Having read & listened this far into this series you should now have some grasp of how narrowband (G.711) compares to wideband (G.722/G.722.1) and even super-wideband (G.722.1C) audio for telephony applications. The differences in many cases are quite pronounced, even startling. What you hear in the examples are just the most obvious properties of the encoding, sampling rate and by implication, the available audio bandwidth. It’s worth understanding a bit more about the evolution of the role of the codec over time. This will help you frame up how the Siren codecs fit into the Asterisk realm.
In this third installment I’ll try to broaden your experience with wideband and super-wideband telephony by exposing you to a selection of recorded audio samples using various encoding techniques.
Until now the examples used were strictly in English. This next set of six samples recordings are in six different languages; Norwegian, Chinese, French, German, Russian & Spanish. Each is presented in a comparative form, with three codecs intercut into one example recording. Then again in each of the following; uncompressed, super-wideband (G.722.1C), wideband (G.722/G.722.1) and finally narrowband (G.711) a la PSTN.
In order to truly appreciate the difference between the various recordings you will need to be making use of high-quality audio playback hardware. Good quality computer speakers or, better yet, a high-quality headset will be the most revealing. But then, as someone who’s genuinely concerned about the quality of audio over IP telephony…you knew that, right? I thought so.
In part 1 I gave you an introduction to Polycom’s Siren7 & 14 codecs, as well as a brief overview of their implementation in Asterisk v1.6. Now it makes some sense to try and understand their advantages in use. This is really a more generalized exploration of narrowband (G.711 ala PSTN) vs wideband (G.722/G.722.1) vs Super-Wideband (G.722.1C)
I set about creating a series of audio recordings to illustrate the difference between the three codecs. If Asterisk had been capable of handling all three codecs then recording samples encoded in each fashion would have been relatively simple. The trouble is that in the period leading up to Astricon I didn’t yet have a version of Asterisk capable of handling Siren streams beyond pass through.
Preface: This post is a rework of the HDVoice session I presented in cooperation with Polycom at Astricon 2009. The Powerpoint slides in support of that session as well as a videotape recording of the session are anticipated in a few weeks on the Astricon web site.
In considering this subject I developed more demo material than was possible to use in the 40 minute session at Astricon. This post begins a series that is a kind of superset of the Astricon session, intended to go into more depth with a larger variety of HDVoice examples.
The introduction to the session was given by Tim Yankee, Director of Product Marketing, Voice Communications at Polycom. Tim’s intro gave an overview of the state of HDVoice in the industry. Hopefully his slide set will be included in the presentation materials to be put online at Astricon.net
Not long ago Dr. Jan Linden, V.P. Of Engineering at GIPS, wrote a really good blog post called G.722 Revisited. In it he considers the trend toward the use of G.722 in the rollout of new wideband telephony projects.
Dr. Linden collected a nice stable of facts in making his points regarding the use of G.722. It’s simply old and less than optimal for use over IP networks. It’s not as bandwidth efficient as many of the new codecs, resulting is lower call quality for a given data-rate. He points to a 2007 study of ITU standard wideband codecs that is quite clear that G.722 is back-of-the-pack from a pure performance perspective.
The post is a great collection of information and he is absolutely correct in making all of his points. But I think that there may be more to it than the argument he lays out, strong though it may be.
As I travel I often fill my down time listing to various podcasts. The IT Conversations series have been a great source of inspiration and education. Today they posted a podcast of Jonathan Christensen, General Manager, Audio & Video at…