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Overall quality issues

N/A

Overall quality issues

I'm finding Plustalk use hard to justify. All of my calls have been made to UK landlines and I reckon 80% of recipients have complained about the lack of quality. So much so that I've reverted to using my mobile phone to call - the quality is so much better.

I've tried using a variety of headsets, USB phones etc with no difference to the problem. Playing with microphone levels doesn't help either. I've even tried forcing bandwidth levels within the X-lite software. This seems to improve the incoming quality but outgoing still attracts criticism.

I've had the phone put down on me several times as the recipient can't understand what I'm saying, or thinks I'm calling from a foreign call centre!

Can anyone share this complaint? Or offer comment?

Ken.
4 REPLIES
smithg
Hooked
Posts: 9
Registered: 15-04-2007

Overall quality issues

Two factors which can affect voice quality are:

1) Codec.

2) Congestion.

Codec - check the codec settings in the advanced options and make sure you are using a G711 codec in preference to the others. Also check which one it is actually using during the call. The European telephone network uses G711a codec at 64kb/s so when using a G711 codec the quality should be as good as the normal telephone. Bandwidth usage will be higher than some of the other codecs but quality will be more akin to the normal telephone rather than the mobile network. Using the wrong codec will tend to affect both transmitted and received speech.

Congestion - don't forget that ADSL is asymmetric and you probably have 2Mb/s downstream but only 256kb/s upstream. I have used a BT Broadband Voice adaptor for sometime and when I was on a 512kb product (512kb/s down, 128kb/s up) recipients frequently complained of voice breakup. The phone was using about 64kb/s up and downstream, leaving only 64kb/s upstream for other things. If I browsed at the same time (or one of my sons on their machines) then we could easily use more than 64kb/s upstream which didn't leave enough for the voice packets to get out, they then got lost and the voice heard by the other party broke up. Because we had 512kb/s downstream the speech I received was rarely affected. The move to 2Mb/s with the doubling of upstream speed made things a lot better but it can still happen if something on your network tries to do too much at the same time. MaxDSL with 400kb/s upstream (assuming a BT home product) should help again and if you are on a LLU line or a business product it will help even more as they have even higher upload speeds but you still have to sensible about what you do at the same time as making a call.

Hope this helps
Graham
N/A

Overall quality issues

Thanks Graham - I'll check the codec issue. The congestion issue had occured to me, I have the 2mb product currently, due to be >8mb soon. I'm very careful not to have any other net activity going at the same time as making a call, so I can't fo anything to improve in this area.

I've left Xlite at the default codec - I assumed that would be okay.

Regards, Ken.
N/A

Overall quality issues

Checked the codec, then forced it to g117a as default. No real improvement, lots of echo on the line...

Poor.

Reckon this voip thing might get better as ISPs invest in better hardware infrastructure? Ho hum.

Regs, Ken.
smithg
Hooked
Posts: 9
Registered: 15-04-2007

Overall quality issues

Ah echo - I forgot to mention that. This is frequently caused by having your microphone and speaker levels incorrectly set - often having the microphone set too high can have this effect. Try retuning the levels and set them to the minimum you require.