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Using the Webcam with Internet Messaging Software

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This document pertains to HP TouchSmart PCs.
Your HP TouchSmart PC comes with a built-in microphone array, Web camera and camera activity indicator that you can use together or individually to have video chats over the Internet using your favorite video chat software, such as Windows Live Messenger or Yahoo! Messenger.
NOTE:Your webcam may not work properly across some network firewalls. If you have trouble viewing or sending video to someone on another LAN or outside the network firewall, refer to the support information for the firewall or contact a network administrator for assistance.
NOTE:Dial-up Internet connections often lack the data transfer capacity to handle both video and voice simultaneously. A broadband Internet connection is highly recommended for video messaging. Performance varies with dial-up connections.
NOTE:For the best video-call experience, close all other applications and background tasks, and limit your Internet browsing or streaming to preserve bandwidth.
Figure 1: Web camera and microphone
1 - Microphone
2 - Web camera activity light
3 - Web camera

Using the webcam with Windows Live Messenger

In order to set up a video chat, you must have a connection to the Internet Service Provider (ISP) and software that enables you to make video calls over the Internet. Just like instant messengers, you can use this kind of software to chat with one or more people at a time. You can bookmark the chat contact or group and find it later which is convenient for regular chats with family or business contacts.
To set up a video chat with Windows Live Messenger:
  1. Download Windows Live Messenger. Make sure the person you are calling has compatible video calling software.
    1. Click Start , All Programs, and then click Windows Live Messenger Download to download this software.
      Figure 2: Windows Vista Start menu
    2. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete downloading the software.
  2. Set up a user name and password for your free Windows Live Messenger account.
  3. Open Windows Live Messenger by clicking the Windows Live Messenger shortcut on the desktop.
    Figure 3: Windows Live Messenger
  4. You must enable your Web 2.0 camera as the default video input or you will not be able to use your HP TouchSmart PC Web camera. The HP TouchSmart PC is shipped with the TV tuner as the default video input.
    From the Windows Live Messenger window, click the Options Menu icon, click Tools, and then click Audio and Video Setup.
    Figure 4: Windows Live Messenger window
    Close all programs that play sound or display video. Make sure your speakers, microphone, and Webcam are plugged in, turned on, and not muted, and then click Next.
    Figure 5: Audio and Video Setup Wizard
    Select your speaker settings, and then click Next.
    Figure 6: Speaker setup
    Select your microphone settings, and then click Next.
    Figure 7: Microphone setup
    Select your USB 2.0 Camera (Webcam) as the default audio and video input. The HP TouchSmart PC is shipped with the TV tuner as the default audio and video input.
    Figure 8: Webcam setup
    Click Finish
    NOTE:If you get a message telling you that Windows cannot connect to this webcam or you can't access it in another program, restart the computer. You must click Start, and select Restart to fix this issue. Do not press the power button to shutdown and restart.
  5. Add your contact e-mail addresses, by clicking the Add Contact icon , typing in the information for each contact, and then clicking Add contact.
    Figure 9: Add a contact
  6. Start your video call.
    1. Click the Options Menu icon, select Actions, Video, and then clickStart a Video Call.
      Right-click the contact name, select Video, and then select Start a Video Call.
      Figure 10: Start a Video Call
    2. Select a contact, and then click OK.
      NOTE:You can also start or stop a video call by selecting the contact, and then clicking Video Call icon in the conversation window.
      NOTE:Use the Options Menu on your contact card to stop or resume your webcam, or to mute your microphone and speakers.
  7. To end an audio or video call, click the contact again or use the Options Menu.

Using the webcam with Yahoo! Messenger

In order to set up a video chat, you must have a connection to the Internet Service Provider (ISP) and software that enables you to make video calls over the Internet. To use the camera in Yahoo Messenger, all that is needed is to change the camera source. Do so as follows:
  1. Open Yahoo! Messenger and select My Webcam.
  2. Click Preferences.
  3. Click Webcam.
  4. Select Camera Source...
    Figure 11: Camera Source button
  5. Select USB 2.0 Camera, click OK, and then click OK again.
    You should now be able to use the webcam by clicking the webcam button from the main window. If not, restart the computer and make sure that no other software programs access the webcam before using the webcam in Yahoo! Messenger.

Using the webcam with other software titles

There are many other software titles available that can use the webcam. If you are having difficulty getting the webcam to work, try the following troubleshooting actions:
  • Close all software and restart the computer before starting a new webcam session. Sometimes, closing the software application that was using the webcam is not enough. Software may not properly "release" the webcam. When this happens, the webcam cannot be used by any other software application until the computer is restarted.
  • Make sure USB 2.0 Camera is selected as the Video Source in the software you are trying to use. The various software titles that can use the webcam use different terms for describing a video source and the option to select it can vary. Usually, camera, webcam, or video settings can be found in the software's preferences or properties pages. If you have trouble finding where you can change the video source setting, try using the software's built-in help system.

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