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Microsoft Teams Room – Screen Power and Room Sensors

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%2FA%3E%26nbsp%3BCEC%20is%20simply%20not%20supported%20in%20most%20PC%20HW.%26nbsp%3B%20Even%20if%20it%20was%2C%20building%20CEC%20control%20directly%20into%20a%20SW%20app%20would%20be%20an%20exercise%20in%20futility%2C%20because%2C%20as%26nbsp%3B%3CA%20href%3D%22https%3A%2F%2Ftechcommunity.microsoft.com%2Ft5%2Fuser%2Fviewprofilepage%2Fuser-id%2F289215%22%20target%3D%22_blank%22%3E%40OsbaldoRodriguez%3C%2FA%3E%26nbsp%3Bsays%2C%20CEC%20is%20indeed%20%22consistently%20inconsistent%22.%26nbsp%3B%20Zoom%20Rooms%20are%20very%20similar%20here%3B%20they%20rely%20on%20external%20devices%20for%20control%20of%20displays.%26nbsp%3B%20They%20recommend%20the%20Pulse%20Eight%20USB%20injector%2C%20which%20unlike%20the%20Extron%20is%20not%20automatic%20(ie.%20doesn't%20do%20the%20equivalent%20of%20wake%20on%20signal)%20but%20instead%20uses%20a%20driver%20and%20custom%20API%20to%20receive%20commands%20over%20USB%20and%20send%20out%20%2F%20inject%20commands%20via%20CEC%20over%20HDMI.%26nbsp%3B%20We%20are%20looking%20to%20add%20support%20for%20the%20Pulse%20Eight%20adapter%2C%20and%20its%20USB%20API%2C%20in%20future%20versions%20of%20our%20MTR%20app%2C%20but%20don't%20have%20a%20specific%20timeline%20I%20can%20mention%20yet.%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3C%2FLINGO-BODY%3E
New Contributor

Hi are there plans to include screen control via CEC (even if inline USB to CEC) like you can with Zoom room systems.

As currently screens have to remain on permanently, as if you put MTR PC in sleep mode, any incoming calls are rejected while the system is waking up and screen settle into correct layout. 

 

Room sensors for occupancy to wake the screens? Azure Digital Twins support?

 

Can users turn the system into a sleep mode if the room is not being used for Teams call? Users have requested this for privacy concerns.

19 Replies

@Ilya Bukshteyn  can you help with this ? 

Re: Introducing Microsoft Teams Rooms 

 


@O365247 wrote:

Hi are there plans to include screen control via CEC (even if inline USB to CEC) like you can with Zoom room systems.

As currently screens have to remain on permanently, as if you put MTR PC in sleep mode, any incoming calls are rejected while the system is waking up and screen settle into correct layout. 

 

Room sensors for occupancy to wake the screens? Azure Digital Twins support?

 

Can users turn the system into a sleep mode if the room is not being used for Teams call? Users have requested this for privacy concerns.


 

best response confirmed by O365247 (New Contributor)
Solution

@O365247 MTR systems are configured by default to turn off displays after x mins (sorry can't remember default setting, but also super easy to change) at the Windows level.  If MTR is used with displays which do not have wake-on-signal capability, then an HDMI-CEC injector should be used; we recommend the Extron HD CTL 100, which can also be paired with an occupancy sensor, but other similar devices from Crestron and others can also be used).  All MTR systems have PIR occupancy / motion sensors built in, but external sensors can also be added to the HDMI control system if desired (again, see Extron HD CTL 100 or Crestron systems or similar).

We do not recommend setting MTR systems to fully go so sleep (vs. only turning off displays) because of the issues you mention; when waking up the system has a delay in establishing a connection to the server / service, during which time it is not fully usable (including not able to take incoming calls).

We do not support having a user initiated action to have MTR turn off displays. 

@Ilya BukshteynThanks for the great response.  Are you aware of any of the MTR systems having CEC support built in?  That would really clean up the install process.  I know that the smartdock doesn't but maybe some others have implemented this?  Since the occupancy is already built into MTR it would be great to have proper display power control without the extra hardware.  

 

 

@Glenn Chubak none of the Surface Pro systems can support CEC.  Our recommendation for CEC today is similar to what Zoom does, which is to add a CEC injector. We recommend one from Extron which (unlike the one Zoom recommends) is fully automatic and does not need a USB connection and driver. @Sohail Tariq do you happen to have the model # of that Extron HDMI-CEC injector?

@Ilya Bukshteyn @O365247 

Here is a link to the Extron HD CTL 100 Workspace Controller Ilya is referring to..

 

part # 60-1633-01

https://www.extron.com/article/hdctl100ad

 

Out of the box it is configured to control a display via CEC but can also be setup to provide IR or RS232 control… and you can rely on video signals or external sensors to trigger the control commands.

 

Setup/ configuration is fairly simple… here is setup guide we published for how to properly deploy the HD CTL 100 with a MTR (or Skype Room System)

https://www.extron.com/download/files/userman/68-3064-52_B__HD_CTL_with_MTR.pdf

 

hope this helps!

 

/osbaldo

 

 

Thanks for the quality answer, however the issue is that very very few TVs support a wake on signal function. Some professional grade displays do support this, but I have seen the use of pro grade displays decline significantly since the bang for the buck is so high on TVs

MS designed the MTR for a use with a display that does not exist. Using the Extron device works fine but the cost, size and power requirements make the install difficult and more costly.
Is there any progress on a smaller less expensive CEC injector that is USB powered?

MS does not have to make the CEC device, just add it to the list of recommended devices like the Crestron and Extron please.

Can you provide some background as to why CEC is not directly supported? Is it the Intel hardware that does not support it or is it a Win10 software issue

I believe this issue has been handled better for the zoom rooms

Thanks

@Sjuris 

Hi there. We have tested every category display (consumer, prosumer, and pro) from every make/ model available to us and have learned behavior is not consistent. We like to say that CEC is consistently inconsistent. CEC is supposed to be standardized but yet it doesn’t always work. Many manufacturers implement it differently. You may in some instances only get the ‘off’ command to work, but not the ‘on’. Same goes for channel/ input selection, volume, etc. For MTR solutions people are primarily concerned with making sure the displays get turned On. But large enterprise facilities with many systems also want the systems turned off when not in use (or if nobody is in the room). For these reasons and to make sure the system works every time we made the HD CTL 100… it is essentially display agnostic (supports CEC, IR, and RS232). I can’t speak for why computer HW doesn’t support CEC, but know that even if it did, things would not always be guaranteed. Displays supporting wake on signal like your desktop monitor in theory should solve all this, but again, it depends on the category display, make/ model, etc. It also depends on the system/ environment. Many folks have large screen projection or multiple displays, some want room automation w/ occupancy sensors, etc. All things to take into consideration. We are always working on next generation solutions for spaces like this and am always looking to talk/ learn about what people are designing, installing, pain points, etc…. so please feel free to msg me directly.

@Sjuris CEC is simply not supported in most PC HW.  Even if it was, building CEC control directly into a SW app would be an exercise in futility, because, as @OsbaldoRodriguez says, CEC is indeed "consistently inconsistent".  Zoom Rooms are very similar here; they rely on external devices for control of displays.  They recommend the Pulse Eight USB injector, which unlike the Extron is not automatic (ie. doesn't do the equivalent of wake on signal) but instead uses a driver and custom API to receive commands over USB and send out / inject commands via CEC over HDMI.  We are looking to add support for the Pulse Eight adapter, and its USB API, in future versions of our MTR app, but don't have a specific timeline I can mention yet. 

On https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/rooms/requirements it states:
Note: A consumer TV used as a front of room display needs to support/enable the Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) feature of HDMI so that it can switch automatically to an active video source from standby mode. This feature is not supported on all TVs.

So, based on this, get a TV that supports CEC and you'll be set..... except this is misleading as it leads one to believe no external devices necessary that that a Teams branded device, kit, PC, whathaveyou, will have been required to support CEC. More details need to be added to the requirements page.

So lets talk about workarounds. Is there any way to detect MTR user input, or when a meeting starts, or when the HDMI cable is plugged in? With this I could write a powershell script to send a command to a Global Cache IP2IR module to power on displays.

Like it or not, but consumer TVs are not a good option for a professional meeting room setup.
Dont want to sound like an old fart, but we had this discussion in the AV-world long before you IT-guys came in with your MTR and Zoom Rooms ... ;)

From my point of view, you have the following options:
a) Choose a display, which supports VESA DPMS (digital power management system) on its HDMI inputs. In other words a large format display, which behaves like a small desktop monitor being sent to sleep and wake up via the Windows box. I assume this was the original intention of MTRoW.
Watch out for adapter madness like when the second monitor is a DisplayPort and you (have to) use an adaptor for the HDMI input on the display. These adapters sometimes do mess up the DMPS.

b) Use a magic box to translate between the IT world and the AV world with something like the mentioned EXTRON unit or the Kramer AV FC-18. These stand for any sort of control system, occupancy sensor or other more or less fancy automation.

c) Use a display with Auto-Standby & Wakeup based on the HDMI-signal presence. This is not as fancy as DPMS but does the job also. (read: you most likely will see a more or less long "No signal" onscreen when the MTR box switched off the HDMI-outs but before the display "finally" goes into standby.)

Manufacturers like SONY for example now offer config-packages for their Pro monitors especially for videoconf use! With this, all the display's built-in wizards like Apps, OSD, Auto-Switching, etc are disabled and it behaves like a good old dumb monitor, which is exactly what you want for MTR setups.

Reg. CEC
As stated pretty much no PC graphic card supports CEC so all the following is theoretical anyhow for the MTR world.
Getting a display to switch ON via CEC is indeed not consistent between manufacturers. However, every display can be made to behave via CEC, but this is deep down in the AV tech toolbox and nothing "MTR people" should waste their time with.

