Ya live long enough, and you start to see evidence of the (mostly) subtle and unrelenting march of change. Within science and technology that march is double-time. And yet, some once-revolutionary/now-aged technologies are hard to upend.
Why do we still have FAXes? Printed books? Gasoline engines?
Hard-wired telephone service goes on that list….even thought it’s increasingly delivered across optic fiber…not copper. And by extension, ISDN is a part of that legacy paradigm. Part of the reason that entrenched technologies endure — like ISDN — is their rock-solid reliability.
But even the most reliable systems are falling to the disruptive nature of the internet. Photography. Publishing. Broadcasting.
And so it is that we come to the question of studio-quality distance/remote recording of audio. ISDN ruled the roost for decades. ‘Still does in some circles and locations. But Integrated Digital Services Network science now sits at the crowded intersection of marketplace forces and the digital revolution.
Internet Protocol (IP) alternatives to the established ISDN pathways are rushing in. Oft-times they are ingenious, intuitive, higher-quality and less-expensive options. As long as the internet is up and humming, we’re good, right? And there’s room for both in the marketplace… so why the us vs. them context?
Because us vs. them now means the haves and have nots. “Haves” are East/West Coast studios and talent still enjoying relatively inexpensive and available ISDN. The “Have Nots” are everyone in-between for whom ISDN is either prohibitively expensive or unavailable. The situation works against the level-playing-field of opportunities that the internet brings with its disruption. Not only are talent unable to answer the call to audition for the best-paying jobs, but casting agents and production houses have a much smaller pool to choose from.
The above is a simplistic outline of the current state-of-affairs in the Voice-Over marketplace. Like many talent, I straddle the line by offering ISDN and IP technologies from my studio – IP on the road; a needless duplication and expense. Studios don’t want to fix what ain’t broke, and change is disconcerting on many levels.
Talking about it may not fix the problem, but it can move along the solution, and even spread some information that’s useful to the voice talent community.
That’s why we’re choosing the ISDN v. IP debate as our topic for this week’s #WoVOChat. Our guests are unimpeachable experts in this area. George Whittam is among the top audio technology experts in this realm, and Joe Cipriano walks the daily challenge with the networks in the inevitable changeover (has even prompted that change at times).
As always we welcome any one, and any point of view to join in. The outline of questions we’ll be answering is listed below. WoVO pro member, and content-marketing expert Pamela Muldoon will moderate the hour-long session this coming Wednesday, 3-11-15 at noon Pacific time. I’ll be sitting in as host and facilitator, and can’t wait to see the stream-of-consciousness on this topic.
Put in on your calendar, OK?
3-11-15 WoVOChat topical questions:
1) How long will ISDN remain as a cost-effective choice for voice-actors? Regionally?
2) What are the ISDN advantages in today’s world of digital remote recording choices?
3) What are the advantages of IP alternatives compared to the copper wires of ISDN?
4) What are the top marketplace IP alternatives to ISDN?
5) What are the disadvantages of IP Alternatives compared to ISDN?
6) What will convince clients/production houses to switch to ISDN eventually?
7) What is the future of connectivity?
8) Why does WoVO care about this issue?
9) Should a quality video signal be a standard feature on IP solutions?
10) ISDN’s death has been long heralded. It’s still here. Any predictions when the TelCo’s will drop it?