New TIA Standards For HDVoice Over Analog Jacks

HDVoice News RJ-11 Wall PlateDoug Mohney of HDVoice News recently noted that The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) has issued a series of new standards documents in reference to wideband audio over analog connections. These new standards specify how HDVoice may be implemented with regard to analog telephone, speakerphones, headsets and related terminal equipment.

Yes, that is exactly what it sounds like…formal specifications for delivering wideband voice over traditional FXO/FXS connections.

This is more than just a curiosity, and could be very valuable to the widespread adoption of HDVoice outside of the mobile space.

Let’s consider the case of the Cable Companies. It’s been noted that their “Digital Voice” customers are well positioned to benefit from HDVoice. Cable companies have gained many residential and SMB voice lines in recent years, enough to cast Comcast as the third largest Telco in the US.

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An Analog Phone For Our Front Gate: Done Deal!

While I ordered the DoorBell Fone back in August the fact of our extreme Houston summer kept me from completing the installation. The buried wire run out to our gate was broken and there was just no way I was going to bury a new wire in 100+ degree heat. This past weekend I was able to find the time and temperature to complete the installation.

The largest task was to completely replace the wiring from the central closet in our house out to the gate. I replaced the old-skool solid copper pair with a length of Cat-5 cable. Using Cat-5 is a bit of future-proofing. It means that I can change to a POE-powered network device at the gate without replacing the cable again.

For the moment I’m using only one pair from the Cat-5 wiring, connecting the DoorBell Fone remote unit to the controller in the wiring closet. The total cable length is about 80 feet.

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An Analog Phone For Our Front Gate

DoorBellFone-250 A short while ago I briefed you on my years-long search and utterly frustrating search for the perfect, affordable, SIP/IP-based door phone, preferably with video. Having set aside that lofty goal, I resigned myself to retain primarily the “affordable” aspect of the prior set of specifications, which lead me to look for an analog door phone.

There are many analog door phones available from companies like 2N, Adtran, Avaya, Bogen, NEC, Panasonic, Valcom & Viking, just to name a few. For my project, based upon some advice from friends, I settled upon Door Bell Fon as a suitable choice.

As a vendor I selected Home Controls since they had inventory, a good price, and seemed to have some experience with the product. My order included the DP28C control module, a DP38 NBZF door station and DP38 BXFS surface mount box. The total cost was right around $300.

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Thinking Outside The Box: SIP Hard Phone + External Speakerphone

I find that I’m simply drawn to novel and innovative approaches to problems. In the VUC post-call ramble this past week Michael White of E4Technologies described something that’s stuck in my mind as being pretty cool.

He was working with a large-company-who-shall-remain-nameless on a very significant installation. It was going along well. They had selected a line of SIP hard phones from a large, well-known  manufacturer, and were generally happy with the results. That is, happy with one exception; they didn’t like the performance of  the speakerphone on their chosen model of desk phone.

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Initial Impressions: Konftel 300 Speakerphone

KONFTEL A couple of weeks ago I was told that our corporate HQ in Cambridge UK was starting to think about adding new conference room. Since I oversee the hosted IP-PBX that we use in the US they sought my suggestion for a suitable new conference phone. The requirements for the new device are a little odd, making device selection something of a challenge.

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Small Office VoIP On The Cheap

This post is the second in a series addressing some thoughts about ATAs. The first dealt with cordless phones and can be found here.

I’m not a big fan of analog terminal adapters (a.k.a. ATAs.) If you’re not familiar with them, these are the devices, like the Linksys example pictured below,  provided by companies like Vonage et al that convert your plain old telephone into a broadband phone. They bridge the old analog world into the digital realm. I accept that these devices have been the lifeblood of the residential VoIP provider world. That’s only logical since they’re cheap and easy to deploy. Continue reading “Small Office VoIP On The Cheap”