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EugeneTang-8314 asked EugeneTang-9186 commented

Mirrored/duplicated Microsoft Teams Room using Logitech Rally and two displays

Hello,

My company is rolling out Microsoft Teams rooms using a Dell solution that incorporates touchscreen monitors, Dell Optiplex micro desktops and Logitech Rally camera and audio hardware. The Rally solution includes a small tabletop unit called a Tap, and this is the primary interface to the Optiplex. The Optiplex runs a custom Teams image for the Teams Room software.

One of the rooms in my office has two of the touchscreen monitors, but instead of mounting them side-by-side at one end of the room, one is mounted at the end, and the other is mounted on a perpendicular wall. The intent of the screen placement was so that content displayed at the end of the room would be duplicated for the people at the other end of the table. This room is a long rectangle, as is the conference table.

In our testing so far, we can't achieve this duplication. We've turned on dual monitor mode via the Logitech Tap and both screens are able to display content. But each screen displays different content, which I think is by design.

My searches so far have been pretty fruitless. I found a few posts of people having the same issue, so I think it's a limitation of the software rather than a configuration issue or operator error.

I contacted Logitech and am waiting for a reply.

Thoughts?

office-teams-windows-itpro
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This is what I've found out so far. I spoke to a Logitech support rep and he said that the Windows display setting to either extend or duplicate the desktop can control the mirroring ability. However, in order for the Teams device to work properly, it needs to reboot. So once I make the change to the display settings and reboot, the setting reverts to the default of extending the desktop.

Since the Teams device is not a Logitech device, that was about the extent of the help he could provide. Which is understandable; our Teams device is a Dell Optiplex and it runs a customized Windows 10 IoT image, and the Logitech rep thinks the issue is that Dell image. I've reached out to our Dell resources for some direction as to whom to contact. I'm not sure if the regular Dell support channels would be of much help since they're generally more focused on servers and PCs and break/fix.

I'm also looking into the support resources my company has with Microsoft. I really think this capability is not available in Teams, perhaps because no one has ever asked this question. I've found very few instances of anyone asking this particular question.

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Hi @EugeneTang-8314,

Really appreciate it for your sharing! In case it still cannot be realized despite of all these effort, I'd recommend submitting the request via the dedicated feedback portal for Microsoft Teams (https://aka.ms/TeamsFeedback). And you can leave a link of your post here as well so that other users see our discussion here can add vote or comment there. Hopefully this feature can be added in the future.

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Hi @EugeneTang-8314

We've turned on dual monitor mode via the Logitech Tap and both screens are able to display content. But each screen displays different content, which I think is by design.

As far as I know, as you mentioned it's expected that turning on dual monitor mode displays different content on each screen. And regarding your requirement to display duplicated content, based on my research, seems like it's currently not possible. Below is a link I found which discusses a similar topic for reference:
Teams Room: Dual Screen
(Please Note: Since the web site is not hosted by Microsoft, the link may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this information.).

With the above being, personally agree with you that it's worth trying to contacting Logitech to further confirm if they have the flexibility to fulfill this request.


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Thank you very much for your reply. I found some similar threads on Reddit and other sources that all say the same things.

I have support requests to both Dell (who sold us the display packages) and Logitech (who supplied the camera/audio hardware).

I'm going to see what my company's options are for contacting Microsoft since this is a Teams Room-specific question as well.

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Thanks @EugeneTang-8314 for sharing the current status of this question on your end. If you finally manage to find a method to accomplish this, it would be highly appreciated that you can share the solution here.

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Hi Eugene

I think you might need to go down a different route and achieve this by splitting the video signal AFTER the output from the Teams Compute. That way the Compute sees just the single front-of-room monitor and your two monitors will always show the same thing (cloned).

Downside to this is its semi-permanent (but that doesn't seem to be a problem as you've said the setup is always cloned) and if the two front-of-room monitors are both touch then you probably need to settle on using only one of them.

The HDMI splitter (technically known as a Distribution Amplifier) takes 1 input and duplicates it to multiple outputs. A professional example of this is the Crestron HD-DA2-4KZ-E but you may only be able to buy that through an Audio-Visual company. Take care when deciding to ensure the device supports UHD/4K (to allow for future Teams upgrades) and if possible that it support HDCP copy protection (lack of which may cause some issues). You could probably test a cheap one from a Hi-Fi shop and if it works then great, if it doesn't then not much harm done to your wallet.

Cheers, Tim

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Tim,

Thanks for your reply. What you described is what we wound up going with. The initial (and Logitech) solution has each display connected to outputs on the OptiPlex. What we have now is an HDMI splitter connected to only one of the video outputs and the signal is being sent to both displays. The splitter does support HDCP since we weren't sure if it was needed but wanted to play it safe.

We discovered something else along the way. Apparently Windows IoT also supports a way to "lock in" a configuration. At this point, I don't remember the actual term but basically there's a filter that intercepts writes to the disk and this causes configuration changes to be written in such a way that the reboot effectively erases them. So whenever I set the display settings to duplicate, it would work initially but then be reset when the OptiPlex reboots. Supposedly there is a way to turn this off so the change can be written, but we had wasted so much time on this already my boss told me not to bother. It's a native feature of Windows so it's not specific to either Teams or the Logitech gear.

Hopefully the information surfaced in this thread will help anyone else who wants to do what we did but maybe without all the fussing with splitters. If we encounter this situation again, we may try setting the duplicate option natively in Windows, but until Microsoft decides to implement screen duplication natively in Teams, it's always going to be duplicate-or-nothing.

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EugeneTang-8314 answered

This post in the feedback portal is exactly what I'm asking:

https://feedbackportal.microsoft.com/feedback/idea/64a203f9-12a6-ec11-a81c-002248519ffe

I voted for it, but given the lack of traffic, we must be the only two people who have asked this question.

I don't have a lot of hope that anyone from Microsoft will see it and implement it.

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Hi @EugeneTang-8314,

Just added my vote for it. I'll also try converting your comment to answer and hope this can make it easier for others with similar request to see that feedback and vote for it.

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EugeneTang-8314 answered YukiSun-MSFT commented

More feedback from today. The Optiplex in our solution connects to the two screens using DisplayPort and HDMI. The 3D model on Dell's site shows two DisplayPort but we hired a third-party to mount the equipment so I never saw it the Optiplex to confirm. Dell's solution is neat but can be a pain to service. The display unit has a pocket on the back of it for the Optiplex and it can be a chore to take it out. If the display is mounted on a wall (and we have some that are) it's worse. The room in question with the two displays has a significant gap behind one display since there are windows in the wall.

We tried using an HDMI splitter on one of the Optiplex's outputs and then connected the two displays to it instead of using the two native video outputs on the Optiplex. This is a brute-force method to achieve the duplication, but it's also an all-or-nothing approach. Now we can't show content on one and participants on the other. This method also caused some errors to pop up on the Tap display that had to be resolved by turning off the dual-monitor setting via the Tap, since there's no longer an actual second monitor.

While we were discussing this option, we landed on the idea of using THREE displays, with the third being powered by the second video output on the Optiplex. Not sure how this would work in practice in that room, and it would also mean buying a third 86" display, which might take months to arrive. We're considering running a test with a regular monitor to test out the concept and then pitch it as an option.

Not sure if this will help anyone but here we are. After all this work, I think the main issue is Microsoft Teams. No one ever considered this particular use case, or if they did they chose not to implement it. Not sure if Microsoft would be likely to consider it now since it's still a niche use case.

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Thank you @EugeneTang-8314 again for the share!

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