Blog Contents

Digifon Logo link to main page

48. Ditch ISDN For Free IP Codecs! - Good Idea?   12/5/13  by Dave Immer

There are some new free software IP codecs getting attention these days.  One such codec is OPUS being made available through  Another is something called Fideliphone . (Not sure what coding technology is being used for this - the website/manual doesn’t say.)

Admittedly, there is a lot to like about free. Why not get it?

Bear in mind that neither is compatible with other IP codecs such as Musicam Suprima, Telos Z/IP, Tieline and all the other standards-based systems. Nor can they connect with the popular Source-Connect, a proprietary IP codec itself. Still, if the software provides a high-quality, low-delay experience, my recommendation is to get it, if, for nothing else than being ready to use it in unexpected situations.

But old ways die hard: There are thousands of ISDN studios who are perfectly happy with their lines and cross-brand compatible codecs. And don’t forget the thousands of Source-Connect users who enjoy (mostly) trouble-free connections with each other. There will be resistance among these users, who are familiar with their current system, to accommodate someone using a free non-compatible codec unless the free codec provides a substantial improvement in waveform resolution, latency and convenience.

My advice to those of you who are fed up with ISDN’s costs and headaches is, go with Source-Connect or a standards-based hardware IP codec like Suprima. Then, plan on bridging those sessions where the far-end only has ISDN.