General Question

DrewJ's avatar

Is it possible to use a FireWire camera as a webcam with Google+ Hangout?

Asked by DrewJ (375 points ) March 16th, 2014

I’ve been sitting here trying to get my HVX200, which connect to my computer via firewire to work as a webcam with Google+ for a few hours now. I got my Facetime app to recognize it and also another app to recognize it, so I know it is connected to the computer properly, but Google+ or Ustream does not recognize it. I need to know if this is a fool’s errand. Is it even possible to connect a firewire camcorder and use as a webcam for Google+ ?

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11 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

I agree that it should be theoretically possible. The firewire camera is “just another” input, in the sense that it is transmitting a video signal to the CPU. In that respect, the CPU should be accepting and processing it normally, the same way it would process USB or HDMI or any other input device.

Hangouts is just an application that accepts video and audio signals from the processor and shoots them out through the app. hangouts doesn’t create the video or audio stream – it just uses it, regardless of the source.

This makes me think that potentially the problem lies in GPU somehow, but that’s going to be dependent on your mother board and the various connections you have. Almost as if there’s a conflict where Hangouts and the firewire connection both want to exclusively control the same video stream.

Bottom line, this should be theoretically possible, but something environmental is blocking it.

DrewJ's avatar

Thanks for the help @elbanditoroso – I should note that I have a number of other video applications that accept the video input like Facetime and Manycam, but getting Google+ to recognize it is a different story.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Known problem with Mac computers and Google Hangouts. Sounds like it is a Flash, which is not supported by Mac, not talking between Camera and Google+.

DrewJ's avatar

Thanks @Tropical_Willie

I have been fiddling with this all day and I got the HVX200 connected via direwire to work on Ustream (using the ustream producter) but can’t get it to work with Google+ Hangout On Air. I would really prefer it, damn.

ANy suggestions for a fix at all?

johnpowell's avatar

You might want to give this a shot.

http://www.macworld.com/article/2033451/google-hangout-and-the-uncooperative-camcorder.html

Hopefully the free version allows for piping video around.

DrewJ's avatar

Gave that a shot. Got it to make G+ recognize the video but not the audio.

I think now I’d like to start asking another question:

Does anyone know of a good afforadable camera that can definitley connect to Google+ Hangouts On Air and has an optical zoom feature? My current HVX200 will work fine with Ustream but just in case my boss DEFINITLEY wants Google+ when I go to office tomorrow I need to tell him what camera we should buy.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I think you’ll find that it is Apple Mac not supporting Flash which is a requirement for Google+.
New PC with Windoze 8.1.1.1 or an Andoid OS system ! !

DrewJ's avatar

@Tropical_Willie I don’t understand that though because my everything else flash works on my computer fine. I can play flash gamesand watch flash videos. Also, other cameras work with Google+.

johnpowell's avatar

@Tropical_Willie iOS doesn’t support Flash but OS X does. It is just Flash on OS X doesn’t see Firewire Cams .

What is your price range if you were to get a new camera? The HVX200 is pretty serious gear. Are you looking for that quality or just a sub 100 webcam?

DrewJ's avatar

@johnpowell – Ooooh okay that makes total sense then. Damn.

As for other camera, it doesn’t have to be as serious as the HVX200 but I really just want something decent (it can still totally be SD) with an optical zoom. As far as budget is concerned, I know it is a wide range but if this doesn’t work out and I need to tell my boss we need a new camera I’d be confortable suggesting $1000—$5000.

But if there are $100—$500 cameras that do the same thing that’d be great to know in case he throws his coffee mug at me.

Oh and of course, it MUST, MUST be compatible with Google+ – thats the entire point.

Quackerback's avatar

Hope others are still following this as I have an idea for a workaround. I downloaded Manycam and discovered that I can now get the video feed to work great with my HVX200 and Hangouts but there is no audio. There is supposed to be a Manycam virtual microphone but the only options are default and input. So here’s my idea: Would it work to feed the audio into a USB port and then use some kind of digital delay software so that you could sink the sound with the video feed?

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