Digital Video Cameras

They're an ideal way to record footage of your family, friends and those special occasions: but which one is right for you?


DV and the Web

Modern PC systems can quickly and easily capture video from a camcorder or webcam, ready to edit and deliver to viewers online. There are some issues to consider. Do you want to stream the video or send it in as a complete file? Will your audience be a targeted group such as an e-mail list or just one individual? Will it be available to everyone on your homepage?

A popular way to create small audio and video files is to use MPEG.

MPEG-1 was the format devised for VCD and also happens to be a good option for Internet distribution over a broadband connection due to the transfer rate of 1500Kbps, which is comparable to a high-speed broadband connection. However, the widespread adoption of MPEG-4 by most movie makers wanting to show their video on the Web, makes MPEG-1 a less attractive option for video distribution.

MPEG-4 is a great video format for the Web because it can deliver good video quality at extremely low data rates, even down to 10Kbps. Yet, when needed, the bit rate can be lifted to around 1Mbps, providing near-DVD quality video. DivX, one of the most popular formats on the Web for distributing movie titles, is based on the MPEG-4 format.

Camcorder makers such as Sony, Canon and Panasonic are providing live Web streaming capabilities using an MPEG-4 encoder in their DV camcorders, with the latest models taking advantage of the greater transfer speeds available when using USB 2.0. This allows you to connect your camcorder to the PC through a USB connection and send live video over the Web at various quality levels, depending on the internet connection speed of your audience.

Another option with many new camcorders is to record Web-quality video to removable storage media such as an SD card or Memory Stick/Memory Stick Pro. This option allows you quickly and easily to transfer your video to the PC via a USB connection or through a card reader.

MPEG-2 is the format used in DVD video distribution and has playback rates from around 500 to 1000Kbps. By altering the playback or delivery rate, users can tailor the delivery of a video to meet the speed of a connection or to store more video on a DVD disc. The arrival of MPEG-2 camcorders allows users to distribute video immediately via the Web through the PC, or through wireless technologies such as Bluetooth.



Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

PC World Staff

PC World
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?