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Testing a Webcam Using QuickPlay

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This document pertains to HP Notebook PCs with Windows XP or Vista.
Most webcam problems are caused by missing or incompatible hardware drivers, or by incorrectly configured video display applications. This document will help you test the basic functionality of the webcam using a known good webcam hardware driver, and a simple video display application. Once you have determined that the webcam works, you can adjust the quality of the image or use a more sophisticated application to manipulate the image.
In rare cases, when there is a problem with the physical hardware, you will need to contact HP Support for technical assistance or repair service.

Which application to use

If the computer came with an integrated webcam and is still using the original Windows XP or Vista operating system, you can use the HP QuickPlay webcam application which was available on a limited number of HP Pavilion models. However, there are three different versions of QuickPlay, only the version that was originally installed can be used, and the program is not available for download from HP. See one of the following documents, depending on your version, for instructions on installing or updating the QuickPlay software that came with your computer.
HP recommendation: HP replaced QuickPlay with Cyberlink YouCam as the preferred webcam application.
  • For either Vista or Windows 7, install and use Cyberlink YouCam to test the webcam. Go to Cyberlink YouCam Software page (in English) to download and install the Cyberlink YouCam software.
    See Testing a Webcam using YouCam for information on using YouCam to test your webcam.
  • For XP, there is no XP compatible version of QuickPlay or YouCam available for download from HP. You can download the HP Webcam for XP or use the Microsoft USB video device driver. To test the webcam, consider using one of the instant messaging programs that is available for different operating systems.

Test the built-in webcam using QuickPlay

To verify that the webcam on an HP Pavilion notebook computer that shipped with QuickPlay and Microsoft Vista or XP is operating properly, perform the following test.
  1. Press the QuickPlay button (normally located near the display) on the notebook PC to open the QuickPlay application.
    Alternately, click Start, All Programs, and then select HP QuickPlay.
    Figure 1: HP QuickPlay
    QuickPlay selections
  2. Click the Video icon, and then double-click HP webcam in the Source column.
    The image from the webcam should display near the center of the screen.
  3. To record a short video, click Record in the main control bar. Let the application record the image for a few seconds, and then click Stop. The name of the video file is displayed in the left selection panel.
  4. To capture a single frame image, click Snapshot. The name of the still image file is displayed in the left play list panel.
  5. To view the video clip or a full size image, double-click the name of the file in the play list in the QuickPlay window.
By default, the file is saved in a public folder, and the date is used as the name of the video file. For example:
C:\Users\Public\Videos\HP Webcam\webcam_20070228_1540.mpg. The saved file can be renamed and moved to any other location on the computer.
This test verifies that the webcam is working and can record or play video files.

Corrective measures if the image is not displayed

There were known issues with the QuickPlay program and webcam drivers, especially when using Windows Vista. HP recommends you uninstall QuickPlay and update to the Cyberlink YouCam program. See HP recommendation for more information.
If you must use QuickPlay, the following actions might help resolve webcam issues:
  • Use Windows Update to install all patches, updates, and the latest Microsoft Service Pack. For Vista, update to Microsoft Vista Service Pack 2. For XP, update to Microsoft XP Service Pack 3.
  • Go to the Drivers and Download page for your model, select the installed OS, and download the webcam driver (if available). If a webcam driver is not available, you will have to use the Microsoft USB Video Device driver.
  • Open Device Manager and use the Browse the computer... option to selectively update the Imaging Devices driver. When prompted, select Show compatible hardware, and then select one of the listed webcam drivers.
  • If you have the original system Recovery discs, you may reinstall the original version of QuickPlay, and then apply all updates.

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