A webcam is simply a small video camera that broadcasts or shows an image or video through a computer’s screen to an external computer system, such as a Web camera or Internet connection. Web cams are usually small digital cameras that are built in the hardware of a desktop, connect to the user’s computer via a USB cable, or sit on the desk. Internet cams and personal web cams are also available today.
One advantage of using a webcam is that it is easy to view the image from anywhere in the world. Most camcorders use a VGA connection to send video information over the Internet, although a more modern type of connection may use a high-speed data connection. This means that a person who has an Internet connection, and who has a webcam, can view an image captured on the camcorder or displayed on the computer screen even if the person does not have an Internet connection.
A disadvantage of using a webcam is that there is usually no control over the image or display. A person must have an Internet connection to view the video, or else the video may appear scrambled or fuzzy. Some camcorders may include an option to use the webcam by pressing a button. The downside of this is that in many cases, the camcorder is still unable to detect the camcorder’s presence, and the camcorder is not seen on the desktop.
An alternative to using a webcam is to have software installed on the computer that monitors the Internet connection. This way, if a camcorder is not present, the Internet connection will be used for video purposes.
If a person who has an Internet connection wishes to use the webcam, he or she must first select a program that will support it. Programs such as Windows Live Photo Gallery, Microsoft Live Movable Type, Windows Movie Maker, QuickTime Player, and Windows Movie Maker will allow images to be viewed from a webcam through the Internet.
To begin using the video camcorder, the computer’s screen must be turned on and the video input software selected. After the camcorder is set up and ready to use, the person will need to plug in the camcorder. or connect the camera to the computer through the USB port.
The person then uses the camcorder’s internal memory to record the video, or he or she can use an external digital video recorder to record the image. Once the recording is complete, the person then transfers the recorded image to the camcorder through the USB cable or by making use of an Ethernet connection.
A camcorder, like any other piece of equipment, can experience problems and glitches, and the problem may require the person operating it to troubleshoot the problem. It is important to check with the camcorder manufacturer about possible problems such as loss of video quality and freeze-ups prior to use.
If the camcorder does experience problems with Internet connection, it is often wise to connect it to a wired Internet connection rather than a wireless Internet connection. Some people may think that since a camcorder can be used in this manner, the camcorder itself should not be connected to the Internet. This is not necessarily true; a camcorder can become affected by interference from an outside source and may not be able to function properly.
A camcorder may also experience problems connecting to the Internet through a slow Internet connection. There are several different causes for these types of problems, and they are generally easy to resolve. Most problems are temporary and will disappear once the camcorder is repaired.
If a camcorder’s power cord is plugged into an outlet but does not operate, it may be due to static. If a camcorder’s power cord is plugged into an ungrounded outlet, the person operating the camcorder must unplug it and reconnect it to the outlet to ensure that it is operating properly.
If a camcorder’s battery power light flashes or comes on, the person may be required to recharge the camcorder’s battery or recharge the battery pack. If the camcorder becomes damaged or overheats, it may be due to a problem with the camcorder’s electronic components.