Skip to comments.Seeking a PSTN (NOT VOIP) telephony solution for the PC (vanity)
Posted on 10/18/2010 9:06:14 AM PDT by Blueflag
Techies - I seek a software solution that will do this: Enable my Windows PC to be a telephone/ speakerphone plugged in to the PSTN via an UTP/RJ-11 jack out the modem, NOT a VOIP ( a la Skype ) phone emulator connected to the Internet via RJ-45/TCP/IP.
I recognize this involves a modem. This stuff used to be bundled freeware with PCs and has fallen out of fashion.
What's out there now?
(1) my mom is *REALLY* hard of hearing, and cannot hear/converse via conventional consumer phones.
(2) my mom cannot READ the small caller ID displays built-in with phones or sold separately as display units.
I want to set up a PC with a 21 - 24" monitor and amplified speakers with mic, connected to the PSTN, so that:
(a) when the phone rings, the caller ID is displayed in BIG LETTERS and NUMBERS on the monitor
(b) the ring tone and the spoken caller ID are heard loudly through the speakers
(b.1) quality headphones with a mic ( i.e., gamer's headset) *MAY* be the way to go to actually talk AFTER she sees/hears who is calling.
(c) the PC acts as the answering machine (optional but nice)
(d) the PC can also be connected to the internet, but not required as part of the telephony solution. The telephony solution *MUST* by a PSTN one, NOT a VOIP one.
I am happy to buy a new internal or external modem. I have the PC and the monitor and speakers and headset.
Many thanks to the FReeper tech community.
Last time I bought a modem it came bundled with software enabling it to act either as a FAX machine or as a telephone in the manner you describe. The two functions were not mutually exclusive.
Same here. But the last time I willfully bought a modem was in, um ... 2002 maybe???
I last bought a modem in about 2006.
Ancient history, of course, by computer standards ...
Still worth investigating, IMO.
Before you do this, talk to your mom’s local phone company and see if they have any programs to assist the hearing impaired.
Plus your modem has to be Caller ID compatible.
Cheyenne Bitware....its still out there...
> (a) when the phone rings, the caller ID is displayed in BIG LETTERS and NUMBERS on the monitor
I bought a caller ID device about 4 years ago at Walmart. It has a 7 inch LCD screen and displays the Caller ID, phone number and time of Day. The screen letters are about 1-1/2” tall and can easily be seen from across a room. I think I paid about $49 for it. I only switched to VOIP about 2 years ago, so it used to be on a POTS (PSTN) system.
I love it, because it is very easy to read.
get her a cell phone that has a big display and can do
voice announce. Also would be good with headset that amplifies. Why portable? What if she falls and can’t get up
RE: Caller ID. My cable TV service (Time Warner) sells a cheap phone service (which is really good). Because I subscribe to their HD/Digital cable service PLUS their phone service, my caller ID pops up on the TV screen. Easy to read, IMHO.
I do not know about phones for the hearing impaired — if they are compatible with the Time Warner phone service. I don’t know why they wouldn’t be. If you have TW in your area, it would be worth a call to see if something could be worked out.
Aren’t you making this a little too complicated? There are senior phones with good decibel increases and large caller ID. Perhaps one will work for her?
Cheyenne Bitware ... Name sounds familiar. That’s probably what I was using.
Perhaps, and as you suggest Plantronics makes some really nice base station/ handset 50 dB amp’d, large display units. The hand sets are ~$100, and the base station is about $150. Not too bad, and probably worth the money, certainly if they make Mom happy. I may indeed buy them for her. Also, this is perhaps a temporary situation, as my dad is coming home tomorrow after hip replacement rehab. He sees and hears just fine, but won’t be fully mobile again til probably December. So if I could slip in a ‘cheap’ solution for a bit, so much the better. AT&T is our PSTN provider, and they have a really nice selection of devices. Finding that was a pleasant surprise.
The PC solution is IN ADDITION TO conventional ideas.
Since my mom is also not terribly mobile (bad knee) the idea is that she can see and hear across the room, and make a decision to get up or not, without having to keep track of a handset(s).
This is about options and innovations.
It’s all good.
Looks good so far. Downloaded on to the extra machine. Testing now. Will advise.
Thanks. These modems support the software, but it’s the software I seek.
This software DOES fit the bill with one exception that may be overcome-able ... the developers assumed that everyone would like the smallest, most unobtrusive windows and pop-ups on their desktop. That’s appropriate for a call center or work-at-home call rep, but not exactly what my mom needs.
It *IS* cool software though.
Checking it out. THNKS.
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