Author Options:

Is it possible to hook a webcam to a hard drive or other storage device without a computer to record? Answered

I was thinking it would be cool to have a webcam set up for timelapse or something similar but only hooked up to a hard drive no computer so you could leave/hide it places to get cool shots.



Best Answer 9 years ago

Pinnacle makes a video transfer device that is direct-to-disk. No computer needed.

Ah, but the Pinnacle device would act as a computer. Physically, it's impossible without some computing device.

Not so - the pinnacle thing will record directly to a USB flash drive or hard disk - I do it all the time. It's pretty neat. There is another pinnacle device you might be thinking of called Movie Studio or something like that, but this thing is just called Video Transfer.

Yes, but you don't get it. 'Computer' isn't just the big bulky thing underneath your monitor. It's anything that can compute instructions and calculate things. I said it before - this Pinnacle gadget, whatever it is, would need something to compute this, even something as simple as a tiny chip or logic board. Never heard of Movie Studio, by the way.

I do get it, but the original question was if there is a way to record video from a webcam without a computer. The answer to that is, yes. However, you are correct (of course) in pointing out that to process or watch the video, you need a computer.

Pinnacle sells two devices: Their Movie Studio video editing software is bundled with a box into which you plug your video capture source. For this you need a computer.

If you follow this link, http://www.pinnaclesys.com/PublicSite/us/Products/Consumer+Products/Home+Video/Studio+Family/Instant+Video+Recorder.htm, you will see that the Video Transfer unit is "Direct-to-Device video capture - no PC required." Their words, not mine.

Hope this makes sense and clarifies the information I was hoping to share.


Maybe, if you could develop a Disc Processing System. DPS instead of DOS. It would have to be a software based CPU simulator. Then the hard drive could interface itself with the web cam.


9 years ago

The most cost effective solution would be a 'video grabber', which takes Composite, S-Video, HDMI, VGA, or any other source and converts it to a digital format. This won't allow you to use your webcam -- a camcorder or other analog source is required. However, I've seen these converters run for as little as $50, depending on the level of intricacy and number of inputs or outputs. If you record a lot of video, your best bet would be to invest in a camcorder with a digital medium. DVD and Hard Drive hybrids currently provide the best storage to dollar ratio, but cameras that use SD or Compact Flash extend your battery life well beyond 8 hours -- something you'd need for time-lapse.

No. Some kind of computer is required to get frames from the webcam, to interact with the filesystem on the hard drive and to write the frames to the hard drive. There may be small embedded computers that can do this though, but you can't just plug your camera into your hard drive.