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Video Capture (hardware and software)

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Video Capture (hardware and software)

Unread postby icycalm » 24 Sep 2013 22:13

I've been getting close to a 300M run on Akai Katana Shin, which is decent even by Shmups.com standards, so I've been thinking that I wouldn't mind sharing a video of that, or of a bunch of other games (Goku Makaimura, Hard Corps: Uprising, etc.) in which I am getting good at. More importantly, perhaps, I'd also like to finally be able to take real screenshots of console games for use in reviews in place of the usual half dozen touched-up or outright prerendered bullshit shots that every other site is using.

The thing is I'd like a solution that does everything: both PC and consoles up to 1080p/60, and after a few hours of searching I still haven't found anything satisfactory. Software solutions such as FRAPS and Nvidia's upcoming Shadowplay reduce your framerate (and how would you connect your consoles to your PC without an HDMI input?) while hardware solutions seem to be dominated by this company called AVerMedia which everyone agrees has nonexistent customer service, and whose products seem to universally downgrade both the image quality you see on your screen, and that of the video file of the recording. Amazon has cards from a couple of other companies, but from my quick research there seem to be even more complaints about those, on top of their being generally technically inferior even on paper (i.e. can't do 1080p, etc.)

AVerMedia is coming up with the Game Capture HD II soon, which on paper sounds like an uberproduct, but given some of the things I've read about their track record, it's hard to believe it will deliver on the image and recording quality front:

http://gamerzone.avermedia.com/game_cap ... pture_hd_2

C285_5.jpg


I am really at a loss for what to do. This seems like the only PC component category that has no clear winners but just a bunch of mediocre competitors. Or else I am missing something obvious... The top card at the moment seems to be the AVerMedia C985 Live Gamer HD 1080p, which is $180 on Amazon, and though it has a lot of good reviews, it also has a lot of bad ones that read pretty depressingly: random malfunctioning, sound syncing problems, crap image and recording quality -- even some lag here and there.

http://www.amazon.com/AVerMedia-C985-Ga ... 007UXJ6LE/

81AtrARvxuL._SL1500_.jpg


I'll keep looking. Theoretically, the best solution would be a completely autonomous external device, such as the aforementioned upcoming Game Capture HD II, because it's the only option that doesn't interfere with a PC game's framerate, but whether there already is such a device that is also otherwise satisfactory, or if the GCHD2 will deliver, I don't know.
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Unread postby El Chaos » 17 Aug 2014 15:55

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digit ... d60-review

Richard Leadbetter wrote:Elgato Game Capture HD60 review
1080p60 gameplay capture for the YouTube generation.

The Elgato Game Capture HD60 is an excellent example of what was once high-end 'prosumer' technology - in this case 1080p60 HD capture - filtering down into an accessible consumer-level device. Based on specs alone, we went into this review expecting mediocre results in terms of image quality at 1080p60, but came away genuinely impressed at just how well the device acquits itself across a range of challenging material. Acquiring and compressing so much visual data is no walk in the park - Elgato has made the right trades in balancing video quality with ease of use and we suspect that it'll become the weapon of choice for YouTubers looking to get the most out of the new 60fps support that's hopefully coming soon.

Also impressive is the price-point. Bearing in mind that professional 1080p60 kit costs upwards of £1000/$1000, the Elgato's relatively minuscule £139.99/$179.99 cost is remarkable value overall, especially when you factor in the support for live-streaming and all the other software enhancements. The software does seem to be a bit of a work in progress though - the initial tools we were sent had some nasty bugs. Thankfully the most impactful of all - an audio sync issue importing files into editing tools - was resolved the day before this review went to press, but there are still some oddities - for example, some confusion on limited and full-range RGB handling on PS4.

We wouldn't be surprised to see further bugs manifest, but updates seem to be coming in thick and fast, and based on the latest software we tested, the Game Capture HD60 remains worthy of recommendation. It's a high-quality, feature-rich product that offers all the capture and streaming functionality you could ask for. Given time - principally for the YouTube 60fps support to roll out properly - we suspect the HD60 will prove just as indispensable as its predecessor.


