Chapter 3. Setting Your Camera and Microphone

Camera and Microphone Methods for Setting Parameters

One of the ongoing challenges for FMS3 developers is optimizing the settings for cameras and microphones. The Camera and Microphone classes provide methods for setting several different parameters. Depending on your media environment—your hardware (Webcams and microphones) and connection bandwidth—the settings will affect your application’s performance.

Every Webcam has a “native” capacity, but whether that capacity can actually be realized is another matter. For example, most USB 2 and IEEE 1394 (FireWire) Webcams list a video capture speed of 30 frames per second (fps) and a video capture resolution of 640 × 480. Chances are that unless you have a pretty hefty bandwidth capability, lots of RAM memory, and a big fat processor, you’re not going to be able to get that type of resolution in even a two-way audio/video chat.

Several Webcams provide the specifications for the “in-between” video capture resolutions.

The following are typical settings built into Webcams and digital video cameras:

  • 160 × 120

  • 176 × 144

  • 320 × 240

  • 360 × 240

  • 352 × 288

  • 640 × 480

The native video capture resolutions are generally set to a 4:3 (width:height) ratio; although it’s not necessary to maintain that ratio, while you’re getting started it’s not a bad idea. FMS3 uses fairly sophisticated algorithms to resolve settings, but by using the 4:3 ratio you’re going to be able to optimize what your camera sees. However, if you’re ...

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