ImWatcher is a useful and free surveillance software that supports multiple web cameras and IP cameras. You can monitor and record videos as well as pictures from many cameras simultaneously. You can preview every connected camera in a single window. Also, you can configure each camera separately.
You can trigger cameras actions upon motion and/or sound detection. You can then record videos and take snapshots in a chosen folder.
How to Configure ImWatcher:
First of all, download the program and install it. After running the program, you can add cameras to its list. When you connect any webcam to your PC, the program will automatically detect it. If not, you can click Add Camera button on its main toolbar. Select the Webcam from the drop down list. Choose the desired resolution from the drop-down list and click OK button.
A new window will open. Now from Properties tab, you can set the Videos and Photos folders for this selected cam. You can also limit Video and Photo folder size from this tab. Let’s say, you set the limit for video folder 1500 MB and as you know the size of the images are very less as compared to videos. So, you can assign less space for snapshot folder (let’s say 500MB) as shown in below screenshot.
Now go to the Actions tab and here you can set triggers for actions. For e.g. you can set Start Actions from “On motion detection” or “At regular intervals”. Similarly, you can Select Actions to be done when above triggers activate.
You can use Video Recording and/or Take Photo action. You can also set the Video Recording time in seconds. After finishing you can click OK button to save the settings for the currently selected camera. The program supports 3 types of codecs for video recording H.264, MPEG4, and MJPEG (Motion JPEG).
Similarly, you can apply same or different settings for other connected cameras, like let some cameras take videos or others take pictures only at a regular interval.
For adding IP Camera, you have to do almost the same steps as stated above, but you have to provide a video feed URL in the Address bar of a dialog box shown.
How to Start Monitoring and Recording:
After configuring each camera, you can click Start Monitoring button on its main toolbar and based upon the triggers settings it starts recording the videos and/or snapshots to the assigned folder. Now whenever a moving object or sound is generated in front of the camera, the program will start capturing data from the assigned folder.
Some Key Features of This Free Program:
- Can choose different folders for Videos and Snapshots.
- Can configure each camera separately.
- Webcams, as well as IP Cameras, can be monitored and recorded.
- Triggers can be set to activate Actions.
As per my testing, ImWatcher works very well. I set the trigger on motion detection and it always records the video for next 5 seconds (as I use this setting). The size of the video files is very small and quality was also good. The program is still in beta phase. All in all, this is a good free surveillance software and is user-friendly.