> My father wants to be able to watch his security cameras at his business 
> remotely. I know it can be done...static IP, video capture, streaming video, 
> Windoze but I DO NOT want to deal with MS at all. Does software exist 
> for FreeBSD that would allow me to:
> 1. Monitor security camera footage online, either in real time or recorded
> 2. Switch among 4 different cameras or meld the images together in a 4-way 
> split screen.

The magic word in this case is H323. That's the network video/voice
conferencing standard, and the tools to do this kind of thing on
FreeBSD that I know of all use H323. In particular, the ohphone port.
You could, for instance, set up one computer at each camera, and have
ohphone displaying the incoming video from them on the monitoring
computer. I don't have an ohphone setup anymore, so I don't know how
much trouble getting multiple incoming video streams setup is.

This solution provide four images in windows. You can use plpwm (part
of the plwm port) as a window manager, which will let you rotate
through the windows with a single key. Or you could use a scriptable
window manager to lay out the windows in four quarters of the screen.

> And what kind of machine (at the most basic) does everyone think would be 
> required to handle this sort of activity? Do you think I would be better off 
> using BeOS or another OS? I mention BeOS because I know what it can handle, 
> especially since it is extremely good when it comes to graphics and other 
> usually memory intensive programming.

If you're going to pipe video over IP, then the end systems can be
cheap - a 500MHz box is more than enough.  The system running four
displays is the problem. CPU load isn't much of a problem - fxtv chews
up about 5% of the cpu on a gigahertz athlon box - but memory
bandwidth could be a problem if you want to keep four running videos
on it.

Mike Meyer <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>    
Independent WWW/Perforce/FreeBSD/Unix consultant, email for more information.

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