WebCamXP, 30% off coupon

jrfuda

Active Member
For any of y'all interested in WebCamXp, here's a 30% off coupon code I've found. It expires soon.

As the latest build of webcamXP seems to work extremely good i plan to release a "final" version within the next few weeks. it doesn't mean there won't be any update as i still have things to continue like synchronizing the audio however after more than 1 year webcamXP 2 will be able to leave the "beta" status and have an accurate documentation.

in case there's still something i haven't seen that doesn't work like it should please let me know so i can finalize it before the final version.

thanks to all those who didn't wait the final build to buy the software and who are supporting this project for a long time :p

for the others, during the month of august you can use this coupon to get a special 30% discount on all webcamXP products for the official release of webcamXP 2 : WXPT-KX6U-OFFR
 

BraveSirRobbin

Moderator
Hmmm, that makes $56 for WebCamXP Security. Think it's worth it? What version are you running John?

Wonder what advantages it has over my old WebCamXP Pro version 1.06 (which I purchased for $35 a loooong time ago, but still works great)?

Does this version STILL have to ping their server to work correctly?
 

jrfuda

Active Member
BSR, I don't think so. I've installed every upgrade since I bought-in at version 1.07, and I've never had to pay to upgrade. Did you ever try installing one of the later versions over your 1.06.

The advantages the newer verion has are:
- Up to 10 feeds possible.
- Can interface directly with many IP cams
- More overlay types available
- Improved mjpeg java client for viewing video over the web

However, when I ran 3 feeds (one PCI and 2 USB cameras) it ate a lot of processor at 640x480 res for each feed, so unless it's on a dedicated machine, I can't see using all 10. I now use only 1 feed with it.

The motion detection ability of WebCamXP is limited. Even if you had all 10 cameras running, you can only have 1 thing triggered on motion. I tried using hsc.exe to send execX10 command to homeseer whenever motion was detected, but since every camera triggered the same command, the usefullness was limited. HOWEVER, it does has a use if you want it to capture stills and/or video when motion is detected, and it can even do an FTP upload and email if you want, so you can put the video/images to a remote location. So it's good for imaging, but not for security triggers.

What I think stinks is that you have to give-up on password protection if you use the security version. The private (lower prived) version gives you password protection, but no motion detection. I ended-up getting the pro version becuase I wanted both, but givenhow I'm using it now (just as a baby cam with my IP cams monitoring eveything else) I would have been better off with the private version, becuase I don't need motion detection... in fact, I currently have the view password turned-off, becuase I got sick of clickin the passowrd pop-up from within my MainLobby scenes.

I've asked the developer several times to allow us to disable the password for specific subnets (like you can in HomeSeer) but he's never supported it. He'll let you grant or deny access to specific IPs and subnets, but even if a subnet/IP is "granted" it still asks for a password if you have "watch" password protected.

WebCamXPs support is very shabby - there virtually is non, and what there is is on a forum that has a lot of immature users.

I think if I were in the market again today, I'd trial some of the other offerings before I made up my mind. It's not a bad product, mind you, I'd just see what else is out there.

If I were a stock analyst, Id say it's a moderate buy at this price :)
 

jrfuda

Active Member
lintball said:
I really like active webcam. $29, lots of features, and works with my Veo IP cam and BT848 capture card.
Without actually trying it, it looks like ActiveWebCam does just about everything WebcamXP does, for a lot less $$$.

I'll have to give it a try one of these days.
 

electron

Administrator
Staff member
Actually, while Active Webcam does much more than WebcamXP, I believe if you want all the features, you have to get the professional version, which is a little more, but definitely worth it imo.
 

jrfuda

Active Member
Holy cow, reality bites. Did you see there system calculator. It tells you the amount of processor and HDD you need based on the number of cams you're using. For 7 non-ip cams @ 640x480, you need a 10.5 gHz processor... I wonder if you could substitue some multi-core, multi-porcessor setups...

Even if I have it monitor my 6 IP cams + 1 connected via my capture card, I still need a 3.5 ghz proc and 282 GBs of HDD in order to maintain 14 days worth of motion-only capture. Makes buying a dedicated DVR almost look like a bargain...
 

electron

Administrator
Staff member
how many fps are you using? I personally use a low fps to detect motion, and once it starts recording, it bumps up the fps to 24, this should help lower the resource requirements. Every application is going to have this problem tho, and with 1 camera, Active Webcam seems to be the most efficient app I could get my hands on, so I assume it will do as good with multiple cams.

You can also create events in Active Webcam which disable motion for certain cameras during certain hours (i.e. no sense to monitor cameras at night which don't have any IR vision or nearby lighting). There is a lot of stuff you can tweak :)
 

jrfuda

Active Member
I put the configurator on 5 fps when I had it do the estimate.

E, What else do you have running on the PC running ActiveWebCam, and how many cameras via what means are you monitoring?

With WebcamXP monitoring only 1 camera, with no recording, it uses a steady 8-12% of my processor, which jumps up to about 15-20% when I connect to the camera via the web. It was even worse when I had it monitoring 3 cameras (2 USB and 1 PCI capture). WebCamXP doesn't handle IP cams very well either. Monitoring 1 IP cam made the HDD continueosly churn, with processor usage in 20% realm whether you were connected or not. Non of this is a good thing when it's sharing the same PC as HomeSeer and MLServer, both of which idle at 0%, handle most tasks in the teens, and only occasionaly jump to high processor use. When I look at "processor time" in the WinXP task manager, WebCamXP is always #2 behind system idle processes, and usually 4-6 times the value of the next higher process, which is HomeSeer.

Perhaps I need to give ActiveWebCam a try and see if it will give me some of my processor back.

