Suppose you have a friend who is having difficulties using some application and needs your help. You can send him some screenshots with explanations or you can create a video recording of your desktop, a process called screen cast, and send him the video. Screen casts or video tutorials are the in-thing these days. But how about this: invite him to join you on an instant messenger like Yahoo Messenger, and give him a real time streaming video of your desktop so that he can watch as you do it? Now that is geeky.
Screen casts are cool because it’s like watching somebody use the computer over his shoulder. It will be even cooler if we could do that in real time. ScreenCamera is a software that does exactly that. It captures your desktop and turns it into a video which you can stream to anyone over a network that supports webcam. ScreenCamera is like a webcam for your desktop, the difference is – a webcam points towards you whereas ScreenCamera points towards the screen, literally.
When you launch the application, it immediately starts capturing your screen and displays it on a small player window with the controls at the bottom. The video does not capture the application’s own window, by default, so you can have it running on top without appearing it on the actual video. The video stream created behaves like a webcam stream and works with any instant messenger application like MSN, Skype, ICQ, Yahoo! etc. You can also share your screen as well as your webcam (upgrade only) on multiple instant messenger applications at the same time.
The infinite mirror effect on opening Yahoo’s webcam on the desktop
ScreenCamera allows you to capture the whole desktop, a part of the desktop or just a small area around the mouse. It can also take screenshots from the video. You can adjust the frame speed of the video to a maximum value of 30 depending on how much your Internet connection can handle. The higher the video frame rate, the higher will be the bit rate of the video and the faster the connection it will require to upload it without lagging or breaking. Also a higher frame rate is more taxing on the processor. The video size is unfortunately fixed at 320×240 and can only be changed if you upgrade it to the full version at the cost of $25. Upgrading will also allow you to save the streaming video which is otherwise unavailable in the free edition.
ScreenCamera is prefect for giving technical support or real time video presentation. You can also share photos, videos or anything on your desktop just like you share with a person physically present near you. ScreenCamera is an amazing tool.