Video Recording Equipment

randommscience117's picture
Last seen: 4 years 11 months ago
Joined: 06/08/2012 - 6:34pm

I am pretty new to production video, and I am wondering if there is a way to set up 5-10 cameras for recording without having each camera independently record? Instead of having 5-10 flip video camcorders set up (around $200 each), is there a better way? I am looking for the video only feed to record on a laptop or other recording device, and I don't need each camera to independently record, like all consumer video cameras do. I hope that makes sense.

Jack Wolcott's picture
Last seen: 2 hours 41 min ago
Joined: 01/02/2008 - 11:51pm
Plus Member

I don't think this can be done.

Think about it: you want to have several streams of video coming into the same place -- your laptop. How would you connect 5-10 cameras to the laptop? Where would each stream go? How would the computer know where to send the different streams, assuming you had a video card that could handle that many inputs and a computer system capable of handling that much simultaneous data?

You could partially solve the first problem by using a video mixer, to which you could connect 5 cameras. Still, there would be only one output from the mixer to your laptop, so the best you could do would be to select which one of the five cameras to feed to the laptop from the mixer.

There are surveillance video systems that can accommodate four cameras; some, in addition to showing all four camera's output on the screen simultaneously, allow you to select a single camera to observe full screen. I recently saw a similar system that permitted up to 16 cameras to be viewed simultaneously. Unfortunately, from your perspective, it was part of a multimillion dollar security system in a corporate data center.

So the answer remains "No." Perhaps you can tell us a little more about your production idea so we can try to come up with a viable work-around for you.