Make Logitech, Inc. Webcam c270 work again!

Preface

Some years ago I took a webcam from my mum as it didn't seem to work on her WindowsPC anymore - the Logitech c270. Since I didn't have such an HD cam until then I decided to give it a try on my Linux desktops. Guess what? It worked fine. And ended in my cupboard. As Covid-19 pandemia struck western societies early in 2020 the sudden need of video conference hardware urged me to fetch it from there again.

White screen of death

When I tested it with VLC player it worked like a charm. When I used it for WebRTC applications instead there turned up certain flaws: The stream was disturbed by greenish lines progressively ending in a completely white screen. No plugging out and in, no fiddeling on cmd-line, nothing fixed this at all.

Eventually the white screen vanished and the picture re-emerged! After about 5 minutes. I could have coped with this until a new cam would be purchasable after crisis. But the the 5 min lag grew over the weeks. And in the end the white screen even reoccured after some 15 minutes.

I started searching the internet. Found nothing but driver un- and reinstallation of drivers with Windows10 and traces of video tutorials about soldering the cam's circuit board. That all seemed a step too far and I remembered the VLC player working ...

A "better than nothing" fix

To spoiler it: I could not repair the device to "as good as new". But I can use it now as sufficient webcam for conferencing without white or black screens again.

Starting the cam in VLC once more I checked its resolution there. And found that it used quite an unusual resolution of sth like 756x417 or alike. That made me curious what resolution e.g. OBS used by default with this cam. Yes - 1280x720! I selected another resolution ... Still white screen. Another one - but again no improvement. So I selected the strange one I found in VLC and ... Immediately the cam worked!

Long story short: This unusual resolution is now the only(!) one that works without white screen. But it does. And that's enough for my purpose.