Post subject: Webcam driver conflicts - nightmare Posted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 6:58 pm
Joined Fri Aug 18, 2006 11:47 am
Location Merseyside, United Kingdom
Favourite OS Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Some of you may have been harassed by me yesterday to try out my new webcam page that I developed yesterday afternoon. It was based on code I designed and wrote over 4 years ago, but the basic principle is still the same and it still works how it should. The basis of the page was to include just 2 webcams, but I have 3 and decided it would be nice to make all 3 available on the same page. It was easy enough to code the page to do this, but the backend software wasn't quite so easy.
Several years ago I bought two identical webcams in a package for £10. The idea was that I could connect two webcams together to make a panoramic view (wider angle). Unfortunately driver limitations prevented me doing this. Because the cameras were identical, they used the same drivers which meant they conflicted when both were plugged in at once. Basically the driver didn't know which camera to look at, so it confused itself and ignored both. Sadly this put a halt to my plans.
However, I had a thought. I had these two webcams, but with one not working in tandem, call it one camera. I also had a logitech webcam and then I remembered I still had an old digital camera that could act as a webcam too. Perfect, 3 cameras! I could put the plan into action no problem now. I dug the old camera out and plugged them in.
The next problem came with the hardware. A friend of mine, John, designed software called Vidgrab (can be found on his website: www.vwlowen.co.uk). The software was designed for 2 USB webcams to be used at once. Now, the software was supposed to open both webcams when it was loaded, but a bug in the code causes neither webcam to load if you have 2 selected. I found a way around this by running 3 copies of the software with 1 camera on each. In this case the software does automatically load the camera when the software is run. Whats more, if one copy crashes, the other two continue to run without a problem. Although this is rare so I don't expect it to happen.
So after all that thinking and messing about, I finally got 3 webcams online and running. Anyone who wants to see them can contact me on MSN (I will not post the link here for obvious reasons (hammering my home connection)).
So the moral of the story... If its too good to be true, it probably is! The drivers for these cameras were too badly designed to allow both to run at once, so anyone who might be planning a similar feat as me, might want to take this highly into consideration before carrying it out and being disappointed as I was.