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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





There is no way to change the behavior that I'm aware of.  Here is another post to yours: audio-only-avatar-tp-server-41, where someone had similar concerns regarding the audio avatar.  Suggest you contact your Cisco Account Manager and see if there is anything planned regarding the avatar, if not, they can open a feature request for you.



You are correct there is no official way. As with many things Cisco, there are workarounds and unofficial ways.  
I have ,as stated opened, TAC Cases and  feature requests.   My account manager is well notified of the situation. The answer is that nothing is immanently forthcoming.   

Thanks for your  response

I agree it is kind of annoying, strange, but I do also agree why they did it.  With that said, it would be neat if instead of a large blank avatar image, the provide some kind of audio only icon with a text overlay showing their name in the top right or someplace that identifies who is speaking if it's an audio only participant.

What you suggest is similar to what I have been fighting for on day one.  The Pexip solution is certainly a step in the right direction.


While I'll admit this isn't a great solution.....

A temporary workaround is to Mute the Video from TMS on the avatar participant. This turns the avatar back into the +1 icon that you are used to seeing. 

Hi Patrick
I’m glad to hear that you agree with the principle of audio avatars. I wanted to check if you had name labels turned on for your conferences. This is the default setting and will put a name label under the audio avatar so you can see who is talking.
In terms of the current experience, prior to release we tested this feature with customers and their the feedback was very positive, unfortunately we can’t do user testing with all customers and after release there have been some customers who have not liked the feature. We do acknowledge that the experience can to be improved and we have been working with some customers that have been vocal about the feature to identify specific use cases that we can optimise. Improving the experience has to take several aspects into account ( visual representation, how to clearly identify audio avatars as the active speaker if the aren’t full screen, how this is different across the 4 layout families etc). We have to prioritise this alongside all the other great improvements that we are planing but look out for it in future releases.
If you are interested in being involved in early field trials and can dedicate some time to it then raise it up with your cisco sales rep

We do have name labels turned on at the moment.

The comment about some kind of audio partcipant name label was somthing similar to how WebEx handles audio only partcipants when in fullscreen, could use a telephone icon for example, accopanied by the name of the partcipant beside it appear somewhere on screen.  Of course the issue with this method is how to identify and make it clear that audio only participant is activly speaking, as it might get overlooked, hense what you have currently done now to show the presense of audio only participants to make that clear.  The downside is that it just seems obtrusive having a huge blank talking head on the screen.

Thanks Rorbette,

All we want is the ability to turn the feature on and off either in conductor or in TMS would be fine.




If you read the comment Patrick agrees with the concept but what he suggests is in no way an approval of Cisco's forced inmplementation.  I have yet to find anyon in the VTC world who believes that Ciscos implementation of the audio avatar was beneficial, including several members of TAC and engineers.

Cisco has dragged their feet on what should be a minor issue long enough, I am now considering alternate vendors going forward.

Enhancement ID# CSCuu36930 was created to add a setting to disable the Avatar on the TPS.  You can provide your Account Manager with the ID above.



Thanks, I believe that I am already attached to that  ID but I  will verify. 


Carl Messer

Hi, I have this same issue too and went through the process with tac. You can mute video through TMS if you need to manually mute each audio dial in participant and it removes the avatar but you'll need to do this each time there is a conference which is a pain but it does work. Useful for when a CEO is on the call.

The feedback from TAC was to raise a feature request.




I just had a similar conversation with my Cisco rep.  You are correct you could do that or force the key participants to be important.  However that is nearly impossible to manage in a completely ad-hoc environment. Since nothing is scheduled we have no idea when a meeting is about to take place. 

The other problem of course is that you would need to  have a dedicated  person monitoring all conferences.

I'll keep pressing Cisco for a real solution.

Hey David,


You're right it's not really a solution for the real world but may get you out of jail for a key conference.

I've logged it with my account team and with an SE I know plus will put it on a spark room im in with some Cisco collab guys so hopefully we'll get an answer soon.





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