@TheLemonGelati Same here - you should also mention that ideally it pays to run 2x HDD (or SSD, of good size and speed) as a RAID array for optimal data capture.
Quit pointing your camcorder at your TV, and take a look at some modern capture solutions.
The process of capturing video game footage has come a long way. Before there were reasonably priced options to play with, the solution was simply to mount a camcorder in front of the TV. It got the job done, but the grainy recordings and quiet tapping of buttons in the background weren't exactly desirable. The initiated could cobble together a good capture station, but the costs would still be quite high. More recently, quite a few products have popped onto the market at rather low prices. We've zoomed in on two products that get the job done for around $100.
Roxio's $100 GameCap is simplicity in a box the size of a deck of cards. The device plugs into your USB port and lets you connect a single console via component cables. The GameCap doesn't record at HD resolutions, but the easy-to-use controls and interface speak for themselves.
Getting a little fancier, the $130 Hauppauge Colossus gives you quite a bit more flexibility, but with an added dash of complexity. It can capture footage up to 1080i over HDMI and component video. As an add-in card for a desktop computer, it's also not very portable.
The Roxio GameCap is about as difficult to use as a bag of microwave popcorn. You simply plug the USB end into a computer and drop in the component video cables from your console. Installing the software is as trouble-free. Our only gripe is that you have to save the CD installation sleeve. If you lose that, you can't install future downloadable updates or the files off the original driver disk. This seems rather excessive considering that you need the hardware in the first place.
Getting the whole kit working didn't take us more than a few minutes. After flicking a few power switches and firing up the Roxio GameCap software, we had stutter-free video and audio on our computer monitor. No fiddling, no settings, nothing. It's pretty hard to get lost using the included software. The software doesn't let you go full screen if you want to use your monitor to play on, but you can maximize the window to get a larger viewable area. The GameCap box also has component video-out for use on an external monitor or HDTV.
1x component video/analog audio
1x component video/analog audio
There's a big green button in the Roxio GameCap program that says "Start Capture." You won't find any resolution settings or encoder settings to fiddle with outside of choosing whether you want a WMV, DIVX, or AVI file as the output. This makes the GameCap very easy to use but also limits you to the quality settings built into the program. Videos come out at 848x480 regardless of what resolution you set on the console, and screenshots are pulled at 720x480. Audio is captured in stereo. The GameCap software uses a high level of compression that results in small files that add a considerable amount of blocking and artifacting to the visuals. In our test video, the sky gets completely blown out using appropriate brightness settings. The screenshots are also taken with an incorrect aspect ratio, which results in a slightly stretched image.
Roxio's GameCap video editing software lets you trim videos, combine them, replace music tracks, add narration, and quite a bit more. The interface is clearly laid out, and the drag-and-drop functionality makes it intuitive. Once you're done editing, the software will render the file; how long that takes is a function of how powerful your CPU is and how complex the file is. Built-in export functions let you make stand-alone videos and post them to YouTube, Facebook, and WeGame with a few clicks. Overall video quality is nothing to write home about, and black levels are pretty bad due to compression.
The GameCap will come in handy for those folks limited to laptops. It's cheap, easy to use, highly portable, and it provides passable video quality. For better video quality, there are products like the Hauppauge HD PVR, but they also cost twice as much.
Priced at around $130, the Hauppauge Colossus costs a bit more than the Roxio GameCap, but it also does a heck of a lot more if you have a desktop that you can plug it into.
The Hauppauge Colossus requires an open 1x PCI Express slot and fits only in full-height desktop cases; slimline computers need not apply. If you have any experience at installing video cards, the Colossus won't prove any more difficult.
1x component video/analog audio
1x optical audio
Optional daughter card - 1x S-Video and 1x composite video
1x RF receiver
1x component video/analog audio
1x optical audio
Hauppauge includes connecting dongles for component video and everything to get you going using them. You're going to have to supply your own HDMI cables if you want to go down that route. Some models of the Colossus include an HDMI splitter. The Colossus supports S-Video and composite inputs, but the package does not include the functionality out of the box. You'll have to purchase a daughter card separately for $15, which isn't a terrible loss since most of us won't be capturing video from devices limited to those connections. Another benefit of the Colossus is its ability to record multichannel audio from sources over optical and HDMI inputs. The Colossus will not record over HDMI on devices that have HDCP enabled (copy protection). In practical terms, this means you won't be able to record PlayStation 3 footage over HDMI, but component video will work fine.
The Colossus comes with two software titles that you can use to record video with. WinTV v7 can be used to record games, but its primary use is to record TV shows. The ArcSoft ShowBiz software is better suited to gameplay recording because it also has a built-in video editor and automatic upload to YouTube. Both programs let you take screenshots at whatever resolution you've set the console to (1280x720, 1920x1080).
