We all know that many security camera systems are quite expensive yet many homes and offices have two or more computers linked by a network to share resources. If one or more of these PCs have webcam, it is relatively easy to stream the video across the network, providing a cheap video-monitoring system for whatever purpose – perhaps to watch a sleeping child or pointed out of the window to see who is knocking on the front door.
Items needed to setup this service are:
A. A working network
B. A Webcam
C. VLC Media Player (To download VLC free check here)
1. Find out the IP address of the computer that will receive the streaming video. This is the number that identifies it on the network and is usually allocated to the router. To reveal the IP address, go to command prompt (Start>Run>type cmd). Now type “ipconfig” without quotes and press enter. Typically, it will take the form 192.168.1.x where x varies.
2. Move to the computer that will be broadcasting the video. Ensure the webcam is properly installed and connected. Launch VLC media player to check that it can display the output of the webcam. Open the media menu and click open capture device. Click the capture device tab and for capture mode select Direct Show then choose the webcam from the dropdown menu alongside the video device name heading. Click play, if the video shows properly, click the stop button below it to turn your camera off again.
3. To setup streaming, choose streaming from the media menu. Click the capture device tab and select the webcam. Now click the Stream button, in the source output dialogue box that appears, the information in the source area should not need changing. So click next to move on and enter the Destinations settings. To display the output of the webcam on this PC as well as the destination one, tick display locally box. Under Destinations, select RTP from the dropdown list and click Add.
4. You can now enter the details of the receiving PC, next to address enter the IP address of the receiving computer (remember step 1). Stick with the default port number of 1234, keep all the other settings the same and click NEXT. On the options screen, keep the default setting. Click stream to begin streaming the live video output from the webcam and point the lens at whatever it is you want to monitor.
5. Return to the receiving computer, Launch VLC media player and choose Open network stream from the media menu. Under protocol, select RTP from the dropdown list. Type the IP address of this (the receiving PC) into the address box. Remember step 1 just incase u forget how to get ip address. Ensure that the port number is the same as the one set on the sending PC, which is 1234. Click play to begin receiving the video that is being streamed from the webcam on the other PC.
6. VLC media player should display the video from the webcam, to halt it, click the stop button beneath the picture. If it is unable to display the video, VLC media player will show an error message. Check the settings on both of the computer to ensure that the protocol, IP address and port numbers match. Also check that Windows Firewall allows communications to and from VLC media player on the local network. If it is being blocked on either PC, the streaming video will not work.
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