Ipevo Strikes Again With The VX-1 Internet Conference Station

ipevo vx-1 internate conference station 300pxIf you’ve been loitering hereabouts regularly for a long while, you may recall that I was once seeking an affordable USB-attached conference phone. I tried the Ipevo X1N6 Internet Conference Phone and found it lacking.

Not long after I published that review the company contacted me, suggesting that the device I had was simply faulty, and offering a replacement. I was surprised at the offer, but I accepted.

Given the reality of production in batches in Asia, it took some months to get the replacement. When it arrived it behaved exactly like the first. On that basis I decided to let the matter drop.

Last month I was again contacted by Ipevo, this time with the offer a sample of their new VX-1 Internet Conference Station for evaluation. I admit that my curiosity got the better of me. Had they really learned anything from that older product? They were taking a risk in making the offer as I had not been kind at our first encounter.

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New Gear: ClearOne Chat 160

At lasts years visit to Astricon it became clear that  it would be good to “tool up” for having conference calls at remote locations. As I described previously, the ClearOne Chat 50 USB speakerphone that I had brought along was not really adequate to the task of a conference call with a number of people scattered around a hotel room.

I can’t fault the device as it, like most USB attached speakerphones, are intended as personal audio devices, to be used by an individual at a desk. It’s microphone pickup pattern describes a 120 degree arc across the front of the device. That means that fully two thirds of the room are off-mic and won’t be heard very well.

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Revisiting The Ipevo X1-N6 Internet Conference Station

Ipevo x1-n6 Internet Conference StationLate in 2009 my quest for a portable conference phone lead me to try the Ipevo X1-N6 Internet Conference Station. On the surface the X1-N6 has an attractive set of capabilities and a very attractive price point. Unfortunately, the unit that I purchased from  my local Fry’s Electronics did not meet my expectations, so after a few weeks I returned it for a refund.

When I posted my experience with that device it caught the attention of the manufacturer. They had some theories as to why the unit I had behaved as it did. They asked me to return to the unit to them for investigation, but by then I had already returned it to the retailer. Since they could not pursue that situation further the manufacturer promised to send me a sample unit when their next production batch arrived from the east.

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Review: The Ipevo X1N6 Internet Conference Phone

IPEVO-x1n6_ga_c03My quest for a portable USB conference phone started just after Astricon this year. I’ve previously described the logic behind the search. When I found that Ipevo had a related product offering in this area I admit that I was hopeful.

Several of my UK-based associates have used Ipevo USB handsets in conjunction with Skype, some for several years. In fact, these have become a standard item in our packing for trade shows. Our booth has a Polycom Soundpoint IP430 and an Ipevo USB handset. The Polycom phone integrates with our US hosted IP-PBX (OnSIP) to provide calling to anyone and provides a handy, high-quality speakerphone. Alternatively, the Ipevo handsets supports free calling to those back at the home office that use Skype, including co-workers, friends & family.

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Making Use of Wideband Voice Right Now!: Skype

Making Use of Wideband Voice Right Now!: Skype. Perhaps the easiest way to get a sense of wideband…#HDComms

skype_logoPerhaps the easiest way to get a sense of wideband quality is to try Skype. The software’s setup is extremely easy and it supports all the common computer platforms. Calls between Skype accounts are wideband when the available network bandwidth supports its use. That would be almost always for most people.

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Codec Wars vs Serving The Common Good

There has been for many years a subtle conflict ongoing in telecom space. Various vendors have created digital encoding techniques (codecs) that target common network issues. Since various network realities exist so too do various approaches to the problems faced. So a range of codecs exist in the marketplace.  Typically a high-quality solution comes with an associated cost, reflecting the very fact that the solution has merit.

The poster-child for this is the G.729a codec. Over time this patented codec has become the industry standard low-bitrate codec for voice applications. Who can argue. It works well. It squeezes reasonable voice quality down to under 30 kbps and it’s compute overhead is acceptable on available hardware.

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