Web Cam using CamCorder

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by donr, May 12, 2010.

  1. donr

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 28, 2009
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    I just purchased a Panasonic sdr-h85 camcorder. I was planning on also purchasing a Web cam when it hit me that maybe I could use the camcorder. I know that it will cost me more to build one but I would like a project to work on. I was thinking that It would make the most sense to take the Video Analog signal, convert it to digital and send it to the PC via USB or firewire. To this point I have only built very simple circuits. Does any one have a circuit that I could use to do this conversion.
     
  2. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
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  3. donr

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 28, 2009
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    buying one takes the fun out of the whole thing but I trust your opinion from the differnent threads that you have responded to.

    thanks,
     
  4. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
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    I really don't like to sound like a "wet blanket".

    While it might seem to be a relatively simple thing to do, it's really quite complex.

    Very basically, they take the incoming RGB signal, and convert it to .MP3 or .FLV format "on the fly", likely using a highly integrated processor. Then they send buffered packets of data across USB, and the software on the PC assembles the packets and creates a file, while applying color corrections, etc.

    Each of these tasks is rather complex, to say the least.

    It becomes very difficult when a relatively new person tries to take on such a complex project; as the project progresses they finally realize that they are in way over their head, and are completely dependent on others to "bail them out", which leads to a feeling of helplessness. When the project fails, the "n00b" becomes discouraged and may abandon future projects altogether.

    It is far better to start with small projects that have a successful conclusion, which builds experience and confidence. Work up slowly from there. Building kits is a good way to start.
     
  5. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
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    Does you computer have a 'video in'? These are usually either coax (Standard cable tv connector) S-video, or rca-type jacks.
    They can be located on the back motherboard port panel, or on your video card.

    If this was a digital camera, webcam would be much easier to pull off. Unfortunately the Sarge is correct. You need to digitally encode the signal, color correct, and up or down sample the images to be the size you want them on the screen.

    Some video is 2000x1500 pixels (across and down) For a webcam you probably want 640x480 or less.

    If you are simply inputing the video for editing and output, or burning a dvd, you keep the size and quality. But for web cam, you do not. Also to do editing and dvd burning, you need not have on-the-fly conversions, but if you want your webcam to be live, its gonna cost you.

    You can get webcams for $10 at walmart. I would go that route.
     
  6. donr

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 28, 2009
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    Thanks, I appreciate both of your input.
     
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