Outdoor camera for streaming to website

Hey experts,
I have a golf course who is looking to have a outdoor camera streaming the video to there website so golfers can go online to see the conditions.  Any recommendations on what camera to use?  One that would be simple to integrate into the website, and is IP based.

Thank you!
tsukrawAsked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Shaun RiemanPresident / CEOCommented:
It seems like a product like this might do the trick
http://www.smarthomeusa.com/ShopByManufacturer/Inetcam/Item/CS200/

I don't endorse that ecommerce site, i've never used them, but you might want to research that product.
0
joseph_gormanCommented:
This camera looks good, and as a bonus it gets its power over ethernet, as well as being considered a "business camera," but on the downside, the Panasonic website says "see dealer for pricing," which is never a good sign: http://www2.panasonic.com/consumer-electronics/shop/Computers-Networking/Network-Cameras/Commercial-IP-Network-Cameras/model.BB-HCM581A_11002_7000000000000005702 -- Amazon quotes it as 816.99 at http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-BB-HCM581A-Network-Camera-Tilt/dp/B000RHXPO4

On the other hand, this one has a more limited set of features (no pan/tilt, etc.) but clocks in at a much more reasonable 199.95 http://www2.panasonic.com/consumer-electronics/shop/Computers-Networking/Network-Cameras/Residential-IP-Network-Cameras/model.BL-C140A_11002_7000000000000005702

I've heard good things about Panasonic cameras, and have nothing but bad things to say about X11 cameras, so stay away from them.
0
tsukrawAuthor Commented:
So the BL-C140A camera is a still camera that would be able to stream to a website for viewing?

Is that BB-HCM531A comparable to it but has pan/tilt abilities?
0
Keep up with what's happening at Experts Exchange!

Sign up to receive Decoded, a new monthly digest with product updates, feature release info, continuing education opportunities, and more.

joseph_gormanCommented:
Right - the BL-C140A has a built in web server that connects to an address of your choice, such as http://bob.viewnetcam.com/ and it does do video. Also, it's labeled as an "outdoor network camera," so you don't have to worry about water protection.

The BB-HCM531A is similar to the BL-C140A, but it has optical zoom (21x, and the C140A does not have any optical zoom at all) and pan/tilt so you can aim the camera to point at a different location remotely. It also transmits audio.

Personally, if I were you, unless you NEED optical zoom, pan/tilt, or audio, I'd go with the BL-C140A, and save myself 600 bucks.
0

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
tsukrawAuthor Commented:
When you say it has a built in web server are you refering to like the web interface the camera has?  It the video able to be embedded into another webpage?
0
joseph_gormanCommented:
I don't own one, so I don't know if it's embeddable, (it might be), but it will get an IP address on your network and you administer it through that; it also sends out the video through your network.
0
aleghartCommented:
If this is outdoors on a golf course, a consumer-grade camera won't work well.  You need a decent quality camera with a powered and heated housing.  This will keep the camera dry, prevent freezing, and keep condensation from clouding the camera.

A camera like this will last.  I wouldn't recommend this site necessarily.  I usually don't feel confident if the seller can't spell what he's selling.  But, sometimes it just laziness or ignorance.
http://www.supercircuits.com/Security-Cameras/PTZ-Security-Cameras/PTZPZ6

You'd need a beefy web interface.  The average consumer camera can't handle more than a couple of simultaneous connections with an onboard server.  Expect that you could have 10-20 people hitting it at the same time on an iffy morning.  This sounds like a job for an integrator.

But, before spending thousands on a camera and web interface, analyze what info you're trying to give to the customer.  A fixed position image would not indicate course conditions.  More useful would be a weather station in one or more positions, plus a course condition update from the grounds crew.  Update the info every 10-15 minutes, as necessary, along with a weather forecast from a local weather service.

Seeing if the grass is wet...debatable on a video camera.  It's green.  Is there a lake in the middle of the fairway, indicating more precipitation than drainage?  Maybe.  But, you've got 36 holes?  More?

One camera sounds like a gimmick.
0
joseph_gormanCommented:
Both cameras I mentioned say they can handle 20-30 concurrent connections since they simply forward the image out to the viewnetcam.com service, and you could use another service if you want more than that. The consumer camera I recommended is labeled as an outdoor camera, so I don't think braving the elements is too much of a concern for the camera. I do think a weather station would provide more insight into the weather, but may be a bit overkill for the average coursegoer.
0
Shaun RiemanPresident / CEOCommented:
I used inetcam 10 years ago and i know it works.
0
tsukrawAuthor Commented:
Yes that sounds like big time over kill.  This is a small golf course 18 holes.  I can almost grantee there will never be more then 10 people on at one time.

They currently have a 2008 x64 server.  I havent played with it in 2008 but i did on 2003 how does using the Media Servies in server 2008 sound for pushing the video to the website.  That way we are not relying on the camera at all to be able to handle the load?
0
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Peripherals

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.