Windows 10 Anniversary Update Breaking Webcams
Ashley Allen / 4 years ago
A vast number of PC users have experienced webcam problems following installation of the new Windows 10 Anniversary Update. The problem is thought to be caused by Microsoft’s decision to eschew MPEG and H.264 encoding and replace it with NV12 and YUY2, and was first determined by Thurrott’s Brad Sams.
“Microsoft made a significant change with the release of Windows 10 and support for webcams that is causing serious problems for not only consumers but also the enterprise,” Sams wrote. “The problem is that after installing the update, Windows no longer allows USB webcams to use MJPEG or H264 encoded streams and is only allowing YUY2 encoding.”
The change especially affects the popular Logitech C920 1080p webcam (pictured above), which has fallen victim to constant freezing since the introduction of the Anniversary Update. Both Sams and site owner Paul Thurrott use the C920 to record The Sams Report video podcast. Thurrott first encountered the problem months ago after installing the Windows Insider release of the update. Sams fell victim to it recently after installing the general release version.
“Why did the company remove these options?” Sams asks. “The short answer is that with the Anniversary update there are new scenarios for applications to be able to access the webcam and the MJPEG or H264 encoding processes could have resulted in duplication of encoding the stream (poor performance) so the company limited the input methods to stop this from happening.”
“Because of this change, which Microsoft tried to defend but then realized the scale of the impact this change has caused, means that when a webcam tries to use MJPEG or H264, the device will freeze,” Sams added. “If you use Skype and your webcam freezes after about a minute, this is the reason.”
Microsoft responded to the issue, telling Engadget:
“Windows 10 continues to have the highest customer satisfaction of any version of Windows. We have seen a small number of reports of unexpected behaviors following the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. Engineering and customer support are investigating these on a case by case basis and offering trouble-shooting tips as necessary. If a customer has any issues, we offer customer support at www.microsoft.com/support.”