Product Guide
Product Guide
Creative Video Blaster WebCam 3
Information in this document is subject to change without notice and does not represent a commitment on the part of Creative Technology Ltd. No part of this
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allowed in the license agreement. The licensee may make one copy of the software for backup purposes.
Copyright © 1998-1999 by Creative Technology Ltd. All rights reserved.
Version 1.0
July 1999
Sound Blaster is a registered trademark of Creative Technology, Ltd. Blaster is a trademark of Creative Technology Ltd.
IBM is a registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation.
Microsoft, MS-DOS, Windows, and the Windows Logo are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.
All other products are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
C reat iv e E nd -U se r S oft wa re L ice ns e A gree m en t
Ve rs ion 2. 0 , Ju ne 19 98
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LIMITATION OF REMEDIES AND
DAMAGES
THE ONLY REMEDY FOR BREACH OF
WARRANTY WILL BE THAT SET FORTH IN
THE WARRANTY CARD OR PRINTED
MANUAL INCLUDED WITH THE
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SPECIAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES
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SAVINGS, LOST REVENUES OR LOST DATA
ARISING FROM OR RELATING TO THE
SOFTWARE OR THIS AGREEMENT, EVEN
IF CREATIVE OR ITS LICENSORS HAVE
BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF
SUCH DAMAGES. IN NO EVENT WILL
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YOU OR ANY OTHER PERSON EVER
EXCEED THE AMOUNT PAID BY YOU TO
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the English version of this Agreement.
CONTRACTOR/MANUFACTURER
The Contractor/Manufacturer for the Software is:
Creative Technology Ltd
31, International Business Park
Creative Resource
Singapore 609921
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SOFTWARE LICENSE AGREEMENT
(WINDOWS 95)
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SPECIAL PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO
THE EUROPEAN UNION
IF YOU ACQUIRED THE SOFTWARE IN THE
EUROPEAN UNION (EU), THE FOLLOWING
PROVISIONS ALSO APPLY TO YOU. IF THERE
IS ANY INCONSISTENCY BETWEEN THE
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AGREEMENT SET OUT EARLIER AND IN THE
FOLLOWING PROVISIONS, THE FOLLOWING
PROVISIONS SHALL TAKE PRECEDENCE.
DECOMPILATION
You agree not for any purpose to transmit the
Software or display the Software’s object code on
any computer screen or to make any hard copy
memory dumps of the Software’s object code. If you
believe you require information related to the
interoperability of the Software with other
programs, you shall not decompile or disassemble
the Software to obtain such information, and you
agree to request such information from Creative at
the address listed earlier. Upon receiving such a
request, Creative shall determine whether you
require such information for a legitimate purpose
and, if so, Creative will provide such information to
you within a reasonable time and on reasonable
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LIMITED WARRANTY
EXCEPT AS STATED EARLIER IN THIS
AGREEMENT, AND AS PROVIDED UNDER
THE HEADING “STATUTORY RIGHTS”,
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DAMAGES IN THE SOFTWARE LICENSE
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HEADING “STATUTORY RIGHTS”.
STATUTORY RIGHTS
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GENERAL
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Safety Information
The following sections contain notices for
various countries:
CAUTION: This device is intended to be installed
by the user in a CSA/TUV/UL certified/listed IBM
AT or compatible personal computers in the
manufacturer’s defined operator access area. Check
the equipment operating/installation manual and/or
with the equipment manufacturer to verify/confirm
if your equipment is suitable for user-installed
application cards.
Modifications
Any changes or modifications not expressly
approved by the grantee of this device could void the
user’s authority to operate the device.
Compliance
This product conforms to the following Council
Directive:
❑
Directive 89/336/EEC, 92/31/EEC (EMC)
Contents
Introduction
Before You Begin................................................................................................................... xii
System Requirements................................................................................................ xii
Document Conventions ............................................................................................. xii
1
Installing Video Blaster WebCam 3
About the WebCam 3............................................................................................................ 1-1
Installing Video Blaster WebCam 3..................................................................................... 1-2
2
Starting Video Blaster WebCam Control
To start Video Blaster WebCam Control.............................................................................. 2-1
To capture still images using the Snapshot button............................................................... 2-2
To start the Help file for WebCam Control.......................................................................... 2-2
3
Using WebCam Control with the WDM driver
To configure settings for Video Blaster WebCam 3............................................................ 3-1
Optimizing WebCam 3 ......................................................................................................... 3-3
Specifying the Frame Rate, Image Size, and Color Depth..................................... 3-3
Setting the frame rate ................................................................................... 3-3
Flipping the image horizontally................................................................... 3-3
Choosing the image’s output size ................................................................ 3-4
Choosing the color depth ............................................................................. 3-4
Product Guide vii
Improving the quality....................................................................................3-5
Improving the Image Quality....................................................................................3-5
Camera Control settings ...............................................................................3-5
Image settings................................................................................................3-7
Achieving the Best Frame Rate................................................................................3-8
4
Using WebCam Control with the VFW driver
To configure settings for WebCam 3 ....................................................................................4-1
Optimizing WebCam 3..........................................................................................................4-3
Changing Image Size and Color Depth....................................................................4-3
Choosing the size of the image.....................................................................4-4
Choosing the color depth..............................................................................4-4
Improving Image Quality..........................................................................................4-5
Video Control settings ..................................................................................4-5
Advanced settings .........................................................................................4-7
Achieving the Best Frame Rate................................................................................4-8
5
Video Blaster WebCam 3 Applications
Video Blaster WebCam Control ...........................................................................................5-1
Video Blaster WebCam Monitor ..........................................................................................5-1
Polaroid PhotoMAX..............................................................................................................5-2
Microsoft NetMeeting ...........................................................................................................5-2
Microsoft Internet Explorer...................................................................................................5-2
A
Technical Specifications
Construction .................................................................................................A-1
Camera housing ...........................................................................................A-1
Power ............................................................................................................A-1
Sensor ...........................................................................................................A-1
Resolution (for both Video mode and Still mode) .....................................A-1
Sensitivity .....................................................................................................A-1
viii Video Blaster Webcam 3
Video formats .............................................................................................. A-2
Exposure control.......................................................................................... A-2
Color balance............................................................................................... A-2
Color matrix................................................................................................. A-2
Field-of-view ............................................................................................... A-2
Depth-of-field .............................................................................................. A-2
Port compatibility ........................................................................................ A-2
Software compatibility................................................................................ A-2
B
Troubleshooting
Problem Installing Software .................................................................................................B-1
Problems Using Video Blaster WebCam 3..........................................................................B-1
C
Note on USB Compatibility
D
Technical Support
Inside Europe........................................................................................................................ D-3
Through CompuServe ............................................................................................. D-3
By Fax ...................................................................................................................... D-3
If You Have a Problem......................................................................................................... D-4
Less than 30 days since date of purchase................................................... D-4
More than 30 days since date of purchase ................................................. D-4
Returning a product for repair................................................................................. D-5
Limited Warranty ................................................................................................................. D-6
What this warranty does not cover ............................................................. D-6
Creative European Help Line
Product Guide ix
Introduction
Video Blaster WebCam 3 is a 24-bit, 16.7-million-color digital video camera kit that gives you
everything you need to capture, create, and communicate in live, full-color video on the
Internet.
