Multiple Webcam Capture

Hey everyone,
Just started using this wonderful prog. I’m trying to capture video from two webcams as a split screen effect. I’m using two Microsoft Lifecam NX-6000s. I’m attempting to capture the images from each camera, then make a split screen view of them as video textures mapped onto a two side-by-side quads. I’m using two videoins, but only one of them will recognize a camera, i.e one videoin will recognize both cameras and the other videoin isn’t functional. Since the cameras are identical, is this a result of them using the same driver? Is there a way to capture multiple webcams/videoins? Would splitscreen (the program) help or is this useful only for single cameras? Any help would be enormously appreciated…


this is a known issue with video camera drivers. basically microsoft does not believe anyone would use two cameras of the same brand on one computer at the same time. So there is not much vvv v can dio about it. professional cameras have a serial number in the camera circuitry which can be used in the driver to differentiate multiple cameras from the same brand (msberger might know more about this)

it might be possible to hack the camera and/or the inf-file of the camera to get a similar thing with webcams, but i havent researched this topic.

the most straightforward fix would be using two different types of cameras

Thanks for the info…
I used the nx-6000 because it’s the highest resolution cam I could find on the market now. I would use two different cams, but they need to have identical framing/resolution. So, I guess the only way to get it running is to try to do the INF hack. Do you know anywhere I could get some more info on this?

As Sebastian mentioned I did some testing with several webcams, prof. USB2-cameras and prof. FireWire-cameras.

On the higher end (and price) side I can recommend the progressive scan FireWire-cameras from TheImagingSource. They work stable in VVVV an it is possible to use more than one in one system. They show up as seperate devices in the system as …#1, …#2, … and the order follows the serial numbers of the cameras.

On the low end side multiple cheap analog grabber cards with Bt848 / Bt849 / Bt878 & Bt879 Chipsets work without any problems in one system … here of course you have to live with standard video resolution, interlacing …


Is there a list somewhere of webcam using those chipsets? Is there a way to determine the chipsets of cameras you own?

I just tried running two different usb cameras in the same setup. I kept the first videoin as lifecam the second videoin as isight. One of the videoins functions and can switch between all the cameras. The other will not display. I tried running a seperate module and it couldn’t recognize the isight while the lifecam was in use either. So it seems that I can’t use two videoins at the same time?
Is this problem specific to my hardware (I am using a macbook pro running windows32 natively)? If you plug two seperate videoins to two videoouts with known compatible webcams, do the videoouts both display their respectively connected webcams simultaneously?


the BTxxx Chipsets I mentioned are used in simple analog PCI grabber cards (not in USB Webcams) like Leadtec WinFast VC100 XP, Hauppauge Impact-VCB or ViewCast Osprey 100

These PCI grabber cards of course only can be used in desktop PCs.


i’d say it should be possible to run any two webcams on one pc. slumber mentioned in his first post that he has 2 VideoIn nodes, where one of them shows 2 drivers listed. they should look something like this:
right? if so vvvv has detected 2 different drivers and should be able to use them. connect the videoin node to a videoout and switch the drivers. do you get the two different images?

i have no idea though why a second VideoIn node would not offer the same drivers. never experienced that.

one thing i can think of with notebooks and usb-ports (but i thought this was history now with usb2.0) is that they are lacking bandwidth to run both cameras at the same time. there was this story where two physical usb-connectors would share the bandwidth of one usb-port. so if you have more then two usb-connectors you might try different combinations.

also try the two NX6000s on a different/desktop machine.

thanks for all the help. very useful.

joreq, that’s pretty much the problem, I don’t get any image at all on the second video node, but the first recognizes and ca switch between all three cameras.

Did some research, and it looks like (maybe) the chipset for the lifecam is SN9C201 (the built in isight might have the same chipset). I downloaded the drivers from sonix which came with a PVR program called AMP. When I launched AMP and the Lifecam App I could see one camera on AMP, and the other camera on Lifecam App. So I know it’s possible to run the cameras simultaneously in tandem apps. But today, when I did the same thing, I get “preview graph error” on AMP. I googled it, and tHis error seems to be DirectX related.

As I’ve said, I have virtually no programming experience at all. VVVV is my introduction and I just found it a couple days ago. If anyone has any ideas about this, I would be crazy appreciative.

How would you go about mapping both videoin to quads and then arranging them side-by side in a ex9 renderer?


see attached patch for a simple example of how to play two videos sidebyside. note the two boxes that let you choose your camera drivers (via rightclick). please make a screenshot of this patch and post it here so we can probably see what is going wrong.

DualVideo.v4p (5.3 kB)

Oschatz’s idea above might be worth a try: Installing a slightly different driver for each camera- those should be bound to the USB port that the cameras are sitting on, no?

I remember that in order to use the sony eyetoy on XP, one uses a hacked webcam driver with a changed device name in the inf file. This could be a starting point.

We tried reading 4 Firewire Cams on one system a while ago. Maximum of 2 were streaming concurrently. Pretty complex results. Basically the last 2 cams you touched would deliver some frames most of the time, but it felt totally unreliable.

another idea: perhaps using an intermediate virtual webcam driver like splitcam could help?

Hey everyone,

It ended up being a bandwidth issue I think. Joreg was 100% with that. Since I’m running vvvv on a laptop which only has 2 usb connectors, I was using one of the cams on a hub (powered) which was also running an HID. Got AppleMouse.exe so I could right click then ran both cameras in without hub. Works Perfectly and IS supported for multiple connections if you have dedicated ports. Would Definitely recommend Lifecam. Very high resolutions (up to 2MP) for stills, caps at around 800x600 video for my Macbook Pro. Very detailed sensor, easy to disassemble. Your mileage may vary. Thanks again for all the help everyone…

slumber wrote:

Would Definitely recommend Lifecam. Very high resolutions (up to 2MP) for stills, caps at around 800x600 video for my Macbook Pro. Very detailed sensor

i confirm that.
around 70€
800600 at 30 fps.
if 7 fps is enough you even can go 1600
i never saw such a crisp image from a webcam.
lots of adjustable settings.

the only disadvantages:
*no manual focus. so only usable for “nearfield”
*USB-cable is very short. about 40cm.

i also tried today:
Trust WB-1400T or so.
totally crap.
LowRes picture with so much noise that it reminds me to the beginnings of BW-television.
definetitely even not worth its 9 €.


I’m using the philips spc900nc at the moment but now I’m searching for a webcam with a clear picture to grab high resolution stills. anybody tried this webcam or this? any other tips?

anybody compared the actual usb2 webcam with a firewirecam like this in therms of latency and picture quality?

best andreas