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Author Topic: Will the Obi200 be updated to support wideband calls with GV?  (Read 5512 times)
andyo
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« on: April 30, 2018, 08:33:57 pm »

I noticed something interesting on SteveInWA's post about the XMPP shutdown by Google, in which he mentions that Obi devices will be able to support "emerging technology, such as wideband audio on calls, depending on device and carrier support."

So, is it possible that the Obi200 be updated to support wideband audio between it and VoIP GV devices?
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drgeoff
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« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2018, 01:28:23 am »

Wideband audio requires more than a wideband codec.  To get the full acoustic benefit requires that the audio transducers in the phone, its circuitry and the circuitry in the OBi including its A to D and D to A converters can handle and benefit from the wider bandwidth.

Although a firmware update might* be able to give an OBi ATA a wideband codec it cannot change the hardware in the OBi or the phone.  So the possibilities are rather limited.

Also remember that a wideband call can only happen when both ends are wideband capable and all sections of the transmission path support wideband.  Yes, calling a wideband endpoint device over a wideband GV service passes some of those hurdles but you still have the limitations of your existing ATA and phone.

I think you can draw your own conclusions as to the actual impact on your telephony experience for the foreseeable future.

(* There is the issue of how much processing power a codec requires.)
« Last Edit: May 01, 2018, 01:34:19 am by drgeoff » Logged
andyo
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« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2018, 05:48:13 am »

Thanks, I understand there are wideband-capable phones so I didn't mention phone compatibility in order to keep the post shorter. I know all the hardware in the chain has to be compatible, but I'd have thought nowadays processing power for wideband codecs would be trivial, and didn't think the D/A & A/D converters would be an issue either.
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drgeoff
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« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2018, 09:17:56 am »

Thanks, I understand there are wideband-capable phones so I didn't mention phone compatibility in order to keep the post shorter. I know all the hardware in the chain has to be compatible, but I'd have thought nowadays processing power for wideband codecs would be trivial, and didn't think the D/A & A/D converters would be an issue either.
If the hardware clocks for, and any analogue filters around, the A to D and D to A converters were designed and equipped for 8 kHz sampling only, no software can change that no matter how much processing power the CPU has.

Yes there are wideband IP phones - the OBi1000 and OBi2000 ranges for example - but I'm not aware of analogue POTS phones (such as plug into the RJ11 socket on an OBi ATA) that are truly wideband.
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SteveInWA
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« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2018, 03:37:02 pm »

Aside from what Geoff said,

There are no analog telephones that support HD Voice (wideband).  There's no point in manufacturing them, since the POTS network can't support them.

If you want wideband calling, buy a IP phone.
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--Steve

Google Voice Forum Product Expert

https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!forum/voice
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« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2018, 08:17:56 pm »

There are no analog telephones that support HD Voice (wideband).
As I recall, there *was* a (polycom?) conference phone that could support wideband (only to a like device) over POTS by creating a tunnel to a like device over the POTS network and passing the wideband audio through the tunnel.  It was not a general solution, but it did exist some time ago.
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SteveInWA
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« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2018, 08:25:42 pm »

There are no analog telephones that support HD Voice (wideband).
As I recall, there *was* a (polycom?) conference phone that could support wideband (only to a like device) over POTS by creating a tunnel to a like device over the POTS network and passing the wideband audio through the tunnel.  It was not a general solution, but it did exist some time ago.

Ok so that is a one-off.  The point Geoff and I are making is:  wideband audio is only as good as the weakest point in the chain.  It's like feeding a firehose into a garden hose.  The water can only come out so fast.

If you have a IP phone on both ends of the call, and if that call stays on-network for one VoIP carrier (e.g. between one Google Voice number and another, or between one Callcentric number and another), or between two carriers that are peering and not detouring through the PTSN, AND both phones support the same WB CODECs, then the call is capable of WB audio.  The two dominant WB CODECS I am aware of are OPUS and AMR-WB.  OPUS is what Google Voice is using now, and OBi IP phones support OPUS.  AMR-WB is largely used on VoLTE, and I don't know if/when the mobile carriers will be able to interconnect with VoIP networks using WB.

