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Psst. Hey, Buddy! Wanna Buy A Great Phone?

Polycom-VVX600-300pxMonday afternoon an email arrived announcing E4 Technology’s new promotion of the Polycom VVX Series desk phones. As I am a huge fan of the VVX Series I thought this worth sharing.

You may recall that I long ago reviewed the VVX-1500. It remains the single best sounding desk phone that I have ever used!

However, I recently replaced the VVX-1500 that had occupied the corner of my desk with a VVX-600 model. The VVX-600 is much smaller and sounds almost as good as it’s larger kin. It’s Bluetooth capable, which is certainly handy. With the optional camera module installed the touchscreen VVX-600 is capable of HD video (720p).

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Video Calling 1: People Just Don’t See Me In The Right Light

polycom-hdx-4500-photo-01-300pxSince taking up my new gig with ZipDX and Polycom a splendid HDX-4500 has graced my home office. It’s without question the most sophisticated end-point device that I’ve encountered. It’s a real treat to use, especially since I do so many calls using video these days.

The HDX is large enough that it gets a desk of it’s own, located across the room from my primary desk, desktop PC et al. When I’m using the HDX I always have my laptop on that desk as well.

The trouble is that I’ve had some difficulty getting the lighting correct for video calls. I’ve muddled along trying different solutions with what I’ve had on-hand, and playing with moving things around the space. Recently I’ve come to think that I need to take more significant steps to provide consistently good lighting.

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Freeswitch En Route To Support For G.719 Codec

VVX_1500_D_Freeswitch.jpgThink back to the handful of new audio codecs that have been released over the past few years; CELT, SILK and Opus to name a few. Then there are the handful of proprietary codecs that have become available under more attractive licenses. Polycom’s Siren family come to mind on that front. In all of these cases I have observed that the Freeswitch development team are typically amongst the very first to implement any new codec.

In recent weeks they have added support for G.719, an ITU standard codec created by Polycom and Ericsson. With a  sample rate of 48 KHz, G.719 is a full-bandwidth codec, supporting a useful audio channel of 20 Hz- 20 KHz. It does so with end-to-end delay of only 40 ms and at bit rates from 32 kbps to 128 kbps. It also supports stereo audio.

Upon completion of the ITU standards process Polycom published a white paper on the codec; G.719: The First ITU-T Standard for Full-Band Audio (pdf).

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Polycom RealPresence Mobile: Follow-up

nexus-7-PolycomRPM.jpgA couple of weeks ago I was trying the RealPresence Mobile app from Polycom. I was trying it on my iPad since none of my various Android devices were officially supported.

JMR left a comment on the post saying that he had just installed the Android release on his Nexus 7. Since the Nexus 7 is my preferred tablet I decided that I’d give it a try on that device as well.

Happily, the app seems to work pretty well on the Nexus 7. I registered it with my OnSIP account from which point it could call my Polycom VVX phones. Next I used it to call a Polycom RMX 2000 video conference bridge.  That also worked nicely.

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Free Stuff: Polycom RealPresence Mobile

Polycom Real Presence Mobile in Mocet CommunicatorAs you are no doubt aware, I’ve long been a fan of Polycom hardware. From the entry-level SoundPoint IP335 to the new VVX Series Business Media Phones, Polycom makes great hardware. That said, I’ve also come to expect that great quality often comes at a price.

I was not at all surprised to see that Polycom offers a video conference soft client called RealPresence Mobile as part of their RealPresence solution suite. RealPresence Mobile has been around for over a year but was not something that’s crossed my path until recently. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it’s distributed without cost.

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A Practical Application For Virtualization In The Home Office

Polycom-VVX-600-300pxA short while ago I spend a little time dealing with some Polycom phones in my home office. This time around I needed to perform some firmware updates, but it was little more complicated than normal. The tale highlights how we can make use of a VM in an incidental but convenient role.

The phones I had to update were a mix of Polycom VVX-1500, VVX-600 and VVX-500  models. Some were devices that I had purchased that run release software. Others were devices from  beta programs. Those can only run beta firmware releases. I had several different releases to accommodate.

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