Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • September 29, 2016, 11:55:13 PM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Author Topic: Skype and Webcam: HD or not?  (Read 2563 times)

brahman

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 171
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Skype and Webcam: HD or not?
« on: April 18, 2014, 11:56:55 AM »
Hi,

I am shopping for a new webcam to be used mainly with Skype, possibly also Google Talk or Ovoo.

My research narrowed it down to Logitech's C170 (640 x 480) or C270 (1280x720) models.

Since I am often in locations where bandwidth is limited or videochat with friends that are in countries where bandwidth and connectivity is soso, the question arises:

Will the C270 or the Skype software automatically lower resolution when the bandwidth is not enough, or would it be better in those cases to buy the C170 which already has a lower resolution and therefore needs less bandwidth to begin with?

Another argument for these two Logitech's is that I want to do away with my ugly headset and supposedly the sound quality of the built in mics is supposed to be rather good.

Thirdly, I can imagine using them in the future with an Android tablet or TV stick, and again I have heard that these cameras seem to be most compatible with Android, if one is bold enough to make a claim of compatibility with Android for webcams.  8)

I would love to hear the opinions of our members.
Regards, Brahman

Carol Haynes

  • Waffles for England (patent pending)
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,985
    • View Profile
    • Dales Computer Services
    • Donate to Member
Re: Skype and Webcam: HD or not?
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2014, 12:47:21 PM »
Just bought one of these - seems very good (picture and sound). I like it. Infinitely better than the laptop built in camera.

http://www.amazon.co...p/product/B009NOX1MS

Personally I think the biggest issue is Skype itself!

Anyone know a genuine duplex service? Hate having to wait until someone has stopped talking to be able to comment (with some people I know they barely draw breath!!!)

brahman

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 171
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Skype and Webcam: HD or not?
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2014, 12:57:59 PM »
I know MS makes some good cams, but I think there may be compatibility problems with other OSs, that's why I am shying away from MS webcams.

Could anybody that is knowledgeable mainly about my point re. resolution in a challenging bandwidth environment answer?
Regards, Brahman
« Last Edit: April 18, 2014, 01:03:25 PM by brahman »

brahman

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 171
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Skype and Webcam: HD or not?
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2014, 01:09:03 PM »
Hmm, to kind of answer myself: I overlooked the point that one needs a good piece of hardware to encode and deencode the 720p HD stream.

Therefore it may make sense to get just the C170 cam.
Regards, Brahman

mouser

  • First Author
  • Administrator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 36,269
    • View Profile
    • Mouser's Software Zone on DonationCoder.com
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Skype and Webcam: HD or not?
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2014, 01:46:27 PM »
Actually I think brahman's question is more subtle and important to get a real answer for, and that seems to be:

If he gets the HD version of the webcam, will it be trivial to use it as if it were a lower-resolution camera.
That is, will skype be smart enough to lower the resolution to preserve bandwidth or cpu needs (or presumably can he easily set a lower resolution manually).

And the unspoken question/assumption -- will RUNNING the HD camera at a lower resolution eat up less cpu/usb-bandwidth than running the natively low-resolution camera?  I assume that running the hd camera at lower resolution will eat up similar usb bandwidth/cpu as the natively lower resolution camera.

Assuming so, and assuming price is not an object, I do think you'd be better off buying the HD cam, and at the very lease you will be able to set it manually to run at a lower resolution.  Especially if the hd camera has hardware-encoding of video, which can substantially reduce the cpu/usb bandwidth.
(the 720 does NOT appear to have hardware encoding; the 920 does).
« Last Edit: April 18, 2014, 01:57:39 PM by mouser »

Stoic Joker

  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 6,265
    • View Profile
    • www.StoicJoker.com
    • Donate to Member
Re: Skype and Webcam: HD or not?
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2014, 01:51:40 PM »
Do overlook the rather nontechnical name because the guy has a lot of really good information on web cams. It looks like the site hasn't been updates in a while but the information isn't that old yet. I used his reviews a few years back to settle on the Logitech 900 I still have now.

http://cowboyfrank.net/webcams/index.htm

FWIW my Logitech 900 switches resolution on the fly to allow for changes in bandwidth ... I was under the impression that all (or at least most) of the web cams did that.

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Skype and Webcam: HD or not?
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2014, 01:58:36 PM »
i have the logitech 1080p webcam.  I've used it with skype and have not really experienced any problems.  the other end of skype always tells me how crisp my video is, so people love seeing you in HD.  obviously, the encoding is happening onboard, so i've never noticed any performance hit on my pc.  the HD quality is good for a webcam, but nothing special...similar to an above average smartphone camera.

i have no real complaints.  i want to say these bandwidth issues are not even worth considering, I'd just go with the higher resolution camera.

brahman

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 171
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Skype and Webcam: HD or not?
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2014, 10:15:29 AM »
Thanks for your advice.

I think I will go for the Logitech B525, an HD cam which can be securely folded so it will survive my many travels. The B (for business) series are hardware identical to the C (for consumer) series, except that some of the fun/bloat software is missing.

However the software can be downloaded for free from Logitech's website later.
Regards, Brahman

Innuendo

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 2,255
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Skype and Webcam: HD or not?
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2014, 10:28:47 AM »
http://cowboyfrank.net/webcams/index.htm

I can vouch for this site. I used his site as a reference when I needed to pick up a webcam for a project a couple years ago. He had more information on one web page than every other site that discussed webcams put together.

brahman

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 171
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Skype and Webcam: HD or not?
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2014, 10:42:41 AM »
Yeah, I agree, it definitely helped me to get a better understanding. The cowboy has invested a fortune in Webcams! His whole property must be plastered with them. I wouldn't be surprised if he also has a separate website for self triggering shooting devices - LOL.

The C525/B525 by Logitech he kind of lists as 2nd best, but the price is soooo much lower!

And I have killed a few webcams by packing/unpacking them, coz the stands are a bit touchy and fragile, so I was very happy to see the B525 with the nice and practical fold up design and 15% cheaper than the C525. So I think that will be the one for me.

Hopefully I won't have to wear the ugly headsets any more coz the mic will be good...

Hehehehe, I notice how my android typing style is starting to color my forum writing: On these touch screen keyboards one uses much more "coz" and "z" and "n" and "r" and "u" and "4" and "2", when chatting with friends.
Regards, Brahman
« Last Edit: April 20, 2014, 10:50:10 AM by brahman »