back to article USB 3.0 webcam streams 1080p video

Canadian advanced imaging firm Point Grey (PG) has demoed what it has claimed is the world’s first USB 3.0-connected webcam able to stream full HD video. Digital_Grey_03 Point Grey's prototype webcam streamed 1080p video over a USB 3.0 connection Displayed at the ongoing IDF event in San Francisco, PG’s webcam streamed …


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  1. EvilJason


    They may not have any plans but now that it is shown to be working others will follow and make them.

    Happens all the time.

  2. Adam 38

    Nice camera...

    ...but the stand looks crap.

  3. Greg J Preece


    It's a working prototype, mate... I doubt styling was foremost in their minds.

  4. Petey

    What's next, Ludicrous Speed?

    Anyone recall Spaceballs?

    Pfff, just leave it at the 3.0 thanks.

  5. Anonymous Coward


    Damn, that's gonna be fun when people start uploading that stuff to youtube. The file size alone must be huge... but it'll make people's amateur porn look a whole lot better.

  6. Alan 6


    A high quality, full frame rate, 1080p H264 stream is only about 6mbit/s, so could easily be sent using USB 1.1...

  7. The Original Ash

    One industry

    Adult entertainment.

  8. TeeCee Gold badge


    Probably a misnomer in this context. Streaming 1080p over a USB 3 connection onto a monitor in real time is fine and dandy. I wish them luck doing that over the, er, web.

    What they've got there is an ordinary video camera. Albeit a very large and inconvenient one once you put all the bits together. Which may or may not offer a recording facility (doesn't seem to say in the article). Gangbusters for waving at through a shop window and watching yourself on the monitor, but a practical application escapes me.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    As seen on TV ...

    I bet Dirty Den is first in the queue for one of these babies......

    Watch out ladies you will be getting it all in glorious Hi Def. Don't worry if you can now spot any curly hairs floating about, they will just be the left overs from our Ange at the Queen Vic - or off Brian May !

  10. Code Monkey


    What would streaming video over the web have to do with a USB3 demo?

  11. Shane 8
    Paris Hilton


    Think of all the possibilties....

    Paris coz she knows what to do.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    A high quality, full frame rate, 1080p H264 stream is only about 6mbit/s, so could easily be sent using USB 1.1...

    Presumably, if that sort of compression could be done in real time, it would be bigger news than USB3!

  13. lIsRT
    Thumb Up


    ...given that the bandwidth is OK for high-quality video, I assume we can replace DVI ports with USB 3 as well?


  14. Radio

    To Alan 6

    True that a h264 encoded file might be able to do that, but that means encoding in real-time on the camera, before it can be sent to the computer.

    That might be vaiable in a few years, but for the moment that would be one heck of an expensive webcam.

  15. The Indomitable Gall

    Re: "webcam"


    Yes, it's just a video camera, but I for one welcome the day when amateur film-making isn't tied to closed-platform camcorders.

    First up: computer-controlled CCD+lens assembly can be synched with any other audio or video device you can connect to a PC. Currently only high-end cameras contain any synch circuitry, meaning editing of multiple sources is unnecessarily complicated as it relies on the old-school technique of clapper-boards and manual synch.

    Secondly: camcorders have restricted storage/compression options. A miniDV tape can only store something like 15 minutes at broadcast quality. Solid-state and DVD cams record at compression ratios that leave the picture well below broadcast quality. HDD camcorders vary, and you're never quite sure what you'll get. If the camera provides an uncompressed HD feed, you're getting ever single thing the camera sees, which means you can rescale, recut, re-edit and compress and still end up with a broadcast-quality video.

    Finally: reduction of redundant components. On any film shoot you generally have as many storage devices as input devices (audio recorders & cameras. If your software, your drives and your USB controller can handle the throughput, why not let them control more than one device. You're not only reducing bulk, but you're also making it easier to find related material.

  16. simontaylor

    Computer Vision Applications

    I'm doing research on computer vision and we have a few point grey cameras. They're not really aimed at consumers, and are definitely not "webcams". Vision researchers like to get uncompressed raw data from the camera at as high a resolution as possible. Good luck to anyone trying to do any significant processing at those kind of rates though...

    One thing it could be useful for is industrial measurement stuff - say you've got parts shooting through on a production line that need measuring. By tracking the parts through the image you might only need to process a small region of the image, but the very high resolution would mean you can maintain high accuracy with a large field-of-view.

  17. Dan 10

    @Ludicrous speed

    Only if no-one jams the radar...!

  18. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    High-def porn not better

    "but it'll make people's amateur porn look a whole lot better."

    Actually it may not. I haven't investigated this personally.. yeah... but reportedly, the non-amateur porn industry has had troubles with HD-DVD and now BluRay, because at lower definition a shoot might look fine, while at full definition blemishes, scars from when implants were put in, razor burn, stains, etc. all show up making it really seem seedy. This wouldn't apply for amaeur, but if it's one of those "classy" porns that's supposed to take place somewhere.. it's hard at high-def to make a set look like any particular location instead of looking like a set with a bunch of props stuck on it too.

    Anyway... nice proof of concept. I suppose it must be uncompressed video (otherwise, with MPEG-2 compression, a 1920x1080 video will run just fine over USB2, as evidenced by the numerous ATSC capture sticks on the market.)

  19. mfraz

    Linux drivers

    Seeing that at the present time the only OS that supports USB 3.0 is GNU/Linux (just incase RMS is reading this) are we going to see Linux drivers for this webcam?

  20. Alan 6

    @AC & Radio

    This camera will do 22fps at 1080P, with encoding in the camera

    Without a lens it'll set you back a mere £700.

    Seeing as this company has increased the resolution and frame rate significantly in a year, I'm sure they'll manage real-time by next year.

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