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Need recommendation for multi-USB capture card

I produce a streaming TV show for the Boy Scouts (www.TroopRessource.org) that uses multiple webcams (Microsoft LifeCams) connected to a desktop computer and the latest version of WireCast (12.1.1).  When I connect 3 or more webcams I  struggle with an error message that crops up after a few minutes, generally while switching shots.  It says "Wirecast is unable to start the USB device 'Microsoft LifeCam Studio ™' because there is no remaining bandwidth on the USB bus.  Try reducing the number of USB devices connected to the same bus, or lower the resolution of the device." 

 

For my multiple webcams I am using a StarTech 4 Port PCI Express SuperSpeed USB 3.0 card with 4 Dedicated 5Gbps Channels - UASP-SATA/LP4 Power.  My PC is a Dell Desktop 7C4HLCL with an Intel i7-7700 CPU @ 3.60 GHz with 64 gigs of RAM running Windows 10 version 1803. In my mind, this should be a relatively simple operation.  Does anyone have suggestions for a more powerful card or perhaps different webcams that won't break the bank.  I fund this out of my own pocket.

 

Strangely enough, on a rare occasion, I was able to run a show with 4 webcams without crashing.  And on a side note, when Wirecast crashes and I relaunch, many of my shot settings change, such as Scale and Crop for one or more of the cameras.

 

Many thanks for any help.

 

Scott Newman

Mailbox4Scott@gmail.com

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  • You can test the USB busses with wirecast (Window-Show Usb Devices). In an optimal world each webcam connects to a seperate bus. Then you can have even more than 3 or 4 cams. It's very likely that you end up with a sperate USB card per cam.

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    • CraigSModerator
    • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
    • CraigS
    • 3 yrs ago
    • Reported - view
    Scott Newman said:
    And on a side note, when Wirecast crashes and I relaunch, many of my shot settings change, such as Scale and Crop for one or more of the cameras.

     Certainly, report that one. Please note any pattern to the issue such as whether they're defaulting to the previously saved document positions for example. If you open a document and change things and it crashes before saving it may just open the document based on the last save.
    Wirecast Support Form

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    • CraigSModerator
    • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
    • CraigS
    • 3 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    Also other items on the bus may have an impact. If you're using a USB drive on the bus for example, that could be a factor. Separate USB mics can be a factor. Whether the webcams are set to 1080 vs 720 is another. Ideally, each webcam should have its own bus but in some cases, two webcams on a bus can work. Jens points out how to check the bus assignment. Use Show All Devices checkbox to see if there's anything else on the same bus as well.

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  • For a professional setup avoid USB at all. USB has no lock and can be pulled out by accident. You then have to restart Wirecast. Take a look at the SDI connector at the other hand. That locks the connection.

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    • CraigSModerator
    • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
    • CraigS
    • 3 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    Jens Jarke Of course on a desktop SDI PCIe cards are often the best way to go. Laptop users often are limited to Thunderbolt or USB3 variants. Perhaps a good way to go is SDI PCIe card in a PCIe to Thunderbolt chassis.

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  • Jens Jarke Great.  I will try that tomorrow night and get back to you.

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  • CraigS Two of the Microsoft LifeCams are set to 720.  The other 2 are set to 1080.  I don't seem to have a way to set the 1080 p down to 720.  The old utility does not seem to work on Windows 10.  I do set the resolution lower in WireCast, but it does not seem to make a difference.

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  • Jens Jarke I fund this show completely out of my own pocket, so purchasing a card that takes SDI and 3 new cameras with SDI connections is not in my budget.  The show is not a run-and-gun, so we have not had any problems with USB plugs coming loose.  Thanks.

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    • CraigSModerator
    • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
    • CraigS
    • 3 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    Scott Newman Just to be sure, you see a pull down with frame size options in Wirecast? (this is with a different webcam but it's more or less similar with other webcams).
     

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  • Update on error: It says "Wirecast is unable to start the USB device 'Microsoft LifeCam Studio ™' because there is no remaining bandwidth on the USB bus.  Try reducing the number of USB devices connected to the same bus, or lower the resolution of the device." 

     

    I downloaded a utility called USBDevView.  It shows the following screenshot.  I find it a little strange that the Microsoft LifeCam Studio is repeated so many times and that it shows that the last time I plugged in some of the devices was back on 5/14/2018.  That is weird.

     

    Next I checked out Wirecast's Windows menu > Show USB Devices.  These are the unexpanded and expanded views.  It is also strange that it names everything Camera 3, even though I have named all the camera and have 4 cameras, too.

      

    Lastly, to reduce bandwidth, I reduce the Capture Device size to 640x360.  I don't know if this helps, but it is the only other setting I can find that makes sense it might.

     

     

    This is a screenshot of my testing environment.

     

     

    Thanks for any help you can provide.

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  • From a pure USB bus perspective it looks good. Each cam is on a seperate bus. It might be that wirecast has a max USB ingest bandwidth. Craig should be able to speak to that.

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    • CraigSModerator
    • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
    • CraigS
    • 3 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    Scott Newman Each camera is on a separate bus so that's good.
    Is there a specific camera/bus that this is happening with?

    You may have to test each camera by itself to see if it's a specific camera or a specific bus or a specific camera/bus combination.

    The Device Size would impact bandwidth on the bus.

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