Logitech Quickcam Chat on Hardy Heron

[Update] – Intrepid RC onwards works better. Plus see tips on fine tuning brightness etc at http://p-s.co.nz/wordpress/?p=315

I needed a web camera for Ekiga/Skype and I chose the Logitech Quickcam Chat web camera because it was cheap and I expected I would be able to get it to work with Ubuntu. My selection process began with https://wiki.ubuntu.com/HardwareSupportComponentsMultimediaWebCameras. I looked at some known brands and tried to identify recent reports of products with “out-of-box” experiences reported. Logitech seemed to have at least one suitable offering (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/HardwareSupportComponentsMultimediaWebCamerasLogitech), namely the Quickcam Chat, and I knew I could source it locally at a good price. Logitech also seemed to be a good bet as a supplier for Ubuntu because it has a Linux support site http://www.quickcamteam.net/hcl/linux/logitech-webcams which is maintained by Logitech’s video engineering team.

In actuality, it was not quite “out-of-the-box” but installing xawtv
sudo apt-get install xawtv
and using V4L instead of V4L2 seemed to do the trick.

One of the comments for the Quickcam Express Plus gave a hint this might be worth a shot – “Camera is detected, but needs package xawtv installed to hook it to /dev/videox.”.

Images are good in Ekiga, a bit yellow in Cheese (except when taking a picture) and sometimes in Skype. This is probably nothing to do with the camera though as DVDs can have the same problem depending on whether gxine is used or not. Underlying cause unknown.

Still, the Logitech Quickcam Chat is a cheap unit and it is working. There are apparently problems running it with Intrepid but that may change soon.

A final touch was to install the Camera Monitor and add it to the tray. It announces when the camera is actually in use by a program e.g. Ekiga. It has a setting so that it launches on startup.

One link which could be of some use is https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Webcam.