Installing and configuring a webcam

In this article we will show you exactly what type of hardware and software you need to make your camera productive and fun for you.

We will be conducting this exercise with a camera that has been around for quite a while now - Logitech's Quickcam Express. This is a camera that utilises USB connectivity. In fact, most of the cameras you will find on the shelf of your local computer store will probably also take advantage of this interface. Before we proceed, it is our duty to inform you that you will need a USB port if you want to utilise a relatively easy-to-install and use, high-quality web camera that performs well.

If your computer lacks USB connectivity you can add it by purchasing a PCI USB add-on card. These cards plug into one of your free PCI slots and instantly give you two or more USB ports. More expensive cameras may utilise the quicker FireWire connectivity option, and may actually require their own PCI cards to be installed for better communication with the computer.

If your computer has USB already but doesn't have enough USB ports, and consequently you have to keep removing and swapping devices, then you might like to consider getting a USB hub, which can double or even triple the number of ports available on your system. Of course, remember that you will also need an operating system that can handle USB connectivity - basically anything better than Windows 95b (but remember always to check the operating system requirements of the hardware so you can make sure the gear will work on your particular setup). For more information on USB connectivity, check out the September 2000 instalment of Upgrader.

The camera installation itself is a very simple task, but to get it working properly you will need to configure the settings of its associated software. On the following pages, we will show you how to configure some of the most common settings, such as picture and audio quality, as well as how to use one of the more popular software applications for conferencing - Microsoft's NetMeeting.the top downBenefits: Video conferencing, video e-mail, still camera shotsCosts: $99-$1000Expertise level: BeginnerTime required: 15-30 minutesRequirements: Pentium II or higher processor, 16MB RAM or higher, USB, Windows 95b (OSR 2.1) or higher, CD-ROM drive, 16-bit colour capable display adapterVendor: Check out this month's Best Buys for a list of different cameras as well as comparisons and feature setsInstallationAudio SetupVideo SetupMicrosoft NetmeetingImage is everything

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Elias Plastiras
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?