Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cisco ISR G2 Video Conferencing Configuration

Hi Guys

As promised a second blog post is here!

In this blog post, I am going to discuss a feature that when i first heard about it, i thought was the best thing since sliced bread.

Cisco Video Conferencing On ISR G2 PVDM3 or ISR G2 Video Conferencing Services
Basically what this feature allows you to do is use your ISR G2 PVDM3's as Video Conferencing Resources there are several modes supported and quite a few restrictions you should know about, First let's get down to pro's and con's

I searched out all over the internet, for a Step by step guide on how to configure this service, and the internet came up extremely lacking, so I am going to fill that gap!

First of all, here is what you will need
  •  You must be running at Least Version 8.6 of CUCM (or CME)
  •  You must be running IOS 15.1(4)M or later
  •  You must have video capable phones (duh)
  •  You must be using PVDM3's
  • Uses existing ISR G2 PVDM3 modules, you just enable the service
  • In Homogenous mode (more on that later) you can support video conferences with very little PVDMs!
  • Supports transcoding (Video Mixing) if you have enough PDVM3's

  • Only mode of video layout supported is loudest speaker (CME does also have lecture mode, but that can be more pain than it is worth)
  • Can't seem to get it to work with E20 Handsets (internet, if you want to help I am all ears!)

So, let's get started!

In my configuration example, I have three 9951 handsets with some Video Cameras, a few VT Advantage users and an E20 that I was unable to get working with this :(.

Let's concentrate first on making sure your video is going to work 100 percent.

So the first thing you need to do, is ensure that you have a seperate Device Pool for your video devices that uses a seperate region and seperate location.

In your region you need to make sure you have this set:

So as you can see, make sure you have your region set to allow max video call bit rate, I specified an insanely high  bit rate, you can specify whatever it is you prefer, but for your initial testing I recommend setting it quite high.

Next, you need to do something similiar for the location:

So make sure your location is set to allow unlimited video too (well, whatever you want to do over your WAN link really, but for me this was all local, so I chose to make it unlimited, but please flavour to taste)

OK, done

So, at this point you just need to add in your phones, make sure that you have video enabled for each of the endpoints:

For 9951 you must say cisco camera enabled and video capabilities enabled, but for most other handsets  you just need video capabilities enabled.

At this point, you should be able to make a very high quality call between your handsets and get some video,

DO THIS FIRST before proceeding any further and make sure it all works, if it does not, double/triple check that you have put the camera in right, double check that you can see local video, double check your region and location configurations are correctly applied to the phone etc. etc.

Don't bother going any further until you can confirm that your endpoints can call each other.

The 9971 phones are painfully difficult to work out what video codec there using, the only advice I can give is try and use the web interface on the phone and go to "Stream" during a call to have a guesstimate as to what video codec they are using.

So  now we know our video is working and we are ready for the conferencing. As I mentioned previously, there are two types of video conferencing available

-> Homogeneous, which means that all the video endpoints must use the exact same codec, and your conferencing resource will only support that single codec you select

-> Heterogeneous, which means that multiple codecs and multiple bit rates are supported

It is important to note that you need a _lot_ of DSP's to do Heterogeneous, you need at least 2 x 128 PVDM3's, in my case I just did not have access to that kind of equipment, so this explanation is only for Homogeneous, sorry guys! But to be fair, you should just be able to replace the word Homogeneous with Heterogeneous and you should be laughing .Just remember to specify multiple codecs in your dspfarm profile

Ok, So first go to CUCM - > Media Resources - > Conference Bridge, add in a conference bridge with a name of your choosing, 


if you forget this step, you will have problems :).

