March 09, 2006
Setting up a Barn WebCam - Part 6
So do you have your barn camera set up now? Now it's time to connect it to your computer, and to Internet so your friends can help you watch for your new longeared babies to come!
First you will need a reasonably current computer (with a USB port / connector slot) and an Internet connection (preferably not a dial-up Internet connection). There are a lot of fast speed Internet connections available now days in most areas – DSL, cable, satellite, wireless, just to name a few.
You will also probably want to have a place on Internet where you have server space for your website. This is where your WebCam webpage will be stored so that other people can access it. There are many different website service providers available. If you already have a website, you should be able to use the same one. If you don’t have a website yet, you can do a search on Internet for “website hosting” and find quite a few options. I use PowWeb.com for mine.
Now you need some way to hook your barn camera into your computer. I have a special little box that I bought for this purpose. It is called a video capture device. The one I bought is Pinnacle Studio’s Dazzle video capture device. Mine is pictured above. The newer models are shaped a little bit different, but still have the same functionality. You should be able to order one of these through your local computer store, or you can also find a lot of good deals on them on eBay.com
Your Dazzle connector should come with a CD of computer driver files to install so that your computer can communicate with the Dazzle connector. Plug your Dazzle connector into your computer, and install the drivers that came with it. Your computer should now be able to talk to the Dazzle connector.
The Dazzle connector has spots to plug video camera cables into it. You can either plug your barn camera’s video cable directly into the Dazzle connector, or if you have your video cable plugged into a monitor screen, you should be able to run another video cable from the output on the monitor screen to the input on the Dazzle connector.
Now all you need is the computer software to take the picture coming in from your camera and display it on your website. We’ll talk about several kinds of software you can use for this job in the next article in this series.
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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at March 9, 2006 08:11 PM