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Old Aug 24, 2003, 11:45 AM   #11
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What are you looking for...a camera that can display pictures live that you have just taken to a TV (most digicams can do that) or a device that will send images that you've taken a long time ago to a TV or projector (there are better devices for that)?
Mike_PEAT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 24, 2003, 12:19 PM   #12
Join Date: Jul 2002
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You haven't really told us what you want to do, rjp765. Maybe you want to explore the possibilities....in that case, here are some ideas.

First, the best/easiest use of a webcam is probably to "see" what's going on at home or the office from any web browser anywhere in the world.

The second would probably be for "Video Chat"

You will need a combination of hardware/software and know some basics about using your infrastructure to bring them together and make them work.

1. The Camera - You can expect nice video from high-end ($100) webcams like the QuickCam Pro 4000 or more expensive indoor network cameras like Axis 2100 (around $275.)


The network cameras (DLink DCS-1000,etc.) are nice because they already have operating system and HTTP server software. Plug 'em in and turn 'em on and you're broadcasting the video over the network or the internet.

The third and most expensive route is using a digicam. You can use a capture card and a digital video camera if you really want excellent quality and have the bandwidth to support it. But if you don't have the upload bandwidth, don't bother.

For video chat, you might want to check out D-Link's i2eye Videophone. It requires 2 units...but its made for broadband and overcomes a lot of the other hurdles.


2. The Software - Just about every webcam comes with its own software. Functionality is always an issue with these programs which sometimes require copies of themselves to run properly.

It's probably better to look for a piece of REAL internet broadcasting software. These just pump out a video stream or refresh single frames in standard internet formats that can be read and refreshed by any java-enabled browser. There are many. A cheap one you can try for free that works GREAT is called VisionGS.


Software programs like this one function as HTTP servers, so others can point to an address with their browswer and see your video. The network cameras have this software built-in and do the same thing.

3. Your infrastructure. You have broadband, but you need to test its UPLOAD capability. If you only want 1 - 3 computers to connect to your camera, it wouldn't be a problem...but if you want 10, you'll need to be able to have some bandwidth available.

Also, do you have a static IP address or a dynamic one? If it's dynamic, you will need a way to easily point to your camera either running on its own (a network camera) or a webcam that is broadcasting via a software program like VisionGS.

If your address is static, you're good to go. If you have a dynamic address that changes all the time, you'll need a service like DYNdns.com or dtdns.com to handle your address changes.

Why? Because with the dynamic address service, you can write your camera's network address into a constant value like:


If it's one day and another, it doesn't matter...the link will point to that address and people can easily connect to your camera.

Finally, you're behind your router, I assume. That means you'll have to forward the ports you are using to stream video. Usually that's 80 or 8080 to put the video in a stream acceptable to any internet browser...the port number doesn't matter...what does matter is that the port is forwarded to the computer running the USB camera or the network address of the standalone network camera.

Hope that helped!
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