Philips might not seem to be the obvious choice for a webcam manufacturer, however with a huge imaging department care of its TV division you can quickly see the link.



The Philip SPC 900NC is the company's flagship webcam a part of its ToUcam III series and promises to feature more bells and whistles on it than you can shake a stick at. So does it?

Slightly on the larger side - certainly compared to the competition - while the stand does take a bit of balancing on a laptop screen it fits regular monitors perfectly. The ability to move the lens up and down to get you in the frame is also helpful.

The main selling point for the 900NC from Philips is the inclusion of its Pixel Plus technology. In reality this means that the picture you get to see is considerably better than without it (as with all Philips kit, there is a handy demo mode so you can see what you could have been missing).

That combined with a 90 frames per second video option and the end picture is very good. Of course there is a pay off, mainly that unlike other webcam manufacturers, Philips has gone for a tight angle and so if you're expected to get anyone else in the frame apart from yourself you can forget it.

Coupled with the good picture is good sound, and the Philips clearly picks up your voice from its in-built microphone. However unlike the Creative Live! Cam Voice, there isn't any noise cancelling functionality and so to make sure you don't get plenty of background noise included it's advisable that you make sure there isn't any.

The accompanying Philips software is easy to use and allows you to set the camera up as a monitor, to broadcast it across the web or use it with the instant messaging applications. It also doubles up as a viewer for stored images and video captured with the webcam.

Verdict

If you are after good picture quality without the need for a wide angle of catchment then the Philips does a good job. Likewise the mic worked well to pick up our voice, if not a little too well.



With no mic direction software background noise was picked up from our noisy laptop and other noises in the office.