Enclosed software titles include:
❑ Video Blaster WebCam Control is an application for capturing full-motion video and still
images and adjusting the camera’s settings.
❑ Video Blaster WebCam Monitor has an easy-to-use control panel that lets you set your
camera to automatically take snapshots. You can use it in the timed mode or the motion
detection mode for home or office security to create an “intelligent spy cam”.
❑ Polaroid PhotoMAX™, a suite of easy-to-use imaging tools accessible from a single
interface. Use PhotoMAX to capture images, edit and retouch them, and add special effects.
Print these images or transform them into multimedia postcards which you can give to
friends or send via e-mail.
❑ Microsoft® NetMeeting®, a feature rich voice communications system. NetMeeting offers
multi-user application sharing, Internet telephony and video conferencing.
❑ Microsoft Internet Explorer, an easy-to-use, full-service Internet browser.
Product Guide xi
Before You
Begin
The README file on the CD-ROM contains information not available at the time of printing.
Read the file before you continue. In addition, read the following:
❑ System Requirements
❑ Document Conventions
System Requirements
Minimum system requirements for the USB port version of Video Blaster WebCam 3:
❑ 200 MHz Pentium® or higher IBM® compatible PC
❑ 16 MB RAM on motherboard
❑ 70 MB free hard disk space (for installation of all software titles)
❑ Available USB port or powered USB hub
❑ Microsoft Windows 98 (Windows 95 is not supported)
❑ Display adapter that supports16-bit color at a resolution of 640 x 480 pixels
❑ CD-ROM drive installed
❑ Sound Blaster® or other Windows®-compatible sound card and microphone
(required for videoconferencing)
❑ Modem or LAN access to the Internet (required for videoconferencing)
For optimal performance:
❑ Display adapter that supports 16-bit color at a resolution of 800 x 600 pixels
❑ Sound Blaster 16 or higher, or other Windows-compatible sound card with full-duplex
support for simultaneous two-way conversations
Document
Conventions
xii Video Blaster WebCam 3
The following typographical conventions are used throughout this document:
Table i:
Document conventions
This
Represents
bold
Text that must be entered exactly as it appears.
Table i:
Document conventions
This
Represents
italic
Title of a book or a placeholder, which represents the information you
must provide.
UPPERCASE
Directory name, file name, or acronym.
<>
Symbols, letters, and key names on the keyboard.
This notepad icon indicates information that is of particular importance
and should be considered before continuing.
This alarm clock icon indicates that failure to adhere to directions may
result in loss of data or damage to your system.
The warning sign indicates that failure to adhere to directions may result
in bodily harm or life-threatening situations.
Product Guide xiii
Installing Video Blaster WebCam 3
1
This chapter consists of the following sections:
❑ About the WebCam 3
❑ Installing Video Blaster WebCam 3
About the
WebCam 3
Figure 1-1 highlights the features of WebCam 3.
Snapshot button
After you have started WebCam Control,
you can press this button to capture a still image.
Focus ring
To adjust the WebCam focus, point the
lens toward your subject and then rotate
this ring clockwise and/or anti-clockwise
until the image is in focus.
LED light
This button lights up in
green when WebCam is
switched on.
USB cable
USB connector
Figure 1-1: The WebCam 3 (USB model).
Installing Video Blaster WebCam 3 1-1
Installing Video
Blaster
WebCam 3
1. Position your computer so that its USB ports can be easily accessed.
2. Connect the end of the WebCam’s USB cable to any USB port available, and place the
WebCam on top of your computer monitor or another flat surface.
• The USB port(s) on your
computer may be found on
the front panel instead of the
back panel.
• You can also daisy-chain the
Webcam through another
USB device or attach it to a
powered USB hub.
• You can choose to connect the
WebCam to your computer
after you have switched on
your computer.
USB port
Figure 1-2: Connecting the WebCam 3 (USB model).
3. Switch on the computer.
1-2 Installing Video Blaster WebCam 3
If prompted, insert the
Windows 98 CD, install the
required files before continuing
the installation procedure.
4. When the Add New Hardware Wizard
dialog box appears, click the Next button.
The dialog box similar to Figure 1-3
appears.
5. Click the Search for the best driver for
your device (Recommended) option and
then click the Next button.
6. Insert the Video Blaster WebCam CD into
your CD-ROM drive.
7. Select the Specify a location check box and
type D:\DRIVERS (where D: represents
your CD-ROM drive) in the box provided. Figure 1-3: The Add New Hardware Wizard dialog box.
8. Click the Next button.
9. Click the Next button again.
The drivers are copied to your
system.
10. When the Light Frequency
Selection dialog box appears, click
the Yes button and then click the
option button that represents your
power supply frequency if you use
fluorescent lighting.
Otherwise, click the No button.
11. Click the OK button.
Figure 1-4: The Light Frequency Selection dialog box.
Installing Video Blaster WebCam 3 1-3
• If you have a microphone,
connect it to your audio card.
Most audio cards have an
external microphone
connector.
• Consult the documentation
for your audio card for more
information concerning the
use of a microphone and, in
particular, how to adjust the
volume.
1-4 Installing Video Blaster WebCam 3
12. When the Scanner and Camera Installation Wizard dialog box appears, click the Next
button.
