View Full Version : Live streaming video - questions re storage, etc.

01-01-2012, 05:29 AM
I have a character who has a camera set up on his property for one of those live-camera things for a website (he's encouraging people to monitor the wildlife and natural beauty of an area under environmental threat). The camera is some distance from the house, but not SUPER far, so wires could be laid from the house if necessary.

Then the house burns down, and the camera has probably captured evidence of who approached the house prior to the fire. What I'd like to know is:

How likely is it that the camera would be battery-powered and have an independent internet connection? Or would the camera have died when the power to the house went out in the fire?

Would the camera most likely be controlled/connected via a computer in the house, or via a server somewhere? (If possible, the server would be best, because I'd like to have the evidence available after the fire).

Is it fairly standard for past footage to be stored for a live-feed camera, and, if so, is there a standard time period for which it's saved? And, if the camera IS likely controlled via the computer in the house, would it be reasonable for the footage to be stored somewhere off site?

Maybe it's clearer if I say: There's a camera set up in the woods, giving a live-feed to the internet. The house of the camera owner, nearby, is burned down. I want to use the footage from the camera as evidence re. the arson. Am I able to do this?

Thanks for any help.

01-01-2012, 06:33 AM
Number 1 daughter gave me one for Christmas to observe the wildlife.

Camera hooks up to a power outlet for both electricity and video feed. Has about a thirty-foot cord with it, although you can buy longer ones. Then another cord plugs into the router and another power outlet. It's not complicated to set up.

Camera has a memory chip in it, that you can download, or you can store either on your computer or on the website of the company who built it. I think the memory chip is good for seven days of recording, but don't really know, and don't especially care. It definitely would cover the last 24 hours.

So keep your camera hooked into the house's power to keep life simple. Power actually lasts a while in a burning house and the camera would stay on as long as it has power. Memory chip would record up until the power went. As long as your arsonist walks by the camera on the way to the house, you'll have him on film.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

01-01-2012, 06:34 AM
Wildlife photographers use self contained cameras that run on battery or solar power and store the image on a data card. The data card is retrieved later. THAT could work if you want.

OR - Since your story premise is that people are watching a LIVE feed -

Here's how I would set up your situation. The camera can be wired, or wireless - that is the signal can be sent to the home computer over a wireless network, or by a hard wire. The power to the camera can be sent via the same hardwire, but not wireless. The camera COULD be battery powered, and recharged via solar panels. Either situation is fine - and neither affects the fact that the camera 'sees' the person approach the house because everything is working at that moment.

The camera does not 'record' anything. It sends a signal to the 'recorder' which nowadays means it is recorded as a file on a disk. That disc COULD be on the home computer OR you could set up the home computer to send the feed out, AND store the data on a server located somewhere else.

So yes, it's POSSIBLE for your scenario to work. For the house and home computer to be destroyed, but or the data (images) to be stored on a server at some other location.

This is not TYPICAL - because you're paying for data storage somewhere off site - but it is POSSIBLE.

That help?

01-01-2012, 06:58 AM
Hunters, and many security systems use solar or battery powered systems. Solar is better as you don't have to keep replacing the batteries.

The system will depend on what the character wants it to do, such as does he want to do live streaming or time lapse photography. If he wants to do any editing before it goes live on the Internet then the system sends it to a dedicated computer and the computer stores the images. If he wants to stream live, without any editing, this too is possible. He just has to set the computer up so it send to a website he has developed. These are all wireless systems so there is no need to run wires to the house.

My question, if the owner wants people to view the wildlife and/or the landscape, why would the camera face the house? And even a camera that faces the house, unless he has a very expensive HD camera that works in all light conditions and weather, then the further away from the house, the more blurry the images will be.

All in all this scenario is very possible, just do some research on outdoor nature camera systems, or wireless security cameras that are solar powered. Not cheap though...

01-01-2012, 09:09 AM
The camera isn't actually facing the house - it just captures a chunk of the road. So they'd be recognizing the arsonist's car, rather than his face.

Excellent information, guys. Thanks! (And enjoy the wildlife, JCD!)