Those of you who have purchased an HP Pavilion / TouchSmart computer, in the last couple years, must be familiar with the Cyberlink YouCam (version 2) software that is installed by default in those models. YouCam is, in my opinion, a darn good webcam tool. However it’s not free and ever since version 3 of YouCam was released, all v2 users have been getting nag screens to upgrade.
This is definitely not what you’d call a pleasant user experience, and therefore HP has proceeded to fix the issue. By partnering with Cyberlink, HP has released MediaSmart Webcam, which closely resembles YouCam but is completely free to use on HP laptops, desktops, and touch screen PCs. To get MediaSmart, you can wait for HP Update (which should be installed on your computer unless you manually removed it) to deliver it to you. Or, you can Google your computer model, proceed to the HP page for the model, select your OS (you should preferably be running Vista or 7), and choose MediaSmart Webcam from the list of downloads available. Here’s the required page for my laptop model running 32-bit Windows 7 – dv5-1006ax.
Running the downloaded file will automatically remove YouCam and install MediaSmart on your laptop, which can then be accessed from the Start menu.
MediaSmart will run only on HP hardware, though owners of other models can try and get gobsmacked in the face.
P.S. If you’re planning to purchase an HP Pavilion laptop in near future, here’s my advice – DON’T.