13. In the Manufacturers list, select
Creative Labs, and then in the Scanner
and Camera Models list, select Video
Blaster Webcam 3 Still Image Capture.
Note: If the correct model is not listed:
Select Have Disk
Browse to D:\Drivers where
wec3cam.inf and webc3usd.inf are
located.
Click on OK
14. Click the Next button.
15. Click the Next button again.
Figure 1-5: Selecting the Manufacturer and Model.
Note: Any selection in the Available
ports list box will not have any effect on
this installation process.
16. Click the Next button again.
17. Click the Finish button.
The drivers are copied to your system.
18. When you are prompted to restart your system, click the Yes button.
19. After Windows has restarted, proceed to install the applications for WebCam 3.
Click Start -> Run.
20. In the Run dialog box, type D:\CTRUN\CTRUN.EXE
A dialog box that lists the applications available appears.
21. Select the applications you want to install, and then click the OK button.
22. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the installation.
Depending upon the applications you choose to install, you may be asked if you want to
restart your computer at the end of the installation routine. Select No whenever you are
asked until all the drivers and applications have been installed. Then, restart your computer.
23. If an application fails to install, restart, autorun the install CD and select only the required
application.
Otherwise launch the application from the relevant folder on the install CD.
Installing Video Blaster WebCam 3 1-5
Starting Video Blaster WebCam Control
2
This chapter consists of the following sections:
❑ To start Video Blaster WebCam Control
❑ To capture still images using the Snapshot button
❑ To start the Help file for WebCam Control
To start Video
Blaster WebCam
Control
If Video Blaster WebCam
Control does not recognize the
camera correctly, see
Appendix B, “Troubleshooting”.
To start WebCam Control
1. Click Start -> Programs -> Creative ->
Video Blaster WebCam -> VB WebCam
Control.
The Video Blaster WebCam Control
screen similar to Figure 2-1 appears,
displaying the image from the camera.
2. Point the lens toward your subject (for
example, yourself, seated in front of your
monitor) and rotate the ring around the
lens clockwise and/or anti-clockwise until
the image is in focus.
Figure 2-1: The Video Blaster WebCam Control screen.
Starting Video Blaster WebCam Control 2-1
• The contents of the Source
and Format dialog boxes
depend on the video capture
device you select.
• The WDM driver gives better
performance in terms of frame
rate and is the recommended
choice.
• The VFW driver is compatible
with software that only
supports Video For Windows.
To select the video capture device
1. On the top panel of WebCam Control, click the Settings icon.
The VB WebCam Control Settings dialog box appears, with the General tabbed page
displayed.
2. In the Video capture device list box, select the desired capture device.
3. Click the OK button.
To configure the various settings in WebCam Control and optimize the quality of still
images and video clips captured, proceed to:
❑ Chapter 3, “Using WebCam Control with the WDM driver” if you have selected
Video Blaster WebCam 3 (WDM) (Recommended)
❑ Chapter 4, “Using WebCam Control with the VFW driver” if you have selected
Video Blaster WebCam 3 (VFW)
To capture still
images using the
Snapshot button
To do so
To start the
Help file for
WebCam Control
The Help file contains instructions on how to use WebCam Control’s main window and the
Settings dialog box.
After WebCam Control is started, press the Snapshot button on the camera
(see Figure 1-1 on page 1-1).
An image of the preview in the Video window is captured and a file name assigned to it.
The still image is added to the album in WebCam Control.
To start the Help file
1. Click the Creative logo at the top left corner of WebCam Control’s main window.
2. On the WebCam Control menu, click Help.
2-2 Starting Video Blaster WebCam Control
3
Using WebCam Control with the WDM driver
This chapter consists of the following sections:
❑ To configure settings for Video Blaster WebCam 3
❑ Optimizing WebCam 3
To configure
settings for
Video Blaster
WebCam 3
1. On the top panel of WebCam Control , click the Format icon.
The Format Properties dialog box similar to Figure 3-1 appears.
2. On the Stream Format tabbed page (see
Figure 3-1), select I420 from the Color
Space/Compression box.
The best frame rate for recording video
clips is achieved in the I420 mode.
3. Click the OK button.
Figure 3-1: The Stream Format tabbed page.
Using WebCam Control with the WDM driver 3-1
4. On the top panel of WebCam Control ,
click the Source icon.
The Source Properties dialog box similar
to Figure 3-2 appears.
To move the Exposure slider,
you have to clear its Auto check
box first.
5. On the Camera Control tabbed page (see
Figure 3-2), adjust the settings to your
preference.
To restore the settings to the factory
default, click the Default button.
Figure 3-2: The Camera Control tabbed page.
To move the Brightness slider,
you have to clear its Auto check
box first.
6. Click the Video Proc Amp tab.
The Video Proc Amp tabbed page similar
to Figure 3-3 appears.
7. On the Video Proc Amp tabbed page,
adjust the settings to your preference.
To restore the settings to the factory
default, click the Default button.
8. Click the OK button.
Figure 3-3: The Video Proc Amp tabbed page.
3-2 Using WebCam Control with the WDM driver
Optimizing
WebCam 3
The following sections show you how to achieve optimum performance with your Video Blaster
WebCam 3:
❑ Specifying the Frame Rate, Image Size, and Color Depth
❑ Improving the Image Quality
❑ Achieving the Best Frame Rate
Specifying the
Frame Rate,
Image Size, and
Color Depth
To adjust the frame rate, image size and color depth
Setting the frame rate
The frame rate on the Stream Format tabbed page of the Format Properties dialog box is the
hardware frame rate. This is the rate at which the camera streams the video frames to
WebCam Control. This frame rate affects the preview in the Video window.
If you are using Video Blaster WebCam Control
On the top panel of WebCam Control, click the Format icon.
The Format Properties dialog box appears (see Figure 3-1 on page 3-1).
It is different from the software frame rate specified in Frame rate box in the VB WebCam
Control Settings dialog box on the General tabbed page. The software frame rate affects the
frame rate used when recording a video clip.
The maximum frame rate achievable for both preview and recording is limited by the hardware
frame rate. A higher frame rate requires more intensive CPU utilization.
The default value for this frame rate is 30 frames per second.