Dlink has IPView software that comes with it DCS series of cameras. It works very well, but is obviously designed to be the only application running. It pings the processor at 100% whenever its running, regardless of how many cameras you have connected. It doesn't have web capability, but each individual camera does, so that's not a big deal. It does support motion, sound and time triggered- recording of events. I can't remeber if it ftps or not, but it does do email. Bottom line is I use it only for setting up the cameras (it gives you more feature control than the web-based admin for each camera). And, of course, it's limited to just dlink DCS series of cameras, so you can't use it for any other kinds of cameras (including other Dlink, non-DCS cameras) - which greatly limits it.
 

electron

Administrator
Staff member
I have a Dlink IP cam as well, take it from me, don't rely on that software for security (or the camera features for that matter), I learnt that the hard way. Any app will be slow with monitoring IP cameras, since 'getting' the image will take up some cpu cycles as well.

what processor do you have in your machine? Active Webcam trial is unrestricted, so you don't have anything to lose ... Maybe WebcamXP has changed for the better, so you would be in a position to tell us if Active Webcam is indeed better :)
 

jrfuda

Active Member
My machine is an Athlon XP 2600+ on an Abit NF7-S mobo with 512MB RAM in dual channel mode.

It's realitively fast machine, except when running some scripts in HS (hopefully HS 2.0 will fix this when I have the courae to upgrade).

What incident had you "learn the hard way" about IPCams? The ones that I have, all $59 factory refurbs, have worked perfectly for over a month (almost 2 months, actually). I know there's about a 1-1.5 second lag before the stream from the cams is available via the web, but once it's streaming, there's - maybe - a 200ms delay between what's happening and what's streaming.

My big thing - for true security - is a reliable way to get video off site - ftp'd to my 5GB of web space. Only need to do this for a few cameras, since some, like the babycam, don't need to be recorded at all.

I think I'll disable WebCamXP and let ActiveWebCam run a few days and see how it does. Is the web interface customizeable - in otherwords - capable of being stripped-down so that it's nothing but the stream without any extra stuff?
 

jrfuda

Active Member
Just noticed that ActiveWebcam is controllable with command line parameters.... good for intergration with HS and ML!
 

electron

Administrator
Staff member
The command line interface works great.

Btw, look for something called "SplitCam", allows you to split up a video source into multiple WDM devices, so you can run both packages at the same time.

As for the Dlink issue, I had one of those deployed in a remote office, and someone broke into that office. For some reasons, the camera crashed about a few hours before the incident, so it never emailed me or ftp'd me the images :)
 

lintball

New Member
I do not believe the trial of Active Webcam times out or has any camera limits, it only watermaks with "unregistered" at the top of each window.

I'm running active webcam with 1 IP cam and 2 capture cams on a BT848 at about 5FPS. My PC is a Celeron 2.4GHz. CPU usage is pretty constant at about 70%-80%.

I also run a pretty basic Homeseer 1.7 setup on this same machine. It seems to run fine and I have not noticed any major hiccups.

My ultimate setup will have 4 capture cams and 2 IP cams, so I'm sure this will tax the Celery. That will be an excuse to buy a PC to devote a PC to the cameras....
 

jrfuda

Active Member
OK, I gave ActiveWebCam a try.

It uses as much or more processor than an equivelant WebCamXP installtion - so no benefit there.
- DRAW (slight favor to WebCamXP, it uses less when idle - actually about 0% with the latest release, which I just installed - which is a BIG improvement) Both use about the same when connected to a web viewer.

It uses a different port to stream each camera over the web - don't like that a bit (does that mean there's a different web server instance for each camera).
- WINNER WEBCAMXP

Configurtion is much more intuitive in ActiveWebCam.
- WINNER ACTIVEWEBCAM

Active Webcam can individually address and simulatenously each port of my 4-port capture card (although it can only display one at a time. WebCam XP can address all four, but the method to switch ports has to be done - rather akwardly - via the windows GUI, can't be done remotely.
- WINNER ACTIVEWEBCAM

Both programs are equally proficeint at streaming IP cameras
- DRAW

Both do FTP
- DRAW

ActiveWebCam's company pysoft seems a bit more professional and likely to actually have customer support, which WebCamXP has none of. I also wonder if the WebCamXP author will still be updating the software in a few years. ActiveWebCams documentation is superb too.
- WINNER ACTIVEWEBCAM

Cost of keeping WebCamXP=$0, cost of getting ActiveWebCam=$29, I think they only have 1 version now, and it's the full featured $29 version. I did some googling and found another title by the same name that had basic, deluxe, and pro verions. Perhaps Pysoft bought them out.
- WINNER (in my case anyway) WEBCAMXP

There's more to compare, and at first you'd think ActiveWebCam would be the definate winner, but once I weight the categories with processor usage, # ports to open, and price, WebCamXP still comes out ahead.

I think ActiveWebCam is the perfect solution for a home-grown dedicated DVR, especially since it can make optimal use out of the lower-priced, multi-port, single-chip capture cards. I figure if you buy one of those inexpensie Dells for $300, add a $500 8-port capture card, and $30 software, you have an 8-channel DVR for $850, not too bad - heck you can add some 300GB HDDs to the mix for $99 on sale.

I also think, if I were buying today, I would seriously consider ActiveWebCam over WebCamXP becuase you get more features for much, much, much less money (about 1/3 the price of WebCamXP Pro).

If there's a way for them to get the processor usage down a bit (which may not be possible) and to give us the option to have camera feeds share the same port (like webcamXP does), then I may reconsider. If I ever have an extra 2.5ghz+ PC laying around, I may reconsider too. I do have a PIII800 doing nothing, I wonder how it would hang with 1 PCI and 6 IP Cams on it..... It needs a HDD, though.
 
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