[Nottingham] Webcam snapshots

Martin martin at ml1.co.uk
Mon Sep 5 09:25:23 UTC 2011

On 3 September 2011 10:12, Camilo Mesias <camilo at mesias.co.uk> wrote:
> The obvious solution seems to be to upgrade the hardware to support
> the number of devices you need, my gut feel is that one big box is
> going to be the cheapest way to run several HD webcams at once. If you
> need to scale to many more webcams or more locations then several
> small networked boxes might be a possibility.
> A barebones PC starting with a £40 motherboard should give onboard
> everything including three PCI slots plus one onboard USB hub (that's
> your 4 webcams sorted), you might be able to fit it in an existing PC
> for a low cost upgrade.
> It wlil also be easier to synchronise everything if it's on one PC
> rather than spread over several networked devices.

I started out on this thinking it should all be just plug'n'play and
easy, not realising that webcams grab all of the USB2 bandwidth for
themselves... So trying to keep to a software fix is preferred if it
can be still kept simple...

Is there a feature in UVC whereby a webcam can be set up but have it
'hibernate' or continue to run /without/ sending data so that you
could have them 'streaming' but selectively stream only from the
webcam of interest for that frame?

Otherwise, it is indeed a case of putting together a dedicated £100
machine with multiple hubs to service the webcams. With careful
staggered startup, you might even be able to contrive streamed 'bullet

I'm starting to wonder whether using cheapie HD video cams or even
digital cameras controlled by USB might be an alternative. Lack of
time to experiment suggests multiple hubs in a dedicated PC may be the
way to go...

Unless... You can have a fast UVC startup or a 'hibernate' for the
webcams on the one hub...


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