IT Expo West 2012 In Austin, TX

TMC’s IT Expo West 2012 in Austin TX is October 2-5th this year. I had a quite a good time at IT Expo West 2011. I’m leaning towards attending again but as yet not committed.

TMC is offering a discounted all access registration for just $99, but only until the end of June. That’s end of day tomorrow. I guess that I’ll need to decide shortly.

Doug Mohney On The State of HDVoice

HDVoice News & Invoxia-Desk-PhoneThe VUC call on Friday, June 29th will feature Doug Mohney of HDVoice News. With over 20 years of telecom experience Doug truly is a veteran in the realm of IP communications. Having appeared on VUC calls twice previously (Feb 4, 2011 & Aug 14, 2009) he’s also becoming a VUC repeat offender.

This weeks discussion will focus on the evolving state of HDVoice as described in HDVoice 2012: Proliferation. This is the latest version of his annual report on the state of HDVoice, published by TMC.

I’ve read through this years report. It’s a great summary of state of HDVoice deployment. It covers the issue from a variety of angles, presenting sound insights useful to  corporate telecom managers, service providers, manufacturers and start-ups in the ITSP space.

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OnSIP Offers Webinar On Polycom UCS Software

Our friends at OnSIP this morning sent an email invitation to attend a free webinar that they are giving about the new Polycom UCS firmware. The session is Thursday, June 21st at 1pm EDT.

The latest Polycom UCS software has a lot of new features that can improve your productivity. If you make use of the OnSIP provisioning server then you can easily upgrade your phones. The UCS firmware also includes many of the Polycom Productivity Suite features that were optionally licensed into the older v3.x firmware, but at no extra cost.

This latest release is also the shipping firmware on the outstanding new VVX-500. I’ve had a VVX-500 on my desk for about nine months, having participated in the beta program last fall. It’s my regular daily ride. I’ve been meaning to describe it in detail, and will yet do just that. Real soon now.

I certainly hope to be on this weeks webinar. In fact, I’ll be joining it using my VVX!

Grandstream Introduces New SIP/DECT Cordless Phones

Grandstream has today introduced a pair of new cordless SIP/DECT phones. According to their press release (broken link removed) the DP715 is the basic system, including the DECT base/charging stand and one handset. The DP710 is an additional handset with a simple charging stand.

Looking into the details I see specifications typical of the current generation of consumer DECT systems. A DP715 base supports five registered handsets and up to four concurrent calls.

The claimed cordless range is also typical of DECT systems…that is very good indeed. I’d expect excellent battery life as well.

The handsets have a built-in speakerphone, which can be handy in a home office.

They are described as having three ring-modes:

“Linear Mode, all phones ring sequentially in the predesignated order

Parallel Mode, all phones ring concurrently and after one phone answers the rest phones may place new calls

Shared Line Mode, all phones ring concurrently and always share the same line, similar to an analog phone”

The system supports remote configuration via a web portal or provisioning server. That last part is critical for uptake by ITSPs who want hands-off provisioning at an end-user site.

What I don’t see in the specifications is any support for HDVoice. They list support for all the usual suspects (G.711, G.723.1, G.729A/B, G.726 and iLBC) with respect to narrowband codecs.

The company’s web site lists support for TR-069, IP v6 and Skype as “pending.”

Grandstream has long been a price/performance leader. Priced at $85 and $49 respectively, these new devices extend that pattern. They should prove interesting to SOHO users on a budget.

Video Calling, Video Conferencing & Telepresence

Blackberry-Playbook-7-Inch-Tablet-Front-300px The  May 25th VUC call with the teams from RIM and Truphone was interesting. It’s great to hear that RIM is taking audio quality seriously as they go forward. I certainly hope that they get some traction with that strategy. As someone who has trumpeted the merits of HDVoice for a few years, any help to raise awareness of the benefits of improved audio quality is truly appreciated.

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Meta: Screencasting Using The BlackMagic Design Intensity Pro

blackmagic_design_intensity_pro There’s a new tool in the office and I’m actually pretty excited about it. For several months I’ve had the Black Magic Design Intensity Pro video capture card. It’s a little PCIe card that has a variety inputs, most notably HDMI in and out.

In my currently working life this is part of a video monitoring solution. I take a SMPTE-292M HD-SDI feed from one of our products into a Black Magic Design Mini Convertor ($300) that converts HD-SDI into HDMI. Normally I take the HDMI feed into a consumer HDTV for display. This is dramatically cheaper than a proper broadcast monitor with an HD-SDI input.

While that arrangement works for real-time viewing of the HD-SDI stream, I had hoped for some way to capture the stream to disk. Back in February I tried the Black Magic Design UltraStudio SDI but ran into trouble with the USB 3.0 interface under Windows.

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