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How to set up a Panasonic IP camera using a Mac

May 16th, 2008 by Greg

You will find that when you come to install your Panasonic IP camera that the tools provided are for Windows based PCs only. This seems to be the case for every IP camera we come across and we think Mac users do get a raw deal.

It is possible to use a Panasonic IP camera with a Mac. You won’t get the full functionality without using the ActiveX control through Internet Explorer but you will still be able to access the camera, its settings and live images.

This guide will show you how to setup a Panasonic camera using a Mac without using any of the installation tools provided on the CD-ROM.

This guide is suitable for the following cameras:

  • Panasonic BL-C1A
  • Panasonic BL-C20A
  • Panasonic BL-C111A
  • Panasonic BL-C131A
  • Panasonic BL-HCM371A
  • Panasonic BB-HCM511A
  • Panasonic BB-HCM515A
  • Panasonic BB-HCM527A
  • Panasonic BB-HCM531A
  • Panasonic BB-HCM580A
  • Panasonic BB-HCM581A

Note that this guide will also be suitable for older, discontinued cameras in the BL and BB ranges.

Set up without the CD

It’s actually very easy to set up a Panasonic camera without using the setup tool on the CD, in fact we rarely use these tools here in the office at all.

What you’ll need is the following:

  • 1x Mac
  • 1x Panasonic IP Camera
  • 1x Ethernet “Crossover” cable

Step 1 – Connect the camera

Without the initial setup software we cannot configure the camera when it is plugged into your router. We therefore need to connect the camera directly to a Mac.

In order for two devices to connect directly without going through a router you will need a special kind of Ethernet cable called a “Crossover” cable. This is essentially a standard Ethernet cable but wired differently so two devices can communicate directly. You should be able to pick one up from any computer store as they are fairly common.

Power on the camera and connect the crossover cable from the Ethernet port in the camera to the Ethernet port on your Mac.

Step 2 – Change the IP address of your Mac

Important: Before you change the IP address details of your Mac keep a note of the original settings so that once the camera has been setup you can easily change them back.
In order to access your IP camera we must first make the IP address of your Mac compatible with the camera’s default IP address of 192.168.0.253.

To do this first open your ‘System Preferences’ by selecting it from the doc at the bottom of the screen.

Select the ‘Network’ icon (highlighted) to edit your network settings.

This dialog will show the available networks you can use from your Mac. With the Panasonic camera connected to the Ethernet port we choose ‘Built-in Ethernet’ (we can also see there is a positive connection by the green light) and click the ‘Configure’ button.

We want to configure a static IPv4 address so select ‘Manually’ from the IPv4 drop-down box. This will allow the input of a fixed IP address into the Ethernet connection of the Mac.

To allow communication with the Panasonic camera we need to pick an address which is in the same subnet as the Panasonic camera’s default IP address.

Use the following details in and enter them in the corresponding boxes in the network dialog as shown above. These details will be compatible with the default IP address of the Panasonic camera:

IP Address: 192.168.0.10

Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0

Router: 192.168.0.1

DNS Servers: Not important at this stage, used for Internet communication only

Search Domains: Optional entry, leave blank as this is not important

Click ‘Apply Now’ to save your changes and your Mac should now be set up ready to configure the camera.

Step 3 – Connect to the Panasonic camera

The Panasonic camera should now be able to communicate with the Mac. Open an Internet browser and use the camera’s default IP address to connect to the camera:

http://192.168.0.253

When accessing the camera for the first time it will ask you to set the administrator username and password. Once set you will be asked to confirm both the username and password before it displays a live image.

Step 4 – Configure your Panasonic camera’s IP address

Once logged into your camera, click the ‘Setup’ tab along the top of the screen. This will open the camera’s setup pages.

You will notice that the camera’s setup pages opens at the network settings by default.

The camera will give you three options:

  • Automatic Setup: The IP address of the camera will be set to this mode if the address was set by the initial setup tool or if it is on the default, factory setting
  • Static: This mode means the IP address details are static and will never change
  • DHCP: This mode allows the router to provide the IP address details to the camera automatically

Step 5 – Wireless Cameras

If you have a wireless camera such as a BL-C20A, BL-C131A then you might want to consider setting the wireless component before unplugging the camera from your Mac. Help with setting up the wireless connection will be covered in another guide, HOWTO: Get your Panasonic camera to work on your wireless network.

Finish

The camera has now been set up. Unplug from your Mac and plug into your network. Remember to revert the settings in your Mac to what they were previously then you should be able to access your network and have access to your camera.

