August 17, 2021 5:53:16 pm
The MiTV Webcam is the latest product that hopes to aid our new world order where video calls have become the norm, be it daily meetings at work or for staying in touch with family members. The advantage here is that the MiTV Webcam can be plugged into your Android TV or streaming box, your regular laptop and even desktop to improve your overall video calling experience.
The MiTV Webcam comes with support for 1080p or full HD resolution at 25 frames per second (fps) and has a 2MP camera. It also comes with a movable shutter, which can be used to hide the camera when not in use to ensure total privacy for the users. It has 3D Image Noise reduction to ensure that the picture quality remains good during a video call, and comes with stereo dual mic as well.
The base of the camera has a magnetic adjustable bracket and it relies on a Type-C USB port to connect, though the other end of the in-box cable has a regular USB port, which means it should fit on most laptops, and TVs as well.
Given how poor the webcams continue to be on some laptops, this can be a good option, especially for those who need a better webcam for their Zoom or Google Meet calls. And if you have one of those Mi laptops without the camera, then it makes even more sense.
On TVs, the MiTV Webcam works with Google Duo for which any regular Android TV should do. I have an LG TV with the company’s own WebOS, which doesn’t have support for Google Duo.
So I decided to test the MiTV Webcam on my Apple MacBook Air (M1) and at first I did have some trouble. One, no matter what I did I could not get the camera to stay still on top of the device, as the adjustable magnetic bracket would not stick. But I eventually managed to figure it out, and the camera was stable after this.
My second major issue was that after I had plugged the camera into my PC using a dual USB-C cable, it appeared that the camera was not working. That’s because the indicator light on the camera would go on for just a second after the camera was plugged in and then go off. I mistook the light going off as the camera had stopped working. I really wish Xiaomi had ensured that the white light would remain on, since this is an effective indicator that the camera is in fact working fine. The light going off might leave some users such as myself, confused that there’s something wrong.
Anyway, once I had figured out that the camera worked fine, I decided to use the MiTV Webcam for my weekly calls on FaceTime and Google Meet. During a Google Meet call with my teammates, I asked them if the MiTV Webcam was better or the 720p FaceTime camera on my MacBook Air. The vote was largely in favour of the Mi option and I was not surprised given I’ve long felt that the MacBook Air’s camera remains a major weak point.
The image quality was a clear improvement over what the regular FaceTime camera offers. But do keep in mind that this is still a 2MP camera, though it has 1080p support, and while the overall image is definitely clearer compared to what standard laptop cameras might offer, it is far from perfect. The advantage here is a slightly wider field of view ( 71-degrees) compared to what you might get on a standard laptop.
For those using it with Google Meet or FaceTime, just make sure that when you make calls on FaceTime, you switch to the USB camera mode in the settings.
What I liked about the MiTV Webcam is the ease of use, that you can simply plug it in and it will work. No software, no learning curve required. Frankly, if you are looking to boost the video quality on your daily calls, this is a good affordable option at Rs 1,999.
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