Skype has a feed from the camera but no image

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Skype has a feed from the camera but no image

Postby Luc on Sun Mar 08, 2009 10:35 am

I strange problem occurred to me when I decided to turn to mint 6. Everything was working perfectly, and I mean PERFECTLY! I was so happy. I downloaded skype and it worked as well. Camera and all. But after half an hour or so, the image turned black. But the sound still comes through, both directions. I use the mic built in the camerra. It still works. More bizarre is the fact that the camera still works under windows, so it's not broken. I tried re-installing skype but it didn't do. So imagine, since it was a brand new installation, I decided to re-install EVERYTHING, from mint to upgrades to skype. THE SAME THING HAPPENED! The camera worked for a few moments and then turned to black. Does someone have an idea?
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Re: Skype has a feed from the camera but no image

Postby Husse on Sun Mar 08, 2009 2:39 pm

You have to tell us more facts.
The minimum is exactly which Mint you have - which version and which edition (main or any of the CEs)
We also need to know a bit about all your hardware.
Run " lspci " in a terminal and post here (To copy from a terminal right click)
Some wifi and possibly built in sound can be connected to USB even if they are internal - if you suspect you have one of these run " lsusb " in a terminal.
In your case the camera is probably connected to USB even if it's internal
There may also be slight differences between the different editions so that's important too
Also run lspci -v and post the section about the camera (not the lot - just that section)
Oh - also tell us if this is with mint4win or not
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Re: Skype has a feed from the camera but no image

Postby Luc on Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:15 pm

Thanks for replying. I'm a newbie in the Linux world. I have used computers since 20 years now but until recently, just under windows. Then a computer manager where I used to work told me about Linux and that it would run more smoothly than windows on my machine. And he was right. First distro I tried was Ubuntu 8.10. Then I moved to Mandriva, to Mint 5.0 and finally mint 6.

I am only a user, I know nothing about programming and most of all, used windows for quite a long time. So when you are talking to me about Iscpi, I do not have a clue what you are talking about. I have so many questions and don't want to bother you but for now, you are the only ray of light I have.

The distro I have now has been handed to me. In windows, I knew where to look to see which version I was running but in Mint, I don't know.

I must sound like a poor soul to you but I assure you that even for a user not knowing programming, I knew my way around in windows quite thoroughly. So I will learn in linux too, if I just know where to look for.
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Re: Skype has a feed from the camera but no image

Postby Husse on Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:26 am

Run " lspci " in a terminal

Well that's all there is to it - open a terminal, type lspci and hit enter - mark with the mouse and right click to copy the result
The terminal is powerful but most people only have to use it if they are told by someone like me :)
That lists all hardware
As for version - let the mouse pointer rest over the menu button - you should see a tooltip telling you the version
Webcams have been a bit of a problem for all operating systems but mostly just work now
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Re: Skype has a feed from the camera but no image

Postby Luc on Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:05 am

I thought it was that easy so I did type the Ispci command in a terminal. But it replied :
bash: Ispci: command not found

As for the edition, it is main
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Re: Skype has a feed from the camera but no image

Postby Husse on Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:21 am

Ah - you typed a major i as the first letter - it is a minor L
ls = list
pci well all that's connected to the pci bus
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Re: Skype has a feed from the camera but no image

Postby Luc on Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:25 am

I got you. So here iy is:

00:00.0 Host bridge: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] SiS645 Host & Memory & AGP Controller (rev 02)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] Virtual PCI-to-PCI bridge (AGP)
00:02.0 ISA bridge: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] SiS961 [MuTIOL Media IO]
00:02.1 SMBus: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] SiS961/2 SMBus Controller
00:02.2 USB Controller: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] USB 1.1 Controller (rev 07)
00:02.3 USB Controller: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] USB 1.1 Controller (rev 07)
00:02.5 IDE interface: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] 5513 [IDE] (rev d0)
00:05.0 Multimedia audio controller: C-Media Electronics Inc CM8738 (rev 10)
00:09.0 USB Controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT82xxxxx UHCI USB 1.1 Controller (rev 62)
00:09.1 USB Controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT82xxxxx UHCI USB 1.1 Controller (rev 62)
00:09.2 USB Controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. USB 2.0 (rev 65)
00:0a.0 Multimedia audio controller: Creative Labs SB Live! EMU10k1 (rev 07)
00:0a.1 Input device controller: Creative Labs SB Live! Game Port (rev 07)
00:0b.0 Ethernet controller: D-Link System Inc RTL8139 Ethernet (rev 10)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation NV44A [GeForce 6200] (rev a1)
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Re: Skype has a feed from the camera but no image

Postby Husse on Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:33 am

This is an old computer with only USB 1.1
I think it may be to much for the box after a while - it's on the margin to be able to use video and maybe Mint has been pushed to the wrong side of the limit
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Re: Skype has a feed from the camera but no image

Postby Luc on Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:00 pm

I understand that it is an old computer. You won't have any argument from me there. But you missed the 2.0 USB also available. And' I add that on the same computer, using windows, it did work. Is it to say that mint is slowing down my computer? I don't think so cause if I compare everything else, my pc regained life and speed.
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Re: Skype has a feed from the camera but no image

Postby Husse on Sat Mar 14, 2009 10:20 am

Disregard my previous post - I did not see the USB 2 hub - I need new glasses :)
I don't have much experience with Skype and none with Skype video so I have to search quite a bit here I suspect
Will come back to you
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Re: Skype has a feed from the camera but no image

Postby Luc on Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:36 am

Thank you Husse for your time and effort in helping me with this. It is because of people like you that the open source is alive and well.

Now, this is something I realised: the problem is not with Skype per say. In the atart menu, there is a menu called control center. There, I found a sub menu called hardware. In there, there is a place called multimedia, designed to configure what I learned is called Gstreamer application. There are two menus there, one for audio and one for video. I'm sure you know all about that. I just say it to show you what did and if I did something wrong. Now, in the video menus, I can chosse input between video for linux (v4l), video for linux 2 (v4l2) and custom. The (v4l2) is chosen.

Next line: the menu offers a choice for device between default and USB camera (046d:08da). The second is chosen.

Third line is gray; Does it mean it is not activated? Says: pipeline v4l2src device="/dev/viddeo0)"

The problem starts there. The camara worked for a moment, but eventually froze and turned to black. I don't know what Gstreamer is but the problem seems to be there.
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Re: Skype has a feed from the camera but no image

Postby infamous on Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:45 am

There is a known bug in skype that you can read about if you visit the skype forums. Basically, skype attempts to control the brightness of you web cam for you and fails misserrably. When the light level drops too low the image becomes black. I had the same situation as you. When I was in bright sunlight my cam worked fine. As the sun went down, the image went black. 2 things you can try. Install cheese and see if you can see yourself or stand with a really bright like shining on your face and see if you can see yourself. I never found a fix for this. Turning up the brightness doesn't help because skype turns it down for you. My cam works fine for every program except skype.
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