Traveling This Coming Week

I’m en route to Cambridge this evening for a week of work at Pixel Power’s UK home office. I’m likely to be posting less frequently for the next few days.

The hotel I’ve booked has wifi. It should be interesting to see if my Polycom CS-100 speakerphone it useful when calling home. I usually use it in conjunction with X-Lite and OnSIP. Sometimes with Skype if I’m fighting my way through firewalls and NAT problems.

I’m also carrying a T-Mobile Blackberry Pearl so I’ll be riding someones GSM network for cellular service. I bet that’s expensive! Wonder what the data service will cost. There’s a PC in my office running Outlook and the Blackberry redirector so that my corp e-mail finds me.

The folks at the factory are heavy Skype users, but not at all interested in SIP. I may need to suggest an in-house Asterisk server so that we can use IAX2 to facilitate firewall/router/NAT traversal and bridge into OnSIP. Perhaps some day. Not likely any time soon.

Dan York Challenges Skype To Engage the Rest of The VOIP Universe

Dan York’s Disruptive Telephony Blog has a great post regarding Skype’s assertion that they see no demand from users to permit calling to other VOIP networks, and the use of open standards that would be implied.

Update:  I just marched on over to www.skype.com and filed a suggestion with their support system. I asked for interoperability with SIP based networks including Gizmo/SIP Phone, FWD and GoogleTalk.

If any of you use Skype I’d suggest you register a similar request.

Streaming Audio + Video With Skype + Slingbox

Tom Keating over at TMC has an interesting How-To about combining Slingbox with Skype to stream audio and video to a remote location bypassing the Slingbox client software and remote access mechanism. Potentially interesting stuff. His approach combines that NAT traversal and high quality video conferencing capability of Skype with the Slingbox as a video source.

Pixel Power purchased a Slingbox Pro last month. The intent was to be able to stream the output of one of our Clarity systems to a remote viewer to be able to conduct ad hoc live remote demos. We’ve done some initial testing and the video quality looks ok as long as there is sufficient bandwidth available. With 768kbps available from a Comcast cable model it seems pretty good.

The NAT traversal mechanism built into the Slingbox system leaves me a bit cold. It requires a consumer grade UPnP router to works its magic automatically. It does provides some guidance about manually establishing port forwarding but remote viewing has thus far been a problem.

To overcome this I’ve just established a VPN login to the router handling the cable modem. Anyone needing to see the Slingbox output just logs into my LAN via the VPN, making them effectively a local IP address on the LAN. This works perfectly as long as the remote party is somewhere that allows VPN connectivity.