When we see an outgoing communicator call being made in Star Trek, the caller taps his commbadge and sais, e.g. "Picard to Riker." The answer is usually instantaneous.

When we see an incoming communicator call, the commbadge beeps and we hear the hailing message, i.e. "Picard to Riker." The called (Riker in this example) then answers.

My question:

Up until the last word of the hail is spoken, the commbadge does not know whom to call. Even if it temporarily stores the hailing message, relaying it as soon as the recipient is identified, shouldn't there be a pause on the caller's side of at least the length of the hailing message before the recipient even could answer?

(I fully understand why you wouldn't want to bore the audience with this, but is there any in-universe explanation I missed?)

  • @Liath: Definitely a duplicate. I tried searching first, but didn't hit that one. – DevSolar May 2 '14 at 9:40
  • I only know because I asked the same question a few days ago myself! – Liath May 2 '14 at 9:41
  • @Liath: Not that any of the answers there satisfies. I'll just continue to go along with, "it's more dramatic to watch that way" – DevSolar May 2 '14 at 9:54
  • They do have hold music while you're waiting but putting that part in the TV episode would waste time and detractor from the story. You don't have any idea how many times Riker tried to reach Picard and got the "Please hold...[elevator music]" message. Picard doesn't even turn the voicemail on on his badge. The brother needs a secretary. – Hack-R Nov 13 '16 at 2:48

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