Now we know what happened to Josh's stream; does your camera do YUY2 encoding?

Subject: General Tech | August 19, 2016 - 01:06 PM |
Tagged: yuy2, windows 10, skype, microsoft, idiots

In their infinite wisdom, Microsoft has disabled MJPEG and H.264 encoding on USB webcams for Skype in their Adversary Update to Windows 10, leaving only YUY2 encoding as your choice.  The supposed reasoning behind this is to ensure that there is no duplication of encoding which could lead to poor performance; ironically the result of this change is poor performance for the majority of users such as Josh.  Supposedly there will be a fix released some time in September but for now the only option is to roll back your AU installation, assuming you are not already past the 10 day deadline.   You can thank Brad Sams over at for getting to the bottom of the issue which has been plaguing users of Skype and pick up some more details on his post.

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"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. 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."

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August 19, 2016 | 01:54 PM - Posted by kcurrie (not verified)

"Adversary Update to Windows 10"?

August 19, 2016 | 01:57 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Sounds about right. ;)

August 19, 2016 | 02:12 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

you saw what I did there :)

August 19, 2016 | 02:18 PM - Posted by willmore

Sounds like the honeymoon is over.

August 19, 2016 | 02:34 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

FYI - The post linked to in the article was written by Brad Sams. Just want to make sure you credit the correct author.

August 19, 2016 | 03:17 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom


August 19, 2016 | 03:03 PM - Posted by kenjo

Well you can zip a zip file but you can not mpeg an mpeg file. It's not just a bad idea its simply not possible.

so I guess what they mean is that microsoft for some reason uncompres the video stream from the usb camera do some processing on the video then recompress it.

hmm not sure I understand this problem they have and how using only YUY2 is an solution. Or why people have a problem with yuy2 only

August 19, 2016 | 05:13 PM - Posted by kenjo

For full detail read.

Its a giant face palm. How this has passed quality testing is a mystery.

Why anybody thought that it was a good idea equally strange.

August 19, 2016 | 07:36 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

"Why anybody thought that it was a good idea equally strange."

The idea was to deal with the shitty state of webcams on Windows. Unfortunately, it ran up against the install base of shitty webcams.

August 19, 2016 | 11:50 PM - Posted by kenjo

No this is 100% a Microsoft issue and has nothing to do with shitty Webcams.

August 19, 2016 | 03:12 PM - Posted by mikedice (not verified)

Check out Rafael Rivera workaround:

August 19, 2016 | 03:17 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

Just spotted, will be testing it and reporting on it ...

(64-bit apps, simply drop WOW6432Node. #webcamgate)

August 21, 2016 | 02:05 AM - Posted by Fourty7

It looks like lots of people had success with that, at least the ones who knew what to do with the info... but holy crap if it's just a single flag switch :X

August 19, 2016 | 09:37 PM - Posted by Goofus Maximus (not verified)

Okay, so evidently Microsoft has changed the way videocameras are used, so that multiple applications can use the camera at the same time, by using a frame server, and their reasoning is that, if they offered compressed video from the frame server, then you'd have multiple applications all decompressing the video at the same time, so in their infinite wisdom, they thought "okay, we'll just use only uncompressed streams.

The thought never seems to have crossed their mind to let the FRAME SERVER DO THE FREAKING DECOMPRESSION, and just send pre-decompressed streams to all multiple apps using the camera.

I'm reminded of that old story of the truck that was stuck under a low overpass, and all the firemen and police trying to figure out how they were going to get it out, till a small kid suggested that they just deflate the tires...

August 23, 2016 | 07:50 PM - Posted by Goofus Maximus (not verified)

Edit: Evidently, this is what MS' frameserver actually does. The problem lies in the fact that MS didn't take into account the many ways webcams are used, and relied on insider data, when it is obvious that folks who run stuff they don't want to break don't use insider builds in the first place.

My bad.

August 20, 2016 | 05:06 AM - Posted by Master Chen (not verified)

I C w0t U did THAR

August 20, 2016 | 06:22 AM - Posted by Drazen (not verified)

When I see latest MS products I ask myself a question: do they do it by purpose or they simply hire idiots?

August 20, 2016 | 08:15 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Both answers are correct.