Flipping the image
horizontally
To flip the image that you see in the Video window horizontally, select the Flip Horizontal
check box. Otherwise, clear it.
Using WebCam Control with the WDM driver 3-3
Choosing the image’s
output size
Select the desired output size for the image from the Output Size list.
For recording live video, these resolutions are ideal: 160 x 120, 176 x 144, 320 x 240, and
352 x 288. These lower resolutions will give you a higher frame rate.
For capturing still images, larger resolutions are more suitable.
WebCam can capture images of up to 640 x 480 pixels in size.
Note that large images require more disk space to store the image files or video clips.
Large images also slow down the frame rate and increase transfer times for downloading from
or uploading to web pages.
Choosing the
color depth
Select the desired color depth for the image from the Color Space/Compression list.
The options available are:
❑ RGB 24, which is 24-bit RGB (16.7 million colors)
❑ RGB 555, which is 16-bit RGB (65K colors)
❑ I420, which is Intel Raw YUV (raw input)
Table 3-1 below shows you the color depths that are available at each supported resolution.
Table 3-1: Available color depths at various resolutions.
Number of colors
Resolution
24-bit RGB
16-bit RGB
I420
640 x 480
Yes
Yes
Yes
352 x 288
Yes
Yes
Yes
320 x 240
Yes
Yes
Yes
176 x 144
Yes
Yes
Yes
160 x 120
Yes
Yes
Yes
128 x 96
Yes
Yes
Yes
You can achieve the best frame rate using the I420 mode.
3-4 Using WebCam Control with the WDM driver
Improving the quality
To improve the quality of video displayed in the Video window, move the Quality slider to the
right.
To achieve higher image quality, the compression rate will be lowered. This means that the
frame rate may be slowed down. Lower image quality will give a higher compression rate.
For capturing still images, higher image quality is preferred. For recording video clips and
videoconferencing, you may lower the image quality so as to achieve a higher frame rate.
The default value for this setting is 0.5.
Improving the
Image Quality
This section consists of the following sub-sections:
❑ Camera Control settings
❑ Image settings
To adjust the settings
If you are using Video Blaster WebCam Control
On the top panel of WebCam Control, click the Source icon.
The Source Properties dialog box appears.
Camera Control
settings
Each of the following sub-sections describes a setting that is found on the Camera Control
tabbed page of the Source Properties dialog box.
Zoom
To zoom in, move the Zoom slider to the right.
To zoom out, move the Zoom slider to the left.
Zooming is available for sizes smaller than 640x480.
Using WebCam Control with the WDM driver 3-5
The number of steps (levels) for zooming depend on the image’s output size you select on the
Stream Format dialog box (see Figure 3-1 on page 3-1):
Image size
Enlargement ratio
No. of steps
160x120
4x
2
176x144
4x
2
320x240
2x
1
352x288
2x
1
Exposure
The best image quality obtained from your WebCam depends on adequate lighting. All other
image adjustments also depend on the presence of adequate lighting.
• For information on the effect
of fluorescent lighting on the
resulting image, see “Banding
filter” on page 3-8.
• To move the Exposure slider,
you have to clear its check box
first.
WebCam’s sensitivity is similar to that of a home video camera. Although it can operate in low
light, the resulting image will not be as clear. Incandescent lighting is preferable to fluorescent
lighting. If you are attaching WebCam to a laptop computer, you will find that outdoor lighting
also works well.
Use the Exposure slider on the Camera Control tabbed page of the Source Properties dialog
box to adjust the amount of time used for exposing each video frame to the light.
Increasing the Exposure value boosts the sensitivity of the WebCam’s sensor, causing it to be
more sensitive to low levels of lighting. If the lighting in your environment is dim, increase this
value to capture a brighter, and thus more detailed image.
3-6 Using WebCam Control with the WDM driver
Pan
Move the Pan slider to pan the angle of the video to the left or to the right.
The Pan and Tilt sliders are
available only when zooming is
active.
Tilt
Image settings
The following sub-sections describe the settings found on the Video Proc Amp tabbed page of
the Source Properties dialog box.
Move the Tilt slider to tilt the angle of the video up or down.
Brightness
To adjust the amount of light emitted by the video display, move the Brightness slider.
For best results, it is strongly
recommended that you set your
monitor and display card to
display 16-bit color (65,000
colors) or higher. If your
monitor can only display in 256
colors or lower, the image will be
dithered. For information on
changing monitor settings in
Windows, please refer to
Windows online Help.
Contrast
To adjust the contrast between light and dark elements of the display, move the Contrast slider.
A high contrast image is stark, like a black-and-white tiled floor. A low contrast image is muted
and “washed-out”, as if the image is viewed through a fog.
Sharpness
If you find that the image is blurred, move the Sharpness slider to the right to sharpen the image.
Settings for Color Correction
If you are using warm lighting, move the Hue slider to the right so that the image will not be
yellowish. If you are using cool lighting, move it to the left so that the image will not be bluish.
To adjust the intensity or richness of video color, move the Saturation slider.
To adjust the intermediate color intensity of the screen, move the Gamma slider.
Using WebCam Control with the WDM driver 3-7
If you are using fluorescent lighting, move the White Balance slider so that the image will not
have a tint of green or magenta.
Banding filter
Under fluorescent lighting, the frequency of the power supply to the light may cause “banding”
in the video captured by the camera. “Banding” refers to the appearance of bands that are of a
brightness or shade different from that of the original display.
To filter out these distortions, enable the banding filter by moving the Backlight Comp slider
to the right (value 1). If you are using incandescent lighting, you can disable the banding filter
by moving the slider to the left (value 0).
Achieving the Best
Frame Rate
Here are a few tips for increasing the frame rate:
❑ Choose a smaller image size.
❑ Configure the camera to operate in I420 mode.
❑ Disable compression.
❑ Close all unnecessary applications.
❑ Before capturing video to an AVI file with Video Blaster WebCam Control, use the Windows
Disk Defragmenter application to defragment your hard disk drive.
❑ If your WebCam 3 is daisy-chained with another USB device to the USB port or if it shares
a USB hub with other devices, make sure that none of the other devices is active when you
are capturing video. The total bandwidth of the USB port on your PC is shared by all the
active USB devices, and operating WebCam 3 along with another USB device on the same
port can lower the maximum possible frame rate.
