In the past, webcams have been used for spy purposes or to monitor a home while you are away. Nowadays, more people use them to put up a profile on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. To get started with using a webcam, here are steps on how to set up a webcam.
1) Know what type of connection your computer has
The first thing you should know when it comes to setting up a webcam is what kind of connection your computer has. There are two main types of connections: USB and firewire. [optional if this is not important:] The USB port connects through cables, whereas the firewire ports may be much smaller and connect through the same cable. You may also have Ethernet ports in addition to either one or both of these types of connections.
2) Plug in your webcam
After finding out what type of connection you have, you should then plug it into your computer. You will need a cable that matches the jack on your PC, which is compatible for use with your web camera. Before doing this, make sure that there are no connections between other devices such as speakers or headphones, etc., because if one of these items is already plugged in, you could end up damaging them. As long as there are no problems with an existing connection, you can now attach your new USB or HDMI device.
3) Install video capture hardware
The next step is to install the video capture, hardware driver. This is sometimes known as the webcam driver, and you can download it from your camera manufacturer’s website. You can either download software for this purpose or get a CD. Once installed, restart your computer to allow the new device to work with your PC.
4) Configure video capture hardware
After installing the necessary software, the next step is to configure your web camera. It should open a window that will let you choose which of your devices you would like to use with the camera settings page. If there was not already an application that came on a disk with your webcam, then search online for any available tools for configuring audio and video settings on cameras. Keep in mind that if you have more than one device connected via USB hubs, you might have to disconnect them before continuing.
5) Adjust settings for your webcam
The next step is to adjust the video and audio settings of your web camera. You can access these through your file explorer or by opening a specific program depending on your downloaded software. Here, you should readjust the resolution, frame rate, etc., according to what works best with how you plan to use your webcam. For example, if you are just recording simple videos, try setting it at 320×240 pixels in size with 10 frames per second. However, if you want high-definition recordings, then this will probably not work so well for you. It would be better to set it at 640×480 pixels or 1280 x 720 pixels depending on what works best with your web camera.
6) Set up the software so that it can run as a service
This step only applies if you use Windows Vista or 7. If you do, then you will need to enable the application that came with your webcam as a service by right-clicking on it and selecting “Properties.” Then, go to the “Log On” tab and check that box that says “This account: (pick an account).” After doing this, restart your PC and then right-click on the icon of the program again but this time select “Run as administrator.” Check whether there is any data in the black window at all; if there isn’t, try closing every program running (including MSPaint). Then go to Start and choose Run, then type services. MSC and press enter. Double click on the service associated with your webcam driver (it will say something like “Camera.”)
7) Connect your camera to your computer
You can attach your device in one of two ways: either by plugging it into a USB port or hooking it up through firewire cables. If you are using firewire cables, be sure that they are connected to ports next to each other, which means there should only be one wire connection between them. Firewire connections also come in three different types; first is 4-pin/6-pin, second is 6-pin/6-pin, lastly, 8-pin/8-pin, which means that you need to have a video capture card with at least two of these connections to use the camera.
8) Do a test recording
After adjusting your settings, go ahead and do a short test to see whether everything works well with your webcam. You can edit it later on when you have more time or when you get better software. If it’s not working, then try restarting your computer again before trying other steps.
9) Install additional drivers if necessary
If, after completing several restarts and going through all the steps, your computer still isn’t recognizing your webcam, then there is a chance that it could be due to faulty installed drivers or incompatibility issues between older versions of Windows and newer devices under USB 2.0 or 3.0 ports. To fix this, first head to your manufacturer’s website and download the latest updates for your device to be compatible with Windows 7 or Vista. Most devices nowadays come with drivers specifically made for either 32-bit or 64-bit systems, so be sure to install the right one. If you can’t find the right driver for your camera, try installing older drivers’ versions before looking at different hardware.
After you have done a test recording, it is important to get appropriate video and audio editing software to fine-tune your videos and make them look far better than they do after doing a simple file conversion process. There are many good programs available online but if you want free alternatives, check out VirtualDub Mod or VideoPad Video Editor.
If you don’t know where to start with digital video editing, here’s one way: A good basic digital video editor like Adobe Premiere Elements (Mac/ Windows) lets you cut, copy, splice, and change the speed of your clips; add text and voiceovers; create custom DVD menus; import photos, video and music files to your projects; adjust resolution, sharpness, brightness and color with the click of a button.