Have I just re-invented the wheel?

John Ingham (johningh@tafe.sa.edu.au)
Mon, 16 Dec 1996 22:59:23 +1030


Hello seekers!

I have been using CU-SeeMe regularly for almost 2 years to contact friends
on the other side of the world via a 28,800 modem, and since May of this
year (when I upgraded my computer) I have been able to speak to them and
hear them speak to me.

We have noticed that the sound reception is almost invariably improved by
pausing the outgoing video when speaking. Fortunately for me, my Macintosh
CU-SeeMe automatically pauses my outgoing video whenever I speak. However
my friends' Windoze versions seem to rely on the user manually pausing the
video when-ever speaking. If they forget to do so, unless the circuit is
at its maximum, their voice becomes completely mangled. And it takes time
to interrupt them and ask them to repeat what they have just said with
their video paused.

But I have found a rather neat work-around! Whenever two CU-SeeMe
computers are connected, they continuously exchange statistical information
etc. Thus if I CLOSE my receive video window by "demoting" the distant
participant from a "Visible User" to a "Hidden User" in the *Participant
List*, the distant computer is automatically advised that it no longer
needs to send video and the entire connection bandwidth is available for
audio with the result that my received sound almost immediately becomes
clear. Even better, the process is under the immediate control of the one
who it most effects - the listener!

I don't recall having ever seen this tip in any FAQ so I'm posting it here
for all to benefit. So next time you're struggling to understand stuttery
CU-SeeMe speech, try closing the incoming Video Window NOT by clicking on
its close box but by using the Participant List to demote the other
participant to a Hidden User. This trick works just as well via a
reflector too.

John Ingham
Supervisor, Technical Operations, CALS (Centre for Applied Learning Systems)
Adelaide Institute of TAFE (Training and Further Education)
GPO Box 1872 Adelaide South Australia 5001
Ph: +61 8 8207 8550 Fax: +61 8 8207 8552
Email: johningh@tafe.sa.edu.au
Web Site: http://www.tafe.sa.edu.au/video-conf/
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