nv, version 3.3


Getting this working has a long history. I would recommend reading that first. Good starts for what's available with the quickcam:

Even after doing all the stuff listed on this page, it still isn't working with the color quickcam because nv needs to be patched to deal with how the color quickcam returns its data. You can get around this by running xcqcam and using the X11 Screen grabber to grab your xcqcam window (because the X11 Screen grabber does understand color). And, more disappointingly, even though other CU-SeeMe users can see you, you can't see them!


The standard source is available from the URL: ftp://ftp.parc.xerox.com/pub/net-research/nv-3.3beta/nvsrc.tar.Z. The patch to add quickcam and linux support is available from the URL: http://www.pcc.com/~jay/src/networking/nv/ORIGINALS/Patch.nv. You will also need the quickcam drivers, from the URL: ftp://ftp.cosy.sbg.ac.at/pub/people/dent/qcam/. Unfortunately, they don't allow PASV FTP, so you can not use your web browser to look here. An alternate location that does allow it is: ftp://ftp.cs.unm.edu/pub/chris/quickcam/qcam-0.9pre6.tgz.


Installation Instructions

These instructions have been tested for Linux only.

Package Documentation

First, take a look at the history.

Here is the README:

This is the source distribution of the 'nv' network video tool. The actual
sources can be found in the "src" subdirectory. The "cpv" directory contains
binary versions of the ViewPoint CPV decoder which cannot be distributed in
source form. The Makefile in the "src" directory will need to be customized
to point at the right places for include files and libraries, and to select
which grabbers to support.

In order to actually build 'nv', you will need Tcl 7.3 and Tk 3.6 installed on
the system. They can be picked up from the ftp site ftp.cs.berkeley.edu in the
directory /ucb/tcl. To be able to compile a version of nv which can send video,
you may need additional grabber specific libraries such as the VideoPix library
on the SPARCstation or VL library on the SGI Indy.

'nv' is still very much a work in progress, but hopefully you will find the
program adequate for basic unicast and multicast transmission of video across
the Internet. Comments and suggestions, as well as bug reports, are extremely
welcome! Please send any such comments via email to the author, Ron Frederick


This tries to distill what you need to know to get something akin to cuseeme working under Linux. Basically, you need to get `nv' working using the Connectix QuickCam. This is not as easy as it sounds.

First off you need to find a working quickcam library. There are scads of them out there. Here are some of the ones I found:

Secondly, you need to download the nv source code, patch it, and compile it. There are two master copies of the source code advertised on the web. ftp.parc.xerox.com has the most recent version, and munnari.oz.au has a slightly older version. You may furthermore find mention on the web about an endianness bug in the cuseeme encoding. Which version has it fixed? Read below. Here are the descriptions:

  1. The Xerox Source. This does not have quickcam support. This version has the endianness bug fixed. It requires Tcl 7.3 and Tk 3.6.
  2. The Munnari Source. This is an older version of the Xerox source. It is only important because the standard patch that adds quickcam support is made against this version, not the more recent Xerox version. It does not have quickcam support (but see the patch). This version has the endianness bug. It requires Tcl 7.3 and Tk 3.6.
  3. The Munnari Patch. This adds quickcam support and fixes the endianness bug for the Munnari Source.
  4. The unadvertised nv/vic patches. These are for the Xerox Source, and contain enough of the qcam library for you to run things. If I had found this right off, I would have been in much better shape.

Here are the problems:

  1. The quckcam support patch that is the most heavily advertised on the web, the Munnari Patch, is made against the older, Munnari, source. It fixes the endianness bug in the cuseeme encoding, but does not contain the other fixes that are in the most recent Xerox version.
  2. They require Tcl 7.3 and Tk 3.6, but the release I have is Tcl 7.6 and Tk 4.2. For more about Tcl/Tk, see the Tcl/Tk Project. It refers you to The Tk 4.0 Release for information about incompatibilities. For the porting guide, it refers you to the Tk 4.0 Overview and Porting Guide.
  3. The Munnari patch needs the qcam library compiled and installed.
  4. They only support the black and white quickcam.

By playing around (a lot), I came up with the solution I listed above.

Jay Schuster at The Physician's Computer Company.
Last modified at: Wed Apr 23 10:17:04 EDT 1997