Setting up your camcorder as a webcam

We wanted to do a webinar using gotomeeting where people would be joining the gotomeeting to watch a presentation. Sharing the screen works good for displaying power point screen or the desktop screen. However, we wanted  people to watch the presenter as they spoke. Normally you can do that using the webcam, but we wanted something better than a webcam.

Here’s our adventure trying to connect an external camera to be used as a web camera.

1. First we found an iPhone app. It’s called an EpocCam from Kinoni (http://www.kinoni.com/). This app will turn your iPhone camera as an webcam source. On your laptop, you download an app and connect your web cam. The iPhone will send video signal via a wifi, so both your iPhone and your computer will need to be connected to the same wifi spot. If your computer does not have a wifi capability or if you do not have a wifi router available, you can not use the program. Wifi capability is great because your iPhone can be in different room as long as you’re on the same wifi spot and you do not need to run cables. Downside is that the video feed you get is not very controllable. (i.e. you can not change exposure, cannot zoom, etc.). If you find that the video out is in mirror image (left and right wise), you need to change to a different input source.

2. Second, we wanted to connect a camcorder and use it as a webcam source. Unfortunately, a lot of newer model of the camcorder these days does not support the live streaming directly via the USB cable. USB cable is used to transfer movie files from the camera to the computer, but it does not send the video signals that can be read as a webcam source. I have heard that camcorders with the firewire cable can do this, but my camcorder did not have a firewire port. Then, I found a composite to USB connector (http://ca.startech.com/AV/Converters/Video/USB-S-Video-and-Composite-Video-Capture-Device-Cable-with-Audio~SVID2USB2) that did the trick. Now, I can connect a full camcorder to the computer and have it behave as if it’s a webcam. I can fully control the camcorder for webinar.

 

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