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Questions and Answers: Active WebCam

 
Question:
Why the WebCam screen is black?
Answer:
Make sure that your camera is turned on and properly connected. Also, try running other video applications to see if it is a problem with the camera. If so, contact the technical support of your camera vendor.
Question:
WebCam screen is black but program, which came with camera, works. What is wrong?
Answer:
Check to ensure that your camera is Video for Windows™ compliant.
Question:
How can I make video screen brighter?
Answer:
Click Camera Settings from the Options menu. In the Camera Settings dialog box, change the brightness by clicking the Source button.  For capture devices that do not provide a Video Source dialog box, the setting is probably in the Video Format dialog box.
Question:
How do I upload captured images?
Answer:
If you select Publishing Method - FTP upload, the program automatically connects to your FTP server and uploads captured images.
See Upload to FTP server to get more info...
Question:
What does the Motion Sensitivity control do?
Answer:
This control determines what level of movement is required to trigger a motion action performing. The large value of sensitivity causes that the smaller changes in the image can start a motion action. Lover values decrease sensitivity, which result in more or larger changes without motion action performing.
Question:
Does the program needs a fixed connection?
Answer:
No. Active WebCam can use dial-up networking to automatically connect only when needed.
Question:
I'm AOL user. May I run WebCam on my AOL page?
Answer:
Only if you're using AOL software for dial-up connections. Specific instructions can be found at ftp://members.aol.com/usersFAQ.txt.
Question:
Visitors of my Web page can only see 1-2 frames per minute. What the reason?
Answer:
Probably this is because of the narrow bandwidth of your or the visitor's network connection. Try to reduce the Image Quality and Publishing Frame Rate in the Internet Settings dialog box.
Question:
Visitors of my Web page see the Off Line notification.
Answer:
If your Active WebCam is online and you have typed the right Internet address to the browser, it may be that your service provider's firewall doesn't allow access to any server programs running on the port you have specified in the Publishing Method tab.
 
Question:
The program stops broadcasting after a long period of computer inactivity. What is wrong?
Answer:
This behavior can occur if Advanced Power Management is enabled on the computer.
To work around this issue, turn off Advanced Power Management before you start the program. To do this, use the appropriate method for your operating system.
Microsoft Windows 95
To turn off Advanced Power Management:
  • Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  • Double-click Power.
  • On the Power tab, click to clear the Allow Windows to manage power use on this computer check box.
  • Click the Disk Drives tab.
  • Click to clear the When Powered By AC Power check box.
  • Click OK, and then close Control Panel.
Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me), or Microsoft Windows 2000
To turn off Advanced Power Management:
  • Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  • Double-click Power Management or Power Options.
  • On the Power Schemes tab, click Always On under Power schemes.
  • In the Turn off monitor box, click Never.
  • In the Turn off hard disks box (if available), click Never.
  • Click OK, and then close Control Panel.
Question:
Captured image looks grainy or lacking color resolution.
Answer:
Make sure your system is set to display 24-bit or 32-bit color. 16-bit color is acceptable, although images won't show their true 24-bit color depth. 16-color (4-bit) and 256-color (8-bit) modes are unacceptable for image viewing and are not recommended.
To change color mode:
  • Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  • Double-click Display.
  • Select Settings and change color depth.
Question:
I'm using firewall. Does the program work with firewall?
Answer:
If you are using a firewall then you need to add an entry in to the allowed programs list/section to allow Active WebCam to connect to the Internet and upload captured images. If you are having problems uploading, then turn off the firewall and then try again, if the upload works, then you know that your firewall is blocking the connection some how. Read the firewalls documentation about adding a program to the allowed list.
Question:
Is there a way to incrementally name the image files, so that they can be saved as a series?
Answer:
The program can create archive of captured images. It can save an incrementally named copy of captured image in the "images" sub folder.
See the Creating archive of captured images help topic for more info.
Question:
Can the program broadcast a video, stored on my web site?
