I have Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and a PS2 eyetoy "Namtai". Don't worry - this is not the sterotypical " how do I get my eyetoy working" question.

My eyetoy works fine on Cheese, gucview and various other media software like VLC. However, It seems like I am capped by 25fps. If I recall, the eyetoy is much better than this (~60fps) but cannot find any way to fix this. The best program that I have have found is VLC because its advanced options allow you to change many settings but the framerate setting appears to have no effect.

What software or settings can I use to take full advantage of my eyetoy?

To give you the full information I wish to attach multiple eyetoys to the system and record from all of them. (Security software like motion and zoneminder, I couldn't get installed correctly on my system- so I haven't tried those yet).

edit - I tried the same camera on a Windows system and the frame rate is much better in VLC compared to the Ubuntu system. Mind you with default settings in Windows VLC, the resolution isn't great. However, in Skype for example the resolution is amazing and the framerate is good. It seems there must be some settings I am missing somewhere because it doesn't appear to be a hardware problem...

edit2 - These images were taken seconds apart - top Ps2 eyetoy (better quality, worse framerate), bottom ps3 eyetoy (terrible quality, good framerate)

Ps2 eyetoy image

Ps3 eyetoy image

1 Answer 1


The hardware specs for the Eyetoy are 320×240 @ 25fps. It's a really cheap and now very old camera. The Playstation Eye was somewhat better but far outside what you'd consider decent.

I don't know what Skype is doing but I suspect it's a software effect.

In terms of security cameras, these might be okay (you might want lower resolution) but I'd consider something better at entry points. I could easily imagine people in 320×240 stills being unrecognisable and thus material being inadmissable. Here's a decent guide of what you should be aiming for.

I've since bought a second hand Eyetoy and the picture quality on 14.04 is fine. The lens and sensor are awful examples of cheap hardware but the quality isn't nearly as bad as your example. Even in an otherwise pitch-black drawer (with just the red video light), it isn't grainy. Sound is good too.

enter image description here

That's from vlc v4l2:///dev/video0 :input-slave="alsa://hw:2,0"

But the framerate is an issue. Through avconv I'm only getting 7 frames per second. Capturing in VLC only gets 7.5FPS. This side of things does look like a driver issue. It also looks like a regression in V4L2 because there are Ubuntu-recorded videos on Eyetoys that aren't that slow.

  • I dont buy this - its not a software 'effect'. The quality is much better. C.F VLC on Ubuntu and VLC on Windows - stark difference. I might just abandon Ubuntu for this current project and go with windows
    – Fire
    May 29, 2014 at 23:56
  • That's your prerogative. I'll see if I can borrow one over the weekend. It's highly possible that the Windows driver for these is better than the Linux one. They're not written by the same people.
    – Oli
    May 30, 2014 at 12:50
  • So I picked up a playstation 3 eyetoy (ps eye) and tried it on Ubunutu. It is worse quality (noisy and pixelated) than the ps2 eyetoy but higher frame rate! This is really driving me crazy. Any ideas?
    – Fire
    Jun 6, 2014 at 3:16
  • I have edited my post to show you the quality differences in static images. I care about the video performance more though, but in the static frames the difference is stark.
    – Fire
    Jun 6, 2014 at 3:31
  • FWIW, I'm still looking at this. I have played with every option in guvcview and qv4l2 and I can't get above also shows 15fps@320×240 or 7fps@640×480. There's clearly a bug somewhere in the stack. This seems endemic to lots of webcams since 12.04, not just the eyetoy.
    – Oli
    Aug 3, 2014 at 12:31

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