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Polycom Employee

In the season finale of the CBS legal drama, The Good Wife, the writers took the audience into the exciting world of video conferencing.  Well, an aspect of it anyway.  The premise is that multiple law firms were conducting a remote deposition, something that happens hundreds of times per day using video communication's gear, and one of the lawyers picked up the wrong remote and turned the TV off and not the video system.  This mistake left their system connected so others could still see and hear what they were doing and saying.



The Polycom Group Series 500 was actually the video system the law firm was using.  It is unfortunate the lawyers had zero training on the operation of the video system because Polycom puts in a number of safe guards to let the user know there is an active call taking place.  For instance, the LED on the codec itself changes color;  there is also a light on the camera that indicates the system is in a call.  The lawyers did not recognize these signs because they were unaware.  The most telling sign that the Polycom system is in a call is that the camera is actually facing you.  When the Polycom video system is idle, the camera turns 180 degrees letting users know "they are not being filmed".




Photo credit - CBS / King Size Productions


The Good Wife did get a lot of how video is used correct because the production is a user of Polycom video conferencing to assist in the development of the show.  Read executive producer, Robert King, discuss how they use Polycom on a daily basis in Entertainment Weekly. 


As for the things that were not 100% accurate on the program, well, this is Hollywood and anything is possible!





Polycom Employee

There needs to be further clarification as to which cameras support Tally Lights.  The data sheet makes no mention:


BTW, just because the camera is turned around doesn't mean the system is not in a call.  If the codec was connected to a SoundStructure and the SoundStructure was in an audio-only call, then there would ne no visual feedback on the codec.


I'm failing to see how it was beneficial for Polycom to be exposed this way on national TV.  Regardless of whether this is "Hollywood" or reality, chalking this type of a failure up to user error is placing the blame in the wrong spot.  It should be obvious that a system is in a call and cameras without Tally lights are asking for trouble.

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