The Colossus has a slightly longer learning curve, but it also delivers high-quality recordings and screenshots, and it offers numerous input options for the effort. In addition to being able to capture over various inputs, the card works well as a personal video recording device like a Tivo, provided you have a cable box or a PC tuner card.
Video quality from the Colossus is excellent, especially considering its price. Our only gripe with the Colossus is that it's impossible to play a lag-free game using only the computer. You will need to use the video outputs to properly play and record. Component video users are covered, but certain models of the Colossus do not include an HDMI splitter, so you'll have to fork out an extra $10 depending on the model.
Even though the two products have similar prices, deciding between them isn't terribly difficult. Gamers with laptops are clearly limited to USB-style options like the Roxio GameCap. As long as you're not looking for HD capture or particularly discerning about video quality, the GameCap should serve just fine. Get the Hauppauge Colossus if you have a desktop. The capture quality is excellent, it has a low price point, and it offers great connectivity options.
MEDzZ3RO I have a Blackmagic shuttle which does a great job capturing video from PS3, Xbox and Wii; it has HDMI,Component, Composite and S-Video inputs and outputs.. You can't use HDMI output from the PS3 though.. due to DRM unless you happen to come across a decoder to bypass it somehow, but I use the component cables, and capture in 720p at 60fps. There are options for 1080p but only at 29.97fps, not to mention you'd need a beefy hard drive setup to capture a decent amount of video. It's pricey, $200.00 but does a nice job.
/facepalm , are you crapping me gamespot? A DVD recorder is just fine for SD internet videos, hell it's what the AVGN uses for his vids, if you want to go fancy, theres HD-HDD-PVRs (ABBREVIATION OVERLOAD!!!!) available for not too high a price. I know what's happend here, gamespot has taken some underhand pay to recomend this overpriced & overengineered garbage.
These may become obsolete once games start including a capture and upload feature, like Dirt3. They let you upload straight to YouTube from within the game.
These just seem too expensive for the average Joe that just likes making videos of games for YouTube. Unless you are a enthusiast in making guides or just love the attention your extremely edited videos of you "owning" in games gets you these solutions are too expensive. My 2 cents. PS Remember uploading game videos to Youtube might become copyright infringement soon! *fail*
@AMD1290 Ah, console footage. I wouldn't know about that. I do my gaming on the PC. There is a free basic version of FRAPS you can use on the PC, though.
...Or you can game on PC and use fraps (which isn't expensive at all) or the intergrated video capture deature of Msi Afterburner tweaking tool, or any other program.
@Targzissian FRAPS isn't free. it's a great software for pc gamers but you can't capture console footage with fraps alone. you need hardware to capture console footage.
I just bought the roxio on tuesday. Very funny this review comes after. Very excited to replace my faulty, hardly used Dazzle which would never save in a desirable format. Hoping I can trick my xbox into playing off hdmi but sending the signal to the roxio through a component cable as well. This method worked when i played in hd with my dazzle. I just plugged the red blue and green into my tv and the yellow into my dazzle. Can't wait for an HDMI addition.
Or there's always FRAPS. I've used it to capture some Titan Quest videos and it didn't cost me a cent.
for cheaper option, I would recommend AverTV HD DVR as well. just like all the other capturing devices, you can't use it on HDMI due to HDCP encryption but there's a way to bypass that. I'm not sure if I'm allow to talk about it though. Hauppage makes great TV tuner cards so I would expect the quality to be just as good. Roxio seems useless without HD capturing and too expensive for what it is.
IMO those price is too expensive, I prefer spend my money to support my favorite game developers. :roll:
I still would love to hear user comments. You can see some interesting ones on Amazon for the Roxio product ;)
Do not get the Roxio GameCap. It sucks. It's basically a pass thru device. Unfortunately when you pass through from the device to your TV there's great interference to the video quality on the TV: it's blurry/grainy (your HD quality basically looks like regular standard TV; Can't believe gamespot didn't write about this). The capture quality isn't good either (as described by gamespot), if you already have a camera you're better off saving money.
The roxio capture device is too expensive for 480p capture. Another product i would reccomend that is 99$ but does almost the same as the Colossus is the AverTV HD DVR which has HDMI and Component in and records up to 1080i. I have a bunch of uncharted 3 footage i recorded with it on my youtube channel. http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE965E0E2C9D4B1C8 is the link for those who want to see what kind of quality they can get.
Hauppauge! Not, Hauppage. =\ And the colossus is $135.99 on Amazon currently. I need one but have any space inside my PC... Maybe I'll go for the external setup.
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