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How to use Watcher - Capture Mode
The watcher software operates in two modes: Capture mode and View Log mode. The Capture Mode is the default mode that you will see when you start the application. If your PC is connected with a PC camera, the capture window will automatically start capture. Note that to use Watcher, the camera must be either WDM compatible or VfW (video for windows) compatible. More than 95% of cameras in the market satisfy these requirements.
There are four groups of controls just below the video preview window. They are the four main functions of this software, namely, recording, monitoring, listening and broadcasting. There is also a SnapShot function which enables you to take a snapshot even when the main functions are being performed.
This page will provide an overview of these functions. It is important to constantly refer to the settings manual to get help on how to set up these functions effectively for your use.
Note - Watcher can do the following tasks simultaneously: monitoring and broadcasting, or monitoring and listening, or recording and broadcasting. All these operations can be auto-started when Watcher is auto-started by Scheduler, or NT service or Windows. With all these combinations, Watcher can almost do everything you can think of.
Click on the little button which looks like a camera lens, besides the system round button, a snap shot will be taken immediately, and you will be prompted to enter the name of the image file that will be used to save the snap shot. If there is a problem with snap shot, please refer to the troubleshooting page.
The capture mode allows you to record a video and save it to a file (as specified by you) for playback. By clicking on the Record's start button, you will be able to start recording. There is a tradeoff between video clip quality, clip size and speed, make your choice by adjusting video format or advanced video settings. To include audio in the recorded file, please refer to this page. If there is a problem with recording, please refer to the troubleshooting page.
If you want to playback the recorded video clip, you can go to Log Window and click on "Open" icon to select and play back that video clip, or you can click on Watcher menu->"Play dgw video clip" directly.
Digi-Watcher's main feature is that it acts as a intelligent watch-dog for you. It monitors event while you are away from home or your office cubical. It is very easy to start monitoring by clicking on Monitor's start button. But please make sure that you have fine-tuned the monitor settings, such as sensitivity level, masking, video logging options and various alert functions such as ftp or email by following the settings manual. You can also control the quality of saved log events (video clips) by adjusting video format or advanced video settings.
Note: If you want to leave Watcher to monitor for a long time, you need to set the power scheme's "Turn off harddisk" to "never" and "System standby" to "never".
Used together with another free tool from Digi-Watcher, the RemoteView, you can connect to Watcher software at home and take a look at what's happening there. The Listening function in the Capture mode enables your home PC to be in a ready state to accept the request sent from the RemoteView software.
One of the possible scenarios is that in the morning before you left home for work, you will adjust your PC camera to face the place where you are interested, eg. your pet's house, your baby sit and you will click on the Listening's start button. When you are in the office, you can start the RemoteView software and connect to your home PC. You will be able to view what's happening in real time.
To use the Listen feature, you must specify the Listen Setting.
You PC will be in the ready mode after you click on OK. The rest of the magic will happen when you use your RemoteView software at office to connect to your home PC. More details will be given while introducing RemoteView.
Please note if both Monitor and Listen are enabled, the moment Watcher receives request from RemoteView to send real time video, Monitor function will automatically pause. When the connection with RemoteView is closed, Monitor will resume and Watcher will also keep on Listen for further request from RemoteView.
The broadcasting works in a simple way. Once turned on, Watcher will constantly save the image captured from the camera into a jpeg file, say every 1 second, and ftp or copy the file to some remote server or local hard disk. Assume we upload the file to a remote FTP server, which also happens to be a web server. The web server could host a page which point to the jpeg files uploaded from Watcher and does refreshing every 3 seconds. In effect, anyone could go to that page using their internet browser and view almost live image from your camera. Please refer to the settings manual on how to set up the remote broadcasting options.
The local broadcasting works in a similar way. The difference is that your computer acts as a web server and accepts page viewing request from outside. Please refer to the the settings manual on how to set up Watcher for Local Web Server broadcasting.
Please note that if both Monitoring and Broadcasting are enabled, Monitoring will not be stopped or paused at all. The two functions can run without interfering with each other.
If you encounter any problem with the Watcher program, please refer here for troubleshooting.
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