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TVGUY, Sr. Principal Expert
Category: Camera and Video
Satisfied Customers: 190
Experience:  Computer Systems Engineer
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Id like to use my Sony Handycam as a "live" video camera -

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I'd like to use my Sony Handycam as a "live" video camera - simultaneously broadcasting what is being recorded through a laptop and onto multiple television screens. Is that possible?



Use the Analog AV cable that came with it to hook up to the TV. If you want more than 1 tv you will have to split the video signal. You can buy 1x5 Video splitters (many different products) EXAMPLE and you can get something similiar for Computer Monitors.


This all depends on your budget and your architect.


Mike S.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The video is already split through the laptop - which is why I need to connect the Camcorder directly to the laptop. The laptop is already set up to broadcast music videos to multiple TVs. I want to be able to broadcast live video from my Camcorder through the same system, e.g., through laptop. Is there a special software I need, or is it hardware?



You can redefine the VGA signal from the computer into a standard video signal if you have the correct hardware. Basically the sky is the limit depending on your budget.


It sounds to me like you want to have your computer be a switcher which again requires additional hardware. Right now I consider your laptop the "headend switch" and you want to feed your video camera into the laptop to join the feed. Outside of this I don't really understand what your end product is - but you can feel free to explain!




Mike S.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Sorry. I don't know the technical terms, so I'm not quite sure how to explain. Right now, the laptop is set up to broadcast to multiple televisions. There is a connection (like for a monitor on a desktop computer) that connects to a splitter and broadcasts the signal to all of the televisions. It is used to show music videos that are playing on the computer.


When there are live events, I'd like to be able to connect my Handycam to the laptop and have what I am filming show up on the televisions. Right now, I can connect via USB to the laptop. What I can't figure out is how to get the "live" signal from the camera, through the laptop, and onto the screen. They use a special DJ software to play the videos right now, and that's what shows up on the screen. Does any of this make any sense to you?


I need to know what software/hardware can make this happen.





I understand everything you said in the first paragraph, and that is typical. You are hitting play on something, albeit Itunes or Youtube or whichever, and that leaves the laptop and splits into all the TV sets downstream. Assuming Audio is passed to something in a similiar way - like a sound system.


Now you are saying - "Hey - I want to broadcast my camera". My question is - are you looking to just show what is in the camera's frame - or are you looking to embed this video into a website or something else?


The easy answer is why don't you get a video capture "hardware" - for the laptop - and that way when you are ready to broadcast - you just enable the capture device and viola! Video and Audio in the Laptop, and what ever is showing in the laptop is broadcast to the monitors.


So you want me to provide you with something that is for HDV or SD? Forget USB - that does nothing for you. Please give me the exact model of the Sony and I will spec out an example. You can refine it from there.


Mike S.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Yes - I just want to broadcast (not upload to a website). Yes - we want HD. My Sony is the DCR-SR47. That's what I couldn't figure out, is if there was additional hardware I needed to make this happen. Thanks so much for your help with this.




I am sorry to tell you that your camera is NOT an HD camera - so you will not be able to work with HD video. Here is the specs for your camera - then I will explain and offer some advice:


Format: SD (MPEG2)

Video Signal: NTSC color, EIA standards Inputs and Outputs

Analog Audio/Video Output(s): Included (via A/V Remote Terminal)

USB Port(s): Hi-speed (2.0 compliant)

S-Video Output(s): Sold separately (via A/VRemote jack)

Audio/Video Remote Terminal: Video / SVideo / Audio

Alright - as you can see your camera format is only SD - standard definition. This means that your camera came with an Audio / Video cable that has a Yellow/Red/White connector on one end - and plugs into the camera on the other. This is your output. It will resolve to 640x480 resolution, which is 1/8 the size of your computer screen. If you BLOW IT UP on the computer - it will look absolutely horrible - so you will have to lower your computer's screen resolution when you broadcast - easy enough - right-click desktop - settings - change display.

However this also means you are only capable of capturing SD video and that means you only need an SD capture device. I recommend MATROX because of it's affordability and scalability. Meaning - if you buy an HDV camera - you will be able to use it and get an instant picture upgrade to your broadcast. Also, because it comes with it's own capture software, and you will not need to have any other special software.

In Summary - You need SD capture - the video will be displayed on your computer monitor, and the audio will be heard in the computer speakers. This will allow you to then transmit the video signal out past the laptop using the built-in distribution for the laptop video and your audio will take the same path it uses now.

That's about it.

Thank you. I value your business.

Mike S.

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