Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Frequently Asked Questions.

What kind of cameras I can use with Webcam Looker?

Answer: You can use any USB cameras (WebCam), or usual video cameras connected via video capturing card.

Note: video cameras are more expensive than USB Webcams.
Also, USB cameras do not require any additional devices to work.

It is better to use webcams that are taking picture of 640x480 (true optical resolution), but, on your wish you can use any, even very cheap webcam.

If the distance between your USB webcam and computer is more than 5 meters (15 feet) (it is USB cable length limit), as an alternate you can consider for the following:
1. Use USB hub(s) to make USB cable longer;
2. Use wireless USB connection;
3. Use ordinary video (or CCTV) cameras connected to some video capture device (via S-Video, etc).
4. Use another computer that can be setup near your camera and connect it via local network.

Can I use your software for monitoring my home (security surveillance) while I am at work thru the Internet?

Answer: Yes. It is possible to record images or video on local machine. Transfer images or alarm about motion to Internet (FTP, HTTP, email, sms, etc.). And, of course, access your home computer from your work place (office) by password. It has build-in Internet dialer , and dynamic IP service to allow you find your computer from Internet.

Normally, people do not have static IP at home, and dynamic IP service is only the way to know at which IP address your home computer is accessible now.

In addition, you can use the Dialer to keep a permanent connection to Internet, for making sure, your home computer is always online (by redial), even if line was dropped.

Why do several cameras can't work simultaneously?

Answer: If you like to use multiple webcams on one computer, please make sure they have multi-device version of driver from manufacturer. Otherwise only one camera could work, or even freeze.

Also, please try to connect several webcams to different USB-controllers of your computer.

Alternatively you can use webcams from different manufacturer.

As a last alternative, you can use different computers with WebCam Looker configured to send images to one main WebCam Looker that will process all your input sources in a desired way.

If you like to use multi-port video capture card with your video cameras, please make sure it has one processor unit per input. Some cheap cards have only one chip per 4 channels - that will not work.

My computer is connected to Internet, but WebCam Looker informs that no external IP found.

Answer: It seems you have local network where your computer connect to Internet via one gateway (firewall) machine and router (see below).

It is not possible to directly access machines inside firewall from Internet. But, you have at least two possibilities to solve this problem:
1. Run WebCam Looker at gateway machine, or
2. Configure the gateway to forward requests to machine with WebCam Looker running:

Step-by step instruction on configuration of Windows XP on gateway machine: - go to Start -> Control Panel -> Security Center -> Windows Firewall -> Advanced -> Network Connection Settings (Local Area Connection) -> Settings -> Services;
- click «Add» to add new Service.
- in this «Service Settings» dialog, please fill:
Description of service: WebCam Looker (or what ever you want);
name or IP address of the machine with WebCam Looker;
External Port number - 80 (or another, if 80 already used there).
Internal Port number - 80 (you need to enter here the actual port number on which WebCam Looker is running - from its Settings / Web server dialog).
The «TCP» radio button must be selected.

Note: Now, to access WebCam Looker from Internet you will need access a gateway machine - its IP address and its (external) port number. If your gateway does not have static (fixed) external (real Internet) IP-address, you can use dynamic IP service to find this computer's IP address from Internet.

If you have another gateway (like multi-port DSL modem, or software), you need to configure forwarding of incoming requests from Internet on port 80 (or another if that is occupied) to machine with WebCam Looker running. This port number must be the same as port of built-in Web server of WebCam Looker. For detailed description, please check your gateway documentation about Port Forwarding.

The alternative for the above solution is to use Web or FTP Hosting and to configure periodic (or on motion detected) upload of images there.

Why my webcam freeze (or hang) with WebCam Looker?

Answer: In case you use directly connected cameras, then, yes, some (buggy) webcam drivers freeze (or hang) from time to time. The picture stops to refreshing or stay not accessible anymore. Unfortunately, due to limitations of Windows it is not possible to fix the problem of driver you use. The best you can try to find a newer (possibly fixed) version of the driver for your webcam.

If you still have the buggy driver WebCam Looker offers the following solution:
To bypass problems with such buggy drivers, the WebCam Looker has built-in feature to detect driver's freeze (both cases). If driver freeze is detected it can automatically reboot your computer to ensure it stay in its guard duty at any case. Yes, you will miss a few minutes out of its surveillance activity, while machine is rebooting, but it is much better, than just sitting with not working camera and miss all activities around...

To enable this feature, please open Settings -> General dialog and select «Autorun program» and «Restart computer...» checkboxes.

If you have another freeze or crash problems (usually caused by drivers of your devices), there is a possibility to trace the course, by logging into file. To enable logging, please, starting the WebCam Looker with the command line param: -logdebug
for example:
webcam.exe -logdebug

Would it crash or freeze, please send us a short description of the problem and the file «debug.log» from installed Webcam Looker's folder. Normally it is under folder: «c:\Program Files\WebCam Looker\» This help to answer the question, why it freeze for you.

In case you have IP cameras or camera from internet (URL sources), the problem is caused by absense of Internet connection to the camera, or its server down. Then try it later or enter another URL.

Question1: I have multiport video capture card installed, but Webcam Looker do not "see" it.
Question2: Webcam Looker shows wrong images (all pixels are blue) for some ports of my multiport card.

Answer: Some multiport card vendors do not provide the appropriate WDM drivers for their products (and their own software is the only software which works with their card), so it can be the main reason Webcam Looker do not detect your device presence. Also the problem can be caused by a conflicting driver from another surveillance software previously installed on the PC.

In this case we recommend to download and install the free Universal WDM Video Capture Driver: BtWinCap from original site (size: 300Kb) or a copy of BtWinCap from our site.
Please note: this application was not developed by us and we have no control over it's development or release. But, it can be very useful, in case your supplier did not provide WDM compatible driver for your card.

Even, if your card is not listed at their driver as supported, you can try to use the BtSpy free utility to detect your card configurations neccessary for the above driver - with help of use of your manufacturer supplied software: BtSpy from original site (size: 80Kb) or a copy of BtSpy from our site.
The BtSpy can export the report file (as text file) which can be successfully imported into btinstaller.exe. Just start BtSpy and follow its instruction to grab the information.

The above software programs are originally located at the following site for download: WDM Video Capture Driver for Bt848 / Bt849 / Bt878 & Bt879 Chipsets..

After installing WDM driver for your card you will be able to add it as Source of "Multiport Device" type (From Settings -> Sources) at WebCam Looker.

If you use more than one camera connected to yout card, please note: due to limitations of DirectX, you must carefully change the Port changing delay at that dialog - making it too small will cause your card to return wrong picture (from another camera) due to slowness of channel switching via DirectX. Yes, manufacturer's software can probably do this faster, but over DirectX there is no control. So, it could be few times slower. For most cards the 150ms (6 fps) seems the optimal working value. It is better to have this value as small as possible (to capture all mostions before your cameras), but smaller value will cause images swapping between channels, so you need to select a value manually, so that it is a little greater to avoid that wrong images to apper.

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