Q: I’m trying to make a skype video call and instead of seeing my own video (I can see the other person’s video), I see an image of a city with lights that’s sitting on the edge of the river. I can’t make this go away. What’s the problem?
A: This is a frustrating problem that’s hard to describe but generally straightforward to solve. This “city with lights picture” or “city with lights on the river” picture seems to appear when there is a problem with certain Logitech Webcams. Apparently there is some incompatibility in either a Logitech automatic update or a Sykpe update that takes a working Skype system and renders this “city picture” instead of your video.
The way to solve this is to remove the extraneous Logitech software — but not the Logitech driver. Before you continue, make sure you write down the model number of your camera (if you don’t know it already). You are not going to be removing the Logitech webcam driver, but if for some reason you mistakenly do remove the driver, you need to know the model number of your camera so you can reinstall the driver if you do have a problem.
Ok. On to business. If you navigate to the control panel and find “Add/Remove Programs” (in Windows XP ) or “Programs and Features” (in Windows Vista and Windows 7), you should see one or two (or more) Logitech Webcam entires. Providing you are not doing anything special in HD with the camera (and you would know if you are, you can remove the Logitech HD software component). You can now close out and restart Skype and see if it solves your problem. If not, you can return to the control panel and remove the Logitech Webcam software. Once again you should restart Skype. These steps should solve your problem. Note that you may need a full system reset to get the video quality back to normal.
The take-home here is that there is some kind of driver incompatibility with Skype and certain Logitech Webcam software modules which require you to remove some of the Logitech bundled software to get the webcam to work with Sykpe. It’s pretty annoying situation but at least it’s fixable- but it is in fact down-right interesting, because the ease of use of Sykpe on my iMac is one of the few things I really think the Mac does better than my fleet of PC’s.