Digital video via USB

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doug-doug the mighty's picture
Joined: Apr 14 2004
Posts: 1355

Anyone have any good ideas how to do digital video via a USB port. I am planning something crazy and am looking for a decent USB digital camera. Streaming video is highly desired. I am trying to stay away from firewire just yet, but if that is the only option, I will have to go that route and go back to the drawing board.

--DDTM

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--DDTM ('Fritter Critter' since Apr 26 2004 - 18:16)

'If it ain't broke, take it apart anyways. If you can't take it apart, break it so that you can fix it.'

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rael9's picture
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Joined: Dec 26 2003
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Options

There are several options, it kinda depends upon what you are doing as to which will work.

Some digital cameras support video/stills over USB (i.e. - I can use my Canon camera as a webcam if I really want to.).

There are plenty of good USB webcams that have fairly decent video quality, though not anywhere near as good as Firewire.

You could get something along the lines of the EyeTV and then attach a regular video camera to it to stream it to your computer (I think. I don't have an EyeTV to test this theory.).

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doug-doug the mighty's picture
Joined: Apr 14 2004
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my application...

The intended application is part of an iMac case mod. I have a couple of Bondi shells and am looking to do something different. I can easily do a number of things involving USB, but am trying to avoid firewire since I know so little about it and am under the impression that I would have to daisy-chain devices (like you did with SCSI). The spot where I want to put this is where the microphone would be located. The fall back plan if I cannot get a camera there that can see through the small hole (and see decent enough - not professional grade) is to wire up a USB microphone. The case will ultimately house a number of USB devices (unless such animal as a firewire hub exists).

--d

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--DDTM ('Fritter Critter' since Apr 26 2004 - 18:16)

'If it ain't broke, take it apart anyways. If you can't take it apart, break it so that you can fix it.'

themike's picture
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actually...

i think that my Sony HandyCam can act as a webcam over USB...so it might be a possibitlity... but i'll have to read the docs

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Eudimorphodon's picture
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Re: my application...

doug-doug the mighty wrote:

(unless such animal as a firewire hub exists)

http://www.google.com/search?q=firewire+hub

Just to note, USB 1.1 is *way* too slow to do video with any level of quality. There are a few USB video capture devices which manage full-motion video, but they work by compressing the stream into something akin to an MPEG feed. Which essentially takes the quality down to something like VideoCD level, at best.

--Peace

dankephoto's picture
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USB can deliver excellent Q . . .

I set up a customer with an ADS Instant DVD USB - http://eshop.macsales.com/Catalog_Item.cfm?ID=5448

They use it to move edited DV to DVD. The final quality is higher than when compressing with iDVD or Final Cut Express.

DVD-quality video is well within the data-rate limits of USB 1.1 when compressed as mpeg4, the codec used in DVDs.

I'm still not clear on exactly what the heck DDTM is up to though. :?

Dan K

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rael9's picture
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MPEG2

Actually, it's MPEG2, not MPEG4. MPEG4 is the new standard being used in QT movies and such, DVDs use the older MPEG2 standard.

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doug-doug the mighty's picture
Joined: Apr 14 2004
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what I am up to...

Since I have a couple of spare cases on hand and a few other parts, I was going to build a monitor, with USB speakers, a USB DV camera, and perhaps a couple of storage devices in the case of a dead iMac and hook it up to a Q950 or an 8600 or some other animal. I figure since it would be a cool hack and a good way to 'compress' some devices into a better use of my limited deskspace. My big two potential show-stoppers are the use of the iMac CRT (discussed in a different thread) and my want to convert the mic hole into a micro DV camera. If I can't find a good camera that will fit and run off of USB, I will just leave it as a mic - it sounds like there are some possibilities out there, but what? iSight would be cool but it is rather large and firewire only.

--DDTM

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--DDTM ('Fritter Critter' since Apr 26 2004 - 18:16)

'If it ain't broke, take it apart anyways. If you can't take it apart, break it so that you can fix it.'

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Joined: Dec 20 2003
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i have an idea!!!

I know Hitachi Makes a USB DV camcorder. Its only for windows though but it might work. Also there is a device called Interview by XLR8 and is listed on the apple website but it doesnt do sound. ill try and get some links for you tomorow.

Barjack's picture
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The older USB Logitech camera

The older USB Logitech cameras of 1999ish called the "QuickCam" will suit this need fine. When taken out of their little round cases, they are fairly compact and they will stream 10-26 fps depenmding on the resolution. It is not movie grade DV, but I used them as security cameras in my garage and they worked just fine and displayed good images. You can get a Logitech QuickCam on eBay for like 10 bucks.

I have seen this hack, or at least the iMac-as-a-monitor hack which works great as long as you can reroute the power to the monitor and have an older tray-loading iMac with the built-in 15 pin VGA.

Eudimorphodon's picture
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Re: The older USB Logitech camera

agentmeow wrote:

I have seen this hack, or at least the iMac-as-a-monitor hack which works great as long as you can reroute the power to the monitor and have an older tray-loading iMac with the built-in 15 pin VGA.

I would love to see where you saw this. Reference?

--Peace

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Joined: Dec 20 2003
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HERE!

The Camcoreder:
http://www.circuitcity.com/detail.jsp?c=1&b=g&u=c&catoid=-8038&qp=0&oid=90893&m=0

The cable:
http://daystartechnology.com/Daystar_Technology_Company/Daystar_Macintosh_News/Macintosh_Press_Releases/2004_Mac_CPU_Press/040716-Mac_USB_Video_Capture_3.html

Sory for the long links... The Cable will probably be the easiest and cheapest option if you already have any kind of old camcorder

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Joined: Dec 19 2003
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I have a CapSure usb

I got it used a few years ago, and it sat around in a box for a long while, until I used it successfully on an indigo clamshell to import video from a VHS tape. I played with the video in an early version of iMovie, and out put the result as a VideoCD -- I don't remember exactly how I did it at this point.

I was going to play with the CapSure again, now that I set up a multimedia center in the livingroom. It has RCA and s-video inputs. I don't remember how bad the video in was, I don't remember it being horrible, but I was actually more concerned with the info on the tape than the overall quality of he video. But I'll set it up and try again, and let you know.

The CapSure came with software called iRez, and was supposed to be useful for videoconferencing, which implies some kind of real time response. But altho the box said "mac" the actual mac support was kind of iffy -- and the site I found a few years ago with drivers only supported windoze. But it was okay -- the device was plug and play on the clamshell -- At the time I think it was running 10.2

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why not just use an internal

why not just use an internal iSight camera from a MacBook or a MacBook Pro - they are standard USB devices.

cwsmith's picture
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Holy anachronism, Batman!

evilrobot, you might note the date of the original post -- MacBooks and MacBook Pros (MacBooks Pro?) did not exist in 2004.

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hahaha!! Oh my goodness; I j

hahaha!! Oh my goodness; I just saw that the thread was last updated a few days ago - I totally DID NOT notice the orig. date. LOL. Sorry about that. Smile

doug-doug the mighty's picture
Joined: Apr 14 2004
Posts: 1355
but...

...for those looking to hack a bit, it is a great idea in 2009...

...just wish I could remember what I was up to...

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--DDTM ('Fritter Critter' since Apr 26 2004 - 18:16)

'If it ain't broke, take it apart anyways. If you can't take it apart, break it so that you can fix it.'