If you want to add some flair to your PowerPoint presentations or make them more interactive, stream a live webcam video. PowerPoint presentations need not be static, boring pages with charts and text. With a webcam stream and a live feed encoding application, you can use PowerPoint to provide live examples and references that will make your presentations more enjoyable and interesting.
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Things you need
Connect the webcam to the computer and install it according the manufacturer’s instructions. Ensure the camera is on.
Browse to the Microsoft Download Center website and download the .NET Framework 4 (see Resources). Double-click the downloaded file to launch the installer, then follow the prompts to install the utility. If prompted to do so, restart the computer.
Visit the Microsoft Expression website and download the Microsoft Expression Encoder (see Resources). Save the program to your computer, then double-click the file to launch the installer. Reboot the computer if prompted to do so.
Open the Microsoft Expression Encoder program on your computer. In the “Startup” window, click the “Live Broadcasting Project” link and then the “OK” button.
Click the “Add a Live Source” button. Click and select the webcam in the list of devices on the left panel under the “Video Device” label. Click the “Cue” in the top-left corner of the screen.
Click the “Select an Output Type” button, then enable the “Streaming” option in the checkbox in the right panel of the window. Click the “Broadcast” button and then “Start.”
Start Microsoft PowerPoint, then create or open a presentation file. Create a new slide or select a slide to use for the webcam feed.
Click “Insert” on the menu bar, then select “Object.” When the pop-up menu appears, scroll down to and click “Windows Media Player.” Click the “OK” button.
Right-click on the new Windows Media Player object in the slide, then click “Properties.” Click and select the label “(Custom),” then click the “…” link. Enter “http://COMPUTERNAME:8080” in the “File Name or URL” text box. Replace the “COMPUTERNAME” parameter with the actual network name of your computer (to find the name of your computer, click "Start," open the "Control Panel" and open “System”). Click the “OK” button.
Close the “Properties” dialogue box. Click the “Start Slide Show” menu option. The webcam feed will display in the PowerPoint slide.
Tips and warnings
- When streaming video in your PowerPoint presentation, ensure there is no private or sensitive information on the computer. The Microsoft Expression Encoder uses port 8080 on your computer to stream the video. In some cases, port 8080 is vulnerable to attack from hackers or malware applications. Therefore, turn off the Encoder as soon as you are finished streaming from your webcam.
- There may be a 5- to 10-second delay between the encoder and the output display in PowerPoint.
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