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Experimenting with Opus I: PhonerLite

Opus-LogoInspired by my earlier interaction with Mike Phillips I thought it would be interesting to get some hands on experience with Opus. It would be worthwhile staging a little test to better understand the audio path presented in one or more Opus implementations.

A quick Google search revealed that PhonerLite, the freeware Windows soft phone from Germany, includes Opus from the v1.92 release onward. According to the release notes support for Opus replaced support for CELT. The current release is v2.08 from April 16, 2013.

I had first encountered PhonerLite some time ago, when I was seeking a G.722 capable soft phone. It’s very functional but a bit quirky.

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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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New Gear: Mocet Communicator For iPad

Mocet-Communicator-White-facing-left-300pxIt has become something of a habit to announce when new gear arrives in my office, especially if that gear is destined for review. A couple of weeks ago I received a review sample of the Mocet Communicator. Communicator is essentially an audio dock for an iPad that turns it into an executive desk phone.

As you may know, I don’t generally use Apple products. However, occasionally there comes a product that is sufficiently interesting to get me to move in that direction. In the past case of the Invoxia NVX-610 I purchased an iPod Touch in order to provide a suitable host for the device under review.

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A Reader Question About A Grandstream BT-200

Grandstream-BT-200Last week I received a question via email from reader Marshall Wilgard. It seems that he is having trouble with a Grandstream BT-200 desk phone.

For five years, I used a Grandstream BT-200 IP phone without any problems.  Six weeks ago, a loud hum appeared on the phone as soon as I picked up the handset.  About 10 days later, the hum vanished, for no apparent reason.  However, about 10 days after that, the hum came back, for no apparent reason.  Despite my rebooting the phone three times, the hum remained.  Then approximately 10 days after the hum returned, it vanished again, for no apparent reason.  My phone has had the latest firmware for more than a year, and my VoIP provider says the problem is not with it.

Hum like Marshal describes is usually an analog phenomenon, not something that I’d associate with firmware. It sounds to me like a problem with the hardware. Issues of hum tend to revolve around a problem with the power supply. Given the age of this phone I’d guess that most likely some kind of capacitor is failing.

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