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(edited by request) Is there a camcorder out there something like this?

  • HDMI output that sends live signal (not just playback of recordings)
  • external audio (mic) input
  • able to stay on (not time out) when in record-standby mode (i.e. when not recording but just watching)
  • view angle of approx. 35-40 degrees somewhere in its zoom range
  • under about $400 (flexible - less is good, as this does not need to be high quality)

Goal: I want to combine audio from a sound system and video from a mounted camera (most likely a cheap camcorder) and send it via HDMI to a TV in a separate room. This is for a small church that has several moms with toddlers, to allow them to go to the next room and still see/hear the worship service. I previously considered wireless options (you can see my first post about that, which was too broad for this forum - sorry!), but none of them worked out, so I'm planning to run a cable out an exhaust van vent, along the outside wall for about 4 meters, and back in a vent in the other room. See this horribly rough drawing - blue is HDMI and green is audio:

audio to camera

Not only is a mic input seemingly rare in low-end camcorders, many websites don't even mention it in their specs one way or the other, making it hard to search. They also don't list details like auto-timeout. I don't care about most of the specs everyone else cares about, like battery life (it will be plugged in all the time), resolution (anything >= 720p is fine), image stabilization, recording media, or compression/bitrates. I don't need to record - I just need a decent video image, combined with my audio, and sent out the HDMI output.

UPDATE: I have discovered that I might have alternatives for the mic input requirement. First, I learned that the TV can accept a separate audio input for one of its HDMI inputs, so I could run a long XLR cable along with the HDMI, like this:

audio to TV

Secondly, perhaps a box like this would merge the audio into the HDMI feed before the point where the HDMI cable goes outside, and additionally give the HDMI a voltage boost it would probably need to go the distance. So here's a second scenario for camera specs that would be better for our budget:

  • HDMI output that sends live signal (not just playback of recordings)
  • able to stay on (not time out) when in record-standby mode (i.e. when not recording but just watching)
  • view angle of approx. 35-40 degrees somewhere in its zoom range
  • under about $200 (perhaps? We're flexible, but what's the cheapest?)
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  • Hi, Welcome to Hw Recs! It would be helpful if you specified your upper price limit, otherwise only you will know what quantifier "inexpensive" is. Also if you could separate your desired specs into bullet points, that would make it easier to refer to your specs while searching for products. – Bennett Yeo Feb 4 '19 at 21:36
  • @BennettYeo Okay, I've reworded it considerably, including diagrams and information I've learned more recently. – OsakaWebbie Feb 5 '19 at 6:02
  • Any thoughts on this? – OsakaWebbie Feb 12 '19 at 7:38
  • I feel like you could achieve what you want with a general security camera and a live feed. – Bennett Yeo Feb 12 '19 at 7:40
  • That was my first idea, and I bought a network camera with high hopes. But it's dependent on WiFi, which had trouble keeping up - the video would be very jerky and not synced with the audio. Also, there was no way to get it on the TV except connecting a Windows PC with a wire - its "browser" capability relied on ActiveX (so it would only work in IE, not the browsers of smart TVs), and casting its mobile app to ChromeCast wouldn't include audio. Other brands in the same price range were similarly limited. BabyCam apps had the same problems. – OsakaWebbie Feb 12 '19 at 8:12

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