Yes, sir. That little beauty to the right was the current state-of-the-art in 1937. That’s when what we call “toll quality” calling was supposedly set down as a standard.
In fact, I find it hard to believe that the entire realm of telecom has lived with the paltry 300 Hz – 3.4 KHz pass-band of telephony for the past 74 years. It’s beyond embarrassing. It’s a flagrant violation of Moore’s Law.
That’s the curious thing about “standards” they have a lifespan like most things. In the early portion of that lifespan they provide a forward-looking goal, something that we can strive to achieve. However, in the trailing portion of their life span they restrain us, and keep us from achieving even greater things.
Add in a dash of not-quite-real-competition-because-of-monopolist-tendencies and you have a recipe for paralysis.
It’s the 21st century. We should demand better. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!
The company describes the “HD Audio” feature as follows:
“The frequency band has been extended allowing for the signal to be reproduced and tuned for a fuller and clearer sound.”
In addition, they seem to have implemented a kind of tone control with several preset contours.
“The equalizer feature on the handset enables you to change the audio quality of the handset to best suit your hearing. While on a call or intercom call, or listening to a message or announcement, press EQ to select the equalizer setting Treble 1, Treble 2, Bass or Natural (the default setting) for the handset. The current setting is displayed on the handset briefly.”
Since these are DECT 6.0 devices it’s possible that the cordless aspects of the system use G.722 encoded audio to provide higher quality sound for calls between handsets. However, since the device offers only the analog PSTN interface to the world it’s going to be limited to narrowband G.711 for all calls to the PSTN. The intercom function may be improved, but it’ll have limited impact upon most of the things that people do with a telephone.
When conversation turns to a debate of VoIP vs POTS one of the common arguments in favor of keeping at least one POTS line is the idea that a plain vanilla phone doesn’t require AC power. It’s power comes down that very same POTS line from the phone company, so in theory it remains operational in the case of a power outage. This is fast on the way to becoming a myth.
The idea itself is not wrong. You could have a very plain phone on your POTS line, and it would work during a power outage. However, the simple fact is that at least in the US…almost noone has a simple line powered phone anymore.
The thing that makes this fact so curious is not immediately obvious. The VTX 1000 is not a SIP device, nor even IP capable. Like it’s closest relative the Polycom SoundStation 2, it’s designed to connect to a plain old analog phone line (a.k.a. POTS, the PSTN).
Of course, the common wisdom is that you just can’t have wideband telephony over the PSTN. Yet the VTX 1000, circa 2003, delivers wideband conference calls so it seems that assertion is not strictly true. Understanding this is in a little more depth would seem like a good thing. Happily, Polycom published a white paper describing the internals of the VTX 1000.