Getting Familiar With HD Voice
You’re probably completely familiar with the concept of HD by now. we have high definition everything these days – TVs, DVDs, home theatre systems – it’s never ending. Now HD has moved into the vicinity of VoIP, creating a whole new market for high tech phones.
So what exactly does HD average to the telephony industry, and more importantly, where is the market? How will cost, quality and availability factor in, and who will truly use it?
For anyone who has ever sat in on a conference call, the answer is simple. The contrast between regular VoIP, which is already noticeably better than traditional telephony, and HD is the difference between AM and FM radio.
HD video provides crystal clear picture with dramatically definition, making the colors sharper and more clearly separated. HD voice implements the same technology to make each sound wave stand along so every nuance comes by with incredible clarity.
The sound quality with HD VoIP is incomparable – high definition audio is definitely the future. But how exactly does it work? The answer lies in the voice encoders, or codecs that take analog sound groups and transform them into digital packets of data that can be transferred efficiently by an internet connection.
Most of the most shared codecs in use today are referred to based on how well they meet International Telecommunications Union (ITU) standards; G.711, G.729A, or G.723.1.
The designations indicate audio frequencies; the G.711 is a narrower codec originally used for VoIP, sampling audio frequencies between 300 and 3,400 Hz. Modern VoIP phones often use wideband codecs such as the G.722, which can sample between 150 and 7,000 Hz.
A few other codecs exist which are not based on non-ITU standards; these include GSM which is an adaptation of the encoding used on GSM cell phones, and LPC10 which is based on a U.S. government standard.
The extended range directly relates to the user’s speech patterns and inflection. The human voice is typically capable of a frequency range from 100 – 8,000+ Hz. The broader the codec, the more precisely it can copy the caller’s voice.
This makes it much easier for each party to understand what the other is saying. And the consequence? Clearer calls, less confusion when a conference call includes many different cultures and accents, and a more smoothly run workplace.