This morning’s news dump included an email from a marketing service being used by magic jack. Some while ago when I heard a rumor that Vocaltec was working on some means of supporting HDVoice in the next generation of their magic jack product/service. While the new magic jack PLUS started to ship backing August todays email was the first I’ve seen that actually mentioned HDVoice.
According to the web site for the service;
“magicJack PLUS™ service has received rave reviews and many people think it is the best Call Quality they have ever heard. The magicJack PLUS™ has added High Definition Voice. Best Call Quality and it’s FREE.”
The big change from magic jack to magic jack PLUS is in the hardware. The little USB interface device once required the used a computer. With an RJ45 connection to your home network the new version can run completely standalone. No computer required. This was largely a competitive issue driven by the NetTalk Duo.
Since magic jack PLUS is effectively an ATA the mention of HDVoice seems a little counter-intuitive. ATAs connect to analog phones, and analog connections are historically filtered to PSTN standards…definitely not HDVoice.
On the other hand, magic jack PLUS is equal parts hardware, software and service. Thus the could quite easily connect calls between soft clients in HDVoice.
While I have no particular need for such a service I do wonder what flavor of codec they are deploying. The further rumor was that it was something of their own creation, but that seems unlikely. It will also be interesting to see if the company moves to start using IP-based peering so that it can exchange HD traffic with other networks.
I have no interest in dirt-cheap calling plans or ATAs, but I remain very enthusiastic about HDVoice.