Answer:
The program can upload recorded video files to FTP server, or copy to the HTTP server folder (if HTTP server is used for broadcasting).
See the Broadcasting Recorded Video help topic for more info.
Question:
I want to be able to set a limit on viewers, I also want to see their IP#.
Answer:
Number of WebCam viewers can be limited from the Internet Settings dialog box.
See the Configure WebCam HTTP Server help topic for more info.
To cause program to log viewers's IP addresses, click to select Log HTTP viewers to the "HTTP_Log.txt" file from the Program Options dialog box.
Question:
When I try to play recorded video the movie is faster (2 or 3 times faster). Is there any solution to fix this problem?
Answer:
Probably the processor's speed is not enough to write video with selected frame rate. Try to use another video compression or reduce frame rate.
See the Recording live video help topic for more info.
Question:
Is possible to run more than one camera with the program?
Answer:
You can use simultaneous broadcastings from all cameras or single broadcasting with camera rotating. To broadcast from multiple devices simultaneously you need to create Camera Window for each camera. Every Camera Window has to have unique broadcasting port. See more info at the Creating New Camera topic.
If you want to use camera rotating, you need to create one Camera Window and enable Camera Cycler. See more info at the Cycle through cameras topic.
Question:
My pocket computer shows me "Your browser isn't running the applet, for some reason". How to use the program on PDA?
Answer:
Some pocket computers don't support java applets. You can use still images method to show web camera on your web page.
See the Displaying Still Images on Web Page help topic for more info.
Question:
Sometimes my connection at home to my provider fails and then my computer gets a new IP address… and there’s the problem, when I’m somewhere else I cannot see what the new IP address is and then I cannot look at my Webcam anymore. How can I deal with this problem?
Answer:
To get rid of this problem you can use Dynamic IP Service, which gives your surveillance system a permanent address on the internet. A special web address is reserved for you once you sign up for PY Software Dynamic IP service. This web address is based on a User ID, which you receive after signing up. For example, if your User ID is billsmith, the Internet address of your surveillance computer is http://my.activewebcam.com/cgi-bin/ip.cgi?billsmith. Therefore, you can access your surveillance system easily.
You can sign-up for this service at:
http://www.pysoft.com/WebServices.htm
Question:
When I broadcast from my PC I open the web page and see my broadcast only through my LAN, but on any other machine from Internet it will not connect. How to correct this problem.
Answer:
  • If your network uses firewall, make sure the port the program is streaming through and IP address of your computer must be open on the firewall.
  • Make sure that the address of your computer was written correctly. The URL for connecting to your web camera is http://IPaddress:portnumber. Where IPaddress is external address of your computer. You can get to know this address from the "Tools" | "Get Computer IP address" menu. The portnumber is the value, which is specified in the "Camera Settings" | "Broadcasting" | "HTTP Server" | "Port".
  • If external IP address changes constantly, there is no warranty that your viewers can watch your camera all the time. To get rid of this problem you can use Dynamic IP Service, which gives your web camera a permanent address on the internet. Activate the service from the "Tools" | "Dynamic IP Service" menu.
  • Also please use the "Testing accessibility from Internet" command from the "Tools" menu to find out the reason why your computer is not accessible from Internet.
Question:
How do I get rid of your advertisement on the webcam page?
Answer:
You can remove the PY Software advertisement if you add the BORDER parameter in the APPLET tag on your Web Page. If value is "ON" applet draws frame around image. If value is "OFF", applet just displays the captured image. Open your Web page in Notepad and add the following string before </APPLET> tag: <PARAM NAME="BORDER" VALUE="OFF">
Question:
Every time we start webcam there are errors: "not supported DIB format. Operation continues successfully". Can you inform us what 'DIB format' means?
Answer:
The 'DIB format' means the format of image captured from camera. This message means the program could not decode captured image. If the program receives this message, it uses another method of image capturing and continues working successfully.
