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Webcam Issues From Latest Windows 10 Update

Microsoft recently overlooked a couple of potential issues when bringing out it’s latest update for Windows 10 (Anniversary).

Part of the update was actually intended to streamline the use of USB 3 devices, including webcams, but dropped support for MJPEG and HD.264 which are the two more popular compression codecs used in USB 2.0 webcams. Microsoft Frame Server now only operates with uncompressed data, with it being easier to programmatically manipulate and therefore readily available at the destination device on the receiving end. USB 2.0 can’t offer the amount of bandwidth needed for uncompressed data and with most webcams being USB 2.0 this is rendering them all useless with applications like Skype, where the video will go via the Frame server.

Users may still be able to use lower quality for streaming video calls – 640 x 480 isn’t nearly as good as the HD picture that most of us are very used to these days, but it shouldn’t require any compression. Although, the problem arises when Skype progressively upgrades the definition during a call, which then requires compression; ergo webcams then freeze and crash.

Microsoft have conceded and shall be reintroducing support for MJPEG, possibly in September. However, short-term fixes could call for an upgrade to a USB 3 webcam if maybe you were thinking of splashing out a new one anyway.