Next, login to your router that has PVDM3's and configure the following, replacing and with the IP addresses of your CUCM servers, and the VIDEOCONFRESOURCE with the name of the video conference bridge you specified in the above step.

voice-card 0
 voice-service dsp-reservation 50
This step specifies how many DSP resources you wish to dedicate entirely to voice services, since in my case I had a router spare with a PVDM3 I specified 0 percent, but in the example above to be safe I have said 50 percent, you will need to calculate how much percentage of your PVDM's you need for normal voice when doing this calculation.

sccp local GigabitEthernet0/0
sccp ccm identifier 2 version 7.0
sccp ccm identifier 1 version 7.0
sccp ccm group 1
 associate ccm 2 priority 1
 associate ccm 1 priority 2
 associate profile 1 register VIDEOCONFRESOURCES
dspfarm profile 1 conference video homogeneous
 codec g722-64
 codec g711ulaw
 codec g711alaw
 codec g729ar8
 codec g729abr8
 codec g729r8
 codec g729br8
 codec h264 w360p frame-rate 30 bitrate 1mbps
 maximum sessions
 associate application SCCP

 no shut

make sure you specify a maximum number of sessions, the codec (h264) that you should use depends on what endpoints your using, it can be quite difficult to work out what codec your endpoints support, here is a little trick I did to make it easier for me to work out what codecs my endpoints supported, I setup a meetme number and then had my endpoint set up the conference, if video showed up, that meant that the endpoint would support the codec (easier way to troubleshoot than setting up conferences again and again)

Do a show sccp to make sure your conference bridge has registered to your CUCM, then order your MRGL's in such a way that the Video Conference Resource is picked first by your video conferencing endpoints. If your not sure if this is happening, for example, maybe all your conferences end up as audio only, go to your device with your PVDM3's and do a show voip rtp connection and see if your endpoint addresses are listed, this will tell you if it is being selected as a conference bridge

If you try a multiparty conference now (either ad-hoc or meetme)  you should be able to get a three way conference going, remember that the layout is loudest speaker, so only one person will show on the screen at any one time (the person speaking the loudest)

Finally, you might find the following URL with some FAQ's etc. very helpful in working all this out :)

I had no luck getting my E20 to join in on this conference, it would join the conference but would hang up straight away, i tried a variety of codecs to no avail, and tried lots of other tricks to try and get it working but was unable to achieve it. If anyone knows the trick on how to get the E20 to join these conferences (as according to Cisco, it is supported) I am all ears!

I hope this helps someone out there


  1. Im trying to get this working on 8945 handsets without success, have you tried 8945's and do you know if they are supported.

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  2. Really nice info :-)

  3. 8945's use CIF video

  4. To get it to work with E20's you must use a IOS Software MTP configured as codec passthrough

  5. Can You say me, is it possible to use video conference with Cisco Jabber? Thanks in advance

  6. It is possible to use this with Cisco Jabber

  7. Your article is very informative and the use of graphics adds to understanding the process.

  8. No There is no way to do video conference with Jabber, list of Phone supported is here:

    Hamed Monfared

    1. sorry that's dated (2011), jabber can be used.

  9. Can I replace a regular IOS conference bridge with a Video conference bridge and still have regular conference (no video) working?

  10. When I'm doing conferences with Jabbers only, the VIDEOCONF. resources are being used. Why? There's nobody using video and still using the videoconf resources. Can anybody explain that? How can I do the users to use just audio conf bridges instead video conf bridges since they are just doing audio confs. Thanks.

  11. Fa A, it sounds like you have the VIDEOCONF as a resource in the MRGL higher above your regular audio conference bridge... In CUCM, check under the Media Resources menu, then Media Resource Group List. Reorder so the VIDEOCONF is lower than say something like CFB_2 or CFB_3, reset your Jabber endpoints and try it again.

    1. Also I should mention, it you need to support both video and audio, try the above and if that resolves your issue, create a new MRGL that you can assign to your devices you want to keep as audio-only (never allowing them to use video resources) and add all the same resources as your existing MRGL except the VIDEOCONF resource. That should have you all set.

      Otherwise another way to go about it is you can disable the 'Video Calling' setting on the Jabber device page for Jabber clients you want to keep as audio-only softphones, that should also stop them from negotiating a video resource when conferencing is invoked.

  12. i have 2911 router with latest image when i tried to configure video bridging and typed dspfarm profile 1 conference ? i see only security option not video, can anyone help why i cannot see video option.


  13. Hi there,

    Video conferencing support has been deprecated in the newer versions of IOS (see link below).

    You will need to downgrade your IOS to a supported version (example = 15.4.3M5) to use this feature.

  14. Very informative post. Keep up the good work. I would really look forward to your other posts.Conference Videography