The Sundance Film Festival each year finds the best independent films along with incredibly talented directors and producers and brings them into the sleepy little ski town of Park City, UT. The town of just over 7,000 expands 3-4 times that size during the Festival.
In the middle of all the excitement and celebrity are Polycom solutions, enhancing the experience for all the movie goers.
As a relative newbie to the Sundance Film Festival, with 2017 being my third year “to fest”, I have been lucky to experience the festival as an audience member and from behind-the-scene or I guess, screen in this case.
2017 sets a new milestone for Polycom at Sundance. This year, Polycom will be using multiple solutions to enhance the movie-goers experience by connecting directors, documentary subjects and others directly to the theater from locations around the world. In some cases, when a participant is not able to make it to the Festival for various reasons such as, living in a war-torn country, under house arrest, too ill or even stuck on an island, Polycom offers the opportunity for these people to join the Q&A sessions that take place after each film.
Remote subject LIVE from a South Pacific island joining the audience in Q&A in 2016.
Polycom will be using our integration with Microsoft Office 365 to allow participants to easily connect to various theaters in Park City. Skype for Business and Polycom Group Series allows the remote participants a simple way to connect, literally with the click of a button. The result is incredible audio and HD video shown on the big screen which greatly enhances the experience for the audience.
This year we are excited about all of our remotes, but Cries from Syria will test our Polycom solutions to the fullest when we bring in the subject of the doucumentary LIVE from Aleppo, Syria to interact with the audience in the theater during the Q&A session.
Polycom released the next version of Group Series software--from version 188.8.131.52 to 4.1.3. While it doesn't sound like a major release, given all the new features, it should really be numbered version 4.2 or 5.0. With improvements in:
native Microsoft Lync 2013 interoperability
more robust and secure SNMP and system logging functionality
support for the Polycom VisualBoard application built into the Group Series
major SVC functionality improvements
includes support for a new version of the Polycom EagleEye Director with an additional tracking mode
added support for recording on RealPresence Group 700 systems using output 3
additions to the API functionality, including the much requested <button> commands.
support for EagleEye IV cameras
added support for BroadSoft BroadWorks DMS provisioning
formal support for additional browsers
and several more. However, the thing you'll notice first are user interface improvements. The Polycom User Experience team (UX) has listened to feedback from customers and made the Group Series easier. The web user interface really shines now. Contrast the home page from two versions:
Note the dial button, menus that expand have a triangle to indicate sub menus. All the relevant device number information is above the top navigation bar. Plus the fonts are much easier to read! Thank you to the UX team for making small improvements that make a huge difference.
For more information about all the changes see the release notes.
Ready to upgrade? Browse to the endpoint, click Admin Settings, General Settings, Software Update, and enjoy the new features. If you're already on version 4.1.x, there is no upgrade key required.