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Can I use a Firewire camera as a Live Video feed in ProPresenter?

If you are using ProPresenter 5 or before then you can easily use a Firewire camera with ProPresenter. Simply plug in the camera and select it from the dropdown menu in the Live Video tab in Preferences.

If you are using ProPresenter 6 then the story is a bit different. It is still possible to do it, however it will take a small amount of extra work. This is because in ProPresenter 6 we rewrote the render engine to no longer use QuickTime, and it was QuickTime that was giving ProPresenter the Firewire functionality. Therefore we need a new way of bringing the Firewire signal into ProPresenter. For this we can use a free piece of software called CamTwist. Follow the following steps to get your Firewire camera working inside of ProPresenter 6.

Step 1: Plug the Firewire camera into the computer. Open another program such as FaceTime and try to select the Firewire camera. This will confirm that the computer is seeing the camera and it is ready to go.

Step 2: Head over to CamTwist's website and download the latest version of the software. Install it on the computer, then open it from your Application folder.

Step 3: In the leftmost pane of CamTwist double click on your Firewire camera. This will select it and send it to CamTwist's output.

Step 4: If this is the first time you are setting up CamTwist, or if you find that you aren't happy with the quality of the image, you can click on CamTwist in the menu bar, select Preferences, go to the General tab, and increase the Frame rate (FPS) and the Video Size. We recommend a framerate of 30 fps or less and a Video Size at or below the resolution of your camera. Don't change any of the other settings. You will need to restart CamTwist for these changes to take affect.

Step 5: Open ProPresenter. Because CamTwist is functioning with QuickTime, ProPresenter will recognize it as a camera input device. Click on ProPresenter in the menu bar, select Preferences and go to the Live settings. Choose CamTwist from the dropdown menu. Since you don't want to hear the audio from the camera you will want to uncheck the Audio Source option. Check Preserve Aspect Ratio so that your video isn't distorted. Depending on the video source the actual video shown in ProPresenter may have black bars on the sides or top and bottom of the screen in order to maintain the aspect ratio.

Close the Preference panel and click on Live in the toolbar. If you set everything up correctly in CamTwist you should now see your video on screen. Remember that CamTwist will need to be open and active in order for ProPresenter to show the video.

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  1. Matthew Kelling

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