Scott Hanselman

Hack a TV into a Teams and Zoom Computer with EpocCam and Miracast

January 27, 2021 Comment on this post [12] Posted in Remote Work
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If you have a TV, you can turn it into a fancy conference room monitor and pretend you have a Surface Hub 2S. Let's see the different ways we can make Teams/Zoom meetings more a "walking around and thinking" experience, and less a "hunched in front of the laptop" experience.

Cheapest/Good - Wire up to a big TV

You can just get a nice HDMI cable and plug it into your TV and duplicate or extend your laptop's screen. In this simple scenario you're using your Laptop's mic and webcam, and just using the screen of your TV. You can also check your audio output and use the TV speakers as output if you like.

Doing this is not just a nice change of pace, but it reminds you of the options you have to hold meetings! It's your many ways can you change your boring meeting into a new perspective by using the same space in a new way?

Cheap/Better - Wireless to a big TV

If you want to be wireless, you can use Miracast (if your computer/laptop/Surface supports it) or AirPlay or AirServer to "throw" your screen wirelessly to your TV. Some Samsung Smart TV support wireless communications built-in!

  • You may be able to throw from Windows to a Smart TV with AirServer software. You may be able to throw with AirPlay on your Mac to an Apple TV.
  • You may be able to get a Miracast HDMI dongle (amzn link) and make a dumb TV smart. This is the solution I use. I throw my Surface screen over Miracast to the TV.

Less Cheap/Best (for me) - Wireless to a big TV with a wireless Webcam via my iPhone

I have a TV on my wall in my office, but it doesn't lend itself to wires and moving my laptop. I wanted to throw the screen over there AND also have a webcam on top of the TV. Ideally there'd be a webcam in the bezel of the TV, but there isn't.

What's an ideal and cheap webcam? My iPhone is already a great device with a long life battery, it's portable, and a webcam. You can get a number of apps that will enable you to use your iPhone (or Android) as a webcam.

I decided on Elgato EpocCom to turn my iPhone into a webcam.

Troubleshooting: The docs aren't amazing, so you'll want to not only install the software, but confirm that the EpocCamService is enabled in the Windows Firewall for both Private AND Public Networks (or ensure your network is the same type as the type that's enabled for this service.) I had to manually allow the EpocCam Service to work on Private Networks.

Then you'll get the iPhone side of the app and your iPhone will show up as a camera. With the Pro version ($7.99) you'll get higher quality and microphone support.

Now I just put my iPhone on the top of the TV, run the EpocCam software, and then on my PC I throw my video to the TV and select the EpocCam virtual Camera. Now I can wander around my office and pace and talk and think, which is great!

Here I've got my Samsung Frame TV (amzn link) (I got it for just $600 as it's the 2018 model, I love it) and I've hooked up the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter v2 (amzn link).

Using an iPhone as a Teams Camera

Other Alternatives

Once you familiarize yourself with these wireless options for throwing video and audio around, you'll find there is no right answer. There's only the answer that works for you! The results will be similar, but some of the solutions will fit better into your system or setup.

Here's some other ideas.

  • Use NDI Tools to throw formally throw video around your office and catch it with OBS or XSplit
  • Use a really long USB extension code and mount a cheap webcam on the top of the TV
  • Just use your iPhone or iPad or Android device and join Teams or Zoom with the phone itself! Then either wired (via adapter and HDMI) or wirelessly connect the device to your TV!

Leave your solutions in the comments!

There also appear to be Teams devices that will take a TV or Display and Teamsify it! I'll go educate myself about those as well!

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About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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January 27, 2021 12:47
I just plugged a webcam (Logitech C925-e) into the Xbox (One X) and started up Skype. It took care of all the install and works like a dream. I also discovered that if you go through the browser then you can use Teams as well, although it's not as "quick-click" as Skype so it would be nice if there was a Teams app for Xbox. The camera clip is pretty flexible so mounts nicely on the TV and the lens angle takes in quite a lot of a large room. Sound pickup is really good, even from several metres away (unless you're playing a snare drum in which case the distortion is quite noticeable).
January 27, 2021 21:52
In the living room, I've got a NUC connected to my TV, so for family calls, we use a USB-connected webcam. It's an older webcam (Logi C525, iirc), so I might upgrade it at some point. Also, the audio's not great, so I'm considering some kind of USB-connected microphone for the coffee table.
January 28, 2021 14:25
I have a number of clients that I have installed Andriod TV's with a webcam and wireless keyboard. You download the Zoom client using downloader or web browser direct from onto the TV install, Works a treat etc.
January 28, 2021 15:13
I have an old tv (CRT) which I have made smart using chromecast which is similar to miracast. For the webcam i use my smartphone which is connected to the chromecast device. It works great for me.
January 28, 2021 22:01
Missing the obvious -> hooking this up to a 12 inch black and white CRT TV.

I think the big brother 1984 movie scene when zoom is on with one person's face taking up the entire picture.
January 29, 2021 20:57
Great article thank you, I use my old TV as a second screen for my computer with the HDMI cable, efficient and cheap.
February 01, 2021 9:17
Thanks for finally talking about >Hack a TV into a Teams and Zoom Computer with EpocCam
and Miracast - Scott Hanselman's Blog <Loved it! Maglia AC Milan Bambino TobyCdtce Tottenham Hotspur Trøje DorthyErn
February 01, 2021 20:21
Great article Scott!

But I have a pressing question: where in the world did you get that Sheikah Slate? Is it a carrying case for the Switch?
February 02, 2021 19:09
You can join a meeting using multiple devices, and Teams would combine them seamlessly.

1. Join the meeting from laptop, allow audio
2. Mirror the laptop screen to big screen via HDMI/miracast
3. Join the same meeting from phone, audio off but leave the camera on.

The above would allow you to place the phone wherever you want (as static webcam) & show what's around you with your phone. It's even better if you pair it with a headset, you'll have a big screen for content viewing, great audio, and also freedom to move around.
February 04, 2021 8:22
I am extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout
on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself?
Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it's rare to see a great blog like this
one these days.
February 05, 2021 8:25
Appreciable article Scott!

Even we are also working from home and it is very difficult to see so many people on zoom meetings on a very small screen. We will definitely apply your idea to convert home TV's to a zoom computer.

Mango IT Solutions

PS we have also shared some tips on how to be productive while working from home</a> . if someone interested, please have a look.
February 05, 2021 8:28
Appreciable article Scott!
Even we are also working from home and it is very difficult to see so many people on zoom meetings on a very small screen. We will definitely apply your idea to convert home TV's to a zoom computer.
Mango IT Solutions
PS we have also shared some tips on how to be productive while working from home . if someone interested, please have a look.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.