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Specs:

  • Interface: USB 2.0
  • Input: PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Xbox 360 (unencrypted HDMI)
  • Output: HDMI (passthrough)
  • Supported resolutions: 1080p60, 1080p30, 1080i, 720p60, 720p30, 576p, 576i, 480p
  • Dimensions: 112x75x19mm
  • Weight: 106g
  • Bundled cables: USB cable, HDMI cable

Official page: https://www.elgato.com/en/game-capture-hd60
Last edited by El Chaos on 27 Aug 2014 20:26, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Somali Pirate » 23 Aug 2014 15:22

Here is a good trick for recording with Fraps that took me a while to figure out:

Capture 25-30 fps and then don't check the "Lock framerate" box. This way the game will run at the highest possible multiple of your recording framerate. For most modern games this then becomes 78 for me, or for older it easily goes above. So you will get a good video picture that doesn't take up that much space, while still being able to play the game at (or around) your usual framerate.

Also it helps to record to a different hard drive than the one your game is running from.

Another good program (especially when you're pressed for disk space) I can recommend is Open Broadcaster Software. It's free and lets you stream to sites like twitch.tv, but also allows you to save a stream directly to your drive. It can capture and encode video games with minimal performance impact, and gives you manageable filesizes that can be quickly uploaded to YouTube.

To give you a rough estimate on the size differences (haven't recorded anything in a while), Fraps gives you 1-2GB per minute, while OBS can easily get that down to less than 100MB per minute, depending on quality settings and how much action is on the screen etc.
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Unread postby icycalm » 23 Aug 2014 17:07

Qpo is testing OBS right now. Thanks for the tips. We should be able to make much longer videos now.
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Unread postby Qpo » 24 Aug 2014 18:21

Any tips on how to make the recording look better? I'm using "File Output Only" mode (i.e. recording to disk instead of streaming), but even if I use my full resolution (1920x1080) and set the quality to max (10) and try to double and quadruple the bitrate it looks bad with the lighting being messed up. The game I'm using to test is Path of Exile.
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Unread postby Somali Pirate » 25 Aug 2014 15:59

Weird. Are you using game capture? Also when you play videos in VLC it could not look right because VLC is shit by default.

Here are some settings. I just tried them and they worked pretty good. Testing with Fallout: New Vegas I had to resize to 720p to keep my frames decent while playing though.

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Unread postby recoil » 05 Mar 2017 20:04

I did a little testing with OBS to figure out why some of my streams end up looking blurry. Turns out you just need to adjust the bit rate to something in line with your upload speed. Twitch is optimized for upload speeds at 3500 kb/s, so all you need to do is check your upload speed (https://www.google.com/search?q=speed+t ... e&ie=UTF-8) and change your OBS settings for max bitrate and buffer size to Twitch standards.

stream_settings.png


The only problem with OBS is that you'll need to tweak a few settings for each game you're playing. For instance, OBS didn't want to stretch the image to fit the viewing screen for Guilty Gear Xrd. It's a bit annoying, but it's good to know if you want to save some money over the convenience of XSplit.

Shadow Tactics at 1080p and 3500 kb/s: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/126644936

Shadow Tactics at 1080p and 1000 kb/s (default OBS settings): https://www.twitch.tv/videos/126547650
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Unread postby recoil » 27 Mar 2017 01:03

If you plan on streaming on the Cult channel with a PS4, be aware that only one device can be linked to the account at a time (same thing applies to Xbone). I switched the channel to stream from The Hanged Man's PS4 at the moment. The only elegant solution I see to this problem is to stream through a capture card, otherwise you'll just have to ask to stream from a console.
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Unread postby recoil » 02 Apr 2017 01:59

