How to Use my Laptop's Webcam as a Security/Survellance Camera

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by ViolentReaper, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. ViolentReaper

    ViolentReaper Master Guru

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    Hey all,

    Lately I have been dealing with petty theft that has been occurring in my apartment's room while I am gone...Usually I keep my door locked but a few weeks ago, while I was gone (just got back yesterday from break), my landlord's worker broke open my padlock to lock a window in my room, and forgot to replace the padlock on my own door. Since my door was left unlocked for a few weeks, I came to find out that someone had pilfered through food that is stored in my room and left crumbs everywhere...really strange.

    This food theft happened once before about 2 months back, and I suspect that it is one of the people who live in my apartment (a few others live here). In short, I would like to convert my laptop's webcamera into a surveillance camera for when I am gone from my room and have my door unlocked. This way I can be sure of whoever it is that I suspect is doing the theft. I know that it is unwise to purposely leave my door unlocked once more so that I can get video evidence, but I am positive that this person would not steal other items from my room, as he hasn't in the past.

    I have a lenovo ideapad Y550P laptop, and am wondering if there are any programs or general software that you guys would recommend for conversion of my webcam into a security cam.

    Advice is appreciated.
     
  2. Chillin

    Chillin Ancient Guru

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    Most webcam software offer the ability for motion activated video. In other words, when someone walks by the camera it turns on and starts recording.

    http://www.webcamxp.com/home.aspx
     
  3. CoreyPL

    CoreyPL Master Guru

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    You could use software called "SecurityCam". It's only 15 EUR and looks like it gets the job done.

    http://www.wolfcoders.com/securitycam/
     
  4. ViolentReaper

    ViolentReaper Master Guru

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  5. allesclar

    allesclar Ancient Guru

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    give yawcam a go, its free and works fantastically :) i can do live streaming from my house on my pc webcam and media pc webcam to my phone when away :)
     
  6. ViolentReaper

    ViolentReaper Master Guru

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    A friend of mine mentioned yawcam as well. Currently I am using webcam XP 5 and so far so good. With this program, and probably with most security camera programs, for the software to be effective I would need to activate the motion detector each time I leave my room, correct ? Otherwise, while I am here I should keep it disabled I presume ?

    I noticed after keeping it activated for like 30 mins my Alert folder had about 17 GB of video & pictures captured from the program each time it measured any motion, which is nearly constant when I am in front of the cam.

    Am I getting this right ?
     
  7. Chillin

    Chillin Ancient Guru

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    Make sure to choose a video compression! Uncompressed video will make gigantic files. You also don't have to record in HD, 320X240 would be enough to see what's going on.

    If you can wait another day I'll help you set it up.
     
  8. ViolentReaper

    ViolentReaper Master Guru

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    Which compression type is optimal ?

    Any other tips you have for me would be great.
     
  9. Chillin

    Chillin Ancient Guru

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    That really depends on your laptops speed/power and the quality you seek.

    I would suggest to experiment with a few of the compression options to find the one optimal for your needs.

    Simply choose one of them, and a resolution, and set it to record. Then walk by with a book that has a picture and words on it. Do it for 60 seconds and then stop the video. Now look at the video and see if you can make out the words or picture on the book to your liking, then you can estimate the file size from the one min. of a much longer file.

    Once you are satisfied, keep that compression and resolution.
     
  10. rmcd

    rmcd New Member

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    Give Camcloud a whirl... works for me. The whole thing operates through your browser so you don't need to install software or anything.

    good luck,
    rmcd
     

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