Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have a new HP Envy 15 with an integrated webcam, running Win 7. It works, but all the images are purple, suggesting to me that the red and blue guns are working, but the green isn't. The problem shows up on both their own software and on Skype.

I talked to tech support, and they had me update the BIOS, reinstall the hardware BIOS for the webcam, and update the webcam software. It therefore sounds like a hardware problem, but they won't back that unless I do a full restore, which would wipe my disk of all the software I've spent the last couple of weeks configuring.

Is there anything else I can try? Other than just buying another webcam, I mean.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

share|improve this question
1  
Guns? There are no electron beam in cameras :) Also the webcam BIOS sounds weird, and system BIOS has nothing to do with webcams: it does not configure any USB video devices at all. I can make similar results in Linux by mis-using the 'Hue' slider or Gamma settings in webcam config; I don't know where these are in Windows software through. –  whitequark Jan 30 '10 at 5:23
    
Not that I'm advocating dishonesty, but if I know something is a hardware problem, I usually just tell them what they want to hear re: wiping, etc. However, you're sure that you didn't change any video settings in the configs? –  phoebus Jan 30 '10 at 5:34
    
I bought two of the HP High Definition 1080x1920 USB stand alones and the slider bars don't work. Only with the auto white balance "On" will it make an image that is blue (very blue). I used a photo yellow filter and an amber filter and it always appears dark blue. If I un-check the WB there is no median, one click it is all black the next it is all white. I suspect (for lots a money) there is third party software post color processor but I haven't had time to find one. Buying HP is no longer a solution, it is more problems.... You are not alone and I hope this helps others. I spent two days r –  user207914 Mar 17 '13 at 0:35
    
So, this is not a solution, but you are facing issues as well? –  Carl B Mar 17 '13 at 0:54

6 Answers 6

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I have an HP envy webcam and I know what the problem is for sure. I've sent the computer back for repair twice with no satisfactory resolution from HP. It's actually quite simple what happened with this laptop. You have three typical lighting sources:

1) Incandescent 2) Fluorescent' 3) Sunlight

HP turned this webcam to ONLY look good under fluorescent lighting. If you attempt to use it in sunlight or under incandescent light it will look absolutely terrible no matter what combination of sliders you use. Turning low light compensation on or off will also have little impact.

Bottom line: Use this webcam only under fluorescent lighting. If you have to use it in sunlight or incandescent lighting you're screwed. Don't bother sending the computer back to HP if you've owned it for more than 20 days, they will refuse to help you and tell you that "that's just how this webcam works."

By the way, just for fun, if you have a location that has both fluorescent lighting and incandescent lighting, turn on your Envy webcam and walk around under both lighting conditions. Watch how good it looks under fluorescent lighting, and then watch it turn terrible as you walk under the incandescent lighting. It's pretty laughable HP released a webcam like this. Especially on one of their top of the line notebooks. What's even more laughable is their total unwillingness to fix the problem for their customers who deserved better.

Anyone reading this who's unhappy with this scenario (as I am) should at least take the time to contact HP and tell them we're dissatisfied. The Envy is an expensive computer and HP customers didn't deserve a webcam that won't work in 2 out of 3 ordinary lighting conditions.

share|improve this answer
    
Wow. You are so right. I just tried the webcam under fluorescent lighting, and the image actually looked good. I think that's ridiculous, since I can't count on that kind of lighting, but at least now I know the webcam isn't completely useless. I eventually broke down and bought a USB webcam, which works fine. Thanks again for the info, though. –  kousen May 12 '10 at 18:23

It's a software problem with HP's Web Camera Filter.

Go into HP MediaSmart Webcam. Go to: Setting -> Display tab -> Advanced Settings -> Camera Control tab: turn off Low Light Compensation.

This will disable the camera's infrared sensor which is what causes the problem. Also, incandescent bulbs cause the extreme color mismatching while the new brighter bulbs do not.

share|improve this answer

Use something like DriveImage XML or Acronis True Image Home to image you disk. Do a full restore and verify that the camera is indeed not working correctly. After the full restore has done it's purpose, restore the disk image you created.

share|improve this answer

I've just got one of these too, and its great apart from the webcam. I've found that sometimes in really good light the colours look ok. When it gets dark everything has a purple look to it. If you open skype and go into the options - video settings your webcam should start. Under it theres a button to adjust the webcam settings. Try turning off the Auto White Balance on the Vide Proc Amp tab and then in the Camera Settings tab turn off the Low Light Compensation. This turns off the little Infared lights either side of the camera. Now you can go back to the Video Proc Amp tab and fiddke with the Brightness slider.

share|improve this answer
    
Even in good light, this camera still has a purple/pink tinge. In the end, I bought a USB webcam, which is working fine. That suggests to me the problem really is the hardware, but so be it. I'm not sending my whole laptop back to HP for them to repair, even if I could convince them to do it. –  kousen Mar 18 '10 at 14:59

Most webcams have a hue slider in the advanced options (like inside your instant messenger app, go into Camera Selection and there's probably an Advanced button there). Check that.

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks for the advice. I did play with that, and it helped, but not a lot. –  kousen Mar 18 '10 at 14:58

If you have an HP Envy webcam problem you need to watch this YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6EBlvFzhs8

Buying a stand alone webcam for the machine is a good solution and I'll probably do the same, but don't let the issue drop without at least letting your voice be heard by HP. I invite all readers here to click the link above and join the community to let HP know what they're doing here is wrong.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.