the continuing evolution of ISDN for voice over and the looming impact of voice over internet protocol (VOIP) for producers

ISDN AUDIOCONNELL.COMIt’s funny how, not really so long ago, I was editing commercials, narrations and other voice over projects with a razor blade and tape on a beautiful Otari reel-to-reel machine. The digital age has made that skill obsolete.

While that’s not new news to most, take a moment to reflect on the time period of that change, how fast it took place, where technology is today and how in just a few future “blinks” we’re going to be producing audio and voice projects with even newer, faster technology.

ISDN (Integrated Service Digital Network) has always had many applications but ISDN’s application for voice over talent has been a standard for over a decade (and its been around longer than that). But the question in voice over circles has been is “ISDN’s usefulness to voiceover’s about to change?”

For many part-time voice talents, the benefits of having an ISDN studio was squelched by the significant start up and maintenance costs; basically if you didn’t have a regular client to foot the ISDN bill, why take the financial risk.

Entering the mainstream consciousness in the past 4-5 years has been Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Companies like Vonage and Skype have for a while now been promoted VOIP’s significant benefits over our traditional long distance telephone calls plans. But now the benefits are being noticed and exploited by voice over talents by combining it with ISDN technologies.

VoIP over ISDN has real cost savings potential but for voice over talents and studios, there has not been the establishment of a leading product or services system for VoIP over ISDN, especially in using IP Telephony. There is no Telos Zephyr (the world-standard codecs for radio and television broadcasters) for VoIP over ISDN Systems. At present, VoIP over ISDN can be done technically,but the standard for Quality of Service is presently a bit…cumbersome.

My bet is that there will be even a faster, less expensive service that will include VoIP over ISDN or even surpass it as the technology of choice for cross country and international voice over hook ups. Wait until the market shakes out from that change!

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