IP cameras for video surveillance and Webcams, being both image capturing devices, have certain common elements: lens, sensor, coding capability, etc. However, their purpose of use is different: CCTV cameras are used to protect and monitor, while Webcams are used for video conferences and video transmission over the Internet.
Therefore, their usual location and especially their way of connection are different: the IP cameras use Ethernet cable with RJ45 or Wi-Fi connectors for wireless connection to the local LAN, while the Webcams are integrated or connected via USB cable to a PC, which will have the drivers to operate it from the videoconferencing applications installed on the computer itself.
Considering that, as we said, both are devices for capturing and encoding video, it is common to consider whether you could use an IP camera as a Webcam, to take advantage of the quality and resolution of the image of video surveillance or because we do not have a Webcam on the computer, does not work properly or is an old model with poor quality or no compatibility.
So can you use an IP camera as a webcam?
The answer is yes.
For this purpose, free software is used on the PC that receives and understands the video stream that arrives encoded from the IP camera through the local network and converts it into an integrated webcam, selectable in the different video conferencing applications.
In this way, using the IP camera and the microphone of the headphones or the integrated microphone of the computer, we will be able to make video conferences, attend virtual meetings, courses and webinars without problems.
Of course, the most suitable IP camera models for this purpose are the most compact ones with a stand or desktop installation. However, other models could also be used, but they would not make as much sense due to their focal length, way of anchoring or size.
To make the task easier, Visiotech, after testing and confirming the operation as a Webcam in the most suitable Safire and Ezviz IP cameras, has created a simple visual guide where the steps to obtain the necessary information and the software configuration are detailed, as well as the selection of the Webcam in the most common video conference and meeting programs such as Skype, Microsoft Teams and Zoom.
To obtain the RTSP stream from other manufacturers' cameras, the Onvif Device Manager program is often used: