Reader emailed me asking about the latest update to the Lync Room System (see “What’s ‘Room PC View’?” below). And I realized…we’ve NEVER talked about it here on the Lync Insider!
So I’ll answer his question, of course. But along the way, let’s do a little introduction to the Lync Room System too.
Introduction to the Lync Room System (or LRS)
The “LRS” is an integrated hardware & software endpoint designed for conducting Lync Meetings in a conference room. Microsoft created LRS in partnership with Crestron, LifeSize, Polycom and SMART.
The LRS consists of a special Lync 2013 client, touchscreen monitors, video cameras, audio, and a tabletop meeting console. This kind of setup creates a much more immersive conferencing environment than regular Lync conferencing.
You’ll find a full introduction post at TechNet: The Lync Room System (LRS) – TechNet Blogs
(Image taken from TechNet Blogs page, Copyright Microsoft.)
Who Can Use the LRS, and What For?
Unlike the standard Lync 2013 client, the LRS client is designed specifically for conducting video conferences. Businesses mid-market and larger can set up the Lync Room System in their conferencing rooms to run their meetings with internal and external contacts. (LRS has the same interoperability with other systems that Lync Server 2013 does.)
Because the LRS is assembled using dedicated hardware and thus requires higher up-front investment than a standard Lync 2013 client, it’s not generally recommended for small business use.
Do We Need to Have LRS to Run Conferences?
No. Lync Server 2013’s Conferencing functionality works with all its clients as-is. The LRS is intended as a standing “Lync version” of a conference room. Think of it like a dedicated workstation – you go to the conference room, touch the meeting console to activate, and begin a scheduled Meeting.
What Kind of Hardware is Needed?
You’ll need at least a meeting console, audio, a video camera and one display. See this list of video options for Lync for supported partner hardware: Video Solutions Qualified for Lync – Lync Tech Center
(I like Polycom myself; very reliable hardware.)
What’s “Room PC View?”
Here’s where we come to our reader question. The reader, K, asked:
“I saw this post yesterday. Never heard of Room PC View before. What is it? How does it work?”
(Slight editing to remove personal details.)
Like all its software, Microsoft updates the Lync Room System regularly. Its June 2014 update for Lync Room System includes a new feature called “Room PC View”.
This feature essentially lets a presenter push a button and display content from a PC connected to the LRS console. Microsoft added it because some LRS users connect a computer to their LRS and leave it there 24/7.
(Never seen this happen in person, so I’m guessing it’s meant as a storage location for conferencing-related content).
Room PC View is optional; if you just want to plug a laptop into the console and display PowerPoint occasionally, you don’t need it. Here’s some more information (this is the post K asked about): Lync Room System June Update Now Available: New Room PC View! – Office Blogs
How Would We Install the Lync Room System?
Consult this deployment guide: Microsoft Lync Room System Deployment Guide – Microsoft Downloads Obviously, you’ll need to have some form of Lync Server installed already (I would strongly recommend on-premise Lync Server 2013). The installation process is quite detailed; multiple PowerShell cmdlets are needed to enable LRS accounts, connect them to Exchange & Active Directory, and update Conferencing Policies.
Acquiring the LRS software itself is done through Microsoft’s partners (Crestron, LifeSize, Polycom and SMART). Makes sense, since you’ll have to pick up the hardware necessary to run it first.
And that’s our introduction to the LRS! It’s basically a super-strong conferencing station. Great for big important meetings with shareholders, partners, vendors, and the San Jose branch office. K, I hope this post answers your question.
Does your business have a Lync Room System? If so, please comment or email me. I’d love to hear your experiences using it.
Join us next week for a post on stress-testing your Lync Servers.