Microsoft LifeCam Cinema 720p HD-Webcam E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: WebCam | Camera
Written by Hank Tolman   
Tuesday, 19 January 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
Microsoft LifeCam Cinema 720p HD-Webcam
Features and Specifications
Closer Look: LifeCam Cinema
Microsoft H5D-00001 Detailed Features
Microsoft LifeCam Software
Webcam Testing and Results
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

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.

Microsoft_Lifecam_Cinema_Webcam_Angle_Rig.jpg

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.

About Microsoft Hardware Group

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.Microsoft_Logo_Black_250px.png

For more than 26 years, the Hardware Group has employed innovative engineering, cutting-edge industrial design and extensive usability testing to create products of exceptional quality and durability that enhance the software experience and strengthen the connection between consumers and their PC.



 

Comments 

 
# RE: Microsoft LifeCam Cinema 720p HD-WebcamDon Cox 2010-02-27 16:53
My dad has just installed a microsoft lifcam that I sent to him.
I have a logitech system and we can't figure out how to get him to accept my invitaion. The logitech logo invite show up on his screen but he has not indicator to accept. What should we do?
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# FixJames 2012-01-15 12:14
i dont kniw :) bt you need to suck it up and fix it urself u can do it just reed and research
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# RE: FixLes 2012-01-27 10:44
Rude comment and you also need to learn how to spell....
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# "Functionality"Warren Hurd 2010-03-17 06:56
For an HD WonderCam, the design and software seem to be deliberately limitting; ie the blue light, the glass over the lens preventing any adaptations that would otherwise be very simple.
The software is extremely limitted, except for the silly stuff.
I am sorry I bought this camera, and am offended by the level of its limitations given its potential, as these limitations could not possibly be missed by a design team and are quite obviously planned obsolescence.
Pretty shameful device, given what it Could de, and Not worth the hype Microsoft gives it.

Sincerely, I want my money back.
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# RE: Microsoft LifeCam Cinema 720p HD-Webcammarko 2010-03-19 06:36
This camera does not support 30fps at 720p. Or well, that hardware does but the software doesn't. If you want true 720p 30fps video, you have to uninstall the LifeCam software. After that you can choose 30fps when using MJPG format.
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# RE: Microsoft LifeCam Cinema 720p HD-Webcamluce 2010-03-25 06:36
The drivers don't support 720p at 30fps, but it's still alright except for the mic. Video and pictures were still a lot better than your average webcam, but I would always go back to using my earphones with built-in mic to talk with. Overall, it's really good and I really like the build. Certainly better than the usual plastic. For the price, I'd say it's worth it.
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# Just bought camera cannot make it worksKarin 2010-05-14 23:59
Just bought WebCam Cinema. installed everything but it doesn not capture image.
I cannot make it work, I am sure must e something to enable on the computer but I don't know what.
I have Windows Vista. Any uggestions??
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# MrsOdette Fowler 2010-06-18 20:05
Please let me know where I can download the manual for this LifeCam
Cinema 720 HD that I own.
Thank you
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# Lifecam CinemaErnest Brownlee 2010-07-31 17:25
I have two of the Microsoft Lifecam Cinemas. The picture is very good and even in poor light the color stays sharp. I would like to use it for a security camera, does anyone know of a converter that would take the USB to AV output so I can connect it to VCR Or TV?
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# webcamAndrew 2010-09-03 06:28
i not sure if you can get usb to av but i know if you get a usb extension
and "jumicam" from the app store you can view the webcam from afar if you decide to do that and have problems just reply back ok.
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# Webcam 720p HDboris 2010-09-05 02:05
Habe sterben Cam angeschlossen , Hut Sich Allein Die installierte und gut funktioniert . Müsste SIE Nochmals Deinstallationsprogr amm ! Jetzt funktioniert SIE trotzdem, hab keine Verknüpfung ABER Auf dem Desktop und Unter Programm finde ich sterben Cam Auch NICHT MEHR . Kann auch keine einstellungen vornehmen ! ! Wer Kann helfen?
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# lifecam cinemabilal 2011-05-23 03:13
i would like to say that i have lifecam cinema hd,i try to install after installed,it shows me your cam is not connect plz can you help me about this i really don't know what i do
hope you can help me
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# RE: Lifecam CinemaDennis 2011-07-23 20:48
Google search Yawcam. Download the program and use your computer as a image capture. Program has motion detection and you can set where you want it to detect. You may have to get some extra cable for your web cam so that you can move it,or on a laptop no problem good luck, Love mine
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# RE: Microsoft LifeCam Cinema 720p HD-WebcamAndrew 2010-09-03 06:31
what i meant to say was if you get jumicam for your iphone or ipod touch and install the jumicontroller on your pc you can view your webcam from anywhere if you have internet connection on your iphone or ipod touch
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# It's a piece of junkMarcel 2010-09-22 10:27
Despite all the features that are promised and all the hype thingies this webcam performs like crap! The picture it gives is blurry and not even in focus. The autofocus seems to be on holiday cuz it just aint working.

Oh well, with Windows (whatever version) in the back of my head, what else could we expect from a product coming from Microsoft????
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# Poor software compatibilityGreg 2010-09-25 20:39
I have tried several video chatting and remote webcam viewer programs with this camera. None of them has been able to display the camera image in anything other than 320x240 resolution. It will not even operate in the standard high-quality resolution of 640x480. If only they had added 640x480 compatibility, then most of these programs would work. Very disappointed with this camera.
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