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Re: drivers for USB webcams

Bill Gatliff wrote:
> Lennart Sorensen wrote:
>> Wouldn't seperate usb controllers have independant bandwidth?
> As long as they're truly separate _controllers_, yes.
>> A 4 or 5 port usb card isn't expensive after all.
> True, but the card may have only one controller plus a few hubs.  If
> that's the case, then you haven't helped anything--- you are still
> limited by the USB 1.1 bandwidth through the single controller.
> You'll probably need one card per camera.
> b.g.

One worthwhile solution might be Firewire cameras instead. They're a bit
more expensive, but you get much better framerates and image quality,
and much finer bandwidth control. Orange Micro makes a pretty good
firewire webcam that isn't very expensive, and Apple's iSight is also
another good example (although it's a fair bit pricier). If you're going
to be buying multiple USB cards, you may as well get firewire cards instead.

I don't know about pan/tilt/zoom capabilities, but firewire cameras
don't need drivers.

One other option is to get the cheap camcorders (maybe with a worn-out
tape head or whatever) that can do video passthrough. Still no
pan/tilt/zoom, though.

Last bit of my tuppence for you is that several companies make separate
pan/tilt platforms for webcams; that might be worth looking into.

- Patrick Bogen

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