I want to add my macbook's webcam as input source for OBS Studio on windows PC.

There's plugin Camera for OBS Studio which lets me do pretty much the same thing, but only with iOS (iPhone, iPad cameras), though I don't see such app for macos camera. Maybe there's no such one yet (at least I don't see one).

I know there's an option to build iOS app for macos. But here's the answer from author of Camera for OBS Studio:

Unfortunately it's not currently possible to add support for [macos] Catalina. Catalyst apps (the name for iOS Apps on Mac) do not support using any capture devices such as your mac's webcam.

Would appreciate any helpful info of how to achieve that.

  • Just as Stack Overflow has MCVE - we have some help on how to get customer assistance. Would you review the help center and customer assistance thread to show some of your research or define where you got stuck here? apple.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/2508/…
    – bmike
    Mar 8, 2020 at 14:49
  • @bmike, well, I've made several queries to google, found that there's OBS plugin that lets you add iPhone camera as source, but I don't see such app for macos, so I've started this thread Mar 8, 2020 at 15:33
  • Perfect. When you edit those details in to the body of the question, perhaps tagging it with software recommendation and what version of macOS you run - that edit will put the question to review for reopening.
    – bmike
    Mar 8, 2020 at 15:52
  • @bmike just added it. Should I just wait or are there any other actions required for a review? Mar 8, 2020 at 18:58
  • 1
    @unknowndomain WOW, that actually worked! I've installed this OBS-NDI plugin, and had to buy "WebCam for NDI" for macos, but it worked! You'd better describe this as an answer rather than comment, so I could've accepted it. And also, thx, I'd never find out this myself Mar 11, 2020 at 13:53

4 Answers 4


There is no direct way to share peripherals like this typically however in this case as you are shuttling video around the solution would be to look at video over IP solutions like the SMPTE standards and for this solution NDI:

NDI is a free/closed source protocol made by NewTek, it stands for Network Device Interface taken from SDI commonly used in broadcast video.

OBS is highly pluggable application and there is an NDI plugin for OBS on all desktop platforms.

There are two solutions to this problem:

Free Solution

Use OBS on macOS with the plugin, and output a fullscreen scene to NDI, then use NDI and OBS on the Windows computer to pull the video back in.

Sending the NDI source from OBS on a Mac

Once you've installed NDI and OBS on the Mac you need to create a new scene with the Video Device media source and configure it for your webcam, then make sure (if in studio mode) that this is the program output.

Then in the menu bar select Tools > NDI Output Settings and check the 'main output' box. This will make the program output available to the Windows computer.

Paid Solution

Buy an NDI Webcam app to capture the webcam to an NDI source then use NDI and OBS on the Windows computer the capture the video feed.

Capturing the NDI source on the Windows side

Once you've installed OBS and NDI you can add a new media source to your scene called NDI, here you use the drop down list to select your source.

Final note

NDI discovery is what populates the list of available sources, this uses a service discovery protocol that relies on both computers being on the same physical network and subnet, i.e. they need to be plugged into the same switch.

  • Wow, I'd like to add: both approaches work. Though, free solution seems to be more stable (thx for instructions btw). This "WebCam for NDI" was crashing repeatedly. Another note: it worked via WiFi, but with some package losses sometimes. I suppose if I'll attach it via wire, it will be 100% clear. And, again, - thanks! Mar 11, 2020 at 16:04
  • To any person for later, I'd like to add: this paid solution, "WebCam for NDI", - I though I would make a refund if it won't work. But seems Apple restricted me for making refunds. Likely, because it's my first purchase in macos AppStore (I had some in iOS store though, but it doesn't count). So I don't recommend this paid solution at all, especially if it's your first purchase. Apr 21, 2020 at 14:37

To do this for free, over the internet (Wi-Fi), with no additional cabling to utilize your iMAC camera on a streamlabs OBS windows PC perform the following steps.

  1. Go to https://ndi.tv/tools/
  2. Scroll down midway, click download, and download all files and drivers for mac.
  3. Run all 3 programs you downloaded.
  4. Download OBS on iMAC (not streamlabs OBS, regular OBS).
  5. Go to https://github.com/Palakis/obs-ndi/releases/.
  6. Download both the https://ndi.palakis.fr/runtime/ndi-runtime-4.5.1-macOS.pkg and the obs-ndi-4.8.0-macOS.pkg.
  7. Restart computer.
  8. Once you've installed NDI and OBS on the Mac you need to create a new scene with the Video Device media source and configure it for your webcam. Make sure you make the video full screen on OBS on MAC.
  9. Then in the menu bar select Tools > NDI Output Settings and check the 'main output' box. This will make the program output available to the Windows computer.
  10. Close and re-open streamlabs OBS (on windows PC).
  11. Create new source in streamlabs OBS (on windows PC) and select NDI source.
  12. Your iMAC desktop itself and the NDI OBS video cam (from iMAC) should both be available to use!!!! Hope this helps and better explains the process. it took me hours of reading this article and watching youtube videos to put it all together. Cheers!!!

If the reason you're not using OBS on the Mac was because there was no virtual camera support then it is now possible using a new obs-mac-virtualcam plugin - it's not a straight forward install at the moment (you have rebuild OBS and the plugin) but I'm sure that will improve.

  • Pierz, I agree that plugin is an interesting option that is coming up and when I saw it pop up a week ago I was very excited but not just as you say it is hard to compile, but it is not even alpha grade software yet, and it doesn't support different output resolutions, so I'd follow it with keen interest but not sure it'll be ready any time soon. Apr 21, 2020 at 21:04

Not ideal but quick solution would be to create two Discord accounts (or other app with video calls) and call yourself from Mac to Windows. Then in OBS capture Discord window with the video output.

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