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|BuyingTips - 900MHz Phone/Answering Machine|
The main function of an answering machine is to let people leave a message for you when you are not available. In a way the answering machine answers the phone for you. There are combination units that integrate an answering machine and a phone into a single component. These units help you save on space and you can use the single phone jack for it. All answering machines deal with two different messages:Outgoing Message (OGM) and Incoming Message (ICM)
The way an answering machine stores messages, determines both the cost andadditional features that your answering machine may have.
The following features of an answering maching will help you decide the right one for you:
Tape: The most common and least expensive method of storage is using a micro cassette. Some machines do use two tapes, one for each incoming and outgoing messages. Since the same tapes are played back and forth they don't last longer. Tapes also have limited storage space.
Digital: These answering machines use digital chips to record incoming andoutgoing messages. The player reads the exact message from the chip and plays it back immediately. Since there is no rewinding and fastforwarding involved the system does not wear out. Most digital systems have 10-20 minutes of storage capacity.
Digital Outgoing Message, Tape Incoming Message: Some models combine a digital chip for the outgoing messages with a tape for the incoming messages.
Caller ID: If you have subscribed for this service with the local phone company, the number of incoming calls can be seen right on answering machine handset.
Message Counter:Displays the actual number of unheard messages on the machine.
Battery Backup: Allows the answering machine to answer the phone even in case of power failure.
Auto Disconnect: When you pickup the phone the answering maching disconnects automatically.
Speakerphone: Allows you to talk and listen from the answering machine without having to pick up the phone.
Remote Playback: This allows you to control your answering machine from another phone's touch-tone dial after entering a PIN into the machine.
Personal Mailboxes:Two or more people can share the same answering machine,with each person's specific messages stored in separate mailboxes.
Room Monitor: You can dial in to your answering machine while away from home and listen in through the microphone.
Time & Date Stamp: This feature stamps the number of incoming calls at the beginning of the message. Some models also tells you what time and date a message was received before the message is played.
Toll Saver: Is Helpful to you when you call home long distance to check messages. If the phone rings 3 times you can hang up knowing there are no new messages and saving the toll call charges. If you have messages, the machine picks up in less than 3 rings.
Call Screening: Many machines come with call screeing, in addition to just recording messages, this also lets you listen to the message as its being left on the machine. This way you can pickup the phone after recognizing the caller.
Multiple OGM: Permits you to have different messages at different times. You can also have private messages with the access code given to specific people.
Ring select: You can set the ring count of your choice before the answering machine picks up.
Voice Menus: Uses the digital voice on the machine to help you select commands while playing back messages. Instead of memorising the correct key or number, the machine will tell you which options you can use, for instance "Press 1 to listen, press 2 to skip".
Then there are Two-line answering machines, which are not very common, but are suitable for businesses where calls are received on more than one line.
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tips - 900MHz Phone