If you are like me you have a lot of friends that have moved away from home, and are living thousands of kilometers away, or you have friends that you went to university with that are all living in different places. I personally hate phones and instant messaging but when you combine their features with a webcam, it is almost like you are hanging out with those friends again. You can see them, their families, their messy rooms. It makes chatting a lot more fun. Downside is you need a webcam and the best webcams have quality issues.
So I found a way to use my camcorder as a webcam!
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Step 1: What Do You Need?
You will need:
A Camcorder (Firewire or Analog)
A Firewire Card (For Firewire Camcorder)
A Video Capture Card or TV Tuner (For an Analog Camcorder)
A way to connect the Camcorder to the corresponding cards.
The Eagletron TrackerCam Software.
Go to trackerCamhttp://www.trackercam.com/TCamWeb/download.htm to download it, it is a free download. You need additional hardware to get full use of the software, but for a basic webcam this software is enough.
Step 2: Analog Camcorder Instructions
For this instructable I am using an Analog Camcorder since that is all I have.
Setup your camcorder somewhere within the cables reach of the computer, and plug it into your video editing card (mine is an old Pinnacle DC-10+ that I have had for years) or your TV Tuner Card.
Step 3: Install TrackerCam Software
Install and Run the TrackerCam software, mine automatically detected my Video Editing Card and instantly started showing my Camcorder's output.
Step 4: Start Sharing You Webcam With Your Friends!
Now you can start sharing your webcam, using Windows Live Messenger or Yahoo Messenger.
There are other options to this, but I had a webcam and videoediting card lying around not doing anything so it works for me.
One other option is to use your digital camera as a webcam if it supports a webcam function.
There are also many addons to the TrackerCam software that allow you to remotely control the camera, (ie:zoom and pan) or automatically track moving objects, which would be cool if you were operating a sexcam or were paranoid and wanted to use it as a security camera.