Design Guide for Cisco Unity Connection Release 10.x
Video Greetings in Cisco Unity Connection 10.x
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Table of Contents

Video Greetings in Cisco Unity Connection

Platform for Video Greeting

Blanking Files

Video Greetings Operation

Cisco VCS Interoperability

Video Greetings Enabled Call Handlers

Video Greetings in Cisco Unity Connection

Cisco Unity Connection 10.0(1) and later releases have enhanced the current greeting experience by providing the video greetings to the caller. Unity Connection allows subscribers to record a video greeting for both identified users and outside callers. Presenting video greetings for outside callers is enabled through the class of service of the subscribed users.

Unity Connection 10.0(1) supports the following video-enabled endpoints:

  • Cisco 99XX and 89XX series endpoints
  • Cisco 79XX and 69XX series endpoints with Cisco unified video advantage
  • Cisco Jabber for Windows 9.2(3) or later
  • Cisco Jabber for Mac 9.2(1) or later
  • Cisco Jabber for iPad 9.3(21386) or later

For more information on enabling video greetings, see the “Task List for Configuring Video Greetings” section of the “Video” chapter in the System Administration Guide for Cisco Unity Connection , Release 10.x, available at http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/voice_ip_comm/connection/10x/administration/guide/10xcucsagx/10xcucsag150.html .

See the following sections:

Platform for Video Greeting

The video greeting feature in Unity Connection is currently supported only with 7 vCPU OVA. Smaller OVAs will be tested and the Design Guide for Cisco Unity Connection will be updated as the testing completes. Each server in a Unity Connection cluster can support up to 20 concurrent video calls for a total of 40 video calls. A single Unity Connection server supports up to 35 concurrent video calls.

MediaSense must also be deployed using the larger 7vCPU OVA. Smaller OVAs will be tested and the Design Guide for Cisco Unity Connection will be updated as the testing completes. The MediaSense needs to be installed as a single server and cannot be part of a cluster. MediaSense is dedicated to enable the video greetings feature in Unity Connection. A Unity Connection cluster or a single server can be integrated with a MediaSense server.


Note The video greetings feature is supported in both co-located Unity Connection active-active cluster deployment and Unity Connection active-standby cluster deployment over the WAN. The video greetings feature is not supported in an active-active cluster deployment over the WAN.


The MediaSense server must be co-located with Unity Connection with 1Gbps connectivity between the servers and less than 10ms Round Trip Time (RTT) latency. Unity Connection will be profiling further for bandwidth and higher latency links in later releases to allow for a wider range of deployment options

Blanking Files

Due to differing behavior between some video devices, the use of a ‘blanking’ file is used for the video greetings feature. The blanking file fills in the video RTP stream when Unity Connection and MediaSense would otherwise not be sending video. Without the blanking file, users may either experience video window closing on the device or the last received video frame freezing on the screen.

There is a sample blanking file located at http://www.ciscounitytools.com/Applications/MediaSense/VideoBlankingFiles/

This file needs to be uploaded to the MediaSense that Unity Connection is integrated with the following information:

Title: CiscoUnityConnectionLogo.mp4

Description: <Enter a brief description>

Filename: CiscoUnityConnectionLogo.mp4

The blanking file must be an MP4 video file with a resolution 640x360 (360p) using H.264 codec at 30 frames per second. The blanking file needs to include an empty or null audio track. MediaSense requires an audio track; however silence is preferred for the blanking file so it does not distract the user during the use of the video greetings feature.

Due to the Cisco Unified Communications Manager regions settings in the “Video Greetings Operation” section, the blanking files of video greetings should be recorded at an average or constant bit rate of 600kbps to allow the administrator to better calculate the bandwidth requirements of the video greetings deployment.

Video Greetings Operation

Revised October 17, 2014

Unity Connection 10.0(1) and later releases support video greetings only with SIP trunk integrations. Unity Connection 10.5(1) and earlier supports the use of only 360p (640x360) Video Greetings. MediaSense and Unity Connection allows the recording of Video Greetings up to 1080p (1920x1080) , however this offers limited compatibility across the video-enabled phone portfolio and is not a supported configuration as MediaSense does not support transcoding video to reduce the resolution for non-1080p video devices. To restrict Video Greetings to 360p, Unity Connection leverages the use of Communications Manager's Region configurations. The Unity Connection SIP Trunks need to be put in a region that has the following relationship settings with all other regions containing video-enabled devices that might call Unity Connection and expect Video Greetings:

Audio Codec Preference List: (Default or Administrator's Preference)

Maximum Audio Bit Rate: 64 kbps

Maximum Session Bit Rate for Video Calls: 600kbps

Maximum Session Bit Rate for Immersive Video Calls: 600kbps

In Unity Connection 10.5(2) and later, the administrator can configure any of the following supported video resolution:

  • 360p (640x360)
  • 480p (720x480)
  • 720p (1280x720)
  • 1080p (1920x1080)

The new supported video resolutions allow Unity Connection to support various video-enabled phone portfolio, however, MediaSense does not support video transcoding. The administrator needs to configure the video region settings in Cisco Unified CM, depending on the video resolution selected in Cisco Unity Connection Administration. To configure video resolution, navigate to Cisco Unity Connection Administration> Port Group> Port Group Basics> Change Advertising> Video Resolution.

For an active-standby Unity Connection cluster deployment over a WAN connection, use the following region settings for the SIP trunk to the Unity Connection server that is not co-located with MediaSense. This disables the video greetings using the secondary node. Audio-only greetings continue to function.

Audio Codec Preference List: (Default or Administrator's Preference)

Maximum Audio Bit Rate: 64 kbps

Maximum Session Bit Rate for Video Calls: Select "None"

Maximum Session Bit Rate for Immersive Video Calls: Select “None”

These settings ensure maximum compatibility across the Cisco video-enabled phone portfolio and provide the best possible experience for using video greetings.

When recording a video greeting, the audio and video RTP streams are both sent directly to Unity Connection. Unity Connection saves the audio RTP stream locally as an audio-only version of the video greeting and forks the audio and video RTP streams to MediaSense for recording. For playback, if the device is video-enabled, Unity Connection instructs MediaSense to stream the video greeting to Unity Connection to be forked to the device. If MediaSense is not available or unable to playback the video greetings or if the device calling Unity Connection is not video-enabled, then Unity Connection plays the audio-only portion of the video greeting that it recorded. The audio-only greeting is the audio track from the video greeting. It is possible to have different greetings for audio-only callers and video-enabled callers.

Cisco VCS Interoperability

The Unity Connection team has not tested calling through a VCS or calling from devices registered to a VCS and as such, these call flows are not supported. The Design Guide for Cisco Unity Connection will be updated as this testing is completed and support is verified. At current, the Unity Connection team is aware of an issue with certain devices registered to a VCS where video is not negotiated and audio-only greetings are played or recorded. While not currently supported, Cisco Unified CM registered devices calling through a VCS are typically able to play and record new video greetings.

Video Greetings Enabled Call Handlers

In Unity Connection 10.0 release, user accounts can be video greetings enabled and all forms of call handlers remain audio-only. Using user accounts as call handlers is the only way to enable a video enabled call handler. User accounts have many similar options to call handlers and can user input to route calls to other user greetings or to transfer outside of the Unity Connection system. Each branch in a user-based video-enabled call handler represents one user account. For example, if a root video greeting is built with 3 options and each of those 3 options have 2 sub-options, a total of 10 video-enabled user accounts would be required to facilitate that call handler structure.