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I'm trying to create a little home office webinar setup. I'd love to use more than one camera. One to point at my face, and another to point at a drawing, or diagram I'm making.

I will likely be using webrtc as a platform, but would love it if I could set it up to work with Skype and Google hangouts and such.

Is there a way to have two usb webcams plug into a switcher, and then just click a button or hit a switch and change which camera feeds into my webinar program? Ideally there would be black screen while switching.

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Webcams live in the universe of being devices plugged into computers, and switchers live in the universe of standard video sources being plugged into them. These two universes only talk to each other via specialized interfaces (if at all).

Happily, there exists software that gives you switcher-like functionality as a software package for your computer. One such package is manycam. There are others you can find.

Trying to get webcam video out of your computer as video, into a switcher, then back into your computer so that it can be webcast is about 3x more difficult than it needs to be. And it requires a lot more space on a physical desktop.

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  • "Trying to get webcam video out of your computer as video, into a switcher, then back into your computer so that it can be webcast is about 3x more difficult than it needs to be." ----- So, what if I used normal video and audio capture through a normal switcher, and then fed that into my computer for Skype or Hangouts? Is it still really difficult to do? – Costa Feb 15 '16 at 2:09
  • If you can feed live video to a video (not USB!) interface and broadcast that via Skype or Hangouts, then yes, it's trivial to put 2-3 (or more) cameras into a switcher and feed the output of that switcher to the same video interface you used when you verified that it worked for a single video camera. – Michael Tiemann Feb 15 '16 at 11:20
  • So I'd be looking for a video interface. If I want it to work on my OS (Ubuntu) and in multiple web conferencing apps (skype, hangouts, webrtc) what do I need to look for? What are the right questions to ask? – Costa Feb 16 '16 at 15:33

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