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Article Number: 7 | Last Updated: Fri, May 3, 2013 at 5:04 PM
What are your recommended specifications for webcams?
We've tested several different cameras, listed below, but in general, webcams that meet our recommended specifications should be satisfactory for your use. Most webcams on the market today are in the $30-$60 price range and meet these specifications:
What are the minimum specifications for webcams?
Any webcam used with our VRI service should meet at least the following minimum specifications:
Keep in mind that cameras meeting these specifications but not the recommended specifications will work adequately with VRI, but will not provide the same level of image quality.
What specific webcams have you tested?
The following have been tested on laptop and desktop PCs:
The following have been tested on Macintosh computers:
The following should not be used due to various incompatibility issues:
Can I use the integrated webcam that came with my PC/Mac laptop or desktop?
We do not recommend using the integrated webcam that came with your laptop or desktop computer. Our tests of several different integrated cameras have shown mixed results with the video quality, including fuzziness, trailing images while moving, and lower frame rates. While some have in fact performed adequately enough for spoken and signed language interpretation, none of them has had the same quality as a mid-range external webcam rated at 720p video streaming. We feel that the inconsistencies with these results across different computer manufacturers, makes and models are enough to push for external webcam use.
Can I use the webcam drivers that came with my computer?
If you use an external webcam, we always recommend that you install the proper software drivers that came with your webcam. Using generic webcam drivers found on most computers could result in reduced video and audio quality, as the generic drivers have not been optimized for each webcam's hardware and firmware. You may also experience problems with Adobe Flash Player, such as the plug-in freezing or crashing, if you try to use a webcam without first installing proper drivers (see this article about Logitech Webcam Pro 9000 for an example).
If you use an integrated webcam, or if your external webcam came pre-installed with your computer, then the webcam drivers already on your computer are probably suitable for your webcam.
How do I prevent my webcam from being stolen?
While this won't completely foil someone, a simple trick to deter theft is to use a flat metal washer with a 1/2" diameter hole along with a standard computer security cable and follow the procedure found in this article: http://dltj.org/article/flat-washer-protects-cables/
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