3-8 Using WebCam Control with the WDM driver
4
Using WebCam Control with the VFW driver
This chapter consists of the following sections:
❑ To configure settings for WebCam 3
❑ Improving Image Quality
To configure
settings for
WebCam 3
1. On the top panel of WebCam Control , click the Format button.
The Video Format dialog box similar to Figure 4-1 appears.
2. On the Stream Settings tabbed page
(see Figure 4-1), select 12 ; I420 from
the Pixel Depth (bits) and
Compression list.
The best frame rate for recording video
clips is achieved in the I420 mode.
3. Click the OK button.
Figure 4-1: The Stream Settings tabbed page.
Using WebCam Control with the VFW driver 4-1
To move the Brightness and
Exposure sliders, you have to
clear their corresponding Auto
check boxes first.
4. On the top panel of WebCam Control, click
the Source button.
The Video Source dialog box similar to
Figure 4-2 appears.
5. On the Video tabbed page, adjust the
settings to your preference.
To restore the settings to the factory
default, click the Set Default button.
Figure 4-2: The Video tabbed page.
4-2 Using WebCam Control with the VFW driver
6. Click the Advanced tab.
The Advanced tabbed page similar to
Figure 4-3 appears.
7. On the Advanced tabbed page, select the
compression control, banding filter feature,
and lighting options.
8. Click the OK button.
Figure 4-3: The Advanced tabbed page.
Optimizing
WebCam 3
This section describes some of the settings in greater detail and provides tips on how to get the
best image possible. It contains the following sub-sections:
❑ Changing Image Size and Color Depth
❑ Improving Image Quality
❑ Achieving the Best Frame Rate
Changing
Image Size and
Color Depth
To change the image size and color depth
If you are using Video Blaster WebCam Control
On the top panel of WebCam Control, click the Format icon.
The Video Format dialog box appears (see Figure 4-1 on page 4-1).
Using WebCam Control with the VFW driver 4-3
Choosing the size
of the image
Select the desired output size for the image from the Resolution list.
For recording live video, these resolutions are ideal: 160 x 120, 176 x 144, 320 x 240, and
352 x 288. These lower resolutions will give you a higher frame rate.
For capturing still images, larger resolutions are more suitable.
WebCam can capture images of up to 640 x 480 pixels in size.
Note that large image sizes require more disk space to store the image files or video clips.
Large image sizes also slow down the frame rate and increase transfer times for downloading
from or uploading to web pages.
Choosing the
color depth
Select the desired color depth for the image from the Pixel Depth (bits) and Compression list.
The options available are:
❑ 12 ; I420, which is Intel Raw YUV (raw input)
❑ 24 ; RGB, which is 24-bit RGB (16.7 million colors)
❑ 16 ; RGB, which is 16-bit RGB (65K colors)
Table 4-1 below shows you the color depth modes that are available at each supported
resolution.
Table 4-1: Available color depth modes at various resolutions.
Number of colors
4-4 Using WebCam Control with the VFW driver
Resolution
24-bit RGB
16-bit RGB
I420
640 x 480
Yes
Yes
Yes
352 x 288
Yes
Yes
Yes
320 x 240
Yes
Yes
Yes
176 x 144
Yes
Yes
Yes
160 x 120
Yes
Yes
Yes
128 x 96
Yes
Yes
Yes
You can achieve the best frame rate using the I420 mode.
Improving
Image Quality
This section consists of the following sub-sections:
❑ Video Control settings
❑ Advanced settings
To adjust the settings
If you are using Video Blaster WebCam Control
On the top panel of WebCam Control, click the Source icon.
The Video Source dialog box appears (see Figure 4-2 and Figure 4-3 on page 4-3).
Video Control settings
The Video tabbed page in the Video Source dialog box lets you adjust the brightness, contrast,
color and other aspects of the video display. The following sub-sections these settings.
Brightness
To adjust the amount of light emitted by the video display, move the Brightness slider.
For best results, it is strongly
recommended that you set your
monitor and display card to
display 16-bit color (65,000
colors) or higher. If your
monitor can only display in 256
colors or lower, the image will be
dithered. For information on
changing monitor settings in
Windows, please refer to
Windows online Help.
Exposure
To adjust the amount of time used for exposing each video frame to the light, move the
Exposure slider.
Increasing the Exposure value boosts the sensitivity of the WebCam’s sensor, causing it to be
more sensitive to low lighting. If the lighting in your environment is dim, increase this value to
capture a brighter, and thus more detailed image.
Using WebCam Control with the VFW driver 4-5
Contrast
To adjust the contrast between light and dark elements of the display, move the Contrast slider.
A high contrast image is stark, like a black-and-white tiled floor. A low contrast image is muted
and “washed-out”, as if the image is viewed through a fog.
Sharpness
If you find that the image is blurry, move the Sharpness slider to the right to sharpen the image.
Settings for Color Correction
To adjust the intensity or richness of video color, move the Saturation slider.
If you are using warm lighting, move the Hue slider to the right so that the image will not appear
yellowish. If you are using cool lighting, move it to the left so that the image will not appear
bluish.
If you are using fluorescent lighting, move the AWB (Auto White Balance) slider so that the
image will not have a tint of green or magenta.
To adjust the intermediate color intensity of the screen, move the Gamma slider.
Zoom
To zoom in, click the In button in the Zoom control group box.
To zoom out, click the Out button in the Zoom control group box.
Zooming is available for sizes smaller than 640x480.
4-6 Using WebCam Control with the VFW driver
The number of steps (levels) for zooming depend on the image’s output size you select on the
Stream Format dialog box (see Figure 4-1 on page 4-1):
Advanced settings
Image size
Enlargement ratio
No. of steps
160x120
4x
2
176x144
4x
2
320x240
2x
1
352x288
2x
1
The following sub-sections describe the settings found on the Advanced tabbed page of the
Video Source dialog box.
Compression control
Video Blaster WebCam offers a compression option that can improve the frame rate. However,
a higher frame rate may affect the image quality.
In the Compression control group box on the Advanced tabbed page, select either Faster
Video (higher compression rate, lower image quality) or Better Quality (lower compression
rate, higher image quality).
