Polycom Tip: Easy Screen Captures

Polycom-VVX600-300px.jpg

There are certainly a lot of SIP desk phones out there, with more coming every month, but I still like my Polycom VVX Series. I recently faced a task that involved creating some documentation of SIP device configurations. This gave me a chance to try a facility of the Polycom phones that I’d long known about, but never actually used…screen capture of the device menus.

The Polycom SoundPoint, VVX and SoundStation series devices running firmware v3.2 (circa 2011) or newer support easy screen capture using a web browser. That in turn makes creating pictorial documentation a lot nicer.

Extend the Phone Configuration

Access to the screen capture capability requires that you extend the data that defines the phones configuration. If, like me, you’re not having your phones managed by a remote provisioning server, this is pretty simple. All you do is create a short text file with the XML snippet that will enable the screen capture function.

<phone>
<up up.screenCapture.enabled=”1″ />
</phone>

It should be a text file with a .cfg extension.

Log into the phone’s web GUI as the admin user. In the Utilities pull down menu access the tool to Import & Export Configuration. Choose you text cfg file and click on the Import button.

Since the file is just the briefest of XML snippet it will add that parameter to the phones configuration, which will remain otherwise unchanged.

You should be greeted by a prompt indicating, “Configuration file imported successfully.”

Enable Screen Capture

Enable the screen capture using the menus on the phone. Navigate through Settings, Basic, Preference, where you’ll find Screen Capture. In that menu entry there’s a basic offer to enable or disable the feature.

To prove the point, here’s the pictorial walk-through from my VVX-600.

VVX-Screen-Capture-0001

VVX-Screen-Capture-0002

VVX-Screen-Capture-0003

VVX-Screen-Capture-0004

VVX-Screen-Capture-0005

Once the setting is offered and enabled you’re done with physically dealing with the phone.

Try It For Yourself

Now, in your web browser visit the IP address of the phone as follows:

http://<phone’s IP address>/captureScreen

Be careful as it’s case sensitive. If you enter the address correctly you browser should receive a copy of the phone’s current display in the form of a BMP file. The image is a pixel-for-pixel copy of the display. You can right-click over the image and save it to your computer.

One word of caution…every time the phone restarts you must go through the menus to enable the screen capture function. The feature remains offered in the menus, but is always disabled on boot-up.

This screen capture feature makes creating image for documentation purposes just too easy.

Credit: Andre Reid of Polycom tipped me to this capability some time ago. I recently revisited the details in a Polycom Community FAQ item.