30 Responses to “How to set up a Panasonic IP camera using a Mac”

  1. Murphy says:

    Just set this BL-C131A up, wish I had seen your post an hour ago!

    Looks like audio is ActiveX only, bummer. It doesn't stream to Quicktime either. I'm not sure I see why all these streaming protocols are listed if you can only use the web interface to see the camera.

    I called Panasonic. They said they have open RTSP in the works, kind of working with VLC now, but not Quicktime.

    I wish I had more time to play with it, but I don't!

  2. Bob Saggeth says:

    There's got to be some way to get the raw audio stream and process it with sox or mencoder or something? — Any ideas?

  3. Jones says:

    The audio part is not ActiveX (only), since I can get it works on Safari / Firefox at home with my PB (within the same LAN).

    However, no luck for me in office using Firefox in office using Windows XP, the audio control simply can't be loaded and the java debug console shows "java.exception class not found…"

  4. mark says:

    Has anyone tried VMware fusion with these?
    What about Security Spy software?

  5. stev says:

    i found my camera at 192.168.1.253.

  6. lasramblas says:

    Hello,
    I followed your instruction to the letter and everything worked until I tried to access the camera through my computer by putting the IP address in the URL. It just won't work. I have a Macbook Pro running Leopard. Any suggestions?

  7. Greg Innes says:

    It is definitely a 'crossover' style Ethernet cable you are using?

  8. Del says:

    I want to monitor a house we have in Mexico from my home in the states. We have Macs at both locations. How does my apple at home contact the camera in Mexico?
    Thanks!

  9. Greg Innes says:

    Please take a look at our following blog post post for more information on setting up external access to your IP camera: https://www.networkwebcams.co.uk/blog/2007/10/22/port-forwarding-101/

  10. Nunuv Yurbiz says:

    You don't need a crossover cable with Macs. The Mac will automatically switch it, internally. You can use a regular ethernet cable. Pretty cool, eh? See http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2274. Macs are awesome.

  11. Greg Innes says:

    @Nunuv:

    I wasn't aware the Mac auto-switched, easy to see I'm a PC (and Windows 7 was my idea).

    Does this apply to all Macs including Mac Books and Mac Minis?

  12. Eddie says:

    My camera initially had 192.168.1.253 as IP address. On my Mac, it was not necessary to change any IP/network settings, I simply typed the IP address in the browser address window, and then I could access the camera.

  13. David says:

    The wonderful advantage of Mac is dimmed down with the manufactures of all this oddball nonsense!

  14. Kim says:

    I have set up several of these cameras on my Mac. Just plug it into your router and type 192.168.1.253?mode=local and the setup page will appear.

  15. Bob says:

    Since having to switch from PCs to Macs at work, I've only been able to view the video feed and no sound, which looks like is an unsolvable problem for everyone. However, when trying to view the cams via my virtual PC on VMware Fusion, not only can I not get sound, but no video feed either. Is there a workaround to getting it to work using VMware Fusion? At this point, I just need a way to get sound SOMEWHERE while at the office.

  16. Bill says:

    after pulling my hair out for a while trying to set up a Panasonic model bb-hcm371a, I called Panasonic's help desk. They were great, were quite willing to help set up on the Mac, and besides not knowing that we needed to save the profile and restart the Time Capsule for the port mapping to take effect, it was a snap. The audio from this cam did not work in Safari, but Firefox used a java plugin of some sort and it worked perfect there.

    Also, I had to use my local ip string (10.0.1.253) to access the setup screen, despite Kim's luck using the other.

    Running pc emulation had nothing to do with it; trust me, I tried it before calling them!!

  17. John says:

    I was able to program the '140 without a crossover cable (on my Mac)

    I configured my router/DHCP server to serve up to .254, and then was able to get in directly on the .253 address.

    After that, it was straightforward.

  18. Marcy says:

    Bill,
    Can you give me some help with the time capsule set up. I spent several hours on the phone with panasonic….finally got the camera set up using "static" mode. I'm able to view it locally. We assigned 5000 as the port and have used port mapping to open 5000, however, it remains closed according to the yougotsignal.com website. I've called comcast, and they verified that they have not blocked that port. Any ideas? I have spent countless hours trying to figure this out. I would appreciate any help.
    Thanks!

  19. James Drinkwater says:

    @Bill:

    Is there are form of routing performed in your comcast device or is it a basic Modem. I would double check the configuration. Have a look at http://www.portforward.com/routers.htm to see if your comcast device is listed.

