Camcorder to high res webcam in simple steps – using TV Tuner

A couple of years back i bought a Sony HandyCam and was hoping to use it as a webcam for an annual webcast of  Ganesh festival celebrated at my home. The usual webcams designed for desktop use, are sloppy when it comes to webcasting a larger space. The handycam as a webcam, not only gives us sharper images, but also facility to zoom in and out much better.

Sony had a feature called USB Streaming in its older camcorders (Tape based) that turned it into a high quality webcam in a matter of minutes. Strangely though, Sony has discontinued in all its later releases of Handycams. Much to my disgust, the one i bought fell in that category as well. Even after rigorous search on google there seemed to be no solution.

However the solution came to me in a rather add on feature of a uncommon product. – USB TV Tuner.  Most of us would think that TV Tuner is just for watching TV broadcast on your computer. However, these devices, most of them using the same Connexant driver, also accept composite inputs from DVD players, and hey… Handycams too which give similar output!! Further, the device also shows up as a “webcam” in any of your favorite chat software – Skype, Google Hangout… you name it.

The steps are really very simple:

1. Buy a good USB TV Tuner. I got a Iball ClaroTV from a friend who has some good connections in iBall. Flipkart offers a good price on it.. Here is a link for the same:

Also available on Amazon:

2. Install the drivers as per the manual and the CD provided.
3. Plug in your camcorder (works with any handycam that has an AV output) and connect its AV cable. (the one with red, white and yellow connector)
4. Open your favorite chat program
5. Switch on the camera and put it in recording mode – standby
6. Using the bundled software with the TV Tuner, set the source to “Composite” to ensure that the camcorder input, and not the Antenna is chosen to beam.
6. In the chat program (skype / Google hangout) you will see the default laptop webcam on, if you have it in your machine.
7. Look witihin the programme settings for a dropdown that allows you to change the webcam settings.. you will find a “Connexant ” option or something similar to that indicating your TV tuner card… Select it.
8. You should now be able to see yourself.

The handycam as a webcam will certainly help you with your own Broadcast channel 🙂






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