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Use local webcam on remote desktop connection to take snapshot

Posted on 2012-03-22
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Last Modified: 2012-04-01
Currently I am using a camera to take picture's of client's and then storing the image. I want to be able to use a webcam to take the picture and store it in the database. My application is a desktop application running on a remote session on a server, but the webcam would be plugged into the local computer.

Just trying to find a way to use the client connection of the remote desktop session to pass the video stream. Or find a way to work around the client and get the stream directly.

Thanks for the help,
Kevin
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Question by:kmccollum
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Expert Comment

by:MidnightOne
ID: 37759431
Under Windows 2008 R2 the terminal server can do that.
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Expert Comment

by:CodeCruiser
ID: 37765190
You are remotely connected to a computer where the webcam is connected and you want to take a snapshot? Is taking the snapshot on that computer and manually copying file over not a option?
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Expert Comment

by:Cláudio Rodrigues
ID: 37766676
Windows Server 2008 R2 has VERY limited USB redirection capabilities. I assume this camera is an USB device. Is that correct?
From the RDC help you can see this:

How can I use my devices and resources in a Remote Desktop session?
Redirecting a device on your computer makes it available for use in a Remote Desktop session. If you have a recent version of Remote Desktop, you can redirect most devices, including printers, smart cards, serial ports, drives, Plug and Play devices, media players based on the Media Transfer Protocol (MTP), and digital cameras based on the Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP). Some USB devices can be redirected, and you can also redirect your Clipboard.

So if your camera is based on PTP you will be ok. If not, it will probably not work.
Windows Server 8, the upcoming release, is the one that takes care of this properly.

Cláudio Rodrigues
Microsoft MVP - RDS
Citrix CTP
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Author Comment

by:kmccollum
ID: 37767476
CodeCruiser: I am at a dump terminal of sorts (the local computer has enough memory to install most drivers). I am connecting to a session on a server using RDC. The webcam is a usb device plugged into the local computer, and the application is running on the server session.

tsnvp: I am running on a Windows 2003 server, witch does have some USB redirect capabilities, just not video devices it would appear.
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Cláudio Rodrigues earned 250 total points
ID: 37767978
If it is 2003 TS, then no, this will not work out-of-the-box. If the camera is PTP as I mentioned, you need 2008 R2 on the server end.

Cláudio Rodrigues
Microsoft MVP - RDS
Citrix CTP
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Assisted Solution

by:MidnightOne
MidnightOne earned 250 total points
ID: 37768677
I concur. With Windows 2003 this is a non-starter for a native solution.
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Author Comment

by:kmccollum
ID: 37768752
So is there anyway outside of the server to do this.
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Expert Comment

by:Cláudio Rodrigues
ID: 37768993
Well if your software will run on the server and the camera will be on the PC there is no way to do this out of the box. If you want to use third party stuff you can use Citrix XenDesktop that is free for up to 10 users. But it requires its own infrastructure to run. That will allow your users to access the app remotely AND still be able to leverage the webcam inside the session.

Cláudio Rodrigues
Microsoft MVP - RDS
Citrix CTP
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Author Closing Comment

by:kmccollum
ID: 37793757
No solution found, but thank you for the help.
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