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I have a Dell XPS 15 (model 9570) running Ubuntu 18.04. It has a built in webcam and I'd like to find a way to force it to capture images at a 160x120 resolution when doing video conferencing (any of Google Meetings, Google Hangouts or Jitsi). I think this probably means doing something at the driver or kernel level because the applications don't have good enough options for this. Is this possible? How do I do it?

Background

I will shortly be working remotely and want to setup a really simple, really cheap video conferencing setup so I can speak to my children.

This suggests a Raspberry Pi running Chromium in kiosk. The problem is that the pi CPU maxes out trying to decode the high resolution image stream coming from my laptop. The resulting video has a 5-10s lag and skips horribly. They don't need to see me in high resolution but if I'm to have any hope of capturing their attention it needs to be reasonably fluid and current!

I have also tried manually setting Google Meetings to 320x160 resolution. This still results in 2-4s lag on the pi, although the CPU load is permanently at 100% across all 4 cores.

Other experiments (https://raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/questions/99619/how-can-i-set-up-video-calling-with-out-the-video-lagging-3-5s-lag-is-local-to?noredirect=1#comment163528_99619) have shown that the pi's camera doesn't contribute to the lag and also that it is not the pi CPU being throttled due to heat. I'm open to other solutions but I think that the best path is to reduce the load on the pi imposed by the remote party in the call (my laptop).

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