Bought two of them on sale from Fry's for $69.95 so I could have some decent video cams for video chatting with my wife while I am out of town on a contract job.

No indications on the packaging that the HD function is Skype-only.

No indications in any of the official/unofficial ad copy- and the online content states that it works for Linux specifically.

Unboxed the cams- they're worth the $70 I basically paid for them as they're one of the best straight up USB webcams I've used. As the claimed HD functionality, they fall completely flat on their face and you should NOT be buying them at anything more than about $70.

1) You apparently need Skype for Windows to get access to the h.264 hardware codec on the device.

2) They don't seem to expose anything other than YUV out the UVC interface.

3) Even if you use Skype, if you use ANY OS other than Windows, you over-paid for the cam if you bought it at other than $70 as there are no indications that Skype will bother with making that functionality available to Linux or MacOS users anytime soon.

4) It appears that if you want to USE their h.264 hardware encoding, you'll need to acquire their SDK for things- which probably means money out of pocket and very definitely means an NDA.