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The Camera Source Menus

This is your direct interface to the hardware level of the webcam. What you choose here has a direct result on the output image and often the overall quality of your results. Generally, you are encouraged to setup your cam for maximum quality/resolution - then make the software resize the resultant image to a more web-friendly size.
  • Driver - If you're having trouble selecting driver, generally you will have problems with other cam software too. Make sure you have the very latest drivers for your webcam. Often you can fall back to a generic VFW driver which is compaitable with most devices and often the most stable, but often this is of a low performance.
  • Source - Select the source input feed. This can from a webcam, or alternative video source such as a TV card. Note that if this option is disabled, the camera driver does not support source selection.
  • More Source Functions - Often when you select the source, there is an additional tab allowing you to choose brightness, contrast and sometimes exposure time for the camera. This will depend on the camera and it's driver. It is recommended you get these setup correctly at this level first, since no amount of post-processing will be able to clear up a bad source image when you need only adjust a slider at this end instead!
  • Format - This is not enabled for all webcam drivers, but typically this allows you to select the source resolution and color format. You are recommended to select the highest resoltion (that does not noticably compromise CPU performance) and a color format such as I420. This format produces hi-color results but occupies a very small amount of bandwidth - typically RGB24 is marginally better quality but far too expensive in terms of data transferred. Interim formats such as 15 or 16-bit images forms tend to me rather pixelated and bitty. The options open to you will be entirely dependant upon the webcam's driver, however.
  • Frame Grabbing Commands Explained

    A source of confusion can often be the options that allow you to grab a single frame and either upload it or save it to hard disk.
  • Snapshot - This will create a preview image (but will not open the preview window, thus ideal if being called from the system tray). It will also FTP the image to the server if you have FTP options enabled. Unless you have Run enabled for automatic publishing, this is the normal of publishing your camera output.
  • Force to FTP - This is the same as Snapshot, but will try to FTP even if you have FTP options enabled. This is useful if you don't want to FTP to the server when you call snapshot, or if you have Run in operation - ideal for selective broadcasting.
  • Run - This call's Snapshot automatically at regular intervals (determined in the Output - Image Options dialog). This can also be setup to be enabled automatically at startup, via the Output menu.
  • Preview - This is the same as snapshot, but never FTP's to a server, and also displays the preview window.
  • Preview Output

    Some clarification may be called for her, to avoid confusion when considering camera output and software output resolution.
  • Stretch to Fit - By default this is turned on. Thus, no matter what resolution your camera is running at - it will always be shrunk or expanded to fit into the window. This may be misleading for new users, since if you double the webcam resolution the main display window stays the same. If this whole affair confuses you - turn this option off!
  • Proportional - For completeness, this option controls if the aspect ratio of the source image is maintained in the preview window or not.

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