Thanks @Henrik ! Thats just the kind of info I think I need. You hit the nail on the head about the many cameras that come with proprietary software. But I’ll look up the meanings of the MJPEG and/or RTSP protocols to better understand what it means, and hopefully can do some sensible shopping.
I’m not quite sure I understand why the CPU load would be greater than with USB cams. I’ve been using some Logitech C525 USB cameras, which are good to near hi-def resolution (1280 x 720p I believe), and with the USB, the computer has to run both the drivers for these cameras and Wecam XP. I figure that for a camera to support a wi fi link and some kind of image transfer protocol, they must have a bit more built in CPU horsepower than the little USB cams, and their prices seem to reflect it!
The software part I’m still a little fuzzy on. Of course i still need WebcamXP to run the web server, and capture motion (I just have it email me pictures). But with these cameras being wi fi connected, and with a DNS service in place, I’d almost have thought they each could run their own web servers, just with their built in CPUs. But I guess they don’t go that far.
I’m pretty hopeful about my computer(s). Though some of them are quite old DELLs, they are pretty amazing machines. In fact the one we’re using for these webcams right now is connected to our living room TV, and easily plays streamed full motion (at least 30fps) video movies at 1920 x 1080i without even getting beyond 30% CPU. That may be partially because I’ve invested in good video cards. Also, because of the issue with stringing USB wires all over, I’ve opted to run Webcam on 2 different machines, each with just a handful of cams, and running their web servers at different ports. I’ll probably still keep SOME of the USB cams, but if I’m going to monitor outside the house and distant rooms better, the wi-fi will be the only way to do it.
Anyway, if there’s anything you think I’m missing, please let me know In the mean time, thanks for the info on what protocols to look for, as well as the listing you linked of known compatible cameras. Much appreciated, and have a great day!