Chat programs such as AIM, Skype, Yahoo! Messenger and Windows Live Messenger make it relatively easy to connect your webcam and let others view you, whether it is from next door or the other side of the world. However, before chatting with others via a live video stream, you might want to view yourself on your own webcam. This will allow you prepare and present the image of yourself you want your friend to see on the other end of the camera. A myriad online and offline applications allow you to view or test your webcam in minutes.
Connect the webcam to your computer with the USB cable. Wait for Windows to detect the camera and configure it for use with your PC.
Navigate to the TestWebCam.com website.
Click the "Allow" button in the "Adobe Flash Settings" window on the TestWebCam page. After a few seconds, the image from your webcam appears on the page. Position the camera so that you can view your face clearly on the screen.
Navigate to the Yawcam.com website and download the Yawcam webcam utility. Save the set-up file to your computer.
Click "Start," then "Computer." Open the folder containing the Yawcam set-up file. Double-click the file to launch the installer. Follow the on-screen prompts to install Yawcam on your PC.
Launch Yawcam on your computer. Click "Settings" on the menu bar, then "Detect Webcam." Select the device name for your camera from the popup list, then click "OK." Your webcam's video stream appears in the Yawcam "Preview" window on the screen.
Launch your chat client software -- i.e. Yahoo! Messenger or MSN Messenger.
Click the "Preferences" or "Settings" link on the menu bar. Click "Video," "Video Settings" or "Video and Voice Settings."
Click the "Video Setup," "Video Setup Wizard" or other similarly named link. Select the device name of your webcam. Your webcam video stream appears in the set-up window.