some experimentation he realized that the Configuration – Experimental – “Audio AudibleAndAudioPairingSoundRouting” is set to to ‘Split’ and THIS is what turns off HDMI audio out. The correct setting should be: ‘HdmiAndLineOut’.

Note that the “experimental” menu is hidden in the web interface, so you’ll have to search for “Experimental” to reveal this menu.

The SSH command would be:

xConfiguration Experimental Audio AudibleAndAudioPairingSoundRouting: HdmiAndLineOut

Thanks for the tip Theis.

5 steps to better virtual meetings

There’s no question that virtual meetings bring people together, speed up decision making, and save money. Today’s virtual meetings let customers connect with your experts despite distance and help you feel like you’re in the same room as colleagues from around the world. Here are five ways to make your virtual meetings more productive and impactful.
More than two-thirds of business professionals engage in virtual work.
— “It’s Unclearly Defined, but Telecommuting Is Fast on the Rise,” New York Times , Mar. 2014.
1. Be authentic.
Technology makes it easier to connect with others no matter the distance. But it can also feel like a barrier when it comes to building interpersonal relationships. The key is to invest a bit of time and treat people like actual people, not just voices or faces on a screen.
You’ll get more participation if you follow these guidelines:
  • Greet each participant as they enter the meeting.
  • Ask about their weekend or vacation plans.
  • Don’t mute your endpoint.
  • Avoid side conversations.
2. Put technology to work.
Look for collaboration solutions that are easy to use so you can focus on the meeting and not on the technology. Make sure face-to-face interaction is available through video—without it, you miss important parts of the conversation like facial expressions and nonverbal feedback.
The right way to use technology:
  • Use video so you can gauge reactions.
  • Share content like presentations or interactive whiteboards to engage participants.
  • Record meetings for people who can’t be there.
  • Ensure that people can join in from any device.
3. Communicate.
Meaningful communication can take many forms: one-to-one, team meetings, all-hands, and trainings. If you ask a question and hear crickets, change your tactics.
  • Address questions to specific people.
  • Encourage interaction.
  • Support two-way communication.
  • Discourage multitasking.
75% of users say video improves collaboration and productivity. — “Aiming to Increase UC Adoption? Look to Video,” Frost & Sullivan, 2014.
4. Play fair.
When the meetings are international, someone is invariably attending during off hours. Giving people the option to participate from home via video provides them the advantages and flexibility of a face-to-face connection.
  • Be sensitive to time zones so the same people don’t always have to work during off hours.
  • Make it possible for people to participate from anywhere and from any device. 
  • Allow everyone the opportunity to give feedback.
5. Follow virtual meeting etiquette.
Whether you’re collaborating from across the globe or just from across the office, video-enabled virtual meetings offer flexibility, consistency, and a higher level of cooperation. Think of them like traditional meetings with extra benefits.
  • Direct questions to people by name to cut confusion.
  • Use technology that can eliminate background noise.
  • Offer the flexibility that allows people to join from anywhere.
  • Use technology that helps identify who is speaking.
  • Use video for formal meetings and quick base touches
But remember that you’re talking to real people.

Don´t be a videot!

Make video conferencing great for all

Get tips from Polly Calm, the world’s expert in “vidiquette”

Polly Calm is here to teach others the fine art of “vidiquette”—etiquette for video—to make video conferencing a great experience. We use video every day, for virtually every meeting—and over the years we’ve learned a thing or two. What’s more, things we’ve learned about human nature have also made their way into our innovations that can help you avoid problems before they start. Although video has become mainstream—not everyone does it well. Polly’s mission is to encourage video conferencing utilization and adoption by demonstrating that video conferencing is not hard—and a few simple things can make it great.

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