NASA TV at 14.4k via CompuServe

Phil Steer (100550.463@compuserve.com)
04 Jul 95 09:05:21 EDT


I'm new to CU-SeeMe, and relatively new to the Internet, so please forgive me if
this message isn't the sort of thing you want to hear.

I came across CU-SeeMe whilst looking at the NASA Shuttle Web page
(http://shuttle.nasa.gov). I live in the UK and don't have a satellite dish,
and therefore don't have access NASA TV. Hence, I was very interested when I
saw that I could use CU-SeeMe to view NASA TV across the Internet, and so I
downloaded CU-SeeMe for Windows version 0.65b1.

My only access to the Internet is over a dial-up line via CompuServe, so I knew
that the throughput would be very poor. However, I didn't see this as a
problem, as to have (almost) live pictures of a shuttle mission, even at a rate
of one frame every few seconds (or minute, or whatever), would be very exciting.
Also, my system doesn't have a video capture card installed, but I hoped that
this would not stop me receiving video images.

When CU-SeeMe starts on my system it displays the message "Capture driver not
installed properly", followed by two "Invalid handle" messages. This didn't
look promising. However, I succeeded in connecting to a couple Reflector sites
that were "showing" NASA TV, but was then not able to see any pictures.
CU-SeeMe would display a window for each of the available Senders, but then
kept displaying the message "Unable to find a free Video Context entry. Fatal
Error." I thought that perhaps I was doing something wrong, or that my setup
could not be used with CU-SeeMe.

Then this morning I connected to 129.186.112.242, and viewed NASA TV at between
0 and 1 fps (up to 10kbps, with an average a little under half that). This may
be slow (although, its actually better than I'd expected), but I think that it's
amazing that I can sit in my room here in the UK and watch (almost) live
pictures of the shuttle mission over the Internet.

So, many thanks for making CU-SeeMe available. I strongly suspect that I'm not
really the sort of user that you had in mind when you created the software, but
I thought that you might be interested to know that even people like myself -
with a dial-up line and no capture card - can derive pleasure from it.

Phil.