video-conferencing-camera

What is a UVC Camera?

Cameras are an essential tool for video conferencing and those with a higher performance can lead to better communication, enhanced engagement and a more positive user experience. UVC cameras have become a popular choice for video conferencing due to their ease of setup and improved performance over standard webcams.

In this article we will explore what UVC means and how your organisation can benefit from using a UVC camera as part of your video conferencing system.

What does UVC stand for?

UVC stands for “USB Video Class” which is a standardised specification defining how video devices communicate with computers over USB. It was developed by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) and is supported by a wide range of operating systems and devices.

The UVC specification is designed to be easy to implement and use. Devices that conform to the UVC specification can be used with any operating system or software application that supports UVC.

usb-video-class-diagram

What is a UVC camera?

A UVC camera (USB Video Class camera) is a type of camera that uses the USB video class standard to communicate with a computer. This makes UVC cameras very easy to set up and use, as they do not require any special drivers. 

The UVC camera standard defines a number of different features, including video capture and streaming as well as camera controls, such as pan, tilt, zoom, and focus. A UVC camera also adheres to video processing standards such as colour correction and image enhancement, and video compression, such as MJPEG and H.264.

An example of a UVC webcam is the Yealink UVC84 which includes innovative features such as PTZ control, auto-framing, face detection and speaker tracking. It uses the UVC1.0 protocol and can be positioned on the screen, a wall or ceiling. Not only this it allows quick and easy integration with a microphone and soundbar.

yealink-uvc-84-camera

How does a UVC camera differ to a standard webcam?

A standard webcam is any camera that can be connected to a computer and used to capture video. Standard webcams can use a variety of different interfaces, including USB, VGA, and HDMI. However, not all standard webcams are UVC compliant.

The main difference between a UVC camera and a standard webcam is that UVC cameras are designed to be plug-and-play. This means that they should work immediately when you connect them to a computer, without the need to install any additional drivers. Standard webcams, on the other hand, may require you to install special drivers in order to use them.

Another difference between UVC cameras and standard webcams is that UVC cameras typically offer more features and better performance. For example, UVC cameras can support higher resolutions and frame rates than standard webcams. UVC cameras also tend to be more versatile, and can be used for a wider range of applications, such as video conferencing, streaming, and machine vision.

How are UVC cameras used in video conferencing?

Being plug-and-play, UVC cameras are an attractive choice when it comes to video conferencing. Connecting a webcam has never been easier than with a UVC camera as it is designed to work without the need to install any additional drivers.

They can be used in many video conferencing applications such as a board meeting, online training or webinar. They are also suitable for video conferences in meeting rooms such as huddle rooms and conference rooms.

One of the practical uses for a UVC camera during a video conference is Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) functionality. For instance, during a Zoom video conference, a UVC camera will allow users to control pan/tilt/zoom of that camera, as well as dynamically choosing between cameras if there are more than 2 in the room.

Due to their ease of integration and flexible support of video resolutions and frame rates, UVC cameras are often favoured when a camera is used as part of an embedded vision application. Here are some examples of how a UVC camera can be used to implement embedded vision applications within a video conferencing system:

  • Tracking the speaker and automatically zooming and panning the camera to keep the speaker in view.
  • Blurring the background of a presenter, which can help to improve the speaker’s focus and privacy.
  • Gesture recognition such as a raised hand, which can be used to control the video conference.
AV installation of Zoom room hardware in use with multiple attendees in room and on screen

Summary

UVC cameras offer a huge amount of flexibility along with powerful features, so it’s no wonder they are frequently used in modern video conferencing systems. As well as this, they are becoming more affordable all the time due to the availability of high-quality sensors and other components at lower prices.

Digital Vision AV is a leading video conferencing installation company with decades of technical knowhow. So, if you need help deciding which video conferencing camera is right for your system, get in touch with us today or simply call us on 01442 620078. We offer practical advice and a free quote and installation is always carried out at a time which suits you so as not to interrupt the flow of business.

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