  20. jane says:

    panasonic bb-hcm371a on an imac gives video and sound

    on the macbook pro, video only. no sound either through Safari or Firefox.

    difference is macbook is running lion and the imac has leopard.

    any ideas??

  21. Drew says:

    Is there an application that will allow video recordings on the Mac using the Panasonic Web Camera(s)?

  22. Bgregster says:

    Step 4 did not work for me. I eventually found out the camera IP address though my 'connected devices' page on my router – they were 192.168.0.02 and 192.168.0.15 (?)

    Anyway, they then asked me for a username and password which I have no record of. They may have been entered by the installer when first up. How can I get past this? I've tried resetting to factory default but it still asks for un & pw. Is there a published default ( it is not admin / admin)? Many thanks if you know.

  23. James Drinkwater says:

    @Drew:

    Yes, Have a look at SecuritySpy: http://www.networkwebcams.co.uk/product_info.php?cPath=70_135&products_id=925

    @Bgregster:

    Assuming you are using a Panasonic BB/BL IP camera, there is no username and password when the camera is reset. I suspect the cameras hasn't reset correctly. You need to press the green reset button underneath for a few seconds. Alternatively, you may be looking at the wrong IP address. Confirm the MAC address printed on the underside of your camera is the one listed next to each IP on your router's attached devices page.

  24. James Drinkwater says:

    @Jane:

    I think you need to have Java installed to listen to the audio component. Try installing that: http://www.java.com

  25. Bgregster says:

    James – I think you were right, I held the pin in the 'factory reset' hole for longer and got a different result – it asked me to update the firmware. I got this from the Panasonic website (c1ce_v140ce.bin) but once it finished, it restarted and asked me for a un / pw again!

  26. James Drinkwater says:

    @ Nick

    This howto was written over 4 years ago. Macs have moved on a lot since then. I think we'll need to do an update soon.

  27. Nick Thomas says:

    Just so everyone will know here. I have an Apple Extreme Router and discovered after a lot of wasted time trying what is written above. I finally called Panasonic and asked for HELP. So what I'm going to tell you here will make it all simple. We've been making installing this camera much harder than it really is. Panasonic told me that if I have an Apple Extreme Router that I need to plug the camera into the Router, NOT my computer. Then go to my browser, Safari and type in http://10.0.1.253, now you can get into the setup screens of the camera. Apple Routers use 10.0.1 IP numbers, NOT 198.0. whatever numbers. If you don't plug your camera into the Apple Extreme Router you'll never make it work correctly. After doing that it was a simple process of setting up a user name and password. And configuring for wireless, since my camera is a wireless Panasonic camera. Then I registered my camera with viewnetcam.com and all is well. It works wirelessly and I can access it remotely on my iPhone.

  28. jon says:

    When not using panasonics proprietary setup disc, the cameras will ALWAYS set themselves to the following ip address x.x.x.253.
    The camera will look for a dhcp server and take the assigment from the server, and thenuse the IP as above, so there is no need to mess with any network settings unless you have devices assigned to the .253 IP.

  29. Francisco says:

    Thanks a lot, I setup the camera following your instructions but now I don't know how to find the camera IP in my network. I use DHCP, but no sure if idid right, sorry you don't have that part explained. I will appreciate any help. Thanks again.

    F

  30. Chris Knight says:

    So I have a BL-VP104W and here's some notes:

    1) It started on 192.168.0.10 not .253. I configured my "computer" (see #3 below) to be on 192.168.0.101/24.

    2) I used "admin" and password "12345" as instructed by the documentation to authenticate.

    3) I had to use IE on a VMWare Win7 machine. Chrome, Firefox, and Safari all could load the main splash page and the "Basic" configuration page, but navigation doesn't work for the other configuration pages.

    4) I was able to get the cam to connect to my Airport Extreme; in Airport Utility I selected the Extreme in the main UI and chose the "Base Station", "Add WPS Printer…" to get the dialog. I selected "Allow WPS printer by: First attempt" and followed the Panasonic instructions for enabling the wireless. I had some trouble the first time; the second time I changed the network to use "DHCP" and it worked but I'm not sure that was required. I also added a new admin account and removed the default "admin" account. It took a bit to get on the network and get an IP address but now I can see it over wifi.

    I would love to know if there's a Mac browser that works and what the streaming protocols are (I plan to reverse-engineer them; I've been reverse-engineering other cameras).