Cornell University CU-SeeMe Welcome Page

Brought to you by the CU-SeeMe Development Team of the
Advanced Technologies and Planning group of Cornell Information Technologies
under the generous funding from the National Science Foundation
Award Number: NCR-9318337

* LATEST WINDOWS RELEASE. Cornell releases CU-SeeMe version .92b2 for Windows 95 and NT, along with The Visual User's Guide.

* LATEST MAC RELEASE. Cornell releases CU-SeeMe version 0.87b3 for the Macintosh. This version contains two major new features, native support for Open Transport (if it is available on your Mac) and a completely redesigned Slide Window with lots of new features. There are also some bug fixes and some minor enhancements to the Chat Window.

* What is CU-SeeMe?
* How do I get CU-SeeMe software?
* What is a Reflector?
* Technical Information
* Subscribe to the CU-SeeMe-L discussion list.
- CU-SeeMe Licensing and Copyright information.
* Master Licensee White Pine Software offers a full-featured commercial version of CU-SeeMe.
- Speak German? Check this out!

CU-SeeMe -- What it is, and where it came from.

CU-SeeMe is a free videoconferencing program (under copyright of Cornell University and its collaborators) available to anyone with a Macintosh or Windows and a connection to the Internet. With CU-SeeMe, you can videoconference with another site located anywhere in the world. By using "reflector" software, multiple parties at different locations can participate in a CU-SeeMe conference, each from his or her own desktop computer.

So far as we know, CU-SeeMe was the first and may still be the only software available FREE for personal computers (Macintosh and Windows) that allows desktop videoconferencing with more than one other site. (CU-SeeMe supports multiple "windows" to other "parties" on your own computer screen.)

When development of CU-SeeMe began in 1992, the only real-time videoconferencing software for the Internet required expensive hardware which severely limited the number of potential senders and receivers. The philosophy of the Cornell project was to start immediately with available, affordable hardware and deploy it as rapidly as possible. The goal was to stimulate creative thinking and create a wide base of user experience. By opening Internet videoconferences to Macintosh users, the CU-SeeMe team hoped to accelerate the adoption and usefulness of desktop conferencing, including live video. Because CU-SeeMe uses simple but efficient video frame-differencing and compression algorithms, it opens networked videoconferencing capability to users of lower cost desktop computers, and enables broader participation in desktop video technology. During 1993 this grassroots development strategy was realized as interest in CU-SeeMe grew rapidly with training and user support from the New York State Educational Research Network (NYSERNet). NYSERNet spread the word among Internet users by providing one of the first "public" reflectors encouraging users to try the technology and test their connections.

Working with Dick Cogger in the summer or 1992, Tim Dorcey wrote the original version of CU-SeeMe. His overview of the project, CU-SeeMe Desktop Videoconferencing Software was published in CONNEXIONS, March 1995.

Current versions of CU-SeeMe for the Macintosh include audio, thanks to Charlie Kline (University of IIlinois at Urbana Champagne), who developed Maven. A Windows version that includes audio was released in August '95.

More recent versions of CU-SeeMe for the Macintosh allow for the exchange of text and slides, thanks to development work led by Steve Erde at the Cornell University Medical Center. Many additional features were added by Andy Wyatt of the Cornell Development Team.

Since the Cornell versions of the CU-SeeMe software are offered for free, but with no formal user support, these pages have been created to bring you the latest information about CU-SeeMe distribution and technical issues, as well as information about innovative uses and projects. Our strategy has been to get the most from our NSF research dollars by providing links to the webpages of generous and experienced CU-SeeMe users like Bill Woodland's CU-SeeMe Info Page and San Francisco consultant Michael Sattler's CU-SeeMe Home Page.

David Fetterman published this article: Videoconferencing On-Line: Enhancing Communication Over the Internet in EDUCATIONAL RESEARCHER, May 1996, discussing his experiences with CU-SeeMe. For some additional reading plucked from the popular press, you might check out this article posted at Urban Desires by journalist Steve Meloan.

Other links: The Global Schoolhouse Project. Read all about this terrific international K-12 education project! Back in 1993, this project introduced CU-SeeMe to the world. Or check out Joe Izen's nifty Phone Patch for CU-SeeMe.

DISCLAIMER: Although we have improved it with each new version in anticipation of a final summary release at the end of our project, the Cornell version of CU-SeeMe is not a mature production software. It is offered for free, but with no user support other than what you find on these pages and others linked to it. For a full-featured commercial product complete with user-support contact CU-SeeMe master licensee White Pine Software.

What do I need to use CU-SeeMe?

CU-SeeMe is intended to provide useful video conferencing to as many people as possible and at minimal cost. The software runs on Macintosh and PC Windows platforms using an IP network connection. With CU-SeeMe each participant can decide to be a sender, a receiver, or both. Receiving requires only a Mac or PC with a screen capable of displaying 16 grays and a connection to the Internet. Sending requires the same plus a camera and digitizer which can cost less than $100 to add to your system.

CU-SeeMe for the MACINTOSH:

Specifications to RECEIVE video:

Specifications to SEND video:

The only digitizer we've had a chance to test recently is IXMicro's excellent TurboTV card which is supported in the final Cornell release of the software.

CU-SeeMe for WINDOWS - Win16 version:

Basic Requirements:

To send and receive video you'll also need:

To send & receive audio you'll also need:

Click here for COMPAT.TXT and related files on CU-SeeMe for Win16.

How do I get CU-SeeMe?

Click here to automatically download the latest version of

OR you can use FTP to obtain CU-SeeMe:

Just follow these directions (and note that you'll find several versions of everything.
Higher numbers usually mean newer versions, but not always; it's best to look over the README files first):

  1. Server:
  2. UserID: anonymous
  3. Password:(none)
  4. Directory: /pub/CU-SeeMe


You need to connect to a Reflector if you want to conference with more than one other person/computer. Here's a short piece on Reflector etiquette. To connect to a working reflector, you'll need it's IP address. Check Bill Woodland's CU-SeeMe Info Page for some help finding active reflectors. If you plan to test and use CU-SeeMe extensively, you may wish to set up your own Reflector (on a UNIX machine). Follow the ftp instructions as described above in "How to Get CU-SeeMe." Reflector ReadMe

Technical Information

Look at Michael Sattler's pages for answers to your technical questions or Bill Woodland's excellent CU-SeeMe Info Page. Bill's page includes a very nice user's guide for the Windows version of CU-SeeMe and a wealth of other information including links to other experimenters. You might also check out the CU-SeeMe-L archives maintained by Tim Mulkey and Michael Sattler.

Subscribe to the CU-SeeMe-L listserv.

If you have a specific technical question, your best bet is to post it to the CU-SeeMe Discussion List. This list gets LOTS of mail; in order to avoid problems, be sure to read the directions carefully before you subscribe. The list currently has over 2,000 subscribers from around the world.

Licensing and Copyright stuff

The CU-SeeMe Development Team at Cornell University would like to thank the National Science Foundation and the million-or-so CU-SeeMe testers worldwide who have made this experiment a success.

CU on the desktop! May 1998