August 20, 2016 | 10:32 AM - Posted by Goofus Maximus (not verified)

They are idiots. They do it on purpose, because, to an idiot, it seems like a good idea. Then they hire like-minded individuals to execute their strategy, so yes, both answers are correct! ;)

The worst kind of idiot you will ever find, are the SMART idiots, because they think they're not idiots because they are demonstrably smart. However smart people can be the most idiotic idiots to ever grace the world of idiots with their idiotic idiocy. I am reminded of the NASA incident back in the early days of the Space Shuttle program, where cold weather threatened to stop the Shuttle launch because of fear of freezing pipes, so the "can-do" engineers came up with the brilliant idea that running water won't freeze, so they opened the valves on the gantry to let the pipes drip overnight.

The next morning the entire launch gantry and shuttle was a frozen waterfall, because naturally, the DRIPPING WATER FROZE ALL OVER IN HONKING HUGE ICICLE FIELDS!

Microsoft is loaded to the brim with smart idiots.

August 20, 2016 | 10:41 AM - Posted by willmore

You're not far off. If you read the books that came out of microsoft press in the 90's when they were in their heyday, you can determine that their philosophy was "If we have good enough QA, then it doesn't matter how poor our programmers are." Which I often rephrased as "If you have a million monkeys banging on typewriters one of them might write Shakespere and as long as you have someone who can recognize Shakespere, you're good."

This went against the conventional wisdom that you should catch and fix bugs as early in the 'pipe' as possible.

With that in mind, I've not been surprised with the qualit of design and code that's been coming out of Redmond for the last few decades.

August 20, 2016 | 12:58 PM - Posted by zgradt

That's a southerner thing. The one week out of the year where it drops below freezing they start freaking out. One of the things they do is crack open the spigots on the outside of their house because they're afraid that their pipes will burst. It's not so much that flowing water doesn't freeze, but that the cold water will be replaced with less cold water before it has a chance to freeze. It's really silly. I don't think you have to worry about bursting pipes unless you have the water blocked in between two valves.

I could see how some southern boys in the space program, grasping at straws, could decide to give it a shot.

August 20, 2016 | 04:08 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

"The one week out of the year where it drops below freezing they start freaking out"

Unless your house is up on blocks on a non slab foundation and the pipes under the house are not insulated, and if you have seen the recent Louisiana floods you know that some houses are up even higher off of the ground while the ones on slabs are flooded out. Also the Freeze line requirements for buried pipes is very shallow in the south so any periods of extended freeing temperatures can have some bad results.

August 20, 2016 | 04:29 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

P.S. if you want to see some really stupid(and mean) Red Necks just go to Boston/New England, you will find that in the US there are Red Necks all over! But the Red Neck monicker can just as well be use to refer to any and all Joe Six-Packs, as that Joe Six-Pack stupidity is coast to coast and north to south in the US, including any islands and trust territories, and especially military bases!

August 20, 2016 | 08:41 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I'm going to play Devil's Advocate and state that most people at Microsoft are pretty smart, and good at their jobs.

Issues like this crop up, then get fixed. It's a COMPLICATED, interconnected ecosystem.

It may seem like an idiotic oversight, and naturally it's EASY to question how it could happen... because obviously WE would have no problems whatsoever if the job was given to US. Right?

August 21, 2016 | 11:41 AM - Posted by Fourty7

But could problems that arise from new/incompetent workers not be prevented with more internal testing, or even just a handful of people who are at the top of their game checking over the update changelogs?

August 22, 2016 | 07:52 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

What update changelogs, IIRC these changes weren't even mentioned in the publicly released update changelogs, something that made identifying the problem more troublesome that it should have been.

August 22, 2016 | 01:29 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

They don't do that anymore, and won't for Win7 soon, most of the KB info and patch details are now obfuscated.

August 23, 2016 | 01:21 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

That's kind of what i meant, it seems the only changes they feel are necessary to inform people about now days are what they consider obvious ones, like new features, changes to the GUI, and other shiny new toys.

Microsoft have changed Windows from a dependable business workhorse into a shiny play thing for cats. ;)

August 21, 2016 | 11:05 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Multiple apps can use the webcam at the same time?
Is the user notified when this happens? I doubt it.
I guess that's so NSA spyware can watch your skype sessions too.

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