The Way We Were
Because I’m almost as big a geek as George Whittam (only a lot less learned), I’ve been following the demise of ISDN for years, now.
Naturally, replacement technology started taking up the slack of the market that would inevitably leave service gaps for talent as well as production houses. One of the earliest to step into that space was Kevin Leach and In:Quality, whose product ipDTL, is a Chrome browser-based Internet remote send/receive online software utility that is really better than ISDN. ipDTL actually has a bright future, where the old paired copper wire is disappearing precipitously.
The Way of the Future
What I love about ipDTL is the incessant improvements the Kevin & his team keep implementing. There are the obvious things, like the new logo and corporate image above, and a fresh & clean design to the interface. Leach also has a continuing, proven, hands-on, responsive record of customer service.
Leach and others in this market have made it their priority to offer ISDN-or-better quality in remote IP connections. But that has led to a keen determination to make the connection seem — in every way — like a true ISDN connection. In some respects it actually IS an ISDN connection, and in other respects is simulates ISDN so seamlessly that even the party on the other end has no clue they are NOT connected via ISDN.
Visiting the ipDTL home page will at first let you launch into a dirt-simple quick tour of all the gee-gaws you see in front of you…not intimidating, and everything extremely handy and nonsensical once you give it a go.
Kevin has been exchanging some emails with me of late, and encouraged me to pass along the following info meant to update you on the service, in case you have not had the chance to look around lately.
1) You now have the ability to add a local phone number to your account for incoming phone patch calls. $80 per number, per year.
2) You’ll now see the addition of hybrIP (hybrid + IP) variant of ipDTL. This allows you to manage phone calls for a radio or podcast talk show. A producer can log in on their computer with an additional Login ID to answer the calls and forward to the host while adding info about the caller. You can log in to hybrip.com with existing ipDTL credentials. It’s essentially the same product with a different layout.
3) There is a new sign-up wizard which gives you a simple quote in seconds, and a new billing interface where you can manage AutoPay and account features. Following customer feedback, we now also send out a reminder before taking a renewal payment.
4) You can also tease a new service, which will make it easier to connect between ipDTL and other devices/apps using the SIP protocol. We see this as being a true replacement for ISDN, as it uses open non-proprietary standards (unlike Source Connect for instance). More info in that before (and at) NAB.
Kevin told me: “The idea of this latest update, is that existing users shouldn’t really notice too much change, while new customers have a smoother journey coming on board. A lot of the stuff you see here is just the culmination of recent work to rationalize and tidy-up our back-office systems. We also needed to work on our corporate image ahead of NAB Show in April, from where we’ll be properly launching hybrIP and our SIP offering”.
[Leach will have an ipDTL booth at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas in April of this year. I’ll be joining Kevin and a team of other audio professionals to explain the service. I offer that as a disclaimer of any conflict-of-interest you may see in my offering the above update. My history of blogging/chronicling ipDTL and other ISDN-replacement technologies, I think, shows my efficacy in being a balanced source of information in this realm.]