HD Voice: A Little Gem in TeamViewer 10

November 13, 2014
Archived, Productivity

Sometimes, some great work by people such as software engineers can end up with barely a mention in the marketing materials or on the marketing department’s cutting room floor altogether. This can happen for any number of reasons, but when it does, such work usually takes the form of features and enhancements that exist as little gems for people to discover. On TeamViewer’s product page for TeamViewer 10, one of the features listed is performance optimizations, and within that description it very simply mentions “HD voice transmission quality.” In that little phrase there are hidden a lot of great ideas, hard work, and some pretty amazing results. Let’s take a closer look at this little gem.

VoIP: Can You Hear Me Now?

Over the years, the Voice over Internet Protocol (most often pronounced as a single word, voyp) has undergone a lot of advancement. Its roots go all the way back to network voice protocols developed as part of ARPANET in the early 1970s. The first public domain VoIP application didn’t actually appear until 1991, and it wasn’t until around 2004 before commercial VoIP service providers began offering widely available telephony services that use broadband Internet instead of traditional public switched telephone networks for voice communications.

From its inception, VoIP has been considered a very attractive alternative with tremendous potential. So much so in fact that by 1996, U.S. telecommunications companies had petitioned the United States Congress to ban Internet phone technology. Fortunately, that didn’t quite work out for them.

The Advantages of VoIP

The potential cost savings over traditional phone services are substantial, and even the smallest companies can routinely communicate with partners and clients around the world in a way that was previously only affordable and practical for large corporations. VoIP also offers tremendous flexibility in terms of communicating using a variety of different devices across various networks. Someone on his desktop PC at home can have a conference call with colleagues around the world using any number of different computers and mobile devices with a multitude of different hardware configurations and operating systems. All they need is compatible software and an Internet connection. However, one of the bigger challenges has been to improve overall voice quality, and TeamViewer 10 provides exactly that.

High Definition Voice Offers Noticeable Improvements

In TeamViewer 10, audio quality has been noticeably improved by increasing bitrate and reducing latency. In addition, a highly versatile codec ensures unmatched results for interactive speech over the Internet. The results are that a person’s voice sounds more natural and closer. No configuration is necessary. Automatic adjustments to options such the noise gate ensure that optimum settings are in place for the best possible conversation with reduced background noise.

With HD voice, conversations are more fluid as well. The focus automatically shifts to the content of the discussion as opposed to merely trying to communicate. A good comparison would be watching a movie on a VHS tape compared to a film on Blu-ray. When VHS first came out, it was pretty good; however by comparison, the poor picture quality of VHS is now just a distraction.

Other Factors That Influence Quality

HD voice doesn’t mean that audio quality is guaranteed to always be perfect though. It requires certain prerequisites in terms of bandwidth and the overall quality of participants’ Internet connections. The quality of the hardware used by discussion participants is also an important factor, and investing in higher quality microphones and headsets can make a substantial difference. All things being equal though, HD voice will still provide better overall audio quality then standard VoIP with the same Internet connection and hardware configuration.

To test TeamViewer’s high-definition voice quality for yourself, just go to teamviewer.com und download TeamViewer 10. Finding someone with whom to talk is easy too because the full version of the software is freely available for download.

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