caribguy - 5:31 pm on Apr 19, 2011 (gmt 0)
From my experience running a remote controlled 6 camera system with live chat at the (then) #1 beach bar in the world from 2004-2008.
Define decent :) I've had success with the semi professional range of Sony and Panasonic PTZ network cameras, which initially complemented an ancient Axis 2100 that had been running since 1999. Any camera can be made weather resistant by putting it in a dome...
All of these can be set up to upload a picture to your webserver every n seconds, or can be made accessible for live streaming (directly from the camera).
Note that you usually can only get a maximum of 5-8 concurrent streams when streaming directly. A nicer (scalable) way is to send a single stream up to your server and redirect it with a streaming server on your host. Microsoft used to have something called Windows Media Encoder. These days I'd probably look into VLC to do this.
To maximize the user experience, I developed a Flash front end that would automatically disconnect inactive clients after 15 minutes. A LOT (!) of people would leave their office PC's on all weekend and auto-refresh the image pages. In order to prevent circumventing the system, I allocated a unique id to each client based on their original access time and ip address.