Question Need a PC that can record three 1080 webcam feeds at the same time.

dance621

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Hi, I have a project that needs to record three Logitech Brio webcams at the same time. Ideally, the system would be able to the webcams in 4k but would be satisfied with 1080p feeds. The system only has to run some audio software, webcam software and record the feeds. It has no other purpose. I am concerned that a regular PC with Sata drive might not handle the data. I am wondering where the bottleneck is likely to be for this amount of data being transferred and how to design a system accordingly. It is important that there is minimal lag on the recordings as I want all the feeds to sync up in video editing software elsewhere.

Initial thoughts are

Low spec Ryzen 3 processor
Most basic motherboard that supports M.2 (B350m)
Single M.2 memory recording the feeds
480k SSD running the software

This assumes processor is not doing much and the M.2 will handle the data. Or would I likely need separate M2 memory for each feed? or M.2 in raid 0 (if that exists)?

Thanks, James
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
USB feeds - correct? For three webcams I suspect that you may need a independently powered USB hub.

USB 2.0 will work. However, per the specs I saw, you will need USB 3.0 for 4K

What video editing software are you planning to use?

The host system must meet the hardware requirements dictated by the software.

Software usually lists hardware requirements in three categories: minimal, recommended, and best.

You do not want minimal. You want recommended and as much "best" as you can afford.

Read the User Guides/Manuals for both the Brio Webcams and the video software.

Plan out the project using all devices, connections, and software. Visit the respective manufacturer websites as necessary. Read the FAQs and Forums if available.

If you can get it all to "fit together" on paper then that will be a big step forward towards selecting a PC and setting up the entire system.

And, just for the fun of it, google "raspberry pi webcam server".

You may find some ideas and other information that will help you with your project.
 
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dance621

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Jan 24, 2017
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USB feeds - correct? For three webcams I suspect that you may need a independently powered USB hub.

USB 2.0 will work. However, per the specs I saw, you will need USB 3.0 for 4K

What video editing software are you planning to use?

The host system must meet the hardware requirements dictated by the software.

Software usually lists hardware requirements in three categories: minimal, recommended, and best.

You do not want minimal. You want recommended and as much "best" as you can afford.

Read the User Guides/Manuals for both the Brio Webcams and the video software.

Plan out the project using all devices, connections, and software. Visit the respective manufacturer websites as necessary. Read the FAQs and Forums if available.

If you can get it all to "fit together" on paper then that will be a big step forward towards selecting a PC and setting up the entire system.

And, just for the fun of it, google "raspberry pi webcam server".

You may find some ideas and other information that will help you with your project.


Thanks Ralston,

The editing software is on a different system (Ryzen 7 2700x, 64GB Ram, etc etc).

Regarding the USB hub, can't you just use three USB ports on the motherboard? What are the benefits of an independently powered USB hub?

There seems to be amazingly little on the forums concerning specs for multiple webcam recording. Maybe my search terms are wrong. I was assuming the drive would be the bottleneck. Your suggestion it might be the USB is interesting. In any case, your help is very welcome!

James
 

AllanGH

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can't you just use three USB ports on the motherboard?
As to the hardware side of things.....

Separate motherboard USB 3.0 Connectors would actually be the preferred way to do it.

Better, still, determine whether the MB has multiple USB 3.0 root hubs, and distribute the camera inputs across those as well. (For example: The machine I'm using now has USB 3.0 root hubs on Bus Numbers 003, 006, 009, 011, and 014. Since 009 and 011 are populated with devices already, I'd put your 3 cameras on 003, 006, and 014.)

If I were pushed on MB selection, I would opt for one having two NVMe channels available, putting the OS and ancillary software on M.2_1 and provision my recording space on M.2_2.

The balance of hardware specs should conform to the requirements of your software, as Ralston indicated.
 
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Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
The reason I suggested an independently powered USB hub is to move the power demands away from the host system.