Question:
I have cable internet that can get up to 150kb a second but the movie from my camera is moving very slowly, why?
Answer:
Sometimes cable internet providers reduce bandwidth for outgoing traffic. Mostly the upload bandwidth is 10 - 15KBps, that means you can broadcast 2-3 fps only. Ask your ISP about the outgoing bandwidth increasing.
Question:
How to broadcast through LinkSys router?
Answer:
  • Connect to the router through web browser.
  • Select "Advanced" and select "Filters".
  • Select the "Forwarding" tab.
  • Set the broadcasting port in the "Service Port Range".
  • Select the protocol: "Both".
  • Set the IP Address of your computer in the IP Address box.
  • Now your router will forward all client requests to the specified port on your computer.
Question:
How to broadcast through D-Link router?
Answer:
  • Connect to the router through web browser.
  • Select the "Virtual Server" tab.
  • Enter the broadcasting port in the "Service Ports".
  • Set the IP Address of your computer in the "Server IP" box.
  • Check the "Enable" box and click "Apply".
  • Now your router will forward all client requests to the specified port on your computer.
Question:
How to broadcast through SMC router?
Answer:
  • Connect to the router through web browser.
  • Select the "Virtual Server" page.
  • Set the IP Address of your computer in the "Private IP" box.
  • Enter the broadcasting port in the "Private Port".
  • If you broadcast using the Remote Access method, select the UDP type. If you broadcast using the HTTP Server, select the TCP type.
  • Click "Enter".
  • Now your router will forward all client requests to the specified port on your computer.
Question:
How to broadcast through Microsoft router?
Answer:
  • You need to configure persistent port forwarding on the Microsoft router.
  • Connect to the router through web browser to open the Base Station Management Tool.
  • Click "Security".
  • On the Security menu, click "Port Forwarding", and then click "Set up persistent port forwarding".
  • In the "Description" box, type a description of the server field. (This step is optional.)
  • In the "Inbound port" box, type the broadcasting port.
  • In the "Type" box, select the protocol (UDP or TCP) for the port. If you broadcast using the Remote Access method, select the UDP type. If you broadcast using the HTTP Server, select the TCP type.
  • In the "Private IP address" box, type the IP Address of your computer.
  • In the "Private port" box, type the broadcasting port.
  • Click Apply.
  • Now your router will forward all client requests to the specified port on your computer.
Question:
I can not run the webcam on my computer, it says that "Your browser isn't running the <APPLET> tag, for some reason". What's wrong?
Answer:
If your web page is configured to playback captured images using Java applet, the viewer's computers must have installed Java engine. Unfortunately not all computers have pre installed Java engine, and not all Web Browsers support Java Applets. If your computer doesn't have Java Engine, you can install all necessary updates at:
http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com
If there is no way to install Java Engine on the viewer's PC, you can configure your web page to show captured video as a still image. In this case the viewer's PC doesn't need any special technologies like Java Engine and this method works with any Web browser, but frame rate cannot be higher than 1 frame per second. Please refer to the Creating Web Page topic in the Help file to get more information.
Question:
My webpage keeps flashing "Off Line" for one second, then shows my cam for 5 seconds, then shows "Of Line" again. What's causing this?
Answer:
The program displays "Off Line" color bars when it didn't receive 5 frames in a row. Probably the frame rate is high for this bandwidth and viewer's computer doesn't receive all frames. Try to reduce frame rate according bandwidth.
Question:
I'm using Active Webcam and set the Motion Detection to "Record a Video". A little box says Duration which I set to 60sec. However the recording does not stop at 60s, it records forever. Is this a bug?
Answer:
If there was a motion during the recording time, the program continues recording. The recording stops if there was no motion during the Duration period.
Question:
I want to record automatically all motion in a single file every day till maximum file size is reached. Is it possible?
Answer:
To have all motion events to be written to one file:
  • In the "Recording" tab of "Camera Settings" box set the low recording frame rate, for example 1 frame per minute.
