Request for assistance

Lance Ladic (lurk@home.com)
Fri, 11 Sep 1998 00:06:21 -0700


Dear Listmembers,

I'm a newbie to the realm of videoconferencing and am in desparate need
of assistance. While my question is perhaps not directly related to
CU-SeeMe, I am hoping that someone within this group may be able to
provide me with some advice.

I would like to set up a videoconferencing system between 2 Pentium-2
class computers (running Win98) connected via TCP/IP over a cable modem
network. The average sustained throughput over this network is 40
Kbytes/sec.

I would like to find a solution for synchronized audio and video that
would be suitable for this type of connection. I'm wondering if it is
realistic to achieve 10-15 fps video (even at around 320x240, which I'm
hoping can be scaled to around 640x480 using a fast 2D video card) with
syncronized audio. Furthermore, full duplex audio/video communication
would be great, but I don't know if it is reasonable to expect this.
Color video transmission would be nice, but I am willing to sacrifice
that if grayscale can provide substantially better frame rates during
transmission.

I am looking for a total solution: video/audio capture, and software for
videoconferencing over TCP/IP (CU-SeeMe! + other suggestions). Cost is
a factor, but I am willing to pay if I know that the solution can do
what I want it to do.

Of the products I have seen, the Winnov Videum Conference Pro package
seems to offer a lot, but also seems very expensive. I like the
integrated audio/video capture features, but is there a cheaper solution
out there? I worry about audio/video synchronization when using stand
alone video capture devices (requiring audio to come in through one's
sound card). Furthermore, I don't know if the USB videocams offer
enough throughput for sustained 15 fps capture. But of course, my major
concern is transmission of synchronized video and audio over a cable
line using the TCP/IP protocol at 40 KB/sec.

This whole situation is extremely complex, and I don't want to shell out
my hard earned cash without some assurance that what I want to do is
even possible. Hearing personal experiences from others who have
already taken the plunge into the wonderful world of videoconferencing
would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance for any assistance.

--Lance.