Simultaneous use of 3 usb camera inputs on Windows 10? RRS feed

  • Question

  • There appear to be previous posts regarding the simultaneous input of video streams from 3 or more USB cameras, but all are prior to Windows 10 's release. Does Windows 10 allow for simultaneous input from 3 or more USB cameras, assuming the hardware and drivers for each camera are identical?
    Saturday, March 26, 2016 6:35 PM

All replies

  • I don't think it is a question about OS version. It is rather an USB 2.0 bandwidth question, which is limited on each USB host controller.

    See also this discussion:

    Web cameras use USB isochronous pipes. An isochronous pipe is limited to 24MB/s, which is 192 Mbps.

    Saturday, March 26, 2016 8:07 PM
  • Well a little more research has indicated that the data flow is not necessarily the problem, but rather the driver. I have inquired with various manufacturers and they all clearly state that they only support one device in operation at a time. On the other hand, there are commercially available programs that will handle simultaneous operation of multiple cameras (although you do have to watch the data throughput with a lot of cameras).  

    The conclusion is that drivers are written to perhaps throw a flag when a camera is in operation. This is probably not to prevent multiple cameras in use, but rather to prevent more than one program accessing the camera simultaneously. If you have 3 usb video converters using the same driver, the camera will show up as individual devices (camera1, camera2, camera3, etc.), but you can't access more than one at a time.

    More and more postings are showing up on the topic as folks are using inexpensive cameras and usb video converters for either virtual reality (VR) or 360 degree videos.  So perhaps a software solution will show up someday.

    Saturday, April 2, 2016 12:31 PM