On the grounds that I couldn’t find a suitably priced webcam that is suitable for outdoor use and that isn’t USB based (I need a 30+ ft cable to site it where I want it to go) I got hold of a small video camera in an outdoor housing to do the job. However, it’s got 1v p-p video output, so I need to get that into a PC st capture images from it. When I got the camera I thought that there would be loads of ways to get a video signal into the PC to capture still images. Now that I’ve gone looking I’m not as sure :?
Most video input hardware/software assumes you either want to capture a video stream in MPEG format or just view it on screen for security purposes. I’ve not seen a hardware/software package that allows you to get timed still images out of it.
Can anyone suggest anything that might do the job? It can be either PCI card or USB based. It needs to run on/in an XP PC, not cost an arm and two legs and preferably be easy to obtain in the UK. Any thoughts?
I’ve been using an ATI AllInWonder (has tv tuner and video input) with an outdoor color video cam. WD does indeed work great with this.
In fact today while shopping at Fry’s (USA West coast electronics superstore) I was debating about getting a wireless video outdoor camera to relocate to where I really want to put the camera… The one I was looking at was a Swann that seems to come from “down under”, the range seemed ok but I couldn’t tell about the power lead length. Have to research it a bit more.
That’s interesting. Is it one of their TV cards or something else? I assumed their cards wouldn’t work because they tend to work by inserting digitised video directly into the (VGA card) video memory (which is what has caused me interminable grief in the past!) I think I’ve got a couple of old Hauppauge TV cards around, although they pre-date Windows XP by a good number of years so I doubt if there are drivers available for them.
I have an ATI video card with video input in another PC, but the video input versions have never looked cheap compared to other video cards (although I have to admit to now having looked at them for some time).
Grrr…I can’t find either the card or the USB device. As I never, ever throw away anything remotely computer related until the last wisp of smoke has escaped from it (and even then it’s difficult to chuck things sometimes!) it won’t be in the bin. That means the only other answer is that they’ve been recycled into a ‘build a PC from old bits for a friend’ project at some point.
One Hauppauge WintTVGo card later and the camera is connected. Trouble is it’s night now and the camera points right at a street light so whilst I can tell I’ve got a picture I don’t know how good it is. Hopefully tomorrow will dawn bright with blue skies (although the forecast doesn’t suggest it will…more like -3degC and foggy).
Next job…work out how to set up the WD capture utility. I’ve had it displaying the video feed, but the text overlays I tried didn’t show up. Do they only display on the image being sent to the web, or should they show up on the preview pictures?
Had to shrink this down so not sure you will be able to see it, but this is how mine reacts to the overlay. I make changes as required, then hit test and save and exit. Close the webcam setup then re-open to see the changes on the preview image.
Looks like it’s working. I’ve adjusted the position of the camera as well…and the overlay comes in handy for making sure people don’t think I’m showing what’s going on in their houses (not that you’d see much at this resolution). The image is at http://blackpool.weather-watch.com/webcamimage.jpg.
Urk, what’s that horrible black rectangle doing almost in the middle of the picture ???
If all you were showing was just that house across the road, then I might be a bit concerned, but you couldn’t really see anything more than perhaps if they walked around outside at the time of image capture.
All that black box does is draw your attention to that house.