Local display of webcam video in realtime, low-latency?
August 26, 2007 1:54 PM   Subscribe

Looking for software to project realtime video from a webcam with as little latency (delay) as possible. No web streaming, just projecting closeup video of a guitar fretboard to a lecture hall filled with students.

I bought a webcam from Creative, and the software is fun, but there is a noticeable delay, enough to make teaching music difficult. I can't find any option in settings to adjust this.

I'd like to find some third-party software (free or cheap is a big plus) to simply project live video to my monitor/projector as close to realtime as possible. No frills are necessary, but the following features would be helpful:

-On-the-fly rotation and zooming of the image (I would like to swivel the camera down to use as an overhead projector for documents, which would require flipping the image 180 degrees.

-The ability to freeze the image and draw on it in realtime, sportscaster-style, would be cool.

posted by Alabaster to Technology (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It would be helpful to know what OS you're running.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 3:35 PM on August 26, 2007

Are you physically in the room? I assume you're trying to plug your camera to your computer and then project it?

It's common for video (via a computer) to have approx a 2-3 frame delay (as it pipes the data.)
posted by filmgeek at 7:22 PM on August 26, 2007

I'm using Windows XP, SP2.

Yes, I am physically in the room, basically the camera-PC-Projector is just a big magnifying glass so that everyone can see what my hands are doing.

I'm using a Creative Notebook Live Ultra webcam. The bundled software doesn't seem to include options for adjusting the framerate. Being a webcam, it has that typical low frame-rate choppiness to it, which doesn't bother me--I don't need smooth animation, but I would like it to come close to syncing with the music the students are hearing.

I figure there must be some kind of 3rd party software for displaying the input of a webcam.
posted by Alabaster at 9:01 PM on August 26, 2007

Alabaster, I know you don't want to hear this having just splurged on the webcam, but you're probably not going to hit zero latency with a USB webcam. Firewire may get you closer, but for realtime, you probably just want to plug a video camera's RCA or S-Video outputs into the inputs on the projector.

That said, if you figure this out, I'd like to learn how to get better framerates off of a webcam. I have a software project I'm working on for which full-framerate low-lag webcam input would be utterly wonderful.
posted by Alterscape at 9:30 PM on August 26, 2007

« Older can i get a little privacy here?   |   How did movie titles used to work? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.