Some systems can struggle with multiple USB devices especially any "cased" items (e.g., webcams, external drives) vs the less demanding loads from USB flashdrives. And multiple devices connected directly to the host motherboard could cause local heating up due to the power consumption.

I would not expect the drive to be the bottleneck. Especially an SSD. Maybe partitioned into three drives - one for each camera.

So it does seem to being narrowing down to the video capture, store, and replay software used by the Brio webcams. Use the hardware requirements recommended for that software (Logitech?) for the host capture system.

To successfully video sync the three feeds it seems to me that that would be a function of how the video editing software expects to get its' "data" and not so much the physical location of that data.

There are some real storage experts who regular participate in this Forum and they may comment accordingly. I have no problems with that.

The data will probably go down "one wire" at some point - e.g., from the video camera host computer to the editing computer via Ethernet. That could be a "bottleneck".

Getting out of my comfort zone somewhat.

Key is the planning to ensure that the hardware and software are all able to work together with the desired/required level of performance.

Interesting project.
 
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AllanGH

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USB 3.0 specifications detail a maximum current of 900mA per device, yielding a maximum of 2.7A for the three cameras in simultaneous use. Distributed across 3 root hubs, this is within the capabilities of any USB 3.0 equipped MB to handle without undue thermal effects.

The idea of using a Raspberry Pi to do the recording is interesting to me, and I'd likely use a Pi for each camera, and push finished video out over the network, or across the second USB 3.0 port.

The problem is that the first Pi to support USB 3.0 (the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B) won't be released to the market until 19 July, though I do have a couple on pre-order, just for kicks. (It was the dual HDMI outputs that got me, and who can say no to dual touch screen displays?)
 
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dance621

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Jan 24, 2017
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As to the hardware side of things.....

Separate motherboard USB 3.0 Connectors would actually be the preferred way to do it.

Better, still, determine whether the MB has multiple USB 3.0 root hubs, and distribute the camera inputs across those as well. (For example: The machine I'm using now has USB 3.0 root hubs on Bus Numbers 003, 006, 009, 011, and 014. Since 009 and 011 are populated with devices already, I'd put your 3 cameras on 003, 006, and 014.)

If I were pushed on MB selection, I would opt for one having two NVMe channels available, putting the OS and ancillary software on M.2_1 and provision my recording space on M.2_2.

The balance of hardware specs should conform to the requirements of your software, as Ralston indicated.
Hi Allan,

Where would I find the Root hub info specifically? This B450 MB lists two ports on the front (2 (Gen1, Type A), and 2 on the back (2(Gen2, Type A), 2(Gen1, Type A) ). Can I assume that is 4 root hubs? Or only a minimum of 2?

https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/B450-GAMING-PLUS/Specification

Thanks
 

dance621

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Jan 24, 2017
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Hi Allan,

Where would I find the Root hub info specifically? This B450 MB lists two ports on the front (2 (Gen1, Type A), and 2 on the back (2(Gen2, Type A), 2(Gen1, Type A) ). Can I assume that is 4 root hubs? Or only a minimum of 2?

https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/B450-GAMING-PLUS/Specification

Thanks
And would you think a usb card like this below would result in in adding another controller?

https://www.ebuyer.com/767589-startech-com-5-port-usb-3-1-10gbps-combo-card-1x-usb-c-2x-usb-a-pexusb312eic
 

AllanGH

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I had a couple of cards like the StarTechs, but found that I wound-up preferring the Orico board, instead--same general idea, though.

I find the hub enumeration on my systems through "lsusb", a Linux command line utility....or "lshw".
"lsusb" is great for a quick and dirty listing of the root hubs, and what's attached to each port.
"lshw" is my goto for very detailed info on a hardware platform, and is best implemented by redirecting the output to an ASCII file.

I have no idea what equivalents would exist on a windows installation....maybe device manager through the GUI?

Push comes to shove, you could download something like Knoppix, boot from that, and run "lsusb" to get the info.
 
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