Tulosta
login Tili
Search

HD resolution is not supported by the "ThinkVantage Virtual Camera" driver or "Camera Plus (VGA Resolution Maximum)" - ThinkCentre and ThinkPad

Symptom

Users observe that the default resolution of their web camera is VGA on systems with cameras of HD resolution.

Affected configurations

The above symptom is associated with, but not limited to, the following systems:

  • ThinkCentre
  • ThinkPad

The system is configured with:

  • Embedded Camera whose resolution is 1280x720 or higher

Applies To:

  • Microsoft Windows 7
Additional Information

The "ThinkVantage Virtual Camera" or "Camera Plus (VGA Resolution Maximum)" is a pseudo camera device to expand camera experiences with features such as Face Focusing or Desktop sharing.  It does not support HD resolution currently which limits the default camera resolution to VGA, even if the camera itself supports a higher resolution such as 1280x720.

Users have two cameras in their systems and can switch between "Integrated Camera" (High resolution) and "ThinkVantage Virtual Camera" (VGA resolution with additional features).  The latter is chosen by default in many camera applications.

The limitation of resolution for the ThinkVantage Virtual Camera” is placed there, based on considerations for trade-off between high screen resolution and high CPU load.  To support higher screen resolution basically means to increase the CPU usage.

Solution

The user can handle this issue by the following options:

  1. Switch the cameras on demand.
  2. Remove the ThinkVantage Virtual Camera manually.
  3. Remove the ThinkVantage Virtual Camera from the Communications Utility 3.0.36.0, or later, only.

If the user desires the features of the ThinkVantage Virtual Camera and would like to switch cameras when needing high resolution, they can change the two cameras in the application’s setting.  Camera applications usually have a dialog to let users choose which camera should be used.

If the user does not require additional features provided by the ThinkVantage Virtual Camera, the user can simply remove it from the system.  To remove it manually, the user should follow the steps below:

  1. Check if your Windows operating system is 32-bit or 64-bit version by doing the following:
    1-1. Click Start > Control Panel.
    1-2. In the Category view, click System and Security > System.  The operating system type is indicated in the System type: area.
  2. Open a Command Prompt window with Administrator privileges by doing the following:
    2-1. Click Start > All Programs > Accessories.
    2-2. Right-click Command Prompt and select Run as an Administrator.
    2-3. Click Yes in the pop-up window to confirm your operation.
  3. Type the following command and press Enter:
    For the 32-bit operating system:  cd %COMMPath%\drivers
    For the 64-bit operating system:  cd %COMMPath%\drivers\x64
  4. Type the following command and press Enter:  tvcinst uninstall
  5. Restart your computer to have all configurations take effect.

If the user is using the Communications Utility 3.0.36.0, or later, the user can disable it from the application by following steps:

  1. Start the ThinkVantage Communications Utility program and click the Camera settings tab.
  2. Click "Detail settings" to expand the setting dialog.
  3. Clear the check box next to “Activate Camera Plus (VGA Resolution Maximum) for enhanced camera features”.  A confirmation window opens.
  4. Click “Disable Camera Plus and restart now” or “Disable Camera Plus and restart later”.  The settings will take effect when the computer restarts.
Limitations

If the user removes or disables the ThinkVantage Virtual Camera driver, the following features will be disabled:

  • Launch Mirror button in Camera settings tab
  • Face Tracking button in Camera settings tab
  • Desktop Sharing button in Camera settings tab
  • “Automatically optimize my microphone by speaker's presence” option for “Microphone optimization” in VoIP calling settings tab

At the same time, the user cannot use the Communications Utility and other camera applications simultaneously.

Workaround

Even if the user removes or disables the ThinkVantage Virtual Camera, the user can recover it by adding the checkbox explained above.