Using Live Cams to view a webcam on a PC

Using Live Cams to view a webcam on a PC

Many people are asking how to configure Live Cams for viewing their personal webcams attached to either a PC or Mac. This post will discuss the particulars for getting a webcam working with a PC.

Before we begin, let’s make it clear that the webcam will be viewable in Live Cams but there will not be any audio and it is not a two-way video chat of any sort. The app is designed to be a viewer only and is supposed to provide home-security on your iPhone.

Let’s begin!

Step 1 – Download and install webcamXP
Go to http://www.webcamxp.com and download the free version of webcamXP for personal use. Run the installer and diagnose any problems by checking the webcamXP website for details. Launch webcamXP.

Step 2 – Configure your video sources in webcamXP
Right click on the video source windows and follow the prompts to attach your webcam, IP camera or video file as a source in webcamXP. Note that whatever number you choose will later have to be entered into Live Cams (source #1 through 6). If your device is not supported by webcamXP it will also be unsupported in Live Cams.

Step 3 – Find out the host and port that is being used by webcamXP
When your camera is configured and images are appearing in the video window you are ready to go.
Open a command prompt and type “ipconfig” to find the IP address of your computer on the local network. This will be the number you need to enter into Live Cams to access the camera on your local wifi network. If you want to access the camera from the internet you’ll need Dynamic DNS to be configured or use your router IP address instead of the PC’s address.

Step 4 – Test the video in Safari on your iPhone/iPod Touch
Launch Safari on your mobile device and enter the IP address and port from the step above.

Example:
http://192.168.1.100:8080

If there aren’t any firewalls active and the port is opened on your router you should see the webcamXP html page load. If the connection fails then you will need to open your firewall or turn it off so that traffic can go from the internet to your PC. Repeat this process until you can get Safari to connect to webcamXP. If Safari can’t connect then Live Cams will also fail. This is by far the most common area for people to struggle with because of various software and hardware firewalls and router issues.

Step 5 – Launch Live Cams and add your camera
After Live Cams launches, click “Add Camera” and scroll down until you find the webcamXP option. Select it by touching the word webcamXP. On the next screen that loads you will enter:

1. The name that you want to assign to the camera.
2. The host (your router IP or DNS name). This is the number shown in webcamXP which is in the form xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx and does NOT include the http:// or the “:”
3. The port shown in webcamXP. This is the number after the colon (8081 in my example screenshots)
4. Enter a username and password if you protected them in webcamXP.
5. If you have multiple cameras configured you will need to adjust the camera number accordingly, otherwise leave it to the default value of 1.

Save the camera and check your private cameras in Live Cams to see if the video appears in the thumbnail. Touch the thumbnail to go to the video screen. If there are any error messages you can adjust the settings and try again by touching the “gears” icon in the application to edit the settings.

This should give you video from your home webcam, but most people will have problems with step #4. I will update this blog with some additional pointers as I see what issues people are commonly running into. If you wish to view your camera while on cellular networks or remote wifi connections you will need a dynamic DNS account instead of the IP address you entered above.
Free accounts are available at www.dyndns.org and you would simply enter the name (like mywebcam.dyndns.info) instead of the IP address in Live Cams.

A similar description of EvoCam for Mac will be posted shortly!

Barry

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