Banding filter
Under fluorescent lighting, the frequency of the power supply to the light may cause “banding”
in the video captured by the camera. “Banding” refers to the appearance of bands that are of a
brightness or shade different from that of the original display.
To filter out these distortions, enable the banding filter by selecting the Enable check box.
After you have selected the Enable check box, select the frequency of the power supply to your
light: 50 Hz or 60 Hz.
Using WebCam Control with the VFW driver 4-7
If you are using incandescent lighting, disable the banding filter by clearing the Enable check
box.
Scene lighting
The best image quality obtained from your Video Blaster WebCam depends on adequate
lighting. All other image adjustments depend on the presence of an adequate amount of light.
Video Blaster WebCam’s sensitivity is similar to that of a home video camera. Although it can
operate in low light, the resulting image is not clear. Incandescent lighting is preferable to
fluorescent lighting. If you are attaching Video Blaster WebCam to a laptop computer, you will
find that outdoor lighting also works well.
The Advanced tabbed page in the Video Source dialog box lets you choose low light or normal
lighting mode. Selecting the low light mode boosts the camera’s sensitivity and provides a more
detailed image, but may lower the frame rate.
Achieving the Best
Frame Rate
Here are a few tips for increasing the frame rate:
❑ Choose a smaller image size.
❑ Configure the camera to operate in I420 mode.
❑ Disable compression.
❑ Close all unnecessary applications.
❑ Before capturing video to an AVI file with WebCam Control, use the Windows Disk
Defragmenter application to defragment your hard disk drive.
❑ If your WebCam 3 is daisy-chained with another USB device to the USB port or shares a
USB hub with other devices, make sure that none of the other devices is active when you are
capturing video. The total bandwidth of the USB port on your PC is shared by all the active
USB devices, and operating WebCam 3 along with another USB device on the same port can
lower the maximum possible frame rate.
4-8 Using WebCam Control with the VFW driver
Video Blaster WebCam 3 Applications
5
The Video Blaster WebCam 3 application CD includes the following:
❑ Video Blaster WebCam Control
❑ Video Blaster WebCam Monitor
❑ Polaroid PhotoMAX
❑ Microsoft NetMeeting
❑ Microsoft Internet Explorer
Video Blaster
WebCam Control
This simple but powerful system application lets you take control of your camera with a click
of the taskbar icon. Instantly capture still images or video clips for exporting to other programs,
or send them directly to your e-mail program. You can adjust resolution and image quality and
even manage a database of still images and video clips.
Video Blaster
WebCam
Monitor
If you are thinking of putting a live snapshot of your office, coffee pot, or even your fish tank on
your web page, Video Blaster WebCam Monitor is the complete solution. Just point your
camera at the desired subject of your snapshot, pick a time interval, and WebCam Monitor does
the rest, including automatically uploading the snapshots to your Web site. It can even act as a
motion-detecting security system which automatically sends an e-mail message to notify you
whenever anybody gets near your PC and you are not around.
Video Blaster WebCam 3 Applications 5-1
Polaroid
PhotoMAX
Polaroid PhotoMAX by ArcSoft combines several digital imaging applications in a single
graphical user interface giving you all the tools needed to manipulate images in one easy-to-use
package. PhotoMAX utilizes Polaroid’s unique active image technology to move acquired and
edited images throughout applications eliminating the need to open and close multiple
applications or hunt for edited images.
The Creative Gallery features quality artwork and the capability to add images to electronic and
printed greeting cards, insert images onto backgrounds, and much more.
For more information, please refer to PhotoMAX’s online Help.
Microsoft
NetMeeting
Microsoft NetMeeting is a voice communications client that includes support for international
conferencing standards and provides true multi-user application sharing and data conferencing
capabilities.
It supports one-way or two-way videoconferencing, so your friends can see you even if they do
not have a camera. Audio-only conversations and text chats are also supported. Two or more
users can collaborate on a document, doodle on a whiteboard, or even share any Windows
application in real-time over the Internet or corporate intranet.
Microsoft
Internet Explorer
5-2 Video Blaster WebCam 3 Applications
Microsoft Internet Explorer is an Internet browser that features ActiveX technology, so web
pages can combine interactive ActiveX Controls, Java applets, and more to create interactive
content. ActiveMovie technology allows you to view multimedia content on the web, including
MPEG audio and video.
Technical Specifications
A
Construction
USB Port version: Remote camera head with a USB cable
Camera housing
Base and flip-top lens housing with manual vertical tilt of 90 degrees
Power
From USB port or powered USB hub
Note: If you are connecting the WebCam to a USB hub, make sure that it is a powered hub, that
is, it is powered by an external power source.
Sensor
OmniVision OV7610 CMOS image sensor
Resolution
(for both Video mode
and Still mode)
❑
❑
❑
❑
❑
Sensitivity
6 lux
640 x 480
352 x 288
320 x 240
176 x 144
160 x 120
Technical Specifications A-1
Video formats
❑ 24- and 16-bit RGB
❑ 4:2:0 YUV Planar
Exposure control
Automatic (optional manual control with software)
Color balance
Automatic (optional manual control with software)
Color matrix
Preset and integral to camera
Field-of-view
62 degrees (horizontal)
Depth-of-field
75 millimeters to infinity
Port compatibility
USB Port version: Universal Serial Bus port
Software
compatibility
USB Port version: TWAIN, 16-bit Video for Windows, DirectShow, and Still Image driver that
run in Windows 98.
A-2 Technical Specifications
B
Troubleshooting
Problem
Installing
Software
The setup program for Video Blaster WebCam 3 does not run automatically after you insert the installation
CD into the drive.
Cause
The AutoPlay feature in your Windows system may not be enabled.
Solution
To install the software from the CD:
1. Leave the installation CD in the CD-ROM drive.
2. Click Start -> Run.
3. In the Run dialog box, click D:\WCCTRL\SETUP.EXE
4. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the installation.
Problems Using
Video Blaster
WebCam 3
There is no USB port available to connect the USB cable.
Solution
Do one of the following:
❑ Unplug the device currently connected.
❑ Add a powered USB hub.
❑ Add a PCI USB card.
Troubleshooting B-1
An application reports that the video driver is already in use, or that the camera cannot be found.
