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Q: Building a web camera system ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Building a web camera system
Category: Computers > Internet
Asked by: mule-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 10 May 2003 07:50 PDT
Expires: 09 Jun 2003 07:50 PDT
Question ID: 201963
Building a web camera system 

I would like information on building a PC-based streaming web camera
system viewable via the internet.  The camera system should be able to be
displayed on a web page, record what it sees and store the images
(most compressed file format to save on pc).  The camera will be
operating 24 hours a day and the connection speed is 56k dial-up. The
camera can be a high-end web camera (image quality is important) or a
hand held/mountable USB-capable Camcorder.   Windows 2000 operating
system required.  A successful answer should provide "how to" type
information in setting up a pc-based remote camera for on-line
internet streaming and recording over a slow data connection.

Request for Question Clarification by shiva777-ga on 10 May 2003 10:54 PDT
You will more than likely want to buy a system, that is a hardware,
software setup designed to do this. Are pointers to various systems of
this type with reviews etc acceptable as answer?


Request for Question Clarification by easterangel-ga on 11 May 2003 18:36 PDT
Hi! Would you accept as an answer links to step by step guides on how
to setup a web camera system?
Subject: Re: Building a web camera system
Answered By: kyrie26-ga on 11 May 2003 22:41 PDT
Hello mule-ga,

Thank you for your question. I am going to start by covering the
basics of a typical Web camera setup. Let's start with a definition of
a webcam :


WebCam Toolkit : What is a webcam?

" A web cam in the simplest definition is a camera that is in some way
connected to the World Wide Web, or Internet. As you may imagine given
this broad a definition, webcams can take many different forms and

One of the most common types of webcams are personal cameras that are
connected to a home PC, which with the help of some software allow the
user to share a moving image of themselves with others. Depending on
the user, and the software, this image may be publicly available to
the Internet at large via a directory of some sort, or only available
to the user's friends who know the proper address to connect to. These
cameras are typically only on when the user's computer is turned on,
and they are connected to the Internet. With the rise of DSL and Cable
modems users are leaving their computers on more, which is good
overall for webcam watchers, however, it has other complications
including speed and security. "


Now, let's get started :

WebCam Toolkit : Getting Started Webcam Toolkit Home

" So you've watched a few webcams and you want to have your own. Let
WebCam.Com help you get going. To start with you are going to need a
few things:

1. Computer (chances are you have one if you are reading this). This
computer should be in a comfortable location, where you plan on using
the webcam (most likely in your house, rather than at your office,
although maybe you have a home office).
2. Internet connection(again, you probably have this). Keep in mind,
the faster your Internet connection the better the experience for
those you are webcamming with.
3. Webcam (we'll get to this in a moment). 
4. Software for your webcam. "


There are many ways your webcam can connect to your computer :

WebCam Toolkit : Home WebCams 101 - For PC

"PC users have substantial options to them for video capture. Most
modern consumer webcams utilize the USB (universal serial bus) to
connect to the user's computer. For most users this is the best choice
in terms of ease of use, cost, and availability.
Many older webcams use the parallel port, but this is a less than
optimal option for most users. Firewire and PCI cards are other
options that more advanced users may wish to consider but that are
highly dependant on which version of Windows you have. "

Here is a list of cameras recommended at this page :


Then you'll need software. This all depends on your needs. There are
many modes and capture techniques available. Among these are motion
detection, ftp upload, and streaming video. Since you are operating on
low bandwidth (56K), streaming video may not be the best option for
you, especially if you need high picture quality. I recommend the FTP
upload method. This allows up-to-the-minute video feeds on your
website - the webcam software will take a picture and then
automatically FTP the image file to your Web server. Here is an
example of this type of implementation :

i-Catcher - Implementation - Single Camera

[begin excerpt]

Web Camera Mode

Many people wish to add live images to their web site. In order to
serve this role the i-Catcher software has a web camera mode of
operation. After selecting this mode and entering the relevant FTP
details, to upload images to your ISP, the software will continuously
upload the latest image to your web site. By referencing this image in
your web site code you will have a web camera.

Time Lapse Mode

In time lapse mode the software takes a snapshot at predetermined
intervals. This is especially useful for scientific or statistical
work. After selecting this mode and entering the relevant FTP details,
to upload images to your ISP, the software will record images at the
configured time interval and continue to do so until stopped by the
operator or scheduler. These time lapse images can be viewed using the
standard playback functions.

[end excerpt]


To give you a complete list of available software would be impossible,
since there are so many, so instead I've dug up several ones that I
was impressed with :


CoffeeCup WebCam

"Now, with CoffeeCup WebCam, you can hook up your camera, start the
WebCam software, and put LIVE Images online in minutes ! You can even
have multiple cameras and multiple Websites. CoffeeCup WebCam will
upload images from any camera, to any Website on your list, on any
schedule you set ! And with the Security Cam feature, you can have
your WebCam keep an eye on things for you. Have it watch your home,
your office, your baby, or anything else. It alerts you when something
moves in the picture. It's that easy ! It can also make your Web
Pages, and more!"


ISpy WebCam Software

"ISpy, the #2 selling webcam software*, is an easy-to-use application
designed for the novice and intermediate webcam user. Users can
broadcast video through ftp images uploaded in timed intervals, either
minutes or hours. ISpy works with any Video for Windows compatible
camera or capture card."


Easy Free Web Cam from UK Software

"EasyFreeWebCam is a fully featured web cam with a great looking
interface that works 'Out of the box'. With its superb 'Live Video
feed' feature and the 'motion detection' feature you will never need
to use any other cam software. You can have 'email alerts' sent to you
when motion is detected, upload to any ftp server or just use our FREE
web space. It's very easy to use and set-up but if you need more, then
just explore the advanced settings for image manipulation etc. You can
alter the uploaded HTML page or the web cam 'Gallery' feature and
choose how many images to archive for online viewing. It even works
with a WAP enabled mobile phone or a PDA for remote viewing. Pop up
windows show you 'Whos Watching you' when using the server feature. At
the end of the day you can use the 'slide show' feature to preview the
day’s activities on your own computer. This truly is a great piece of
software and best of all - it’s FREE."


KABcam - WebCam Software

"Automatically snaps a picture and publishes it to your web page.
Supports Dial-Up and Broadband Internet Connections. Publish the image
every few seconds, minute or hours."


NetSnap Features

"If you have a web server or use a web hosting service, you can use
the FTP client service of NetSnap to upload current images to your web
site service. The upload frequency is configurable and may be as short
as every 5 seconds. FTP is supported on single camera only."


Here is an out-of-the-box package (webcam included) :

Inetcam : iVISTA Software


Summing it all up, assuming you already have a computer and internet
connection, all you need is to get the camera, and software. Just go
ahead and install each of these, webcam first and then software... and
voila, you should have a webcast-capable webcam in no time at all.

I hope this answered your question. If anything is unclear please do
not hesitate to post a Request For Clarification and I will be glad to
assist. Thank you for using Google Answers!

Google Search Terms :

webcam OR "web cam"

Other Search Terms : - "webcam"


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