Webcasting using Analog Cameras

MarvinD's picture

The world is lousy with analog cameras of every shape, size and purpose. A lot of them have an output compatible with a video capture card. Out of this vast sea of cameras, two types seem to show promise; the home movie camera and the security camera. So how do we make the choice?

Since personnel requirements drive all of our decisions concerning webcasting, let's start there.

Home movie cameras generally require a cameraman to stand behind the camera and manually point it at the target. In order to get a good picture, the cameraman will need to be close to the target and very conspicuous to the congregation. So, we not only have an extra person required for this camera, we have an extra annoying person.

Security cameras are designed to be remotely pointed at the target and also to be inconspicuous. They come in color resolutions of up to 768 x 494 pixels. This is plenty for webcasting; a little much in fact. (Even with good compression, low end DSL clients run a risk of jerky video.)

Other considerations, such as the fact that a home movie camera can internally record a VHS or DVD while webcasting pale in comparison to the importance of personnel. (We currently use three VHS recorders, so one on the camera seems superfluous.)