ShoreTel announces HD “audio conferencing”–but how many HD voice codecs do they support?

Las Vegas – ShoreTel (www.shoretel.com) has announced that the latest release of its phone, er UC software now supports HD audio conferencing.  The bigger question is how many HD voice codecs the software/hardware IP PBX system actually supports.

A conversation on the Interop show floor with a sales engineer lead to a setup screen that listed “high definition” codecs, with G.722, “DVI4,” “L16,” “BV32,” and “AAC” – the last taking a whopping 256 Kbps. Since ShoreTel phone hardware is engineered to work with “7 octaves of sound” – as anyone who works for the company will tell you after 2-4 questions – this would imply that one could actually make AAC phone calls if the system is configured for it.

“BV32” presumably refers to the open-source Broadvoice 32 wideband codec rolled out by Broadcom a couple of years ago. Further investigation through a ShoreTel online manual indicated “DVI4” referred to the ADPCM codec while searching for a definition of L16 only brought up “Linear.”

AAC is the most interesting codec listed.  Designed as a successor to MP3, AAC samples in a range from 8 to 96 kHz and better handles audio frequencies above 16 kHz.  It’s currently used in the Apple iFamily (iTunes, iPod, iPhone, iPad). .

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