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David McCann

Disable Telepresence Server 8710 Audio Avatar

I have a deployment of Conductor (3.02) remotely controlling TPS 8710  4.0 which for security reasons needs to be upgraded to 4.2.   Normally this would be a no-brainer however the Audio Avatar feature has been designated as undesirable feature by our executive staff.  A full screen image of the avatar participant is a waste of video real estate.  I have opened TAC cases and feature requests over the past year to no avail. Has anyone discovered an methods or API to:

A) Disable the Audio Avatar feature.

B) Exclude audio-only participants from voice switching





We tried it once.  I had to role back the firmware by noon.

Currently caught in a catch 22 between our network security team wants the upgrade for patches and executives who "hate" the feature.  

I have heard word that something may be in the works by the middle of 2016.



Hi Nick,

We recently upgraded our TPS to version 4.1 and observed the same annoying behavior. However, after lots of testing we found a way to supress the audio avatars during the conferece. 

- Access the conference from the TPS server.

- Select the audio participant and click 'mute video from' button.

- This will supress the video (Audio avatar in this case) from the audio participant.

I know, this is not very intutive and we can not keep monitoring the server all the time to do this. However there is an API command to supress this as well. videoRxStartMuted and videoTxStartMuted should do the trick.  




Thank you for your response.

The supression of the audio avatar via muting the video of audio callers has ben discussed . Unfortunately, it is not a very practical solution as you would need to monitor avery single meeting waiting for audio callers to join. This would be very problematic and not very reliable.

As to the API commands,  although intriguing, this would create a similar administrative problem. The API you suggest would mute video video for all participants whether they are audio or video based. You would then need to monitor all meetings and unmute video for the desired participants.



Using MSE-8710 with TMS. Users often use a room system to connect to phone bridge conference call from an outside conference vendor. When the audio connection is the only participant, you cannot mute the Audio Avatar video. Users seeing the mock video image think it is a failed video participant. Prior to upgrade we used the lobby screen with a message: "You are connected to an audio call."  Now the lobby screen goes away as soon as the audio connection is made. The Audio Avatar is an image. Why can't we just edit/replace that image to add a message: "This is an audio-only connection."? Using labels is no help because there are a dozen different people talking on the audio bridge.  The label would be an unfamiliar phone number which means nothing to the attendees in the room.

Is there a hack to change that avatar image?

There isn't anything you can do to alter the bahabior of the audio only avatar. The only thing you can do is contact your Account Manager and raise this issue up to them, there is an enhancement request already noted in an earlier reply by Shea. The more customers that bring this issue up, the greater chance something might be done to change it, I know Cisco is aware customers don't like the current behavior, as noted in an earlier reply by rorbette. 

Peter Cresswell

I've created a product enhancement 'idea' on the Customer Connection forum, please vote if you would like the current behaviour to change to exclude audio-only participants from triggering a video switch:


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