How to Use a JVC Camcorder as a Webcam
Your standard webcam is great for recording quick, average quality videos or informal video chatting with a friend. However, if you want to stream high-quality or high-definition video from your computer, nothing beats a real camcorder. If you have a JVC camcorder, you can probably use it in place of a webcam and get much better results for your live streaming. As long as your JVC camcorder has a video output, you can stream video from the camcorder in your favorite video chat programs or even capture live video to create home movies -- without using a tape in the camera.
Things You'll Need
- USB cable (for JVC camcorders that support USB streaming)
- USB Video capture device
- Video capture device installation CD
- Composite, DV, Firewire or RCA video cable (for models that do not support USB streaming)
JVC Camcorder with USB Connections
Insert the installation CD that shipped with your JVC camcorder into the optical drive of your computer. After the setup wizard appears on your monitor, follow the on-screen instructions to install the camcorder driver and capture software on your computer. Note: Windows 7 supports many JVC camcorders without need of a driver. Refer to the documentation for your JVC camera to determine if you need to install a separate driver. If Windows has a suitable driver for your camcorder, install only the capture and editing software from the disc.
Remove the recording tape, flash card or other storage media from your JVC camcorder. Open the connector cover on the rear of the camera. Insert the small end of the USB cable into the matching port on the rear of the camcorder. Connect the larger end of the cable to an empty USB port on the computer. Wait for Windows to detect the JVC video camera and configure its driver.
Launch a chat program that supports video calling or chat, such as G-Talk, Skype, Windows Live Messenger or Yahoo! Messenger. Log in to the application with your username and password.
Click the "Options," "Settings" or "Tools" link on the chat program menu bar. Click the "Video Camera," "Video Setup" or "Webcam Settings" tab or link in the "Preferences" or "Settings" window.
Click the name of your JVC camcorder in the list of available cameras or camcorders. Click the "Preview" or "Test" button to view the image stream from the camcorder. Close the preview window and click "Apply" or "OK."
Position the JVC video camera so that your face is visible. Select a contact or friend with whoM to video chat, then use the camcorder as you would a regular webcam.
JVC Models With Composite, DV or RCA Outputs
Connect the USB cable to the external video capture device. Connect the other end of the cable to the computer. Insert the installation disc for the capture device when prompted, then follow the directions on your screen to install the device in Windows. You might have to restart your PC after you install the capture device.
Connect the JVC camcorder to the video capture box. Depending on the model JVC camcorder you own, the camera might have one or several video out ports. Use a composite, DV, Firewire or RCA cable to connect the camera to the capture device.
Power on your JVC camcorder, then wait for Windows to detect the connection with the capture device. If Windows does not detect the camera, you might have to initialize the camera with the capture device software first.
Launch the capture program you installed for the capture device. Note: If Windows did not detect the camcorder earlier, it should detect the camera once you launch the capture device program. Click "Settings," "Tools" or "Options" on toolbar. Click and select the name of your JVC camcorder in the list of available camera devices -- it should be the only one in the list. If the name of your camcorder does not appear, click the "Detected Camcorder," "USB Connected Webcam" or other similarly named device. Do not close the capture device application.
Launch a video chat program on your computer. Click the "Settings" or "Option" menu bar option, then click "Video," "Video Settings" or "Webcam." Ensure the device name associated with the camcorder appears as the default webcam device, then click "Apply," "OK" or "Save." Use the camcorder as a webcam as you normally would.
Tips & Warnings
- With many camcorders that do not support USB streaming, you must open the capture device application before Windows recognizes the camcorder as a webcam. If this applies to your JVC camcorder, you must leave the capture device program open while you use the camera as a webcam with video chat applications.
References & Resources
- Tom's Hardware; Trash that Webcam, Mount a Camcorder; Humphrey Cheung; Oct. 2004
- Microsoft: Connecting a Video Camera To Your Computer
- Yahoo! Help: I Switched to a New Webcam. How Do I Make Yahoo! Messenger Recognize the New One?
- JVC USA Support: GR-DVF21 User Guide
- Skype Help: How Can I Check that My Webcam is Working Properly?