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The Mythical POTS Advantage: Line Powered Phones

When conversation turns to a debate of VoIP vs POTS one of the common arguments in favor of keeping at least one POTS line is the idea that a plain vanilla phone doesn’t require AC power. It’s power comes down that very same POTS line from the phone company, so in theory  it  remains operational in the case of a power outage. This is fast on the way to becoming a myth.

The idea itself is not wrong. You could have a very plain phone on your POTS line, and it would work during a power outage. However, the simple fact is that at least in the US…almost noone has a simple line powered phone anymore.

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HDVoice In Support of Radio: Tieline At TAB 2010

Some would say that HDVoice is my major passion. I’m not sure that this is true, but I will admit that I grow increasingly dissatisfied with the quality of PSTN audio I encounter in the course of life.

I am especially aggravated by radio & TV stations that use the PSTN to pass production audio. It’s as if they simply don’t care about the technical quality of their broadcast. Why not just give every reporter an old Sony Walkman style cassette recorder? That would actually sound better than a phone call in many cases.

I accept that for call-in style radio shows the PSTN is still the primary means of connecting to the audience, and many people will use cell phones as a matter of convenience. Given these facts audio quality is going to be variable…never great…and often very bad indeed. However, for cases where there is a reporter the field, or passing audio between remote studios, there are much better options.

Last month a reader question prompted a short investigation of how you might leverage wideband (HDVoice) telephony in support of a podcast or online radio show.

This past week I was tasked with working a booth at the Texas Association of Broadcasters annual convention and exhibition in Austin. While at the show I stumbled upon Tieline Technology, a company that makes IP-based wideband audio connective gear for radio & TV stations.

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VUC Video Calls: A Two Act Play

As many of you may know I’ve been trying to put together a video call for the VUC over the past few months. After a lot of thought, but little action, act one of this little project will get underway this coming Friday, August 13th at 1pm EDT.

The basic idea for the project has been with me for a year, ever since I trialed the Polycom VVX-1500 video phones last summer. It evolved as I was later asked to research video conferencing systems for my employer, a project which was eventually tabled in Q4/09.

There are quite a number of factors to consider when you’re thinking about implementing a video conference solution. At its most basic I needed in some substantive way to grasp the difference between one-to-one video calling using desk phone, traditional video conferencing and “Telepresence.”

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VUC Aug 13th: Blink Mind On Video Calling

This coming Friday, August 13th will be yet another Voip Users Conference double-header. Starting at our usual 12 Noon EDT we have an overview of the Freetalk Connect SMB PBX featuring Skype integration.

Then immediately following, at 1pm EDT, we have Chris Veazey, VP Engineering of Blink Mind, to discuss the current state of the industry with regard to multi-media phones and SIP-based video calling.

Blink Mind has agreed to provide a video conference bridge (MCU) as part of their appearance. Further, as Blink Mind are a Polycom partner, Polycom has graciously provided a pair of Polycom VVX-1500 Business Media Phones on loan. One VVX is at Randy’s location in California, and the other in my home office.

As we aim to explore the capabilities of the VVX-1500 and similar desk phones, the video portion of the Blink Mind call with be limited to CIF (352 x 240) resolution using H.264 compression.

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