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Setting up picturetel ptz2 ip camera for remote accessmote

Last response: in Computer Peripherals
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December 12, 2010 8:20:26 AM

Hi,

I just bought a package of videoconferencing equipment on ebay which includes a picturetel ptz2 ip camera.

My purpose was to set up the system so that my mom from overseas could control the ip camara's pan tilt and zoom to watch her little grandkids move around (she's got cancer so not moving much and these are her only grandkids).

The problem is that setting it up turns out to be very complex. I installed a freeware called bdlcam which has support for picturetel camberas and am able to control the camera from my laptop (using either the client user interface or the webbrowser). Still have not gotten to the stage of working on the remote control.

However, I cannot get the camera to display any video. All I have is a black screen. I know that I need to look for a streaming software that supports the picturetel protocol (which one would that be?) but I don't know if this is the only problem. I read in forums talks about the need to use something called a 'caputre card' but I don't know if this is necessary for one camera or only needed to run a few cameras in parallel. Is it something that I must have? currently the camera is connected directly to the laptop to a comm1 serial port (RS232).

So here are four questions:
1. Which streaming software do I need to stream picturetel ptz2 (preferably freeware). I looked at webcamxp but it doesn't have support for picturetel.

2. Do I need a 'capture card' and if so which one. I only want simple streaming in real time of one camera. No need to record anything.

3. Is capturing and streaming the audio a separate issue? If so how do I do it?

4. Are there advanges to learning to set up the whole videoconferencing system (vs4000 by polycom) instead of working on this difficult workaround? Is using the vs4000 going to be simpler and better to use?

thanks so much.
December 24, 2010 11:29:23 AM

To get an IP camera set up remote access you need to do something called 'port forwarding' on your router - which basically allows your router to open a hole so that external requests are accepted and passed on to the camera, the resulting stream sent back to the remote location.

Check out portforward.com to find out how to do the port forwarding for your router.

Some IP cameras like ones from eyespy247 can actually be set up for remote access without the hassle of port forwarding (providing you have a router which supports UPnP properly).

I was looking at a lot of different cameras and then decided on the eyespy247 models for exactly the reason you've hit on....to get around lots of complicated set up! So far its worked a treat :) 

Al
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