Re: Cuseeme, Freevue, Videophone and Hi Tech

James Crittenden (
Mon, 13 May 1996 09:45:12 -0700

At 04:20 PM 5/10/96 -0700, you wrote:
>At 07:14 AM 5/10/96 -0700, you wrote:
>>Hey Cuseeme Buddies:
>>I did some more experimenting with cuseeme software last night and came up
>>with some more clear observations. First I just want to say that it has
>>taken me 3-4 weeks just to tweek the software just right, as well as find
>>good sites for viewing and clear audio. I would start around 9:30pm to 1am
>>and from this experience I may have lost a girl friend through the whole
>>ordeal, (smile).
>>I worked on the two drivers that I have on my system and believe or not for
>>the first time with Cuseeme I was able to get audio and visual
>>simultanously. The audio is not what I expected and people will most likely
>>be disappointed but you can get it. The audio is like being in a tunnel and
>>you hear someone's echo trying to reach you from a distance. The bottom
>>line is that if you have web phone or iphone you will have better sound than
>>using the cornell's audio in cuseeme. To make sure it was not a fluke I
>>went to a number of sites to see what I could hear. I went to the Nasa TV,
>>Vdorm and Cuseeme in Brasil. All sites I heard it all to the fact that one
>>person was cursing out another for exposing themselves on the channel, (go
>>Freevue in all is the way to go due to the clear visual as well as audio and
>>the price package, (free)!! The problem with the freevue that I tend to
>>notice. If you just want to meet people and not get into major porno
>>graphic or self exposure it appears difficult.
>>The connectix videophone I think in the future will be the package of
>>choice. When they decide that the larger audience user have internet
>>accounts and want to utilize their cams that way they will tweek the package
>>for the tcp/ip user than the t1/isdn group. As notice, the message someone
>>stated that connectix is truly making software strictly for the isdn/t1
>>group. That is true, but they do have the upgrade once the software is
>>purchase to utilize tcip/ip connections. This enables audio and video to
>>work together. Once more people get the word out on the videophone I think
>>it will give whitepines version a run for their money.
>>I have no idea why we are so involved in this though because once we have
>>the cuseeme, videophone and iphone working to perfection the
>>lobbiest/government will take this away from us or charge us for the use.
>>That will really ruin all the fun.
>Hello James,
>I've been doing some experimenting with FreeVue too. There are two concepts
>there that I think are interesting in that product:
>It is apparent that the algorithm for transporting video is quite different
>than CU. It reminds me a little bit of interlaced GIFs when they are viewed
>on the web. If the person in the video frame moves a lot, then the picture
>becomes grainy but when the person's movements settle down, the video
>"catches up" and the video image becomes clearer. That's a rather
>interesting approach, and the net result is that the perceived frame rate
>doesn't slow down, rather the resolution of the picture changes from
>grainier to less-grainy.
>As you know, FreeVue allows you to have more than one direct, simultaneous
>connection without using reflectors. This is rather interesting for small
>teleconferences of 3 4, maybe even 5 people. If I remember how to do
>factorials properly (I hope my eighth grade teacher is listening! :) it
>looks something like this:
> 2 2 (no reflector needed) 2
> 3 3 3
> 4 4 6
> 5 5 10
>So, for "small" telegroups, the added network overhead is rather
>insignificant, but of course as the group grows, the third column increases
>exponentially. Reflector-oriented technology is really great for large(r)
>groups, and FreeVue's approach is interesting for small(er) groups. No
>advantage is gained for conferences of 2 or 3 persons, except that for
>teleconferences of 3 persons there is no need for the reflector.
>I'm in the process too of trying out VDOPhone, and I'll report on my
>impressions later. Nor do I have enough experience with the audio of either
>of these other two products to come to any conclusions. By the way, let's
>not confuse Videophone (by Connectix) and VDOPhone (at
>One thing that is pretty obvious, CU's got its work cut out to stay ahead of
>this pack. They're gonna have to be quick on their feet and continue to
>innovate at a fast pace. They can do it, if they don't lose focus on what it
>is they are trying to build.
>Dennis J. Streveler, Ph.D., | Internet:
>Systems Consultant | CIS: 71036,1645
> | CUSeeMe:
> "Future Technologies in Medicine" +------------------------------
> "International Software Development | 415 239-1441
> Methodologies" | 415 469-9476 fax
> "Human-Computer Interface Design +------------------------------
> for Casual Users" | 127 Lake Merced Hill
> | San Francisco CA 94132 USA
>My job? To send the appropriate electrons hurtling around the globe.
>Dear Dennis:

Man, that is the way I would like to give reports to the Cuseeme group. Not
only was it informative but inspiring to try and gather as much detail to
really tweek the product so that people can either stick with cuseeme or
pick another product that suites their needs.

I am glad that you mention and separated the VDOphone and the Videophone
from Connectix. Someone mentioned to me about why I never discuss VDOphone
in my conclusions. The simple fact is that I have three videoconferencing
software on my Cpu as well as Iphone and based on expectations neither are
what people or I expect. The only one that appears to meet my needs at this
time is the Freevue. Reason, which you have discovered is that it does not
lose the image if a person is moving at a significant rate. Further, yes,
you may lose the image but not the resolution. Last, it supports in most
cases audio up to full duplex. I have heard and spoken to people and did it
with more than one person at a time. I like Cuseeme for the events but it
falls short due to it not being to hold audio and visual at times together.

Vdophone, I would hope that someone does a piece on their expierences with
the software. I read about it in pc magazine in March and f/u after someone
stated the obvious in the newsgroup. One thing I would like to know is does
it really support color with the connectix hardware that is available now.
Also, does it have audio as well as visual and what requirements are needed
to tweek the application to perfection.

Thanks Dennis for taking the initiative.