  • In the "Recording" tab select the "Recording activates manualy, by sheduler, or by motion".
  • In the "Motion" tab:
  • Select "Motion detection active all the time".
  • Click to select the "Change Settings" check box.
  • In the "Motion" tab, set the "Recording Frame Rate" to higher frame rate, for example 10 frames per second.
  • In the "Set Settings back after:" box, specify the motion duration, for example 10 seconds. That when this time passes the program goes back to the ordinary settings.
  • In the "Motion" tab, make the "Record Video Clip" check box disabled.
  • Start the recording by the "Record Video Clip" command or by Scheduler.
Now, the recording is performed with low frame rate all the time, but when motion is detected the frame rate is speeding up to 10 frames per second and drops again to one frame per minute after 10 seconds.
Question:
How to setup the program to record each camera to its own file on hard drive and create new file for each day?
Answer:
You can program this task using scheduler.
In the "Recording" tab select the "Recording activates manualy, by sheduler, or by motion".
Click "Scheduler" from the "Tools" menu. Select "Enable Scheduler" and click the "Add Scheduler" button. In the new schedule select "All Cameras", "All Days" and set the "Work Period" from 12:00:00 AM to 11:59:00 PM. Select "Recording". The new schedule task will create new file at midnight, write to it during the day and close this file before midnight.
Question:
How to have the files incremented by one like camera001.JPG then camera002.JPG, etc. uploaded to our web server?
Answer:
To produce incremented snapshots click to select the "Archive of Snapshots" check box in the "Recording" tab in the "Camera Settings" window. Click the "Archive of Snapshots Settings" button and specify the file name as: "camera{COUNTER}.JPG". Click to select the "Upload Snapshots" check box to cause the program to upload snapshots to the FTP server. Click the "FTP Settings" button to set up FTP parameters. See more info about the archive of snapshots creation in the "Archive of Snapshots" topic.
Question:
How to configure the program to upload motion detection images with integrated time stamp in its name?
Answer:
To upload time stamped images click to select the "Create Snapshots" check box in the "Motion Detection" window, click the "Additional Settings" button, and in the "File Name" box enter something like: "Snapshot{hh`nn`ss}".
Question:
How to reduce the CPU usage?
Answer:
To reduce CPU usage:
  • Set lover value in the Preview Frame Rate;
  • Set lover value in the Recording Frame Rate;
  • Make the Live Recording disabled;
  • Make Captions disabled;
  • Configure camera to produce smaller images;
  • Make the Motion Detection disabled.
  • If camera is network IP camera select the "Don't alter image received from camera" option in the "Compression" tab.
Question:
What computer I would need to run 6 cameras?
Answer:
According to our statistics one 320x240 frame takes about 100 Mhz of CPU. This 100 Mhz are spending on taking image from camera, converting the image to BMP format, detecting motion, and drawing time stamp on it, after this converting image to JPEG image, writing it to the file and broadcast it to remote viewers. That if we want process video from one camera with 5 fps - we need a 500 Mhz computer. If you want to record 5 fps video from 6 cameras you need a computer with 3Ghz processor. You can calculate the hard drive size and CPU speed of required computer at: http://www.pysoft.com/SysCalc.htm
Question:
How to setup that email will be sent when motion is detected between 5:00 pm to 7:00 am everyday?
Answer:
Please do the following:
  • Open the "Camera Settings" window and select "Motion" tab.
  • Select "Motion detection is not active (activates by scheduler)".
  • Configure motion detection to send email alerts.
  • Click Ok in the "Camera Settings" window to save motion settings.
  • Click "Scheduler" from the "Tools" menu. Select "Enable Scheduler" and click the "Add Scheduler" button. In the new schedule select "All Cameras", "All Days" and set the "Work Period" from 5:00:00 PM to 7:00:00 PM. Select the the "Detecting Motion" action.
Question:
I have a PICO2000 card but the program does not see the card. What do I need to do?
