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Skype and Webcam: HD or not?

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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.

Carol Haynes:
Just bought one of these - seems very good (picture and sound). I like it. Infinitely better than the laptop built in camera.

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!!!)

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?

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.

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).


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