Using CU-See-Me for Internet Videoconferencing
CU-SeeMe is a popular Internet videoconferencing tool
developed by Cornell University. CU-SeeMe is "shareware," and is available for
both Macintosh and IBM PC systems. This activity describes how to download,
install, and use CU-SeeMe for videoconferencing, and includes references to
other resources and information.
- Learn how to download CU-SeeMe.
- Learn about video cameras available
for desktop videoconferencing.
- Learn how to install and use CU-SeeMe.
- Learn about reflectors and how they are used in CU-SeeMe
- Learn where to get more information on CU-SeeMe and
Internet videoconferencing in the classroom.
Materials and Resources
In developing our lessons and activities, we made
some assumptions about the hardware and software that would be available in
the classroom for teachers who visit the LETSNet Website. We assume that
teachers using our Internet-based lessons or activities have a computer (PC or
Macintosh) with the necessary hardware components (mouse, keyboard, and
monitor) as well as software (operating system, TCP/IP software, networking
or dial-up software, e-mail and a World Wide Web client program, preferably
Netscape, but perhaps Mosaic or Lynx). In the section below, we specify any
"special" hardware or software requirements for a lesson or
activity (in addition to those described above) and the level of Internet access
required to do the activity.
- Special hardware requirements: none.
- Special software requirements: none.
- Internet access: Medium-speed (28,800 BPS via phone) or higher.
CU-SeeMe (pronounced "See You See Me") was developed at
Cornell University to support real-time videoconferencing over the Internet
for Macintosh and IBM PC computers. CU-SeeMe uses the MBONE (see Activity 1
for a description of this Internet standard) to broadcast and receive video
images. Because of a limitation in the Macintosh version of TCP/IP, a reflector
is needed to pass along video images to CU-SeeMe computers when more than
two people are participating in the videoconferencing session. More
information on operating CU-SeeMe and reflectors can be found at the Cornell
University FTP site, the White Pine Software Website, and other CU-SeeMe
Internet sites (see Internet Resources below).
CU-SeeMe: You can get the CU-SeeMe software from a variety of places on
the Internet, including the CU-SeeMe FTP site
[ftp://cu-seeme.cornell.edu/pub/cu-seeme/] and the White Pine Software
Website (see Internet Resources below). Visit one of these Internet sites and
download CU-SeeMe onto your computer. There is a version of CU-SeeMe for
both Macintosh and PC/Windows computers. You may also want to download
and read the "Readme" files associated with CU-SeeMe to learn more about
using the software.
- Purchasing a video camera: To use
CU-SeeMe, you will need a video camera connected to your computer. There are
a variety of digital video cameras available, ranging in price from $100 to
$1,000, including the QuickCam from Connectix, Toshiba IK-M28A Desktop CCD
Camera, Chinon VCC-620 Color Desktop Video Camera, Howard Enterprises
TeleCameras, Videolabs FlexCam, Phillips Video Camera Module, Sony PC-CAM,
Canon VIZCAM 1000, PictureTel FlipCam, and Canon VC-C1 mk II. (See Internet
- Installing CU-SeeMe: After downloading the
CU-SeeMe software, you will need to install and configure the program on your
computer. Start by running the CU-SeeMe installation program.
CU-SeeMe: CU-SeeMe has several windows open on the desktop: a local
video window, where you can see the video image coming in from your local
camera, other participant video windows, an audio control window, and a talk
or chat window. When you first start up CU-SeeMe, you must connect to
whomever you will be videoconferencing with, or to a reflector if you are
planning to videoconference with more than one person. Use the Connect option
off the Conference menu to make the video connection. You need the Internet
Protocol (IP) address of the computer of the person you are connecting with,
or the IP address of the reflector your group will be using.
- Reflectors: If you want to have a videoconference with more than
one person, you need to set up or use a reflector. A reflector is a dedicated
computer that broadcasts and receives video images from more than one
CU-SeeMe session. Usually, reflector software will run on a Unix computer,
but there are versions now available for Windows/NT and Windows/95 (see
Internet Resources below). You can set up your own reflector, if you have a
computer available, by downloading the reflector software from the Cornell
University FTP site, the White Pine Software Website, or other Internet sites.
Once you have a reflector set up, or you have found one someone else has setup
that you can use, everyone in the videoconference must connect to that IP
- Using CU-SeeMe in the classroom: There is also a
variety of useful Websites that describe how you can use CU-SeeMe in the
classroom for educational purposes. (See Internet Resources below.) Visit
these Websites to get ideas for how you might use videoconferencing in the
- Alternatives to CU-SeeMe: There are obviously
other videoconferencing products available for use over the Internet, including
Apple QuickTime Conferencing, CineVideo/Direct Plugin for Netscape, the Intel
ProShare Video System, and Vivo TeleWork-5 from Vivo Software (see
Internet Resources below).
- Cornell University
CU-SeeMe FTP Site
The official CU-SeeMe File Transfer Protocol (FTP) site where all the
CU-SeeMe software and documentation resides.
Audio and Videoconferencing
dedicated to Internet videoconferencing with CU-See-Me.
- CU-SeeMe Cookbook
A cookbook for using
CM-SeeMe, including a list of reflectors and resources.
CU-See-Me, including descriptions of terminology, products, etc.
Projects and Reflector Addresses
descriptions of people using CU-SeeMe, with links to reflectors available for
resource for teachers who want to use CU-SeeMe in their classroom.
- Elements of an
Effective CU-SeeMe Video Conference
suggestions for operating a CU-See-Me videoconference in the classroom.
- White Pine Software Website
An extended, commercial version of CU-SeeMe is
available at this Website.
- Connectix Corporation
Connectix sells the QuickCam, an inexpensive
video camera for Macintosh and PC's.
- Desktop Video Cameras
A list of available desktop video
cameras with links to descriptions and prices.
Videoconferencing Product Survey
A survey of available
videoconferencing products with features compared.
- Apple QuickTime
Another Internet videoconferencing product from Apple.
A plug-in for Netscape
Navigator that supports video transmission over the Internet.
- Desktop Videoconferencing
Another list of
in the Classroom
complete look at videoconferencing for educational purposes.
in the Classroom and Library
a useful set of documents on videoconferencing, with an introduction, example
classroom applications, equipment requirements, planning suggestions, and
Internet Teleconferencing Module
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