The real world test is easy: Take away the monitor's remote control. If users miss it, your system is not done right. ;)

Hope it helps
HST

100% correct Harald_Steindl . As long as MS doesn't see the benefit to let integrators have more control on the MTR environment via automation control extron/amx/crestron, there will be too much set-ups with small boxes and interfaces to solve maybe 1 problem, but will create 2 other problems. Sometimes it seems simple ... but it isn't. Especially once you go a bit further in switching and distributing AV in larger rooms.
Its not that we don't see benefit, its that we need to weigh any benefits against the potential reliability issues created by custom integrator work. We really don't want to go back to the VTC days where every room was highly customized and only worked sometimes. Complexity is the enemy of reliability, and also unfortunately where most integrators make most of their profit.

We are working on a better and more sandboxed extensibility model for MTR where some automation can be added in safe and reliable ways.

We also continue to investigate support for cheaper CEC injectors, such as the Pulse8 which some of our competitors support. In our last data dive on this, most issues seemed to be around EDID and not CEC, but again this is an area we will continue to keep an eye on.
@Ilya Thanks for responding.
I fully understand your position and mostly support it. My 2 cents:
It is not about controlling codecs from the outside, (which has been a bad idea ever since the old VTC days!!), but more about the MTR letting the world know what it wants or needs.
Power on/off via CEC, DPMS, etc. is a prime example. Indeed, for many applications this is good enough, but when it is not, the AV people simply dont want to mess around with more or less tricky (and often unreliable!) detours to find out
Just give us an interface (Rest-API, Webhooks, etc.) to let the rest of the world know, what we should provide.
"turn both monitors on" , "unmute mics", "call ended" etc. are all examples for ONE-WAY informations from the MTR to the outside world.
This is much more robust than "sniffing the HDMI signal" of the compute device in order to find out, that things need to be turned on.
I put an emphasis on ONEWAY, because opening up external control INTO the MTR is like opening pandora's box. You might not want to do this, as this indeed would bring us back to VTC times. Been there, done it (since PictureTel 4500 codecs) and don't need to go back.
P.S. No need to reinvent the wheel, there are enough examples (both good and bad) out there.

@Harald_Steindl 

 

Some basic info that can be polled from the system would go a long way towards improving integration of the system into smart buildings and meeting rooms.  There really is a strong trend in this direction and it would be great to see MTR systems integrated.  I believe all of this can be done as Harald describes without compromising the appliance like simplicity of MTR as it stands today.

We do actually have a read only API for MTR-W state changes / events, to be used for automation. While this is not public today, partners are using it right now for integration. We will look at making this more public likely later this year.
That sounds great Ilya. As a tech company that does our own hardware and software, we often tackle small projects to optimize our internal experiences. Having a documented API for the MTR would be awesome.

It is not about controlling codecs from the outside, (which has been a bad idea ever since the old VTC days!!), but more about the MTR letting the world know what it wants or needs."

@Harald_Steindl Agreed!

My option: 

Old, unreliable, inflexible and confusing: Ask the user what do you want to do? A) Show local PC B) have a video conference C) show the cable box/dvd D) present from laptop. To change task is to start from beginning and they can't intermingle. 
New, reliable, flexible and simple: A) Start video conference or B) start sharing via local PC or laptop via Teams app through the Teams Rooms so you can upgrade to a video conference any anytime if needed. This is a MUCH simpler flow for non-tech users to understand. With this you only need to listen to what the codec is doing because you're not building a 2nd UI for them. Even QSC/Crestron supplements the existing MTR UI as it should.

I wish I could like the above post from @SoDakKitt about a thousand times.

@Ilya Bukshteyn Excuse me, and I may not be 100% fluent in the language, but in my humble opinion some strong statements are being made here. There will always be parties that will supply unstable systems and/or environments. In the past with Crestron/AMX/Extron integrations, but also now with the MTR rooms. We are already upgrading standard MTR rooms with more adequate hardware according to the size and acoustics of the meeting room. It's not 100% on-topic I know, but for customer "a MTR" is the MTR itself plus the peripherals. On the other hand, we have been running +100 VTC rooms for years that are completely integrated with advanced audio feature control, lighting, drapes, simple UI vs advanced UI, etc ... controlled via Crestron. With extreme customer satisfaction. Those VTC rooms, for example, also have the Poly or the Cisco touch ready in a hidden place as failback in case the Crestron UI would not work. We have had to advise this twice in 10 years. All I ask as an integrator is a way to communicate with an MTR. Preferably 2-way. So we can stabilize things. Now we have far too many limitations which makes the complexity for the user great. I'm not talking about standard 4 to 20 person MTR rooms. I'm talking about meeting spaces where there are different use cases. Training, auditorium, control rooms, ... And it's about 50% of the rooms at our customers. We currently use VTCs that talk to MS Teams via CVI. Customers are satisfied with the stability & user-friendliness of the whole. But of course they would prefer the extra Teams functionality. To return to HDMI-CEC interfaces. You cannot blindly rely on this. Unfortunately. And as for EDID. It is indeed very annoying if a user cannot show content because the HDMI ingest on a TRS has problems with the EDID. We currently have a lot of support tickets about this. We sell a lot of EDID emulators like this one because of this... https://www.extron.com/product/edid101h4kplus

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