Solution
Do the following:
❑ The camera module is not properly connected. To resolve this problem, ensure
the camera’s USB connector is inserted, and that the USB connector is
enabled in the BIOS. Refer to your PC’s documentation for information on
the BIOS.
❑ Reinstall the video capture drivers and reboot.
Picture is too bright.
Cause
The amount of light entering the camera has exceeded the exposure control limit.
There may be a very bright object in the camera’s view.
Solution
Avoid pointing the camera at very bright objects (for example, sunlight, lights, or
highly reflective surfaces).
Insufficient system resources reserved for the USB port, causing the system to be unable to function.
Cause
There are too many devices in the system, causing IRQ problems with the
system’s USB controller.
Solution
Do the following:
1. Remove some devices from the system.
2. Restart the system.
The system will automatically rearrange the resources.
B-2 Troubleshooting
Note on USB Compatibility
C
In our testing on a wide variety of PC motherboards with integrated Universal Serial Bus
(USB) ports, we have encountered a small number of motherboards with USB ports that do not
meet the USB specification exactly. Unfortunately, the Video Blaster WebCam 3 may not
operate correctly with these systems.
When you run the setup program from the Video Blaster WebCam 3 installation CD, the setup
program automatically checks your motherboard model and revision. If your motherboard is
among those that have failed our test procedure, the setup program will display a warning
message. However, due to the numerous brands of motherboards in the market, our test
procedure is not exhaustive. So, there may be some non-USB-compliant motherboards that
will not trigger the display of the warning message.
So far, for some of the non-USB-compliant motherboards that we have tested, the motherboard
manufacturers have released new versions of motherboards or BIOS to address the problem.
If the setup program warns you that your motherboard’s USB port is incompatible, or if the
camera does not work on your system and you suspect that the problem may be related to your
PC’s USB port, the following is a list of available options:
1. Contact your PC vendor.
Your PC vendor may be able to upgrade your motherboard or its BIOS to a newer version
that addresses USB incompatibilities.
Note on USB Compatibility C-1
2. Use a PCI host adapter which provides USB connectors.
If you are not able to upgrade your motherboard or its BIOS, we recommend this approach.
3. Attach the Video Blaster WebCam 3 to a powered USB hub.
Some USB devices (such as monitors) also operate as powered USB hubs; you can also buy
dedicated powered USB hubs which are to be attached to your PC’s USB port. However, in
some cases, attaching a powered USB hub to a non-USB-compliant USB motherboard
connector will not solve the problem.
To look for a USB compatible product, you can visit the product search page at the official
USB Web site: http://www.usb.org/app/db/search/products.
C-2 Note on USB Compatibility
D
Technical Support
We are committed to giving you the best product as well as the best technical support. Please
enter the following information in the table below and have it ready when you contact
Technical Support.
❑ The model and serial numbers of your card and other devices.
Please ensure to retain your
purchase receipt plus all
packaging and contents until
such time that all components of
the product are functioning to
your satisfaction. They will all be
required in the unlikely event that
your product needs to be returned
to Creative.
D-1 Technical Support
❑ Error message on the screen and how it came about.
❑ Information on the adapter card that conflicts with your card.
❑ Hardware configuration information such as the base I/O address, IRQ line,
or DMA channel used.
❑ Type and version of your operating system, e.g., DOS 6.0, Windows 3.1x,
Windows 95, Windows 98 or Windows NT.
For quick and easy reference, it is advisable that you write down the following numbers of your
card and other hardware devices, if installed in your system in the tables below..
Before contacting “Creative
European Help Line”, please
ensure that you have read
‘Troubleshooting’.
Hardware
CD-ROM Drive
Audio Card*
Video Card
Fax/Modem
MIDI Device
Others:
Model Number
Serial Number
*See label on underside of card
Hardware
CD-ROM Drive
Audio Card
Video Card
Fax/Modem
MIDI Device
Others:
Base I/O Address
IRQ
DMA
Technical Support D-2
Inside Europe
See “Creative European Help Line” section for contact numbers.
Through
CompuServe
To serve you better, we have created a Creative Labs Forum on CompuServe. Through this
forum:
❑ You will have direct access to our company representatives who will be there
to answer your questions.
❑ You will be part of an interactive community of Creative’s product users.
Here you can share experiences and ideas and also seek solutions to problems.
❑ We will also keep you up-to-date on the latest product information, software
updates, and fixes to common problems.
❑ We will also welcome your recommendations and suggestions for new
products and for improving our products in future releases.
By Fax
For fast and efficient Technical Support solutions, please use our telephone service in the first
instance. If you decide to write or fax us then please send your correspondence ONLY to our
Ireland address. Please allow up to two weeks processing and postal time for a response. See
“Creative European Help Line” section for contact numbers.
AutoFax is a facility that allows you to obtain product and technical information through
facsimile services. In Europe, use the following number: +353 1 8203667.
D-3 Technical Support
If You Have a
Problem
Please retain all contents including packaging and proof of purchase until you are fully satisfied
with product.
If you find that you have a problem with your Creative product and believe that it needs to be
repaired or replaced, you should verify the purchase date and take the appropriate action as
detailed below:
Less than 30 days
since date of
purchase
Should your store receipt indicate that the product is less than 30 days old, you have the option
of calling Technical Support for assistance or returning the full product to the dealer/reatailer
for a replacement or credit (see “Creative European Help Line” section for contact numbers).
More than 30 days
since date of
purchase
First contact European Technical Support (see “Creative European Help Line” section for
contact numbers) to establish the nature of the problem and details on our repair returns
procedure. Creative Labs requires that all returns for repair/replacement must first be issued
with an authorisation number.
Technical Support D-4
Returning a product
for repair
• Contact Technical Support to receive your authorisation number for repair/replacement
of product.
• Technical Support will communicate how to return the product in question for repair/
replacement.
• You should only return the hardware item in question and return it to the address
detailed by technical support. Please retain all software, accessories and the original
packaging.
• Please quote the authorisation number clearly on the outside of the packaging, in which
you return the hardware item in question.
• Upon receipt of the faulty item, Creative Labs will process your request and
arrange return.
Creative may replace or repair the product with new or reconditioned parts, and the faulty parts
will become the property of Creative. The warranty period for your repaired/replacement item
is 90 days from the date of shipment from Creative, or what is left on the original item’s
warranty, whichever is longer.
