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a camera that transmits still or moving images over the internet
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(World-Wide Web, hardware, video)
(World-Wide Web camera) Any video camera whose output is available for viewing via the Internet or an intranet. Typically a webcam would be a slow-scan CCD video camera connected to a video capture card in a computer. Images from the camera are captured periodically and made available on a web page. In 1999 there are hundreds of webcams in operation around the world showing everything from bedrooms to traffic.

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(WEB CAMera) A video camera that faces the user. Webcams are built into laptops but are separate units that attach to the monitor of a desktop computer. A Webcam is used for video calling and taking selfies, and although most models include a microphone, many users opt to use headphones for better audio quality. Stand-alone microphones with greater sensitivity are also used for studio presentations.

Webcams, Network Cameras and Home Cams
A Webcam is attached to a computer, whereas network and connected cameras are stand-alone units used for monitoring. Typically a "network camera" is part of a complete surveillance system with several cameras for stores and offices (see network camera). A "home cam" plugs into the home network like a printer (see connected camera). See Webcamming, Webcam blocker, POV camera, lifecasting and spycam.

Laptop and Desktop
Laptop cameras are at the top of the screen. Depending on model, the microphone may be near the camera or somewhere on the keyboard. All-in-one desktop computers are like laptops; however, stand-alone monitors require a seperate Webcam that clamps onto the top of the monitor.
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