Dan York Challenges Skype To Engage the Rest of The VOIP Universe

Dan York’s Disruptive Telephony Blog has a great post regarding Skype’s assertion that they see no demand from users to permit calling to other VOIP networks, and the use of open standards that would be implied.

Update:  I just marched on over to www.skype.com and filed a suggestion with their support system. I asked for interoperability with SIP based networks including Gizmo/SIP Phone, FWD and GoogleTalk.

If any of you use Skype I’d suggest you register a similar request.

Going Back to Analog For TV Sound

If you listen to all the hype in advertising for just about everything you’d think that something “digital” is just plainly better than any analog equivalent. Digital Cable TV is better than old cable TV. Digital phone service is better than traditional phone service. Digital television (DTV) is better than analog TV, right?

This is not necessarily correct. It’s funny how the collective common wisdom is impacted as much by the frequency of occurence of a message as the validity of its content. Here’s a case in point.

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First Look: Amazon Unbox on TivoHD

As I’ve mentioned before we have a TivoHD PVR unit and we LOVE it. It’s one of the few things that we give an unqualified recommendation. It’s great. Best in class. You won’t regret the purchase.

However, one thing that TivoHD can’t accommodate is pay-per-view movies. It’s not so much that Tivo can’t handle it as much as the cable companies don’t currently have the infrastructure to do pay-per-view for any cable card device. It requires two way interactive cable cards that aren’t yet rolled out. This is a bit of a drag since my wife used to use pay-per-view enough to make me wince every time I saw the cable bill.

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A Beginners Guide To Successful VOIP Over DSL

For the past ten years I have worked from a home office full time. This has been the major motivation for my education in networking, and onward into VOIP technologies.

Since the middle of 2005 we have not used traditional land-lines (POTS) for either our home or office phones. Our transition to VOIP was not flawless, but with some lessons learned along the way the system has proven very reliable. Over the course of several posts I hope to pass on those lessons that have served us well so that others may also benefit.

The topics in the series are at present as follows:

In the telling of this tale I will mention a number of devices many of which are not the current state-of-the-art. This doesn’t matter. I’m relating to you the actual devices I used. The principles will hold true for any similar current device.

Successful VOIP Over DSL, Part 5: Power Considerations

One of the great things about the traditional PSTN is that it keeps working when the power goes out. I’ve repeatedly read others recommending that people sustain traditional POTS service at least in part because of this fact. Their theory being that VOIP service isn’t sustained during a power outage. But this need not be the case given just a little forethought.

Prior to migrating to Asterisk we had been using a Panasonic KX-TG4000 KSU (seen left). This phone system has four FXO interfaces for analog lines.

It also featured a built-in battery backup so our phones stayed up through power outages. In migrating to VOIP within our home and office I felt it necessary to strive for this kind of reliability. It has certainly made my wife happier.

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