To avoid tariffs when shipping a product to Creative Labs from outside the E.U., you must
complete the relevant customs documentation before shipping the product (please allow 30 days).
D-5 Technical Support
Limited
Warranty
Creative Labs (Ireland) Limited (“Creative”) warrants to you, the original purchaser only, that the
hardware product will be free of defects in materials and workmanship for a period of two years
after the date of purchase, or such other period as may be expressly specified by Creative or
required by applicable law (“Warranty Period”).
Creative’s entire liability and your remedy will be, at Creative’s sole discretion, the repair or
replacement (with the same or similar model) of any hardware or accompanying item(s) not
meeting the “Limited Warranty” explained above that is returned to Creative’s authorised
distributor or dealer during the Warranty Period with a copy of your receipt.
What this warranty
does not cover
This warranty gives you specific
legal rights. You may have other
rights which vary from country to
country. Certain limitations in this
warranty are not permitted by the
jurisdiction of some countries, so
some limitations here may not
apply to you.
To the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, Creative disclaims all other warranties and
conditions, expressed or implied, including the conditions of quality, merchantability or fitness
for a particular purpose with respect to the use of this product. Creative also disclaims any
obligation to support products for all operating environments - for example, by ensuring
interoperability with future versions of software or hardware. In no event shall Creative or its
licensors be liable for any indirect, incidental, special or consequential loss or for any lost
profits, savings or data arising from or relating to the use of this product, even if Creative or its
licensors have been advised of the possibility of such loss.
Specifically, this warranty does not cover failures of the product which result from accident,
abuse, misuse, alterations (by persons other than Creative or its authorized repair agents),
moisture, corrosive environments, shipping, high voltage surges, or abnormal working
conditions. This warranty does not cover normal wear and tear. You are specifically advised to
take a backup copy of any software provided with the Creative product for security purposes.
Technical Support D-6
Creative European Help Line
CREATIVE LABS (IRELAND) LTD.,
Technical Support Department,
Ballycoolin Business Park, Blanchardstown,
Dublin 15, Ireland.
Italy
Tel
+39 02 4828 0000
Holland
Tel
+31 (0) 205040615
Austria
Tel
+43 (01) 589 244 320
Switzerland
Tel
+41 (01) 2121 868
Belgium
Tel
+32 (02) 7171 198
Portugal
Tel
0800 8 53066
Denmark
Tel
+45 3525 9498
Czech Republic
Tel
+353 1 8066964
Finland
Tel
+358 (09) 2294 3101
Poland
Freephone 00 800 353 1229
France
Tel
+33 1 39 20 04 21
Norway
Tel
+47 2305 0401
Hungary
Freephone 00 800 1222
Spain
Tel
+34 (91) 66 25 116
Sweden
Tel
+46 (08) 7519 147
Russia
Tel
+353 1 8066967
United Kingdom
Tel
+44 1189 344 744
Germany
Tel
+069-66982900
Ireland
Tel
+353 1 820 7555
BBS +353 1 820 3818
For all correspondence by fax please use the following number: +353 1 8205052
Veuillez utiliser le numéro suivant pour toute correspondance par télécopie : +353 1 8205052
Bitte senden Sie alle Faxmitteilungen an die folgende Nummer: +353 1 8205052
Inviare la corrispondenza via fax al numero: +353 1 8205052
Para correspondencia mediante fax por favor use el siguiente número: +353 1 8205052
Voor alle korrespondentie via fax gebruik het volgende nummer: +353 1 8205052
O nosso número de fax é: +353 1 8205052
Operating Hours / Heures d’ouverture / Öffnungszeiten / Ore d’ufficio / Horario de oficina / Openingstijden / Horário de abertura
EUROPE
Mon-Fri
Lun. au vend.
Mo-Fr
Lunedì-venerdì
Lunes-Viernes
Maandag-Vrijdag
Segunda a sexta-feira
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
Business Hours
Heures de bureau
Geschäftszeiten
Orario d’ufficio
Horario de oficina
Kantooruren
Horário de expediente
Sat-Sun & Public Holidays
Sam., dim. et jours fériés
Sa, So & gesetzl. Feiertage
Sabato, domenica e festivi
Sábados, domingos y festivos
Zat.-Zon. & Nationale Feestdagen
Sábado, domingo e feriados
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
Closed
Fermé
Geschlossen
Chiuso
Cerrado
Gesloten
Fechado
AutoFax & CompuServe
UK
AutoFax is a facility that allows you to obtain product and technical information through facsimile services. In Europe, use the following number:
+353 1 820 3667.
At the CompuServe prompt, Type Go Blaster and press <Enter>.
F
D
AutoFax est un des services vous permettant d’obtenir des informations relatives aux produits ainsi que des informations techniques par télécopie.
En Europe le numéro AutoFax est le suivant : +353 1 820 3667
A l'invite de CompuServe, tapez Go Blaster et appuyez sur <Entrée>.
Mit dem AutoFax-Service erhalten Sie Informationen über Produkte und technische Informationen per Fax. Rufen Sie in Europa die folgende
Faxnummer an: +353 1 820 3667
Geben Sie in der CompuServe-Befehlszeile Go Blaster ein, und drücken Sie <Eingabe>.
I
AutoFax è un sistema che consente di ottenere informazioni tecniche e commerciali sui prodotti mediante fax. Per l’Europa, il numero di fax è +353
1 820 3667.
Al prompt di CompuServe, digitare Go Blaster e premere <Invio>.
E
AutoFax es un servicio que le permite obtener información técnica sobre los productos de Creative Labs. En Europa, llame al número siguiente +353
1 8203667
Escriba Go Blaster y pulse la tecla <Intro> tras el indicativo de CompuServe.
N
Met AutoFax kunt u productinformatie en technische informatie opvragen via de fax. Gebruik hiervoor in Europa het volgende nummer: +353 1
8203667.
Bij de CompuServe prompt, Type Go Blaster en druk op <Enter>.
Internet
To receive technical support via the Internet, please e-mail: support@CREATIVE-LABS.CO.UK
Web Site
http://www.cle.creaf.com
ftp.cle.creaf.com
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