Considering Wideband Audio Over The Traditional PSTN

polycomlogoQuestion: What was the first HDVoice product that Polycom offered?

Answer: The Polycom VTX 1000 conference phone.

The thing that makes this fact so curious is not immediately obvious. The VTX 1000 is not a SIP device, nor even IP capable. Like it’s closest relative the Polycom SoundStation 2, it’s designed to connect to a plain old analog phone line (a.k.a. POTS, the PSTN).

Of course, the common wisdom is that you just can’t have wideband telephony over the PSTN. Yet the VTX 1000, circa 2003, delivers wideband conference calls so it seems that assertion is not strictly true. Understanding this is in a little more depth would seem like a good thing. Happily, Polycom published a white paper describing the internals of the VTX 1000.

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Gigaset Keypads Are Backlit

I can’t recall where but someone recently asked me if the keypads on the Gigaset SIP/DECT handsets are backlit. At that very moment I didn’t know, but I have since confirmed that all three (A58H, S67H and SL78) are in fact backlit. Here’s a composite image of all three handsets to illustrate that fact.


The backlight is most obvious on the S67H model, even in the day time. However, all three are lit well enough to make them usable in a dim or darkened room.

HBOs “True Blood” & Polycom Kirk DECT Gear

Maybe it’s a guilty pleasure, but I admit that HBO’s ‘True Blood” is one of my favorite programs at the moment. Imagine my surprise when watching this past Sunday’s new episode when I recognized an unusual phone ins a scene.

The scene has a pair of vampires sorta camping out at a posh hotel in the Dallas area. One is trying to leave, or at least make a call to a friend. Another is trying to stop him on both counts. Cut to the close up shot of the handset….

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It’s All Good Over At Skype

skype_logoOver at Skype Journal the always interesting Evan Wolf has a very good post called, “The Skype’s Not Falling.” His assertions are simple, factual and sensible. The end is most definitely not near for the alternative telecom giant. They face some issues, but who doesn’t.

The fact that they are legal issues means that time is a factor. They have lots of time to work out the problems either technically or politically. They can code their way out of trouble. Some have pointed out that making the project open source could allow them to move faster, if that’s a concern. They could negotiate their way out of the mess. That’s just about dollars, and they have a stack of those.

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Reader Poll: The Nokia N97?


For months I’ve been waiting for a new cell phone. There seems to be a dearth of suitable candidates available. So I’m going to try running a reader poll. I had been very interested in the Nokia N97 which has been shipping for about six weeks. Yet few people I know are using the device, and I don’t necessarily trust everything that I read about it online. If you have one I’d like to know your thoughts on it.

[poll id=”2″]

Feel free to leave a comment or suggest an alternative.