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Are more clients now opting for ISDN alternatves?
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Mike Harrison
The Gates of Troy


Joined: 03 Nov 2007
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Location: Equidistant from New York City and Philadelphia, along the NJ Shore

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:32 am    Post subject: Are more clients now opting for ISDN alternatves? Reply with quote

It's been quite some time since I've had to crank up the ol' Telos Zephyr. And, in some cases, establishing a solid connection with it required several attempts. Additionally, finding Telco (Verizon) support staff who even know what ISDN is (they've asked whether I mean DSL), is getting increasingly difficult. So, I'm wondering whether some of you have cancelled your ISDN service and haven't had any regrets over doing so.
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NorthEndVoice
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Joined: 24 Jul 2005
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Location: Virginia/North Carolina/Florida

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess the answer is...it depends. There are some studios that absolutely require talent to be ISDN. I've seen it be a deal killer for booking talent that don't have it (or access to it).

More studios are definitely moving towards the alternatives with Source Connect (not Source Connect Now) being the main player.

Fortunately my ISDN costs are negligible compared to what others are paying (less than $100 monthly).

If your costs are somewhat in that ballpark, I'd keep it. One reason being that you might find it almost impossible to subscribe to the service again if you cancel it and then discover one day you need it.
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Matto
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my experience, they absolutely are. Frame of reference: the bulk of my work is commercials.

Many of the studios I connected with early on said ISDN was required. When I work with them now, it's largely Source-Connect.

Sometimes when I audition for something through an agent, it says "ISDN required" - then when I book and we start figuring out particulars...once they realize I have SC, they opt for that.

I still have ISDN availability (I have the dedicated number with ipDTL). Hilariously, I mostly use that as a backup for Source-Connect. It's usually when the studio has changed computers and they haven't set up SC properly yet.

edit:

I also use:

-SessionLink Pro (pretty regularly, nearly exclusively with European clients)
-ipDTL proper (rarely ever)
-SourceConnect NOW, once in a blue moon, as a phone patch alt
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Kim Fuller
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Matt, do you ever have connection quality issues with Session Link Pro? We've connected to it a couple of times with a German client but there were signal issues - haven't had that problem with Source Connect.
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Bruce
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My ISDN lines died a couple of days ago and I went through 6 service people at CenturyLink to find someone who knew what to look for. The department is called "Design Services", and in a couple of hours they were able to determine that the problem was someone redirected my wires somewhere else at the central station. All better now.

You have a great tool. I'd say put it to good use by marketing your ability to use it to clients who might care.


B
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Bish
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few of my major ISDN clients have switched to Source Connect. Those that haven't have Source Connect tested and ready to roll. So... the answer is that there is a definite drop-off in ISDN use... but I'm still using it a couple of times a month at least. I'm going to keep it until Verizon pulls the plug (or I move to a place that's not copper-pair served) even if it only has occasional usage (at $83 per month, that's a no-brainer). I will agree that I'm lucky with that... some are paying five or ten times that amount.
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Bish a.k.a. Bish
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Charlie Channel
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't do much VO these days. But, my ISDN expense is negligible. So, I keep my PrimaLT hot. I use a TA and an A/B switch and use the ISDN circuit for my home office numbers. One for voice and the other for fax ("it's sure dead now").

True:

Tuesday, this week, I get a v-mail call from a station. One one v-mail back to associate producer.

Email to me Wednesday morning: Test? Today. In an hour?

20 second test. Call received on my mobil phone "Framed." "Yep. Let check the mc."

ISDN Line1, Line 2: "How you doing?" "Fine." "Sounds good, I'm satisfied." "OK." "We'll call in 10 minutes to 9 a, your time, tomorrow." "OK. Bye."

Thursday a.m., a guy shows up at the door, walks in, sits in the booth, one hour session, expert talk, local community issue. People on mobil devices commenting calling in, originating studio discussion. Net break. Local news. Back to talk.

Damn thing is solid as a rock. Not one glitch. Not one drop. It's a toaster!

(Sleept's(S)ure(D)ead(N)ow

Invoice sent! My box is a cow ... just keeps on giving the milk.
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Matto
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kim Fuller wrote:
Matt, do you ever have connection quality issues with Session Link Pro?


I've never had any issues that I can recall. I'm on 150mbps down/up fibre, so have a solid connection.

My clients at the other end seem to have pretty blazing fast speeds, too.
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Bruce
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking of other options I just saw Anthony Mendez complain about dropouts during his ip/DTL/ISDN sessions. That looked like a strong option.

The most talked about option is full fledged, regular Source Connect. I've now seen requests for just that option alone.


B
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Mike Harrison
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Bruce and everyone else. To be clear, I've had Source-Connect since it first came out (I was one of the first VOs to buy it, at the price of about $1500) and have been using it successfully with several studios. I just asked about ISDN because I haven't been getting many calls for it at all.

