Getting started with a webcam

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PACE University - CIS 101 - Getting Started with a WebCam

PACE University - CIS 101 - Getting Started with a WebCam

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  • 1. Getting Started with a WebCamA webcam is a digital camera that connects to your computer. The images taken by the cameracan be transmitted and displayed on a web site with the use of software.You will need the following: a computer a connection to the internet a web camera webcam software a webpage and web hostThe CameraA webcam is a digital camera designed to take digital photographs and transmit them over theinternet. The camera connects to your computer and takes a snapshot image that gets saved toyour computers hard drive. Webcam software allows you to control how often the camera takes aphoto and updates (sends) that photo on your web server. It uploads a photo (.jpg) to your webhost. A web host is a company that provides you with server space to host your web site files.The web hosts and serves (displays) your web pages to visitors who request your web page byaccessing your Domain Name (www.yourname.com).A Snapshot or a Streaming Webcam?Snapshot webcams take a snapshot image and refreshes that images (uploads) at set intervals.Image quality is very sharp and they are very easy to set up.Streaming webcams: the nice part of the streaming webcams is that they stream (or at least tryto). Streaming means you see the images of the webcam in a continuous motion (like in a TV) butthe reality is that the image quality tends to be poor and the motion is not as smooth as the TV.This method consumes a lot of resources and its not as easy to set up as the snapshotwebcam...The SoftwareNow that you have your webcam, the next step is to publish your images on the web. You need totransfer the image saved to your computer to your web host. This is done with webcam software(Spycam, Chillcam) Some cameras include trial versions or full versions of their own webcamsoftware.How does the software work?The software uses your Internet connection (dial up, DSL, cable, satellite) to upload via FTP (FileTransfer Protocol) a single snapshot captured from the camera set up on your computer. You canset the file transfer to occur at set intervals (every 30 or 60 seconds). You will connect to yourwebhost using your username and password issued by your web hosting company.The Web PageHow will your viewers see your webcam?They will visit your webpage. You create a webpage (webcam.html) that has your webcam imageinserted into it.Once you have created the HTML page that displays the webcam image in it, you need to knowhow to make the HTML page refresh the image. The webcam will be uploading a new image andanyone already viewing your HTML page will want to see the new images as they are updated.Refreshing the Image
  • 2. To get the latest shot captured by the webcam, users connected to your page will have to reloadit or hit the refresh button to see the new image. If you add some extra HTML, Javascript code orJava applets to your webcam HTML page you can make it auto-reload the picture after a user-definable period.META tag command: The simplest and oldest method (still in use though) of refreshing awebcam image on a webpage is made via a set of HTML commands set in the <HEAD> tag ofyour page.There is a META tag than can make a web page to auto reload after a period of time (in seconds)is reached. The syntax for this tag is as follows:<HEAD>...<META HTTP-EQUIV=REFRESH CONTENT="seconds">......</HEAD>Set the "seconds" to equal the number of seconds it will take the browser to Reload the currentpage.An Example:<META HTTP-EQUIV=REFRESH CONTENT="60">would refresh the page every 60 seconds.The disadvantage of this method is that the whole page is reloaded, If you are using this methodit is recommended that you keep the HTML page simple and with limited graphics so the page willreload quickly.