|Microsoft LifeCam Cinema 720p HD-Webcam|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: WebCam | Camera|
|Written by Hank Tolman|
|Tuesday, 19 January 2010|
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Microsoft LifeCam Cinema Review
With the release of the LifeCam Cinema 720p HD Webcam H5D-00001, Microsoft has provided the world with the first webcam that has a full 720p HD sensor and a 16:9 aspect ratio. During the 2010 International CES, the LifeCam Cinema received an Innovations Honoree Award. From the CES website, "Microsoft's LifeCam Cinema brings cinematic video into the home as the first consumer webcam to offer widescreen video with a native 720p sensor." This is a real breakthrough for webcams and for communications in general. I recently learned that, in an effort to provide affordable health care, retail giants such as Wal-Mart and Walgreens are offering appointments with licensed practitioners from their stores over webcam. The doctor can even check ears, nose, and throat through the webcam. How much more accurate could the diagnosis be with the relatively cheap availability of High Definition video over webcam.
But that's just one possible use for the LifeCam Cinema's 720p HD functionality. Because of my job, my daughter lives almost 1000 miles from her grandparents and many of her other relatives. We get to see them very rarely, maybe once a year. We all have computers, of course, and MSN Messenger, Skype, Google Chat, or something similar. We have long been communicating over webcam so those distant relatives can feel like they are a part of our lives, not missing out on the wonderful milestones of a new baby. But inevitable frustrations arise with the use of most webcams available on the market today. The sound doesn't match up with the video. The video is so blurry or choppy that it makes it difficult to watch. Sometimes we wonder if my daughter is even able to recognize who is on the other side of the call.
In this article, Benchmark Reviews will attempt to test the amazing feature set provided by the Microsoft H5D-00001 LifeCam Cinema 720p HD Webcam. One can only hope that such a breakthrough in communication through the use of personal computer peripherals will provide the webcam experience that we have been waiting for; an experience previously reserved for extremely high-cost and low-availability equipment. While the LifeCam Cinema will probably not give us the video quality found in the movies, it will be a success if it brings us even one step closer to that dream.
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