“The code, the code, my kingdom for the code!” – Richard III
My apologies to Will Shakespeare but I find myself thinking this way about Logitech’s BCC950 Conference Cam. You may remember it from when it was featured in a VUC session back in November of 2012. At that time the BCC950 was newly released but I managed to buy one to have some experience with it for the occasion of their appearance.
Since then it’s been a fixture on my desk. in fact, I find a lot to like about the BCC950. It’s long stem puts the camera at a nice height so that it’s gaze is not looking up or down at me. In that regard it’s actually better than the Logitech C920 webcam sitting on top of my monitor, although both create fine quality video streams for UC or vodcasting applications.
What it lacked was any kind of integration of its pan, tilt, zoom control with application code for any common soft client. I’m told that one of the enterprise video conference clients (Vidyo?) has included far-end camera control that was aware of the BCC950.
It’s worth noting that a Google “Hangout” is not the same as a “Hangout-On-Air.” A Hangout-On-Air is streamed and recorded via YouTube in real-time. This gives it the potential for much greater reach. A normal Hangout is not streamed in this manner, although it does allow for PSTN connectivity.
This difference is arbitrary, although I’m told it stems from legal concerns about copyright issues that could easily occur if Hangouts-On-Air were allowed to have broad interop capability.
The fact that the VUC uses a Hangout-On-Air has compelled my search for a reliable, high-quality means of interconnecting the Hangout-On-Air and ZipDX conference bridge. Given my long-standing and vociferous support of HDVoice even the PSTN access provided by a plain vanilla Hangout is troubling. Connecting via a pure IP means, like SIP URI, would allow interconnection with much better audio quality.
The VoIP Users Conference is closing upon 500 weekly sessions, each one more-or-less a conference call. Along the way the manner in which the calls happen has evolved. A bit of background about this will serve to frame why I’ve been seeking a way to interconnect a Google+ Hangout and the ZipDX conference bridge.
The article describes how he published the script used to run the exploit. That allowed others to try the exploit against various makes/models of consumer hardware. It thus came to light that the same trick works against various products from Linksys and Netgear, amongst others.
It’s been a while since the matter of lighting for video calling has been an issue around here. In general I’ve been pretty happy with the Brightlines LED Conference lamp that I had described previously. I do wish that I had a second light to use at my desk. Thus far I’ve been moving the Brightlines lamp from place to place as needed.