Live Cams HD – Setting Expectations

Live Cams HD – Setting Expectations

I just wanted to make a quick note about the expectations people may have for Live Cams HD. It’s important to note that while I’m making use of the full screen resolution for displaying the thumbnail grid and the video window you shouldn’t expect to see all of the public cameras in high res. Almost all of the cameras are configured by their owners to output a fixed resolution, typically low (like 320×240 pixels). Some models (like Sony, Panasonic, some Canon cameras, Axis) can be told to stream at a particular resolution and these look better on the iPad. Mobotix cameras are high resolution by nature and they tend to output the clearest images, but again the public ones are usually set to 640×480 or so.

From my tests so far it often looks like the thumbnail screen is a crisper picture than the video screen. This is due to the fact that the native format is 320×240 for many cameras and this is close to the size of the thumbnails. When the video is stretched to fill the iPad’s 1024×768 space it looks blocky.

That being said, Live Cams HD will likely impress private camera owners more than those who buy it for the public cameras. I’m thinking about adding a new camera category called HD Video that will allow me to tag the best of the public camera feeds for easy viewing. Unfortunately I don’t look forward to spending time trying to identify these out of the existing 3000+ cameras in the app 🙁

Things are looking GREAT with the latest 4.0 release. The biggest challenge has been supporting portrait mode since almost every screen has to be redesigned to fit on the iPhone properly. The iPad is easier thanks to the extra real estate 🙂 Both versions of Live Cams (iPhone and iPad) will support any orientation going forward. Those of you who have been asking for portrait mode when docked will be quite happy!

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