[kwlug-disc] Unlimitel/ATA pricing

L.D. Paniak ldpaniak at fourpisolutions.com
Thu Mar 12 18:25:20 EDT 2009

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unsolicited wrote:
> L.D. Paniak wrote, On 03/11/2009 10:28 PM:
> .
> .
> .
>> 4) Do *not* use soft-phones in any environment where you are trying to
>> convince someone that VOIP is a replacement for Bell.  They will never
>> leave Bell.  Voice quality is nowhere near what you can get with even a
>> basic ATA and a cheap analog phone.
> .
> .
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> Lori, I suspect I get why you say this. K.I.S.S., pick up the handset,
> get dial tone.
> To what extent do you say this because of all the fiddly bits with soft
> phones? e.g. Did you remember to turn the volume up? Vs. just picking up
> a handset.
> I wonder because I think ultimately video calls will become the norm.
> Perhaps with the video displayed on one's home TV. In the office, either
> displayed on your phone (with a PDA sized screen), or automatically
> routed to the computer screen nearest you.
> If that's a growing trend, I would think soft phones are going to become
> more prevalent. Rather than a separate (VoIP) phone, the computer will
> be your 'phone'.
> Or is this only to say that soft phones aren't there yet - they need to
> become better, easier, more intuitive, and provide a more seamless
> overall user experience? [Just as Linux is slowly creeping into the
> world's mindset as 'normal', 'VoIP' is on the same path?]

The number one problem with a softphone is that it explicitly depends on
the audio system of the host computer.  For practically all commercially
produced computer systems, this means the softphone experience is awful.
 Poor microphones, worse speakers and substandard sound processing
guarantee that the new-to-VOIP user will be left with an indelible,
negative first impression.

I like the idea of the voice/audio telephony terminal, especially as
executed by Skype.  The software is there in most cases, taking care of
the "fiddly bits". Unfortunately the baseline hardware is not in place
by default - even for quality Skyping.  Conversely, it gives one an
appreciation of just how good a cheap phone is.  125 years of
fine-tuning have left their mark.
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