Technology Networking & Internet

Help With a Skype Webcam

    Basic Troubleshooting

    • Before you pursue any other troubleshooting steps, make sure that your webcam is connected correctly. Though this may seem obvious, an awful lot of hardware problems can be fixed just by pushing the USB plug in all the way. You may also want to verify that your webcam works with other software. Trying to track down a problem with Skype when the real trouble lies with the camera itself only causes added frustration.

    Skype Video Options

    • You can access your video configuration settings through Skype's "Options" menu. This window will allow you to preview the image that your webcam is sending. If you can see yourself within the video settings window, then your cam is working just fine. If your contact can't see you even when your cam is configured correctly, this indicates a software or Internet issue on their end. If the camera is connected properly and you are still not seeing an image within the options window, then you'll need to figure out why Skype isn't communicating properly with your cam.

    Driver Software

    • Many webcams are "plug and play," meaning that you can use them straight out of the box. Other webcams need additional driver software to be installed before they can be used with programs like Skype. Check to make sure your cam has all the software it needs before using it with Skype. If you do install new drivers, you will probably need to exit and restart Skype before your camera can be used.

    Compounding Issues

    • Certain environmental factors within your computer can affect the performance of your webcam. A slow Internet connection can result in a blurry or lagging image. In some cases, you may not be able to transmit an image at all. Another issue may lie with your USB controller. Many people do not realize that the computer can only process a limited amount of information from USB devices, even if you have enough USB ports to accomodate all of your devices. Unplugging a few of your USB gadgets can help speed things up for your webcam.

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