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Choosing The Right Webcam Solution

Posted by Tim Sears on May 05 2014 | Categories: INNOVATION


Choosing the right hardware

Choosing the Right Webcam SOLUTION

Live webcams have become a popular marketing tool for hotels, resorts and attractions but with so many different webcams and video streaming services available, it can be a stressful and challenging process to find the best solution for your business. HDOnTap makes the webcam integration process easy for you by providing the full solution; both the webcam hardware and live HD video streaming service as an all-in-one-package. 


The information below is to help you understand the options available in the marketplace and how these options affect your business and the viewer experience. 


1: IP Cameras (Network Cameras).

There are two types of webcams 1) an IP (Internet Protocol) or network camera and 2) a basic webcam. As a newbie to the webcam arena you have probably searched the Internet and have run across webcam products from Microsoft, Logitech, HP and others that can be purchased from as low as $50. These webcams only work if they are connected to a computer and are most commonly used with video chat programs. To stream high quality, real-time video, 24/7 this is not the right option for you. What you need is an IP H.264 Camera. They can be placed anywhere on an IP network, including wireless and stream live video 24/7/365. IP Cameras can utilize outdoor enclosures that will protect them from extreme weather environments.

2: Fixed Cameras vs. PTZ Cameras (Pan/Tilt/Zoom).

IP Cameras come in two basic types. PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) cameras are capable of remote directional and zoom controls. The PTZ controls can be remotely controlled by automation systems and allows for coverage of a much larger area with no loss of image quality. With a PTZ camera and HDOnTap’s streaming service you have the ability to broadcast multiple views by customizing a preset tour of the locations you would like to broadcast. Within the customizable tour, you can define the number of presets, the pan speed of PTZ to presets and the time on each preset. The other type is a fixed position camera.  These cameras often provide higher resolution images at a lower price point, though they only offer digital zooming capabilities. 

3: Camera Resolution.

User expectations for resolution of live video feeds are increasing partially due to the introduction and adoption of high-definition television (HDTV) for broadcast television. While image quality is influenced by the resolution configured on the webcam, the sharpness of focus, and lighting conditions also come into play. For example, harshly lighted areas may not offer a well-defined image, even if the resolution is very high. Bright areas may be washed out and shadows may offer little detail.  Consult with an HDOnTap representative to help you get started.

4: Indoor/Outdoor.

Most webcams are not weatherproof so make sure you have the proper enclosure to keep weather from destroying your camera. If your location endures extreme weather and temperatures, take advantage of our outdoor enclosure systems. HDOnTap’s sister company X Stream Designs manufactures specialty enclosures for all environments – HOT/COLD, SNOW/RAIN and DIRTY -


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Author: Tim Sears

Tim has self funded, founded and grown numerous technology based companies including Internet Service Providers, Colocation Datacenters and webcam streaming networks. Having studied mechanical engineering and cognitive science at...


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mabron SAYS:

Great Article! Thanks,

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Eric Brandt SAYS:

We're very excited to see the new X Stream enclosures - and will be installing one at our latest cam location on Cannery Row in Monterey, CA.

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Thanks for this guides.

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