It seems that others have now encountered the change in how Windows 10 handles webcams after the Anniversary update. Many applications simply never try to go beyond 720p30, so it wasn’t clear to me how many people would be impacted by this change.
How ironic that in the two weeks since there’s been a flood of complaints about the Anniversary Update breaking webcam access in Skype. It hadn’t occurred to me that Skype, a Microsoft product(!), would also be impacted.
With every passing day the news of WebRTC spreads to a larger audience. As the audience grows it becomes more diverse. It has moved beyond the developer community to those who might leverage the technology in some real manner. It’s interesting to track how the technology is being conveyed to an ever broader, less technical audience. Given that these things happen online, it’s a bit like watching ripples in the fabric of cyberspace.
The podcast is an interesting illustration of how the news of WebRTC is getting around. I cannot take issue with the information presented. It’s a nice intro to the topic presented by knowledgeable, well-spoken people. In fact I, commend them for the effort.
Earlier this year Skype announced to developers that its Desktop API was going to be killed off at the end of 2013. This is an old API exposed a number of the applications internals for use by third-party developers. It was originally offered back 2004 when building an eco-system as an important strategic move for the company.
As a practical matter, within my sphere of activity, the loss of this API basically meant that any hardware that accessed the Skype client would cease to work correctly. That includes products like the PolycomC100S USB speakerphone and the Logitech Conference Cam BCC950 as both of these devices accessed the Skype client to control hook state via the “call control buttons.”
When is a webcam not a webcam? When it’s actually a DSLR!
Around here we are strong believers in DSLRs. Our first DSLR was an Olympus E-10, but these days we have a couple of Canon Rebel XSi’s. Released in Q1-2009 these are not the latest and greatest by any stretch, but they’re nice cameras. We also have a small selection of lenses.
As DSLRs have come to shoot video it would make some sense that they could also be used the more sedate role of webcam. Our Rebel XSi’s don’t shoot video, but they do make nice 12 mega-pixel pictures.
It happens that many Canon cameras, including the XSi, have a feature called “Live View” that’s intended to stream the image to the LCD viewfinder or even across a USB connection.
I’ve been pondering a series about webcams for some months. As the use of video becomes ever more commonplace webcams have moved into an increasingly important role in both our personal and professional lives.
My own use of webcams harkens back to around 2000. At that time I was working for an English firm, but working primarily from my home office in Texas. My boss was splitting his time between the UK and an office in the Miami area. Others were scattered about North America.
A dispersed group such as this we were making a lot of use of conference calls to have meetings. Being a smaller, privately held firm, we watched costs closely. We often used the fairly new, free conference services. We were at that point blissfully unaware of the games that they played to generate revenue.
Heck, back then “broadband” was anything over 128 kbps. We enjoyed 3 mbps x 768kbps DSL and I still had multiple analog phone lines from SBC.