Answer:
We have tested the program with a freeware driver that works with all capture cards based on CONEXANT 878a chip. Please follow the following steps to properly install and configure your capture card: *
First of all, please download the following software:
  • Also you can download a zip file which contains files required to install driver by hand if installer did not work.
FALL BACK TO A CLEAN SYSTEM STATE
  • First, let's get your system back to the state it was in before you started messing with things. Whether you are currently using the PICO Star Imavision driver, the btwincap driver, or some other Bt8x8 driver, you need to make every last remnant of these drivers go away. Let's try the following:
  • Begin by uninstalling any/all third party surveillance software
  • Uninstall the current driver from your control panel hardware tree (you've probably got an audio driver and a video driver. Uninstall both of them).
  • Run the btwincap installation utility, Btinstaller.exe
  • When prompted, select the UN-install option, the installation utility will search your system for any Bt8x8 drivers and delete them.
  • Reboot
INSTALL THE BTWINCAP DRIVER
Now it's time to properly install and configure the btwincap driver so that it will work with your capture card.
  • Run the btwincap installation utility, Btinstaller.exe
  • Select the install option this time around.
  • Select Custom Card when asked for a card type.
  • Load the BtSpy report.
  • Finish the installation.
  • Reboot and verify that the following two items show as correctly installed in your control panel hardware tree (i.e. no exclamation points next to either):
  • Conexant Video Capture
  • Conexant Audio Capture
To verify that your drivers actually work, run amcap.exe. Verify that you can see all four camera inputs, one at a time, using this utility. Note that you cannot view more than one camera at a time with the application.
NEXT STEPS TO GET ACTIVE WEBCAM WORKING
  • Add a new camera.
  • Select Capture Method - "Direct Show".
  • Choose "Conexant's BT PCI Capture" as Video Device.
To capture video from another video source on the same card:
  • Add a new camera.
  • Select Capture Method - "Direct Show".
  • Choose "Conexant's BT PCI Capture" as Video Device.
  • You should now see a second drop down box "Video Source" that shows different camera inputs to choose from.
* By courtesy of Andy ejtagle@tutopia.com
Question:
The program is running as service, how to open it to make changes?
Answer:
The service process is running in other name space that it has own settings and should be configured independently. If you have run the program as ordinary program and change its settings (for example you configure scheduler), the service will not access these settings, it reads owns (that it has own scheduler configureation). To configure the started as service program, run Active WebCam again (on the Window's Start menu, click Programs, then PY Software, then Active WebCam) and the service, which probably is hidden, will be activated.
Question:
What is recommended hardware configuration and hard disk required for one month recording from 5 cameras?
Answer:
You can calculate the hard drive size, CPU speed of required computer, and bandwidth required to watch cameras remotely at: http://www.pysoft.com/SysCalc.htm
Question:
Remote Access to my camera through Internet doesn't work. What's wrong?
Answer:
The remote access needs that both computers are accessible by UDP protocol from Internet. That means the routers on both sites must forward UDP traffic on those computers. Please refer to the "router configuration" section in the frequently asked questions.
Question:
I am using PICO2000 capture card and sometimes frame from one camera appearing on another camera momentarily. Is there an adjustment for this in the program?
Answer:
To get rid from the frames crossover please increase value in the "Drop the first" edit box in the "Device" tab in the "Camera Settings" window.
Question:
When I have the "Use authorization" checked and when I access the website the authorization window only comes up the first time after which it does not ask for authorization again. Is there something that can be changed to not allow this to happen?
Answer:
The program remembers viewers' IP addresses that viewers need to enter password just one time per session, however if you want the program to prompt for login when viewers reconnect to camera, please enable a parameter called "Disconnect viewer after NN seconds of inactivity" in the "HTTP server additional settings" window.
Question:
Is it possible at the end of the day produce an mpeg file?
