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If You Use ISDN, What Would Happen If...

 
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Rick Riley
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Joined: 12 Aug 2011
Posts: 796
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 2:25 pm    Post subject: If You Use ISDN, What Would Happen If... Reply with quote

I have redundancy for every piece of equipment I use on a daily basis. Fortunately with the longevity of equipment these days, most is still sitting in a box. One piece I would like to get rid of, but would lose my redundancy, is a Musicam ISDN codec.

The reason for this is, while I donít use them, there ARE alternatives to ISDN. Source Connect, ipDTL and probably something else I donít know about. I love my Telos Xstream Codec and use it all the time. But if it suddenly went down, is it best to have another Codec to plug in, or would one of these other Internet Protocol methods work while it was being repaired? And would it be easy for me to continue sessions with the ISDN folks I deal with?

Keep in mind, when hooking up to another studio, I RARELY run into a request for Source Connect. Itís almost always, ĎWhat are your ISDN numbers?í While others bemoan ISDN's death, itís quick, convenient, and from what I perceive, still the industry standard. And itís still the most reliable.

So back up ISDN Codec... Keep it around or ditch it? Your thoughts are appreciated.
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Bruce
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anthony Mendez recently dropped ISDN altogether in favor of the paid iP/dtl service that offers bridging to and from ISDN. It's much less per month than the phone service we have here in Oregon and has never failed to be as good as ISDN he says. The only drawback is that you're assigned different SPIDs for the client to dial into every time you schedule a session. On the other hand you can dial into the client's SPIDs anytime. I'd give him a call if you'd like to know more. I'm very tempted to follow his lead.


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Rick Riley
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Joined: 12 Aug 2011
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Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bruce wrote:
... It's much less per month than the phone service we have here in Oregon and has never failed to be as good as ISDN he says. B


Honestly cost is not a concern. I pay $68 / mo for service and I have a contract that will keep me in it for a bit. But considering what others pay in different parts of the country, mine is just a fraction of the cost, and I 'm grateful for it. At this point I'm just concerned about the redundancy factor, but I would certainly give him a call to explore using it as a backup if needed.

Thanks Bruce!
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Kristin Lennox
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Joined: 30 Apr 2011
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you have a studio that uses you for ISDN that wouldn't mind testing the ipDTL bridge with you?

Line up a couple of them, then get an ipDTL Day Pass for $15. That gives you unlimited** outgoing ISDN calls for 24 hours, and you can test to your heart's content. I bought a pass for a scheduled ISDN session, then emailed several other studios asking if they could do a quick ISDN test with me, me calling them (saving them money)...? No one refused, and they all said it sounded great.

If they say it's a perfectly acceptable ISDN back-up for you, then you don't need to plunk down any money -- you can buy a Day Pass any time your ISDN goes wonky.

** sorry, you have two hours of outgoing calls, unlimited incoming calls... but what I meant is that you can call 15 studios, if you want, to test it, if the total connection time is under two hours...
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Bish
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to start with my usual ISDN position.... If a studio wants to work over ISDN, they want to do it because of the ISDN quality (primarily stability and latency), not just the physical connectivity. They choose ISDN because it is technically superior to a Google Chrome-based IP web codec. Yes... I am fully aware that ISDN is becoming difficult to get or overpriced in some ares leading to people (voice talent, not studios) telling anyone who will listen how wonderful ipDTL is.

Bridging services offer ISDN connectivity (not quality) to talents without ISDN. ipDTL has attacked this market hard with a lot of marketing and hard-sell.... but whichever way you look at it, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and you are effectively connecting to the remote ISDN studio via the internet. Some studios will not accept these connections, demanding SourceConnect as a minimum if ISDN is not available for any reason. Obviously, from what Kristin says, there are some that don't care if it's a back-up solution.

Rick, ISDN codecs are as cheap as chips nowadays and I doubt you'll raise more than $100/$200 for the Musicam ... so keep the bugger. I have a Telos Zephyr Classic as my prime and a Musicam Prima 110 as my backup. The only thing that can screw me is if the line itself goes belly up. Like you, I'm lucky enough for the service to cost me around $70... and I use it at least weekly.

