Creative Labs Live! Ultra
- CCD Sensor, wide view angle, simple setup and use, can operate at 640 x 480 @ 30fps
- Expensive, resource intensive software, limited features in included software
An easy to use and capable webcam, although slightly expensive.
Price$ 179.95 (AUD)
The Live! Ultra is one of the higher end webcams available from Creative's line of video products. It intends to provide ease of use and quality video broadcasting over instant messaging as well as other internet protocols. The included software also enables some security usage, including delayed video recording, motion tracking and movement detection.
The design of the Live! Ultra is quite traditional in terms of webcams, with a focus knob surrounding the lens system and a rotational head. The included stand is advertised to allow the cam to clip onto any monitor or sit on any flat surface. We found the clip style stand to work very well with laptop screens and LCD screens, although it was slightly unstable when sitting on top of a CRT monitor or on a flat surface.
The camera plugs into any USB port, providing support for both the USB 2.0 and 1.1 standards. After plugging the device in, the driver setup CD took over the installation procedure. The installation is a streamlined process, which requires minimal user interaction; we were up and running in no time. The included software provides some useful functions, although we have had better experiences with free and open source web camera software. The main application of use, Creative's WebCam Centre, allows users to record captures (video and stills), remote monitoring, motion detection and time lapse video recording. Remote monitoring is by far the most interesting of these features, allowing users to transmit a sequence of still images to an FTP site of their choice. It is slightly disappointing that video footage cannot be streamed in this feature, although the time interval for the images can be set as low as 1 second per shot.
The internals of the camera are based around a 640x480 CCD video sensor. Capable of recording 640x480 video at 30 frames per second, the Live! Ultra provides the benchmark for video capture resolution. Image quality varies with the ambient lighting, and at its best provides clear video which suffers with grainy image. The software auto adjusts the image qualities to suit the environment, although under low light or night light we found the camera's performance drops dramatically, offering barely distinguishable images. One impressive and unique feature found in the Live! Ultra is the 76 degree wide viewing angle, allowing a greater viewing area to be recorded.
Within Windows, the only supported operating system for this device, the camera appears as a VFW (Video for Windows) capture device. This enables any video enabled software to utilize the Live! Ultra, and we confirmed this to work with many instant messaging softwares including MSN, Yahoo! Messenger and AIM. In all, Creative's Live! Ultra is a very easy to use device, but we recommend users 'Google' some better software if they intend on capturing video or streaming video to a web server.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Review: TCL C1 series 4K TV
- 2 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 3 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 4 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
- 5 Microsoft Lumia 640 review: Honouring Nokia's legacy
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- Nvidia's pricey Shield Android TV adds some value with 4K YouTube and Netflix HDR in US
- Netflix's Fast.com download tester takes its war against slow ISPs directly to the user
- Nearly 100 classic NFL games headed to YouTube
- Netflix isn’t big on virtual reality for the obvious reasons
- Netflix loosens up streaming video, letting users choose their cellular speed limit
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCDigital Content ProducerVIC
- CCNetwork Access Specialist - Telecommunications (Apply now)!!NSW
- FTSenior Developer (.Net)SA
- FTProduction ConsultantVIC
- CCBusiness AnalystACT
- CCHR Systems Support OfficerACT
- CCBusiness Analyst, AdviceNSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst - NV1VIC
- CCData Engineer (Java, Scala, Scripting, Hadoop, Spark)NSW
- CCDomain Specialist | Multiple RolesVIC
- FTDynamics Project ManagerNSW
- CCDelivery Manager - Integration SpaceVIC
- CCMultiple Oracle Fusion SOA/BPEL Developer OpportunitiesVIC
- CCTest Analyst / Test LeadNSW
- FTSenior Network Engineer - Technical LeadACT
- FTScrum MasterVIC
- CCICT Fleet and Equipment Audit ResourcesSA
- FTPermanent Defence network engineer - career progression & flexible conditionsACT
- CCProject Manager - HFCVIC
- CCSoftware DevelopersACT
- CCLMS Administrator and e- Learning Development Project OfficerSA
- CCSenior Portfolio Analyst - Risk and MetricsNSW
- FTTechnical Team Lead - .Net / SharePointACT
- CCRelease Manager, InfrastructureNSW
- FTOPEN_ASAP_Network Security AdministratorACT