New Gear: Grandstream’s HT812 Analog Terminal Adapter

In the earliest days of consumer VoIP services the venerable Cisco ATA-186 was the way to connect a traditional analog telephone to one of those new-fangled Vonage accounts and save some loot. It didn’t take too long before our strategy evolved from an analog terminal adapter (ATA) plus a an analog phone or a cordless phone, to SIP desk phones and SIP/DECT cordless phones.

As such, it’s been years since an ATA held any interest at all…until last week. Last week I received a couple of notices about a new pair of ATA’s from Grandstream, the HT802 and HT812.

Grandstream HT812

The first thing I saw was a promotional email from VoIP Supply for the HT812. It described the HT812 as a two-port FXS with a built-in router and Gigabit Ethernet.

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VoIP Supply On Conference Phones

Lenovo X-1-Carbon Voip Supply on Conference PhonesA few weeks ago VoIP Supply issued a blog post based around an infographic. It’s titled, “Best Conference Phones for Different Room Sizes.” Go now, have a look. It’s a quick read.

Normally I wouldn’t pay much attention to such writing. I suspect it’s really aimed at satisfying the mighty Google, and driving more traffic to their web site. However, I’m not the sort that lets the dissemination of questionable advice slide past unnoticed. Most especially from an organization that purports to be the subject matter experts.

The author suggests a number of different devices for different sized rooms. In this particular case I’m familiar with most of them. In fact, I have quite a few of them in inventory.

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Recommended Reading: Exploding the Phone By Phil Lapsley

exploding the phoneThe folks over at VoIP Supply have started what they hope will be a series of interviews of bloggers in the VoIP-o-sphere. It happens that I was featured in the first installment in the series, which was posted a couple of weeks ago.

The article was derived from a short list of questions that they passed to me in September. Their line of questioning noted that people who write also tend to read a lot. On that basis, they asked for some recommended reading. While I read a lot more online than traditional books these days, I answered with a short list of items, both online and offline.

I thought that it worth expanding a little about the books I mentioned, the first of which was Exploding the Phone: The Untold Story of the Teenagers and Outlaws who Hacked Ma Bell by Phil Lapsley. This book from 2013 is an informative and entertaining romp through The History Of Phone Phreaking. It’s an interesting mix of personalities, companies and events. Taken at the macro level is describes an odd sort of clash of cultures.

The web site in support of the book has some interesting stuff, too. In particular, the author’s recorded presentation to HOPE 2012 is quite interesting.

That is, it’s certainly of interest to phreaks. The question is, are you a phreak? I am.

A Net Neutrality Infographic

VoIP Supply Infographic in Lenovo X-1-CarbonLast week VoIP Supply has posted an interesting and potentially informative infographic that purports to describe “How Does Net Neutrality Affect VoIP?” The artwork is originally from Visual.ly, created by Gryffin.

While the thrust of the thing is useful, there are a few things about it that put me ill at ease. Like so much of the debate about network neutrality, important subtleties are often misconstrued or simply overlooked.

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A VoIP Supply Q&A Batting .500!

Phoenix Audio Quattro3 USBEarlier this weeks a new blog post over at VoIP Supply caught my attention. It’s a Q&A item that addresses the Phoenix Audio Quattro 3  USB conference phone and the Polycom RealPresence Group 300 video conference end-point.

The first question posed was in reference to using the conference phone with a computer to access online services like Skype. In his reply VoIP Supply blogger Nathan Miloszewski is right on the money, the Quattro3 USB attaches to a host computer as a generic audio device. That means that any software-based client application can make use of it, from Windows Media Player to Counterpath’s Bria , Skype, Hangouts…whatever.

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VTech…Really? Yes, VTech!

vtech-vs704-erisstation“Well, surprise…surprise!” – Gomer Pyle, USMC

You might know VTech from the telephone aisle at your nearest big box retailer. The Vancouver-based company has been a powerhouse in the affordable cordless phone space. Also the kiddy-centric game console space. But did you know that VTech makes business phones? And conference phones, too…apparently.

I didn’t until I recently read something on No Jitter where Graham Williams, VP of Business Phones, was interviewed on the topic of Better Audio Conferences. This was followed up today by a First Look post from VoIP Supply that provides some info on their various business products.

The companies VS704 ErisStation Conference Phone, with four detachable DECT microphones, looks especially interesting.

Who says there’s nothing new under the sun?