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Possible to redirect outgoing calls from one computer to VoIP application residing on another computer?

Posted on 2004-10-15
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Last Modified: 2010-04-12
Here's my situation.  I don't have a land line.  I'm actually trying to dial from my Tivo through my computer using my computer's broadband connection.   So in other words is there a way to configure my computer's modem to accept a call initiated by the Tivo and then transmit that call over the broadband connection?
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Question by:swampass2
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by:scampgb
ID: 12322458
Hi swampass2,

Sorry, I'm not familiar with Tivos - can you explain a little more about your application?

It's certainly possible to send voice data over the Internet, with the right kit.  However I suspect that you want to do a modem call over VoIP here?

Due to the way that VoIP codecs work that's really not likely to work at all I'm afraid.

If you could explain a little more about your setup I'll try to think of something :-)
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by:swampass2
ID: 12325065
Thanks for working with me here.  Here's the setup:

The Tivo - A Tivo is a hard-disk based television recorder.  It has a modem that it uses to dial out to a central server that updates the Tivo's program guide, clock time, firmware, etc.

My laptop - With built-in modem and a wireless connection to a router attached to cable modem.

I don't have a land line, so the Tivo has no way of dialing into the central server to get updates.   My question is this.  If I have a VoIP application of some kind on the laptop, can I use the laptop as a gateway for the Tivo to connect to the internet?  In other words, is there a way to make the modem jack on my laptop function for the purposes of the Tivo as a wall jack would?
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by:scampgb
scampgb earned 125 total points
ID: 12326725
swampass2:
The short answer is "No".

The long answer is this:
The modem in your Tivo (any modem for that matter) needs to be plugged into a telco phone line (or equivalent).  This is called an FXS interface.
You're suggesting plugging the two modems into each other.  That won't work, in much the same way that plugging two telephones into each other won't allow you to call from one to the other.

The other part of your challenge is to send your modem signals over VoIP.  This won't work due to the way the codecs (encoding systems) compress the data.  They're designed for voice, but modem signals work differently so the signals won't actually get through.

You'd also need a VoIP<>PSTN gateway service - that isn't a problem, but the other two issues are what's going to stop this working.

I suggest that you speak to the people who provide the Tivo and ask them what they suggest.  They'll probably say "get a land-line".
Alternatively, could you take the box to a friend's house / work and get it to update from there?


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Joel_Sisko earned 125 total points
ID: 12331545
Dear swampass2,

First and foremost, the modem on your TiVo and your computer are what we call FXS ports. This means that they require voltage input from a source (typically -48DC talk battery, supplied by local central office). The voltage is needed to generate the signals that a modem creates to communicate with the central server. You could supply this voltage using a a simple transformer from Radio Shack and by wiring the transformer in series between the TiVO and computer modem, but you run into a problem that will stop you just about dead in your tracks. In order for the computer modem to reconize a call is being sent from the TiVO, it must produce a ring voltage signal, typically 90VAC, this is the standard that the CO uses and the actual term used for the equipment port that can do this is a FXO port (not the FXS port the TiVO has). The difference between FXO and FXS is actual physical hardware.

I would recommed that you look into www.iconnecthere.com, you can purchase a Phonebridge Cordless Phone Adapter ($10), that will allow you to connect the TiVo to your computer and dial out over thier service. The base plan is 400 minutes in North America for about $8 per month. So you could use thier softphone and make calls to friends and family in addition to enablng your TiVO.
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by:scampgb
ID: 12542034
Venabili:
I think I answered this question, albeit the answer was "No" :-)
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by:Joel_Sisko
ID: 12549770
Actually the answer is "Yes", you are correct about the compression of the codecs, but G.711 is uncompressed. Fax/modem signals are still passed in-band, so as long as the codec is not compressing the signal, what is sent is what is recieved. Now the client might need to adjust the modem to a lower baud rate to ensure a higher dergeee of relaibilty in transmission.

Today Vonage allows the use of fax/modem using a 2 port linksys phone adapter.

Kindest regards
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