Camera Resolution

Camera Resolution

Many people ask about the resolution settings for various cameras in either Live Cams or Live Cams HD. There is an important setting within the application (and in your camera firmware) that must be used to obtain optimal results.

Higher Resolution versus Faster Video

You will see this option in the settings screen and may have wondered what the effect is. Essentially there are three different resolutions used within the app when possible:

1) On the thumbnail screen.

The application requests low resolution video or stills in order to display as many thumbnails as possible while keeping the responsiveness reasonable. Your iPhone/iPod/iPad requires a lot of CPU in order to crunch larger images down to fit in the thumbnails. Most of the time the app will request 160×120 images for this screen.

2) On the video screen, with the Faster Video setting.

As the video screen loads, it shows the existing thumbnail as a placeholder while the request for video is made to the camera. This image looks chunky and blurry because the thumbnail is stretched to fill the screen while maintaining aspect ratio. The video request is made for 320×240 resolution if the camera allows the resolution to be dynamically adjusted. This keeps bandwidth low and allows for a higher framerate on your portable device. Again, CPU usage is the key.

3) On the video screen, with the Higher Resolution setting.

When you select Higher Resolution in the settings screen it tells Live Cams that you want the best quality even though framerates will likely be reduced. When asking for video in this mode, Live Cams will not tell the camera to send it a specific resolution, but instead it will allow the camera to send out video in its default quality and size. This is the important thing to note! If your camera is set to output 320×240 video as a default but can transmit 640×480 images then you will not be receiving the highest quality available. Make sure that you configure your camera to output the best images possible by default.

Hopefully this clears up some confusion and perhaps allows a few Live Cams HD users to get the best results for their devices.

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