Re: new to the list -- with questions

Jason Williams (streak@ccwf.cc.utexas.edu)
Sat, 30 Aug 1997 06:04:47 -0500 (CDT)


On Thu, 28 Aug 1997, John Ingham wrote:
> White Pine's CU-SeeMe is really not very expensive - less than $100 US, and
> does offer color - however as you have already purchased grey-scale
> QuickCams there is probably no point in going out and buying it - its
> improved performance is only for color video.

True...and both versions of Enhanced CU (2.0.0 and 3.1b3) that are out for
the Mac are still quite buggy. White Pine has put their advances into the
Windows versions (complete with cheesy interface and all) and now is
playing catch up with the Mac version. Since the Windows version is still
filled with bugs, I'd hate to think what the Mac version will be like if
it's modeled after the windows version. In short, a lot of people feel
the gain you get by color in 2.0.0 isn't worth the hassle of the bugs and
lack of support over the Cornell version which is free and pretty much bug
free.

> I'd recommend you get "PowWow" from Tribal - something like WWW.tribal.com
> - it is a free non-video conferencing client with MUCH better sound than
> CU-SeeMe. By running the two applications at the same time you'll be
> better off by far than using CU-SeeMe's audio,
> 1. because PowWow's audio is better anyway, and

That's debatable..I've never heard PowWow's audio specifically..but I have
heard about 3-4 other package's audio (Freevue, Internet Phone, etc).
I've always had the best audio quality from CU-SeeMe. Contrary to some
people's opinions, audio on CU DOES work over a modem and if done properly
with the right settings, is quite intelligable. I've talked for several
minutes at a time and people have heard me quite clearly. On a 1-1
connection, audio works wonderfully as long as you pause your video.

> 2. because in my experience with 2 datastreams running in parallel your
> total through-put will be better than trying to squeeze video + audio into
> 1 data stream. Rarely have I been bandwidth-limited by my own modem
> connection, it's usually somewhere else in the internet, so running 2 data
> streams gives you two bites of the cherry!

This doesn't make sense to me. Bandwidth is bandwidth. It's all the same
pipe whether you stream water thru it or sewage. Maybe I misunderstood
your analogy (you're comparing using video+audio from CU-SeeME with video
from CU-SeeMe and audio from PowWow). In this case, I'd have to say using
CU-SeeMe's audio would be better because CU knows when to start pausing
the video unless you pause manually. If you run another audio stream from
another program, CU-SeeMe can't regulate the rates as well since all it
sees is more packet loss. Enhanced CU-SeeMe is pretty good about pausing
the video so audio can come thru.

Don't forget the added memory requirement...now instead of one program
that has to be loaded to communicate, you need two. More system resources
being used.

> One thing though, at 28,800 bps you'll find that you'll usually have to
> freeze your camera when speaking because 28,000 bps is not enough to
> support picture and sound at the same time.

Too bad the final release of 3.1 for the Mac won't have the low bandwidth
audio codecs in them. I can usually send audio (voice only though..no
music or anything) at 8kbps and it's understandable, and I can still send
video at the same time. Why White Pine is doing away with that in the Mac
version I don't know.

--
streak@ccwf.cc.utexas.edu    * Jason Williams -- Austin, Tx.  |     |
streak@mail.utexas.edu       * University of Texas at Austin  | ___ |
streak@cs.utexas.edu         * BS Computer Science             \_|_/
*************** http://ccwf.cc.utexas.edu/~streak/ **************|