How to create a live web cam feed
I have recently received a number of e-mail's asking how to create
web cam feed. Before you read on, you should be aware that you really
need a high speed, unmetered Internet connection such as ADSL (asynchronous
digital subscriber line) or Cable Modem to provide a successful
live video feed. Alternatively, if you have a regular 56 kbit/s
modem you really want to still have some form of unmetered access,
otherwise your paying per minute for the cam feed to operate (and
that's not good !).
Before creating your live web cam feed I suggest get yourself a
"fixed domain presence" on the Internet by using a free
service provided by no-ip.com
I discuss more about getting a fixed domain presence here.
Also, before creating your live web cam feed I suggest you examine
your existing configuration to determine if you need to "open"
particular ports on any firewall software you may be running. If
you have a network address translation (NAT) device such as a broadband
Internet you will have to "forward" particular ports to
your computer streaming your live web cam feed. I briefly discuss
configuration of broadband Internet routers here.
The applications used for creating a live web cam feed
There are numerous applications that allow you to broadcast a live
web cam feed to the Internet. I will discuss the following three
- Windows Media Encoder
This is a free application from Microsoft that allows you to easily
broadcast a live web cam feed from your PC. This method requires
that the client computer viewing your web cam has Windows Media
Player 7 (or above) installed.
This is a commercial package with a free trial period, and allows
you broadcast a live web cam feed from your PC. Because this uses
either FTP or JAVA Script, this method requires no special software
to be installed on the client computer viewing your web cam.
- QuickTime Broadcaster and QuickTime Server
These are free applications from Apple that allow you to broadcast
a live web cam feed from your Apple computer. This method requires
that the client computer viewing your web cam has QuickTime 6.1
(or above) installed.