From Discord: https://discord.gg/7ZKAkEj

jeffrobot494
Do we know for sure that multiple PS4s can be linked to the one account? We've had two PS4 people stream the channel?
I get an error that says "User already linked" when I try to link to InsomniaCult but linking to mine worked fine.
Anyone around want to check my stream quality? twitch.tv/jeffrobot494

recoil
Multiple PS4s cannot be linked to one account. You'll have to login, unlink the PS4, and link a new one to the account.

jeffrobot494
Ok.

icycalm
He'll have to login where, the PS4 or the web browser?
And I can't check your stream quality because you have no saved videos
You have to tell Twitch to save your videos

icycalm
I will be joining much later too, due to sleep issues

recoil
@icycalm Web browser

icycalm
Crazy
Are we 100% sure it's not possible to stream from a PS4 with a key?

recoil
It's not possible with the PS4 or Xbone app, I haven't seen the option any where in there settings.

icycalm
But you streamed from Xbone with the key
Raiden

recoil
If you have a capture card, you could bypass the app and use Xsplit or OBS to stream.
On Xbone, I gave you an activation code from the Xbone twitch app(edited)

icycalm
I remember
So you streamed with the key

recoil
It wasn't the stream key you emailed. It was a short numerical code given by the console twitch app, which you then entered through the twitch web browser app.
twtich.tv/activate

icycalm
Oh I see
And this has to be done every time a new person wants to stream, and then the old person can't stream anymore until he redoes it, right?

recoil
Exactly.

icycalm
Damn

recoil
Connecting your console to a streaming card can allow you to use the stream key though.
But that's another piece of hardware that's about 100 bucks or more.

icycalm
In the long run, I want to stream from 360 and PS3 and lots of other stuff, so I am getting a card

icycalm
Especially in PC games, it frees up hardware resources to run the actual game
So if you want to play the cutting-edgiest stuff and stream it without compromising image quality, you need a card (and a 2nd computer, even)
But for casual streamers, like most people who currently stream for Insomnia, this is too much to ask
So they can use my login details until perhaps Sony and MS update this functionality of their consoles
I would like to do some research to find the best card for me
I would prefer an external solution, but I am not sure if the quality is comparable

recoil
I was thinking of jumping in and using this card for modern stuff: https://www.amazon.com/Elgato-Game-Capt ... capture+hd
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Unread postby recoil » 19 Jun 2017 02:59

https://www.amazon.com/AVerMedia-Extrem ... 00Y3U01RU/

I ordered this recorder for consoles, it has a decent discount at the moment, so I figured I should give it a shot. Hopefully, it works well.
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Unread postby icycalm » 19 Jun 2017 03:10

I wonder why they don't also mention PC. I am sure it can be used on PC if it can be used for all those consoles, thus saving your PC's power for running the game.

I'll wait until I see your results and then get one for myself too. 1080p60 on all games will be a nice boost to the quality of the channel. Above all, I hope it can help us with low-res scanlined games. It's a shame to not be streaming this stuff, but all streams of it I have seen are horrible and make the games look bad to viewers.
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Unread postby recoil » 24 Jun 2017 18:12

The AverMedia LGX has been working well. The thing is easy to setup and OBS picked it up right away once I got the drivers installed. Check out my Hard Corps: Uprising video as a reference: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/154087871

icycalm wrote:I wonder why they don't also mention PC. I am sure it can be used on PC if it can be used for all those consoles, thus saving your PC's power for running the game.

Here's good answer to why the device will not help a single PC setup: https://www.reddit.com/r/Twitch/comment ... single_pc/

Finrir_ wrote:In order to use a capture card, you have to have something to capture, like a console or another PC. The card itself is a way to let your streaming/encoding pc see what you're trying to stream. Streaming from a single pc doesn't require anything but a decent processor. The capture card is used to CAPTURE another source onto the computer you're going to use to stream. It's not an encoder. That's what your processor is for.
Console/Gaming Pc > Capture Card > Encoding PC If you're still having trouble at this point.
*edit: when the website says "hardware encoding" it's referring to another device, not the device being used to stream/record

As an aside, here's a handy guide on bitrate and resolution quality: https://www.reddit.com/r/Twitch/comment ... d_quality/
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