Microsoft’s Windows 10 Anniversary Update Causing Many Webcams To Freeze
Microsoft’s big Anniversary Update for Windows 10 released on August 2 has rendered a number of different webcams inoperable. In other words, the anniversary update is preventing the use of webcams in applications such as Skype and Open Broadcaster Software (OBS), along with all manner of custom CCTV programs for those Windows 10 users who have installed it. Even the extremely popular hardware, such as Logitech’s C920 and C930e cameras, along with Microsoft’s own Skype, will fail to properly broadcast video.
“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,” Microsoft said in a statement to Gizmodo.
It appears that the problem revolves around how Windows 10 handles USB webcams following the Anniversary Update: Windows is no longer allowing USB webcams to use MJPEG or H264 encoded streams with Microsoft’s new Windows Camera Frame Server and is only allowing YUY2 encoding stream. Microsoft made the move as it felt that allowing multiple codecs to be in use at the same time could potentially degrade performance. However, now any webcam that is trying to use one of the two forbidden codecs will hang, freeze, or generally not work.
“…MJPEG and H.264 being decoded / filtered out is the result of a set of features we needed to implement, and this behavior was planned, designed, tested, and flighted out to our partners and Windows Insiders around the end of January of this year. We worked with partners to make sure their applications continued to function throughout this change, but we have done a poor job communicating this change out to you guys. We dropped the ball on that front, so I’d like to offer my apologies to you all. We’re working on getting better documentation out, to help answer any questions you may have,” reads a post in Microsoft’s Support Forums from Windows Camera Team member “Mike M.”
While it may not like a big issue for users using the webcams on a personal basis who can use their smartphones until a fix is released, it may be a major problem for companies that rely on webcams for video calls, as well as for anyone who records themselves for YouTube video, podcasts, and alike.
Meanwhile, the good news is that Microsoft has said that a fix is in development, and should hopefully arrive in September. For those users who do not wish to wait can try out a fix proposed by software engineer Rafael Rivera on Twitter: