A live cam is a digital camera with built-in image processing technology that captures images and videos, then transmits the data over a network, usually to a website. The term is most often used to describe a webcam that streams the video online and is typically located at a public location such as a bridge, public square or park. Thousands of these cameras are currently available at zoos, museums and landmarks and many are operated by volunteer organizations to provide a unique perspective for their visitors.
The process of setting up a live cam involves an internet router, a computer and the camera itself. The computer is used to control the camera and monitor its live feed. The webcam must have a microphone that is capable of recording audio and an internet connection with sufficient upload speed. It must also have the right software installed to stream a high-quality, reliable live video to YouTube or other streaming websites.
One way to test a camera for streaming is by connecting it to a computer and navigating to the device’s RTMP settings page. Once the Stream Key has been transferred from the camera to the computer, the live stream will appear in the browser window.
If the live stream does not display, this usually indicates that the internet connection is too slow or the bitrate required to upload a live video is too high. Each camera creates a specific amount of video data per second, which is commonly referred to as the “bitrate” and must be consistent to provide a high-quality stream.