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Recording Live Surveillance Feeds On Your Computer With Bandicam

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So what happens when you are viewing a camera system, either online or at work but don’t have permissions on that Digital Video Recorder or Network Video Recorder and still want to record what you are watching?  Most web based “live” camera feeds are set up without any basic permissions for the viewer to record to the Digital Video Recorder or Network Video Recorder. There are a variety of times where not being able to record an important event can be frustrating.  Say you are observing your little one at a daycare website or you log into a DVR as a guest and see a superior or co-worker taking something from your desk?  Even if its being recorded on the DVR you want a copy for your own records. Perhaps you might just be watching a live feed of a local beach or the “squirrel cam” located on a public park website and see something you want to save for your own personal use.  Maybe you are even witnessing a traffic accident or a crime on a live street camera off a news or traffic site.  Maybe you have admin privileges, but what If you are viewing your home cameras from your computer at work and don’t have time to change the DVR settings?  Or you want to catch that person breaking into the neighbors house but you didn’t have the camera set to motion detect? Whatever the reason, you want your own copy of the video stream you are watching as quickly and easily as possible without having to ask permission.

The solution is actually relatively simple and there are several forms of free software that can be downloaded and utilized for this purpose.  This software allows the user to record, as a video clip (.AVI File), anything within a selected window or on their monitor (depending on the settings of the software).  The software has existed for some time and has often been used in the past to make tutorial videos for employees about how to access, run or utilize a new piece of software.  Many in the gaming community use it as well to record their achievements or performance and upload and share them via YouTube or another site, as bragging rights.  Put simply, this software also allows the user to take snap shots or videos of whatever is being viewed on your desktop either in part or in whole.

The software program that I would recommend to a new user for this particular purpose is “Bandicam” (But there is a variety of software available that would work for this scenario).  The first step in the process is to visit one of of these sites and download the software. The example I will be using  is:


Once you’ve downloaded the software it is as simple as running the installation file and a small matter of arranging the settings for your particular purpose, if you even need to at all.  The default settings for Bandicam are quite adequate for our particular situation but we will discuss some of the features and options in the following paragraphs.

With Bandicam you can record in full screen mode or use a movable window that will open and record anything within that window saving it to whatever folder you wish to designate as the destination. This option can be located under the general tab to the left hand side of the Bandicam window. This is also where the file location your snapshots will be saved to.  At the bottom of this tab is an auto complete recording option. Here you can set a maximum recording time and a maximum file size, allowing you to automatically limit the size and length of the file you are recording.  If you purchase the full version you can also have the option to automatically and immediately start recording again, shut down the program or shutdown the computer entirely after your first clip has been recorded and saved.

If you decide to use the window recorder, the window can be sized, adjusted and moved across your desktop at will and anytime, even while recording this window can be moved across your desktop. You can also set whether or not you want this window to be kept recording on top of your other windows by default.

With this software you can simply hit the hot-key whenever you wish to record. You can set your video hot-key and pause hot-key under the Video tab, thus allowing you to start and stop your video capture at the press of a button.

Under the image tab of Bandicam you have a separate hot-key to use in order to take a snap shot that can be changed for your convenience. This allows you to capture an image of your screen view, desktop or window.  So if size is an issue on your PC and you don’t want to take full video clips, you can simply take a screen shot of the image using this software (rather than having to revert to “print screening” and pasting to paint or another image editing software).  Under this tab you can also set the software to repeat the screen shot every so many seconds, if you so desire.  You can also change the file type you wish the image to be saved as.

Under the output tab you can view the files you have created by date and see details such as size, file type and name. It is also important to note that the free version of Bandicam does have a watermark that cannot be removed without purchasing the software.  However it is small in relative size to the clip and does not obscure much of the video.  It is located in the top center of the video clip and is still somewhat transparent.

The program can be set to record on opening and this is extremely helpful for our example.  Once its downloaded the programs is built to be a simple open and or hot-key and your capturing the video stream you thought you could never record.  This solves the problem of permissions or access to the NVR/DVR and allows you to save the video to your pre-designated folder, hassle free.

Overall I have found this software extremely useful for saving images, designing walkthroughs, creating “how to” tutorials and saving videos I would otherwise have been unable to record. There are various other forms of this software and they can be used in a variety of different ways.  Hopefully this article has given you a few options about how to record web based video feeds from your PC.  This way you capture that precious moment of your child’s first steps, that accident or crime you just witnessed, or just particularly amazing piece of scenery.

Bandicam Demonstration Video

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