For example, I talked with a friend the other day, using my OBi 2182 phone, and his Polycom IP phone, and the call was in glorious OPUS WB.
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--Steve

Google Voice Forum Product Expert

https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!forum/voice
andyo
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« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2018, 12:00:02 am »

Yeah, I understand the "weakest link" thing. What I wasn't aware of was that no phones support wideband; I thought some of them supported getting connected to VoIP boxes such as the Obi200 and others and offer wideband support. I guess AT&T is using deceiving marketing here for instance.

If I'd dug into the manuals it would have been clearer I guess. This is from one of them:
Quote
HD audio improves sound quality by expanding and rebuilding frequencies that are lost
with traditional phone calls. There is no additional telephone service requirement to
use HD audio. It is designed to work with standard telephone service. Your system will
automatically enhance all received sound with HD audio.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2018, 12:02:50 am by andyo » Logged
drgeoff
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« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2018, 01:34:36 am »

Yeah, I understand the "weakest link" thing. What I wasn't aware of was that no phones support wideband; I thought some of them supported getting connected to VoIP boxes such as the Obi200 and others and offer wideband support. I guess AT&T is using deceiving marketing here for instance.

If I'd dug into the manuals it would have been clearer I guess. This is from one of them:
Quote
HD audio improves sound quality by expanding and rebuilding frequencies that are lost
with traditional phone calls. There is no additional telephone service requirement to
use HD audio. It is designed to work with standard telephone service. Your system will
automatically enhance all received sound with HD audio.
1.  "HD audio" is not synonymous with "wideband audio".

2.  "expanding and rebuilding frequencies that are lost" is close to snake oil.  Yes there are some audio processing tricks that can make the bandwidth sound wider by using what is received to control the generation of "sympathetic" frequencies outside that band.  But there is no magic that can accurately regenerate what has been lost somewhere along the way.  Wideband does not do that - the frequencies are not lost.
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andyo
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« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2018, 05:02:46 am »

Yeah, I understand the "weakest link" thing. What I wasn't aware of was that no phones support wideband; I thought some of them supported getting connected to VoIP boxes such as the Obi200 and others and offer wideband support. I guess AT&T is using deceiving marketing here for instance.

If I'd dug into the manuals it would have been clearer I guess. This is from one of them:
Quote
HD audio improves sound quality by expanding and rebuilding frequencies that are lost
with traditional phone calls. There is no additional telephone service requirement to
use HD audio. It is designed to work with standard telephone service. Your system will
automatically enhance all received sound with HD audio.
1.  "HD audio" is not synonymous with "wideband audio".

2.  "expanding and rebuilding frequencies that are lost" is close to snake oil.  Yes there are some audio processing tricks that can make the bandwidth sound wider by using what is received to control the generation of "sympathetic" frequencies outside that band.  But there is no magic that can accurately regenerate what has been lost somewhere along the way.  Wideband does not do that - the frequencies are not lost.

Yes, that's what I meant about AT&T being deceptive. I know "HD Audio" or "HD Voice" is not a technical term, but it's a marketing or colloquial term almost always equated with wideband in the context of audio in calls. In fact outside of this AT&T thing I've never seen it not equated with wideband (of course I can't know every piece of telecommunications marketing out there). BT device manufacturers use it, mobile carriers use it, and even SteveInWa in this forum has used it, from a quick google search.
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SteveInWA
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« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2018, 04:12:53 pm »

The generic term used in the context of telephony is "wideband audio".  The concept refers to audio transmission and reproduction that includes a wider range of audio frequencies than the legacy narrowband methods, as originally implemented on the Bell System POTS network (analog or, typically, G.711/G.729 audio).

In the context of VoIP telephony, "HD Voice" is a marketing term that indicates the use of a wideband audio CODEC for Voice over LTE, or VoLTE or business VoIP phone equipment.  At this time, VoLTE primarily uses the AMR-WB (G722.2) audio CODEC, whereas fixed VoIP equipment typically uses the Opus (RFC 6716) CODEC or variants of the G.722 CODEC.

Polycom was one of the first vendors to use the term, to describe the audio capability of their IP audio conferencing products.

Compare this to the US high-definition TV, or HDTV standard:  an easy-to understand term, described by the ATSC, for a system of audio and video transmission, that supports higher video resolution and wider-range audio reproduction.
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--Steve

Google Voice Forum Product Expert

https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!forum/voice
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