MBONE: Multicasting Tomorrow's Internet

CU-SeeMe Reflector for Macs

There are no MBONE applications for the Macintosh yet. But this platform can still profit from the MBONE. If the MBONE events are to be watched on Macs, another piece of software, a CU-SeeMe reflector, is required.

A very popular audio/video application on the Mac, called CU-SeeMe, enables Mac users to watch certain MBONE events. The conditions for using it are numerous, but because this is the only kind of MBONE connectivity that Mac users can get, it is surely better than nothing. Mac MBONE tools are in the works, though.

The CU-SeeMe reflector does not get all the MBONE traffic. The reflector has to be configured to receive traffic from a certain MBONE event so that it allows CU-SeeMe users to connect to it and receive this MBONE traffic. The MBONE event must meet two conditions. First, the video sent to the MBONE must be encoded in CU-SeeMe format at the source, and second, the audio must be encoded in DVI format.

Next, you will need a CU-SeeMe client on the Mac. When the reflector is up and running, getting MBONE traffic is as simple as connecting to the CU-SeeMe reflector. The greatest inconvenience of this CU-SeeMe way of getting MBONE events is that events with the proper format of video and audio are very rare. Future versions of the reflector will try to implement real-time conversion of video and audio so that all the other MBONE events can be watched by CU-SeeMe users. Another inconvenience is that one reflector has to be set up for each event that you want to join simultaneously. If you want to watch only one event at a time, you have to reconfigure the reflector so that it "points" to the other event. Also note that unless you use multiple Macs, watching more than one event is not possible because only one copy of the CU-SeeMe software can run on a particular Mac.

See Appendix F for pointers on where to get the CU-SeeMe reflector software and the CU-SeeMe client software.

If you've got the hardware and the bandwidth, and if you've coerced your network administrator to set up an extra workstation as an mrouter, then you're ready to download some client software from the Internet and see for yourself what's on the MBONE.

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