By Stephanie Ciccarelli
October 28, 2010
In the opinion of many, a technology called Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) is living on borrowed time.
Although ISDN is still the preference of many producers and studios, the writing is on the wall and it's only a matter of time before everyone is forced to look at alternative methods to replace it.
What do you think?
Join in the conversation here on VOX Daily and have your say!
Is ISDN Still Relevant?
This is the topic that doesn't seem to want to die! I'm sure that there will be a great number of opinions, feelings and responses to this post and I'm eager to see where we as a community are going with this discussion.
An ISDN line is considerably pricey. With installation and maintenance services for ISDN being discontinued by many telecom service providers, the shift to other digital technologies such as Source-Connect is inevitable.
In a new Facebook group called Voiceover Central, a discussion is going on about this very topic. I added my two cents and was also inspired to continue the conversation via VOX Daily with all of you.
Well, How 'Bout It?
ISDN is still king in terms of certain kinds of voice over recordings for a particular segment of clientele. The technology has served as a bridge from one studio to another, sometimes connecting three locations at once.
Where does ISDN still reign supreme? Generally in areas such as promo, commercials, and movie trailers. Much of the upper echelon of voice over work still requires access to ISDN.
ISDN can also be a preference due to geography.
Dutch voice over talent Paul Strikwerda, based in the United States of America, shared, "...ISDN is alive and well. In fact, last week I did an ISDN session with studios in Germany and Italy. And ISDN was their preference."
That being the case, ISDN users shouldn't get too comfy with the notion that it will be around as long as producers still want to use it. For instance, what happens if ISDN is no longer provided or supported?
An Endangered Technology
George Washington III remarked, "ISDN will still be around because studios and radio stations still need it. But, the expertise on installing and repairing it is going away. I believe it will not go away because people don't want it: it will go away when the large telcos decide it is not worth the effort to continue it."
After reading through all of the comments, I second what George said. The technology will either no longer be available or ISDN will become so rare that the industry will need to adopt alternative options such as Source Connect. This adoption will not just be an another option but the primary means of running sessions that were formerly completed via ISDN.
Just try in today's world to get an ISDN line hooked up at a home recording studio in the middle of nowhere. Not only is it difficult and expensive to acquire, it also may not be offered to you as an option, period. Just ask Frank James Bailey. He's facing this reality right now which triggered the entire discussion via Voiceover Central.
To part, I have some words of wisdom from Dan Hurst, who writes, "I would caution Voice Talents to not try to outguess the technology. Obviously, we're not the ones that are going to decide where and when the technology shifts. I get amused at us talking like we're trying to decide which technology we're all going to start using and when."
What Do You Think?
Given the evidence on the table, what are your thoughts? We'd love to hear from you.
Â©iStockphoto.com/Krzysztof KwiatkowskiRelated Topics: audio, digital, German, industry, ISDN, radio, reading, recording, software, Source Connect, United States, voiceovers