adjusting video settings for a google hangout in Ubuntu

At work we often conduct meetings as a Google Hangout and Ubuntu running Chrome works very well for this. Unfortunately, I found that sometimes the video quality was a bit iffy and the controls offered by Hangout don’t let you adjust those in Ubuntu.

So, how can you adjust the video settings? Well, guvcview can be used to adjust the settings before joining a hangout.

First, install it

sudo apt-get install guvcview

Then start it via unity, menu or command line. It should start up and put your right on the image control settings screen like this:

The yellow highlighted pieces are the ones that I like to adjust for brightness and image quality.

Then exit out and enjoy a crisper hangout experience.

Those changes will hold until you reboot.

At some point I might see which device files can be modified to achieve the same thing.



update: Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Having to remember to this after a reboot is tedious. So is opening a GUI. After a little digging I found that the uvcdynctrl program (in the package with the same name) can take care of this. Here is what I put into my /etc/rc.local file:

/usr/bin/uvcdynctrl -d video0 -s"Backlight Compensation" 1
/usr/bin/uvcdynctrl -d video0 -s"Sharpness" 100

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