Answer:
To produce mpeg file at the end of the day, you need to configure scheduler that it will start a recording in the morning and stop recording at the end of the day. To have MPEG file, the MPEG file format must be selected in the "Recording" tab in the "Camera Settings" window.
Question:
I cannot view my camera from Internet; my router blocks any access to my computer.
Answer:
If your network doesn't allow accessing your camera outside, you can configure Active WebCam to stream video feed to the PY Software server and watch your camera from the PY Software web site. This method doesn't require that the streaming computer is accessibly from Internet, and, because PY Software web server has broadband connection, this method provides high frame-rate broadcasting to the unlimited auditory. To activate Web Streaming:
Sign up for PY Software account. Click "PY Software Web Services" from the "Options" menu.
Click the "Sign Up for Free Trial Account" button to try this service for free during 30 days.
Click the "Sign Up for Permanent Account" button to sign up for this service for a long period of time.
Click "Broadcast Settings" from the "Settings" menu.
Click to select the "Stream to Web server" check box to activate video streaming.
To watch your camera, type the
http://<loginname>.web2cam.com
address in your internet browser.
Question:
Would it be possible to change the software name to my company name?
Answer:
We're preparing a customized version for partners who made purchases for US $2000 (142 deluxe licenses) or more. We do the following customizations in the program:
Changing images to your own images in the "Welcome" and "About" windows.
Changing program's icon.
Changing program's name.
Changing company name.
Changing links from the program to your web site.
The customization performs during 10 working days.
Unfortunately we don't perform localization on your language by self but we can send you a text file with the program messages which you translate and send back to us.
Question:
What is required to record my CTTV cameras?
Answer:
You need a capture card which has to be installed into your computer. This card has BNC connectors to connect cameras and it is performing digitalization of video which comes from cameras. We provide top of the line, leading edge capture cards. Please point your Internet browser at:
http://www.argussurveillance.com/index.php?cPath=24
where you will find capture cards tested with our software.
Question:
Program does not remember the camera setting using Microsoft WDM image capture.
Answer:
The problem is the Microsoft WDM driver doesn't provide ability to read its settings by third party software. Because Active WebCam cannot obtain the driver's settings it cannot remember them. The solution is to select "Direct Show" capture method in the "Device" tab.
Question:
When I connect second USB camera I get error message: "Can't add video capture filter into graph". What's wrong?
Answer:
Some device drivers don't allow capturing from more than one device simultaneously. Please ask the device manufacturer for such possibility.
Question:
What is the difference between Active WebCam and Argus DVR software?
Answer:
Argus DVR software has been designed for security hybrid platforms. It has web interface with the same look and functionality on the local and remote computers. Users have full control of the program through network that surveillance computer can be operated with no monitor, keyboard, and mouse connected.
It performs "cyclic" recording that the "disk full" situation never occurs.
The program has synchronized video playback for event analysis from multiple cameras simultaneously.
Active WebCam provides scheduled, continuous or activated upon motion detection video recording. It shows unlimited number of cameras, through Internet or on-site. When the program detects motion in the monitored area, it sounds alarm, e-mails captured images, or records video clip.
The program cannot be configured remotely, it doesn't have "cyclic" recording, it doesn't have synchronized video playback from multiple cameras.
Question:
I'm using "Stream to Web Server". How can I show camera on my web page?
Answer:
You can add stream from your web camera directly to your web page using <iframe> tag like this:
<iframe
src="http://YOUR_ID_HERE.web2cam.com/webpage.php?c=1&b=1&h=200&w=300&bg=EEEEEE"
height="320" width="480">
</iframe>
Please use your login name instead of YOUR_ID_HERE in tag above. The only parameter you need is 'c', which indicates your camera number.
Parameters description:
w - webcam picture width.
h - webcam picture height.
bg - background color. Default is blue color.
b or border - show/hide frame border with buttons. (1/0 or ON/OFF)
v=java - use Java Applet viewer instead of ActiveX (You need to activate Java Applet viewer first in your profile http://www.web2cam.com).
 
 
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