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Handycam + TV Card versus PC camera

Posted on 1999-11-10
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-03-03
I have a small low cost ($100) PC camera over my monitor but the resolution is low and the size of the picture small.

Question:  If I install a computer TV video card with plugs for cable TV and other RC plugs in the back, and I connect my Sony Handycam...will it work the same way as the PC camera ?  Will I improve the resolution and size of the picture screen ?  Will it work for internet video conference ?

I can imagine that the optics and electronics of the Handycam are much better than those of the small PC camera.
Question by:cybergrizzly
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Expert Comment

ID: 2199516
Assuming that your PC camera is connected to via parallel port or USB or even serial port, you'll never get that good results as you would get using a socalled framegrabber.

Framegrabbers are much more powerful regarding video/image compression, frame rate, screen/image size etc.

Though, in most cases this won't be a "low cost" solution.
I personally use a Winnov Videum card which supports up to 3 cams simultaneously (via s-video, composite or MXC plug).

Just have a look at my page, wher I use a high-end remote controllable pan/tilt videoconference camera from Sony to broadcast live video.
My framegrabber offers the opportunity to compress the image by changing the picture quality and size.
What you can see on my site is JPEG quality of 30% at 320x240 with approx. 7KB per image.

100% would result in a tremendous image size, though it would be a perfect picture ;-))

Best regards

Author Comment

ID: 2202912
Hi, Stavi:

I forgot to say that I already have the Handycam so the only thing that I would buy would be the TV video card.  I've seen TV cards that say that software is included to video capture images and probably video; meaning that the video compression software would be included.

Sorry, but I'm not much of an expert in this area.   Maybe you misunderstood my question.   The TV video card that I propose to use is the one that you can actually see TV broadcasting in your computer screen and advertises that video capturing from a video source is one of the features included in the package.  As said before, these hardware/software packages include the video framegrabbers (I presume) that you mention in your response.

Please provide your comments so I can score your reply.  


Expert Comment

ID: 2202963
I think I understood your question but my answer wasn't clear enough :-)

In other words:
The "handycam-tv card" solution will work as well as the "PC cam solution".
Usually, when talking of PC cams "real webcammers" are talking of low cost solutions where the cam is connected via parallel, serial or USB port to the PC.

The much better solution, though not always cheap, is to use a high-res camera connected to a TV card.
Note: a TV card almost always has framegrabber capabilities, so my explanation in the first posting was right ;-)

A framegrabber is a card you can connect a video input/output device to.
In some cases, the framegrabber has also a TV tuner onboard (this is probably what you're talking of).

To be sure your TV card has framegrabber capabilities, you have to doublecheck if it has any of a video input (e.g. s-video, composite etc.)
In case it has one or more inputs (at least it has an output, hehehe) you can connect your handycam to the board and use your PC/cam like a videorecorder or player or even as a webcam.

To mention some very good boards:
- Winnov Videum AV PCI (framegrabber only)
- Hauppauge WinTV (framegrabber and TV)
- Vodoo3 3000 (graphics card and framegrabber with TV out)
- Elsa Erazor III (graphics card and framegrabber with TV out)

Feel free to ask for more details if something's not clear, yet.

Best regards

Author Comment

ID: 2207913
Okay, thanks for the response.  There's a glitch in this page, as it does not allows me to grant the points.

Let's see if I can find the way.

- cybergrizzly -

Accepted Solution

mitrakis earned 400 total points
ID: 2208464
I think this should work now...
Since the first answer was rejected, I have to post another one :)

Best regards

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