While I am not currently an Asterisk user I still try to stay in touch with what goes on in that realm. Earlier this week Rod Montgomery penned a post at the Digium blog entitled “Top 10 Tricks You Didn’t Know That Asterisk Could Do.”
The post is structured like a Top 10 list. Most of the items included are genuinely useful. However, right at the bottom in the #1 position, he highlights newfound support for very high-sample rate audio, aka Super-Wideband.
1. Super-wideband audio support
Asterisk has always been able to use a variety of audio encodings, but the latest enhancements go far beyond the typical telephone sound. Version 10 supports CD-quality audio (16-bit, 44.1kHz) all the way up to even the highest-quality Blu-ray and DTS-HD audio rates at 192kHz. High-fidelity phone calls!
That’s a far cry from the minimal wideband support that was offered in the v1.4 branch, or limited support for Siren codecs in v1.6. It seems that in it’s latest branch Digium has truly sipped from the HDVoice punchbowl and gone all-in, supporting flexible use of high audio sample rates.
Of course, Digium is not the first to go down this path. Freeswitch has had support for very high audio sample rates for some time. Still, with such support for HDVoice in both Asterisk and Freeswitch there’s ever-greater opportunity to leverage the technology for novel new applications. I’ve heard of several radio stations using the technology of wideband IP telephony to connect distant sites with production quality audio.
Kudos to Digium to taking support for HDVoice to its logical conclusion in Asterisk.
* refers to an old Warner Bros cartoon where the coyote presents a business card that says, “Wylie Coyote, Super Genius!”