Polycom Revisits DECT with the VVX D60

vvx-d60-tb-com-650x500-enusToday saw the introduction of a new model in Polycom’s VVX Business Media phones. The Poycom VVX D60 is described as a “wireless accessory” to compliment the existing VVX series of desk phones.

Examining the brochure it seems that the D60 works along side the VVX-300/400/500/600. It requires that the desk phone be running UC Software v5.4.1A or newer. The D60 is actually setup via the VVX web interface.

The feature set of the D60 closely matches the VVX series. Some of the highlights that catch my eye include:

  • Two-port Ethernet switch (10/100 mb)
  • Support for P.O.E.
  • Support for HDVoice (G.722)
  • Support for up to 5 cordless handsets
  • Support for 5 lines per handset
  • Up to 4 simultaneous calls
  • Provisioning via the VVX desk phone
  • Close integration with the VVX desk phone

Since I have the VVX-500 and 600 models hereabouts I certainly see a lot to like in the D60. I think that the D60 could be very well received by SOHO users. It’s certainly an interesting alternative to a DECT headset.

I’m curious about pricing, which doesn’t seem to be available as yet. Rest assured that I’ll be trying to acquire a D60 for review.

The idea of a DECT handset that pairs with a desk phone is not new. I once used an Aastra 480i CT that had a DECT base built into the desk phone and a small cordless handset. Ultimately that cordless handset was less than satisfactory as too many common functions were buried in menus or simply not available.

The Gigaset DX800a also has a built-in DECT based, supporting the use of any of the Gigaset DECT handsets. However, Gigaset’s US presence has faltered, making their offering less than appealing to North American users.

MOS, Podcasting, SIP Reinvites and WebRTC

podcast mic & logosAccording to popular legend, in the early days of talking movies there was a German director working in Hollywood whose pronounced accent skewed his use of English. He would call for another take of a scene, this time without recording sound. He’d yell out “Mit Out Sound!” Over the years industry professionals came to use the acronym MOS as a shorthand for recording a silent take.

Operating MOS may be occasionally useful in film, but it can be disastrous for a podcaster. When producing a podcast reliable audio is a must. Achieving this goal can be complicated when trying to connect to a distributed array of co-hosts & guests via the internet.

Using a SIP service like SIP2SIP.Info allows the use of high-performance audio codecs, like Opus, which makes for superior podcast audio. This is something that I’ve advocated for along time in my series called Making Use of HDVoice Right Now!

This week I had a Twitter exchange with veteran broadcaster and podcaster Mike Phillips about a problem with audio over a SIP connection.

Continue reading “MOS, Podcasting, SIP Reinvites and WebRTC”

Phoenix Audio Beams Up A New SIP Conference Phone

Phoenix Audio at InfoComm2015InfoComm 2015 is next week, which has swayed the nature of press releases filling my in-box. While most are less than interesting, there was one from Phoenix Audio Technologies that piqued my interest. They have introduced an intriguing new device they call the Condor. Condor is not a typical SIP end-point.

Condor is an audio pickup appliance, essentially a microphone array with some sophisticated on-board DSP capability. With an on-board SIP client it’s one component of a huddle room conferencing solution. Add a large HDTV with built-in speakers and you have a complete solution for audio conferencing. You’re also well on your way to video conferencing.

Continue reading “Phoenix Audio Beams Up A New SIP Conference Phone”

The UC Architects Podcast: Walking The HDVoice Walk

UC Architects in Lenovo X-1-CarbonBack in 1984 Ric Ocasek of The Cars quite famously sang, “You might think I’m crazy.” That sentiment underscores how I feel about HDVoice as a tool for podcasters. It’s a constant source of amazement to me that so many podcasters, even some in the Enterprise UC business, still publish podcasts with audio quality in the finest narrowband tradition of the PSTN circa 1937.

In the past I have occasionally called attention to these offerings. I see them as  a telecom version of The Emperors New Clothes. This has given rise to a reputation for being something of an audio snob, a not entirely unfounded assertion. However, a fellow Canuck one opinioned, “that the medium is the message.” While McLuhan was addressing television, I hold his assertion to be equally valid with respect to UC podcasts.

I am truly trying to shed my curmudgeonly audiophile image. It gives me great pleasure to note that The UC Architects current podcast, while episode 48 in their series, the first that I have encountered, is produced in lovely HDVoice. Kudos to the team for making the effort!

Their podcast is focused upon things Microsoft, from Exchange to Lync (aka Skype-For-Business.) That’s certainly a big topic area.

As a SOHO user, I may not be in their target audience, but I commend them for making the effort to deliver a podcast the goes beyond traditional telephony as it’s means of production.

Deal Alert Revisited: Logitech H820e Cordless Headset

I don’t normally like to repeat myself, but you may recall that about ten days ago I tipped you to a deal on the Logitech H820e cordless DECT headset? That deal, which was $79, eventually expired. Today I see that the same reseller is making the offer again. This time it’s priced at just $69, with no shipping!

Again, these are “recertified” devices with a 90 day warranty. They are USB plug-and-play, HDVoice-capable, Microsoft® Lync™ and Cisco® compatible. They should work with any soft client. Logitech also claims up to 10 hours of talk time and 300 feet of walkabout range.

This time I could not resist. I ordered a couple. One for me to try and one to be gifted onward.

Revisiting The Polycom SoundStation IP5000

One of the stickier lessons from my youth was understanding the value of using the right tool for the task at hand. This is the belief underlying my oft-stated assertion that you should never use a speakerphone when a headset or conference phone is more appropriate. A headset is ideal for one person, a speakerphone might service two-or-three people in an ad hoc gathering around a desk. A larger group demands a proper conference phone.

Back in 2010 I was fortunate to be able to review the Polycom SoundStation IP 5000 SIP conference phone. It’s an ideal device for someone who has a large office or small meeting room. It microphone array easily accommodates a group of 4-6 people around a small conference table. It’s physical size ensures that it won’t be in the way.

Like many things bearing the Polycom name, it’s a high-quality device featuring bone fide Polycom HDVoice. Such quality is not without a price. However, I recently found the SoundStation IP 5000 offered on Amazon for a very attractive $285.

That price is not much more than a decent quality desk phone, making it ever more practical to put a proper SIP conference phone at the far end of that executive office or in the small meeting room. At that price even very-SMBs can afford the right tools to communicate well in a small meeting situation.