I understand the whole ipDTL thing has become a contentious issue, but the fact is that it can only be as good as the IP cloud between points A & B. It is, in essence, a Skype link with a better codec... and we all know what can happen to Skype links... they work just fine. Until they don't.
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Rick Riley
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Joined: 12 Aug 2011
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kristin, I like the idea of a Day Pass for ipDTL, but as Bish has noted, itís still Internet based, and while it doesnít happen frequently, every once in a while Iíll look down and my modem has reset and Iíll have to reboot. This is when I usually talk out loud to myself. What a pain. Shut down Pro Tools, any scripts you have, web pages that are open, links that are running, and start all over. What if I had to do that during a session? I rarely work sessions where thereís not multiple people on the other end. And you canít tell them what happened because youíre connection is gone. I couldnít even imagine. So Iím with ISDN as long as everyone else is.

And to Bish, sure the money (Prima LT with TA301 Card on eBay from $379 to $755) would be nice for something sitting that I donít need, but the darn thing is PURPLE. I have it hidden so no one will see. PURPLE! Why on earth...? If it werenít PURPLE Iím sure it would be worth a lot more, but... itís purple.

So the fact that is worth something, itís taking up space and itís PURPLE, is why Iím asking. And it would only be while Iím getting the Telos repaired.
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Dave Waters
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Joined: 01 Jan 2011
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got ipDTL while I still had ISDN simply to "play around" with it. I wanted to be up to speed if and when ISDN went away or the cost went through the roof. Being comfortable with the technology when the time came was a main consideration.

AT&T went from $80.00 to more than $600.00 in a little more than a year. That was about the time ipDTL became a solid platform so I switched.

Sessions have improved from very reliable to extremely reliable. Had a 90 minute session with a studio in Dubai last week and the engineer said it was as solid as ISDN and sounded better.

By the way, the quality of my Apple TV gets better and better every year and is an internet based product. It doesn't work very well on ISDN. Just sayin'...
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Kristin Lennox
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are studios who only want ISDN. There are studios who only wanted ISDN two years ago, who are now equally fine with Source-Connect. There are studios who only wanted ISDN two years ago that were finally priced out of it, and had to give it up, and they now only want Source-Connect. And there are studios who still want ISDN but are open to bridging solutions, having tried them and finding them to be solid for their needs.

The trick is to find out which kind of studio you're working with. If they only want ISDN, you've got your purple doorstop as backup. Smile And if they're open to trying a bridge, I think it's worth experimenting with... However, I don't experience random modem shut-downs, so that may indeed be problematic, I don't know...
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Philip Banks
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a CDQPrima110 and for emergencies or if I want to wear my Red Beret I have AudioTX. Both work fabluss!

Demand for UnISDN so low it can only be heard by Blue Whales.
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samowry
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Joined: 11 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Last week I was working at a studio for an ISDN session. There was a pronounced hiss, identified as the originating studios problem (everybody rebooted and such). It was a hard half hour session and we were running out of time. The originating studio didn't have Source Connect Standard (we did) and out of panic, they tried Source Connect Now (both engineers were dubious). It worked flawlessly and we got the session done on the money timewise, everyone happy with the audio quality.

I have SC Standard, go to studios for ISDN, and imagine there will always be problems as long as people and technology are forced to work together.

Happy voicing.
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melissa eX
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have my Zephyr Xstream and I also have a Classic for back up. In all honesty I picked up the Classic at a time I had 2 residences and ISDN in both. Now that I only have one, I have a backup Codec.
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ConnieTerwilliger
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been keeping an eye on the alternatives. Here is a blog post with a chart I created in September.


http://voiceover-talent.com/2016/12/03/the-irony-of-isdns-inevitable-demise/
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Deirdre
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm super happy to hear about IP-DTL's ISDN day pass. I never thought it would happen with any service!
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NorthEndVoice
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rick, if you're looking for ABSOLUTE SUPER TERRIFIC redundancy...I have a Musicam Roadrunner that needs a new home !! Wink
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Rick Riley
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NorthEndVoice wrote:
Rick, if you're looking for ABSOLUTE SUPER TERRIFIC redundancy...I have a Musicam Roadrunner that needs a new home !! Wink


You are so kind. Maybe I could hook them all up in series like they do with Hard Drives. I could have ISDNDNDN. I wouldn't even have to be here to do the job. One could call the other and the third could direct.

Awesome idea. I'll get back to you. Thanks!
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