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Successful VOIP Over DSL, Part 4: Traffic Shaping

My experience has been that the QoS mechanisms covered previously don’t provide a complete solution to the need for assured bandwidth when using VOIP over DSL. When the connection to the ISP becomes saturated for any reason VOIP traffic can be delayed which is always a problem. When managed QoS was combined with “traffic shaping” our VOIP phone service became much more reliable. This has proven to be true even on a very busy connection to my ISP.

Like the QoS mechanisms covered previously, traffic shaping is an edge process that occurs in your router. Traffic shaping is actually a process of reserving bandwidth specifically for selected applications. That bandwidth will not be used for other forms of internet access. As before, this tends to be most critical with outbound traffic where available bandwidth is most limited. It’s also true with inbound traffic, but this tends to be less of an issue.

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Successful VOIP Over DSL, Part 1: Some Installation Basics

Here are a few fundamental considerations when planning a VOIP implementation using DSL.

  1. What is your actual available bandwidth inbound & outbound?
  2. How many simultaneous calls do you need to sustain?
  3. What voice codecs are you using? And so, how much total bandwidth do you require?
  4. Do you have managed QoS on your network?
  5. Can you also implement traffic shaping to reserve bandwidth for VOIP purposes? Especially outbound bandwidth as this is typically the most scarce.
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We Like Our HDTV. But Is HD-DVD Finally On The Ropes?

About a year ago we finally moved into HD with the purchase of a 42″ Sharp Aquos LCD-TV and a Toshiba HD-XA1 HD-DVD player. The HD-DVD player was actually acquired using Continental Airlines frequent flier miles in a program that they offer to very frequent fliers late each year. Of course, we got the HD PVR from Time-Warner as well. Given the fact that my employer manufactures HD graphics equipment it was truly a matter of putting my-money-where-my-mouth-has-been.

Sharp Aquos 42 Inch LCDTV

Sharp Aquos 42″ HD LCD. The first real 1080 set in its size class.
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