Here's a brief review of inexpensive webcasting. Many use USB, CMOS webcams and consumer "live" webcam software. Most use onsite PCs to serve the images and sound so a good, high-speed, bi-directional link is preferred. I guess you could also use shockcast audio streams over silent cameras like the Axis, too. But one-piece, A/V solutions seem simpler.
i-Vista: Intel has a package that http://www.intel.com/pccamera/software/broadcastlive.htm includes a 30 day trial of http://www.inetcam.com/products/packages/personal_user/index.phtml iVISTA software which allows you to broadcast unlimited video and audio to anyone with a Java enabled Browser. iVISTA Pro software http://www.inetcam.com/products/packages/pro_user/index.phtml ($199) includes extra features such as http://www.inetcam.com/products/modules/url.phtml a domain name like (personaltelco.inetcam.com).
Intel's PocketPC Cam http://www.intel.com/pccamera/software/buildhom.htm http://www.intel.com/pccamera/pocket_cam.htm and higher resolution http://www.intel.com/pccamera/pocketdigital/index.htm are USB point-and-shoots. They can also record 2 minutes of video with on-board memory. Attach the cord and you've got a "live" camera.
http://www.inetcam.com/ I-Net Cam's http://www3.inetcam.com/products/ivista/index.phtml iVISTA3 software supports video AND AUDIO streaming. Here's http://www.inetcam.com/indexaudio.html an A/V stream from a live tv show.Modules can be purchased separately that includes full audio capabilities, multiple video streaming, motion detection, personalized web address, and other features for $50-$200.
The cheapest route might be http://www.surveyor.com/index_products.html
Surveyor's Webcam 32 software ($40). http://surveyorcorp.com/webcam32_software.html Webcam 32's Java Cam Push http://netconference.about.com/internet/netconference/library/weekly/aa11229 9b.htm set-up instructions is available as part of Webcam32 and works with the Logitech $50 webcam. Version 4 browsers can view real time live streaming video from Webcam32. I haven't tried it (yet) but here's a http://surveyorcorp.com/webcam32_software.html tutorial that may get you going. The Windows-only http://surveyorcorp.com/ispy/ I-Spy does it too.
For Mac users, the http://www.nuspectra.com/sitecam/index.htm Site Cam Live Java applet streams live broadcasts and features USB and FireWire digitizer capture. Site Cam uses server-push technology to eliminate the need for client browser plug-ins. http://www.rearden.com/ Rearden Technology (recently merged with http://www.nuspectra.com/ Nu Spectra, has http://www.nuspectra.com/sitecam/ Site Cam 5.0 and their http://www.nuspectra.com/sitezap/ user-controlled SiteZAP. http://www.nuspectra.com/siteproxy/ Site Proxy is a WebSTAR (Mac server) plug-in that rebroadcasts Site Cam (and other) streaming video. It takes video from a remote location and increases the number of streams by offloading them to another computer. Site Proxy requires an Apache server running on Linux.
- Linux Server Cameras:
The Axis 2100 camera http://www.axis.com/products/cam_2100/index.htm and Stardot's Netcam http://www.stardot-tech.com/netcam/ are the leaders, here. http://www.pcworld.com/top400/article/0,1361,17496,00.html PC World review.
JVC's VN-C2WU http://www.jvc-victor.co.jp/english/pro/vnetworks/story3-e/s3_under-e.html http://www.securityandmore.com/index.asp?Task=Category&Category_ID=65 $1600 http://www.jvcpro.co.uk/Product/info/vnet/V_NETWORKS_demo_sites.html demo sites also include built-in web servers and ethernet connections for "live" plug and play with a DSL line (or dial-up). The camera's built-in server software gives you two options for displaying images; (1) enter the camera's IP address to view images directly, or (2) instruct the server to upload images to a Web server About 10 people can view it simultaneously. Live shots work best on a LAN, of course.
http://www.vantum.com/newsandinfo.php?newsid=6 Vantum makes an MPEG 1 & 2 camera with optional internal hard disk ($1200-$2000). It connects directly to an IP network and can be controlled from the web. Got Best of the Show at Inter Op 2001. http://ipw.internet.com/ Internet Product Watch has <A http://ipw.internet.com/cameras/recent1.html a big list of the latest web cameras http://www.ethernetcctv.com/ Ethernet CCTV specializes in network cameras. http://www.pelco.com/catalog/camerasite/lenses/motorizedzoom/2741.htm Pelco's CCTV lenses can zoom to 30x.
http://cctv.axis.com/products/2401/ The AXIS 2401 video server is a small (6"x8") box that connects any video source, then attaches to a LAN. It lets you add viewer interactivity. Here's an Sony webcamera with http://www.visualsecurity.com/ptz viewer controlled Pan, Tilt and Zoom. No dedicated computer required.
http://www.usa.canon.com/press/112900.html Canon's VC-C4 also has a user controlled camera and camera control unit that needs no server. It's modeled after the Axis server product. www.webgateinc.com/english/product_irec_01.html i-Rec can store video on a hard drive for access by others. VPON's self-contained camera server http://webmonitor.nfic.com.tw/eng/eproduct.htm also claims to be easy and live. About the size of a settop box, you just plug cameras in. The video is grabbed, compressed, and transmitted through a LAN or telephone line. It's used for child care, security and tourism.
http://cserv.sourceforge.net/ Camserv and http://www.iomojo.com/products/video/microserver/ The Iomojo server/cam is a complete Linux solution that enables you to add postcards, zoom cameras and other advanced stuff. It's available through http://www.smarthome.com/752001.html Smarthome. http://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/kharker/linux-laptop/ Linux on Laptops running http://pcmcia-cs.sourceforge.net/ Linux PCMIA cards are also available. http://sourceforge.net/softwaremap/trove_list.php?form_cat=125 Lots of cool Linux projects are under development such as http://sourceforge.net/projects/humancasting/ Humancasting, a peer-to-peer, file sharing, chat and video streaming application.