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WebCam to stream video to my website

10:12 am on Jul 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Can anyone please tell me which webcam is suitable to work outside,to stread video to my website?
I need network or IP model so it can work in stand alone mode,without PC.

Anyone have an expirience?

9:53 am on July 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator bill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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You can use almost anything as long as you've got a weather-tight enclosure. I've seen some interesting do-it-yourself outdoor webcam tutorials out there. A lot may depend on the extremes of the weather that the cam will have to withstand. If it's a relatively protected area you can use almost anything. If you've got to deal with extremes in temperature or otherwise then there are more expensive specialized hardware available.
5:32 pm on July 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member jtara is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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There are plenty of choices, and Bill gives excellent advice - determine your environmental needs and then go shopping. In a mild climate, you can use an uncooled/unheated enclosure. More severe environments need more specialized enclosures. A number of these cameras have an available enclosure option from the manufacturer, but there are plenty of third-party enclosures as well.

The smaller cameras such as the Canon VB-C50i lends themselves to small "dome" enclosures, and are available with powerful zoom ranges.

It sounds like you may be glossing-over a more important issue... how are you going to distribute the video? Have you chosen server software or a service?

Keep in mind that if you simply use the camera's internal web server, you will potentially have multiple users accessing the camera over your Internet connection to the camera location, and you can very quickly overwhelm your connection. (Probably no more than 2-3 users, and even then performance may be poor.)

The solution is to send a single stream to a server and have the server redistribute copies of the stream.

If you expect multiple simultaneous users, this is your top consideration. Pick the server software, find out what cameras are compatible, and THEN go shopping.

You will also have to decide what streaming technology to use. I think today the emerging trend is going to be toward Flash video. Unfortunately, there are precious few choices at this point, they can be expensive, and they do require a PC at the camera site for encoding. (Or at least between the camera and the server.)

More end-users now have Flash installed than have Java installed. Flash video is also a lot more bandwidth-efficient than the motion JPEG typically used in other solutions (and typically supported by the camera itself.)