But, as Bish pointed out, if the monthly rate is still do-able (I'm paying $72), I guess I'll hang onto it for a while. It would be my luck to cancel it and then begin receiving requests for it again.
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Mike
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Bish
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

... and as for those who have mentioned ipDTL and bridging:
Yet another audition request came through today with the stipulation that they wanted ISDN with NO BRIDGING.

I've often waved the flag about ipDTL (and similar) being OK for what they are, but from the technology used, they can never be an ISDN "replacement". At best, they are a a substitute where where its limitations are accepted. ipDTL is pushed VERY hard to VOs as an ISDN replacement, and has, in some quarters, garnered an almost religious fervour amongst its devotees. This is brilliant marketing. There is even one bridging provider who says that you don't even have to tell the client that it's bridged. Sorry, but to me this is, at best, deceptive, and at worst, fraudulent.

The Emperor has new clothes, and it's ipDTL. The problem is that most VOs have no idea whatsoever about the technical differences and characteristics between ISDN and internet services. They bleat (in unison) "But I have great bandwidth!" ... and no amount of technical explanation will convince them that bandwidth has nothing to do with it (high quality voice needs very little bandwidth in fact). You start talking about dynamic routing and packet re-assembly and their eyes glaze over... "but I've got great bandwidth!" Their belief outweighs my facts (and the ISO 7-layer model) ... it's a sign o'the times.

Rant mode /OFF
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DougVox
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was a longtime ISDN user despite AT&T's ridiculous rates - and regular rate hikes - that had me paying $700+/month for at least the last three years. (It was up to $904/month when I finally pulled the RJ-45 earlier this year.)

Background: I hung on to it those last few years mostly for one major client with whom I had 1-2 sessions per week. When that client "went in another direction," I couldn't find any excuses to keep my ISDN that made good business sense.

Since then, I haven't had a single request for "ISDN Only," but I've had a lot of requests for Source-Connect, and have been very happy with it. If/when "ISDN Only" requests do come up, I know of 3 studios and one voice talent nearby whose lines I can use.

Anyone in the market for a Telos Zephyr? Or two? Laugh
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Philip Banks
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Joined: 20 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 12:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think my car cost about $50,000, it's outdated technology, I don't use it all the time and I prefer aeroplanes. One of my mics is over 40 years old and is considered awesome, it works fine. The great NEW thing for studio to studio sessions works fine but there are glitches because the fastest car in the world is only able to go as fast as the slowest car in front of it.

Shortly after the war - "Now you can use me because I have a broadcast quality ISDN studio!"

1 - No one, since the demise of the IBA (closed shop in 1991) in the UK, has ever been able to define "broadcast quality".

2 - Technology, availability and accessibility does not = Ability

3 - Most VO people post/say things based on profile, PR and social media value not on proper, measured, informed responses to a subject.

4 - No one has ever dated me because of my bandwidth.

5 - Offer me a job requiring (insert name here) and I'll get it. Source Connect is a good example.

6 - In the alphabet is the letter F.
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Lance Blair
M&M


Joined: 03 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had ipDTL for years but stopped using it this month.

My European clients all use SessionLink Pro exclusively, just like Matt. Works better than ipDTL and is great for working with video playback.

I've had a lot of glitchy sessions on ipDTL even on a Mac, and it really doesn't work for most people right on Windows. My European clients that had both ipDTL and SessionLink Pro dumped the ipDTL.

Source Connect has had a lot of momentum behind it from the studios, so as soon as I get a request for it I'll buy it. In the meantime, maybe I should just get the $35 a month standard Source Connect instead of the full $695 one-time payment. Just bought a house!

As for my corporate clients, they have no interest in using ipDTL. They are all setting up their own Go To Meeting or the new Skype for Business conference calls. The Skype for Business sounds better than Skype and the auto gating is excellent on it.
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MBVOXX
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Joined: 03 Jun 2008
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Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ISDN is no longer offered as a new hookup service here and for any current subscribers who are relocating, the service is terminated upon disconnection.
And for me, what use to be ISDN sessions has been SC for the past 4 years.
I know of only one local VO person who still keeps his ISDN service and last time we chatted about it he was paying over $500 per month. One of the studios I work with remotely via SC told me last year that they are paying $1500 per month to keep their AT&T ISDN lines.
Obviously the goal of the Telco's is to phase it out and be rid of it as they continue their pursuit of wireless service and abandon the wired technology and infrastructure of the past.
I recently heard a piece on All Things Considered about the enormous cost of maintaining the copper land lines that cover the USA like a spider web and how the Telcos are trying to move forward with new wireless technology that isn't dependent on the old copper lines. But, per the original agreement with the US Government way back when, that permitted the initial installation of the copper land lines, and mandated that phone service had to be available to everyone at the same cost, until they are able to provide a comparable, same cost service to everyone in the country the Govt will not let them abandon the lines and tear them down. There much more to it but that is the issue in a nutshell, per the NPR story.
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