Video ConnectivityAugust 20, 2008 at 4:01 pm | Posted in Media, Security, Software | 2 Comments
Webcams have a remarkable range of uses – security, location monitoring, videophone, event capture, and more. Lots of programs support them – instant messaging, Skype, and so on. But they suffer from one flaw – quality usually sucks. Why not use your DV (digital video) Camera as a webcam?
If you live in the Mac world, this is pretty simple. Plug your DV camera into a firewire port (sometimes USB too) and put it Camera mode. Voila, DV quality picture. For things like video conferencing, you actually may need to lower the quality settings to ensure a smooth transmission.
Some cameras have trouble if there’s a tape in. You may also have to turn off any demo or screensaver mode that may kick in after about 5 minutes. Just browse the Menu or manual for settings. Oh – and plug it in.
Windows users have a little more challenge. Even though it technically can do this, there is usually a little messing around to get it working. In the Skype forums, they suggested a few tools.
Trackercam **, a free program made by makers of camera motion hardware. I tried this one but it didn’t find the camera – it did find the other drivers though. I suspect I need to update drivers for the camera or fix a WMA issue I’m having.
SplitCamera is also free and has evidently solved the issue for several. But it has a designed 1+ second lag which may make it unsuitable for things like videoconferencing.
Someone else suggested Willings Software. Their package is $30 for the Lite version and $60 for full. There’s a feature comparison on the home page.
Note that the products are designed to enhance webcam functionality but allow for DV Cams in the process.