I almost missed the news that the MNT Reform Camera has made it to the shop already: MNT Reform Camera - MNT Research Shop
It is really great to see an open hardware and hackable camera that fits the Reform! I was just wondering a couple of practical aspects of using video telephony on the Reform:
- does the camera assembly include a microphone or is it video only?
- what can one expect in terms of performance using e.g. Jitsi or BigBlueButton in a browser on the Reform?
I suspect the latter depends on hardware support for video (re)encoding, browser support, number of participants, … I am mostly concerned with audio stutter if the CPU struggles too much but would not mind occasional video artifacts.
What is your experience with video chats on the Reform so far and what software have you tested?
I can’t speak authoritavitely on any your questions, but I have to imagine that MNT wouldn’t release a MNT Reform specific camera if it wouldn’t work on the platform, given the performance constraints present there.
If it helps I was able to use a webcam with the reform and performance was ok. This was an older 720p webcam though.
I don’t believe we will have any problems with performance though.
Thanks for the input and data point! What application did you use the webcam with?
I am not generally concerned that video chats would not work on the reform but more curious about what potential limits to expect in real-life applications. Video processing without hardware acceleration can be quite resource hungry in my experience (and e.g. video playback on the Reform had been discussed in other thread).
Since nobody else has replied, let me post my half-baked experience. Today I took passively part in a zoom conference with five participants that i joined with chromium. The video streams of all participants arrived simultaneously without any subjective difference to running zoom on my old Intel laptop. So the video of all participants was just as bad as it usually is. CPU utilization was around 70%. No audio choppiness or the like.
I call this “half-baked” experience because i didn’t have my usb camera with me and thus was unable to test whether the performance of the reform is enough such that i can also send the video and not just receive it. So receiving video and audio worked without problems and I was unable to test sending video yet.
The cameras are shipping now. So we will see…
I would be really curious to learn more about the performance, but so far haven’t really found anything online… are people aware of online “reviews”, either from this community or elsewhere?
I do hope camera will work with other laptop and OpenBSD out of box. This would definitely be my main camera.