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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Computer Hardware Familiarization Part-6.

The next three item is additional accessories for your computer. They are the microphone, speaker or headphone and Video camera or also known as Web Cam. This accessories can be a common type or you can go the really cool ones like the speaker which would create a sound like a professional speaker with those extra bass.

The Speaker.

Computer speakers, or multimedia speakers, are speakers external to a computer, that disable the lower fidelity built-in speaker. They often have a low-power internal amplifier. The standard audio connection is a 3.5 mm (approximately 1/8 inch) stereo jack plug often color-coded lime green (following the PC 99 standard) for computer sound cards. A plug and socket for a two-wire (signal and ground) coaxial cable is widely used to connect analog audio and video components. Rows of RCA sockets are found on the backs of stereo amplifier and numerous A/V products. The prong is 1/8" thick by 5/16" long. A few use an RCA connector for input. There are also USB speakers which are powered from the 5 volts at 500 milliamps provided by the USB port, allowing about 2.5 watts of output power.

English: A pair of speakers for notebook compu...Image via Wikipedia

Computer SpeakerImage by amyllouise via Flickr

English: ALTEC LANSING Orbit M SpeakerImage via Wikipedia

An Altec Lansing PC speaker.Image via Wikipedia

Computer Speaker againImage by amyllouise via Flickr

 Computer speakers range widely in quality and in price. The computer speakers typically packaged with computer systems are small, plastic, and have mediocre sound quality. Some computer speakers have equalization features such as bass and treble controls.

The internal amplifiers require an external power source, usually an AC adapter. More sophisticated computer speakers can have a sub-woofer unit, to enhance bass output, and these units usually include the power amplifiers both for the bass speaker, and the small satellite speakers.

Some computer displays have rather basic speakers built-in. Laptops come with integrated speakers. Restricted space available in laptops means these speakers usually produce low-quality sound.

 The computer microphone and Headset

A headset is headphones combined with a microphone, or one headphone with a microphone. Headsets provide the equivalent functionality of a telephone handset with hands-free operation. Headsets typically have only one speaker like a telephone, but also come with speakers for both ears. They have many uses including in call centers and other telephone-intensive jobs and for personal use at the computer to facilitate comfortable simultaneous conversation and typing.

A Standard TM310 Telephone Headset by AccutoneImage via Wikipedia

Front view of Steel series Siberia Neckband ga...Image via Wikipedia

A Polycom microphone/speaker. This example is ...Image via Wikipedia

Computer headsets generally come in two connecting types, standard 3.5 mm & USB connection. General 3.5 mm computer headset comes with two 3.5 mm connectors, one connecting to microphone jack (line-in) and one connecting to speaker jack (line-out) of the computer. 3.5 mm Computer Headsets connect to the computer via a soundcard, which converts the digital signal of the computer to analog signal for the headset. USB computer headset connects to the computer via USB ports, and the audio conversion occurs in the headset or in the control unit of the headset.

The web camera or web cam

A webcam is a video camera that feeds its images in real time to a computer or computer network, often via USB, ethernet, or Wi-Fi. Their most popular use is the establishment of video links, permitting computers to act as videophones or videoconference stations. This common use as a video camera for the World Wide Web gave the webcam its name. Other popular uses include security surveillance and computer vision and there are also uses on sites like video broadcasting services and for recording social videos .

Webcams are known for their low manufacturing cost and flexibility, making them the lowest cost form of videotelephony. They have also become a source of security and privacy issues, as some built-in webcams can be remotely activated via spyware.

English: Aiptek web camera/digital compact cam...Image via Wikipedia

2007 Taipei IT Month: IPEVO PoV Web Camera.Image via Wikipedia

Image via Wikipedia

Webcams typically include a lens, an image sensor, and some support electronics, and may also include a microphone for sound. Various lenses are available, the most common in consumer-grade webcams being a plastic lens that can be screwed in and out to set the camera's focus. Fixed focus lenses, which have no provision for adjustment, are also available. As a camera system's depth of field is greater for small image formats and is greater for lenses with a large f-number (small aperture), the systems used in webcams have a sufficiently large depth of field that the use of a fixed focus lens does not impact image sharpness to a great extent.

Image sensors can be CMOS or CCD, the former being dominant for low-cost cameras, but CCD cameras do not necessarily outperform CMOS-based cameras in the low cost price range. Most consumer webcams are capable of providing VGA-resolution video at a frame rate of 30 frames per second. Many newer devices can produce video in multi-megapixel resolutions, and a few can run at high frame rates such as the PlayStation Eye, which can produce 320×240 video at 120 frames per second.

The web cam for most of us is a simple tool for communicating with family and friends. For work applications high end web cam is used for video conferencing. Also it is another way to take good quality picture.

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