Continuing with the COVID theme in fall 2020. Today we are going to take a look at a feature Microsoft released late last year that can result in much greater use in our current work from home environments. With Windows 10 build 18995 or higher Microsoft added the ability to auto-discover and auto-connect to any IP Camera (commonly known as network security cameras) on your local network as the webcam for Windows 10.
If you have one of those IP security cameras around and are connected to your local network, then there is a chance you can set it up as your PC’s webcam.
To fully make use of this feature you need a camera that is ONVIF Profile S compatible IP cameras. Onvif is the common standard within the IP camera industry, this allows different manufacturers to produce cameras to have the same interface so the software maker can have a standard to communicate to those cameras. Microsoft has implemented one of the Onvif Profile S (short for streaming) standard so any Windows 10 running build 18995 or higher knows how to connect to those cameras. There are few ways you can find out if your camera is Onvif Profile S compatible but the quickest way is to use Windows 10 and see if you can discover them on your network.
Given we have all of the above setups, we can go to the Settings menu to start the configuration.
To connect to an existing IP camera on your network, go to Settings > Devices > Add Bluetooth or other devices.
Go select Everything else at the bottom from this list.
Clicking Add a device will list out all the cameras Windows has discovered. Since my day job is working for a security camera maker, you can see I have plenty of cameras show up in the discovery. Once you have to find the one you wish to connect just select the camera and press connect. If the camera has password protection, you will be prompt to ask to login to the camera. Once you’ve done that you’ve just turned an IP camera into a webcam on Windows 10.