How to Record Xbox 360 Gameplay. Guides, Videos, and Information.
How to Record Xbox 360 Gameplay to Desktop or Laptop.The Best Information and Video Guides to Help Get you Recording Today.
There are a lot of different methods and devices to record your Xbox 360 gameplay if your computer does not have a built in capture card. You can use external capture cards, USB capture devices, and even your home DVD recorder. I will be providing guides and information for some of the easiest and most affordable of these capture methods in one place. You will need to make sure your computer has all the necessary video codecs and hardware specifications to run any software or capture devices before making any purchases.
Facts Regarding Playing in High Definition and Recording your Game Play at the Same Time
There are capture devices that allow you to play in High Def and record gameplay at the same time, however they are slightly more costly. Note that you can use the standard definition (480p) capture devices on a HDTV, but keep in mind you will not be able to play in High Def and record your gaming at the same time. You will have to set your Xbox to standard definiton and this will seriously degrade your picture quality on your T.V.. The reason for this is because most affordable capture devices only have composite RCA audio/video inputs (red,yellow,white) or S video inputs. These devices only accept up to DVD quality input (480p) so if your playing in High Def the capture device cannot transfer the HD (720p or 1080i) audio and video to your computer.
I WILL BE LISTING SOME HD COMPATIBLE RECORDING DEVICES that enable you to record in standard and play in High Def simultaneously later in this article. However the prices can vary dramatically on these devices. There is only one somewhat affordable external device that allows true HD capture and that is the Hauppauge HD PVR and it is listed below. I will also be listing a few devices that enables you to record using a mac or macbook laptop. As far as I know there are no affordable external devices that record 1080p or from an HDMI cable. The Hauppauge will do HD but it will only record in 720p or 1080i.
Keep in mind that no guide will ever be 100 percent perfect for everyone. Differences in televisions and computers can make an enormous difference so if your having problems check your owners manual. If you still cannot resolve your problem then do some research online, someone else is likely to have had the same problem before.
Devices For Those with Standard Definition Televisions
If you have a standard definition television then not being able to play in High Def and record simultaneously is not an issue for you and it gives you a lot more recording options. The capture devices for standard (480p) televisions are much more affordable for the average person and very easy to set up. Choosing the right hardware and software can be confusing and intimidating to the average gamer. Hopefully by the end of this article gamers will have a better understanding of how to record xbox 360 gameplay.
Dazzle Video Creator Plus (Standard Definition)
This method of recording uses the Dazzle Video Creator Plus. For this method you will also need 3 RCA Y-adapters and a set of good composite RCA audio/video cables (red,yellow,white). This capture device comes with Pinnacle Studio video editing software which features one click uploading to YouTube. This device is a good all in one package for recording and editing.
There is one thing you need to be aware of before purchasing a Dazzle to record your gameplay; it may or may not work with your operating system.To check if the Dazzle you are going to purchase will work with your system simply check the Dazzle device driver download page by clicking the link below. (Right click and open in new tab or window.) The Device Driver Download Page for Pinnacle Dazzle Capture Cards.
Home DVD Recorder (Standard Definition)
This method of recording is recommended to anyone who already owns a home DVD recorder. If you already have a DVD recorder then you have nothing to buy to begin recording your gameplay. The benefit of this is the fact your storage is on DVD discs and you do not have to worry about the large file sizes associated with recording on your computer. The downfall is that a DVD recorder will not make separate files like an external capture device. This means browsing through hours of footage to find what you need which can be extremely time consuming.
If you do choose to use the DVD Recorder method keep in mind you will have to convert DVD video files to YouTube friendly video formats such as AVI, MPEG-2 or MPEG-4. This is a very very slow process and does take some computer and software knowledge.This is not a recommended method of recording if you are not willing to spend some time learning new software or if you are computer illiterate. There is a lot of free software out there to help you either edit DVD videos or convert the DVD files to another format.
USB Capture Device
Easycap Vista, Windows 7, 64 Bit Driver Info
EasyCap 2.0 or Roxio Video Capture USB. (Standard Definition)
EasyCap 2.0 and Roxio USB Capture Device
If you have Windows XP then using an EasyCap 2.0 is a cheap way for you to record your gameplay. Its one of the most affordable capture devices. It is made in the U.K. so the software is set to record in PAL as standard. If you live in a PAL region be sure to buy the EasyCap 2.0 DC60+ as it is the only one that records in PAL 60. The standard EasyCap 2.0 will not work for you it will be in black and white.
If you live in the U.S. you can go with the standard version of EasyCap 2.0 because you will be recording in NTSC. You can easily change to NTSC in the settings with one click. Even though a website may say that the EasyCap works for Vista be aware that it does not do so out of the box.
Warning Concerning the EasyCap usage with Vista, Windows 7, and 64 bit PC's
To get an Easycap to work with Windows Vista, 64 bit computers, or with Windows 7 you may have to hunt down additional drivers on the web. Even if you find a driver from a 3rd party source does not always mean it will work for your operating system. ALWAYS be sure to check to make sure any device you are going to purchase has drivers available to work with your operating system. To the right is a video on Youtube detailing how to get an Easycap to work with Vista, 64 bit, and Windows 7 computers.
One of My Videos Made Using USB Capture
Roxio Video Capture USB (Standard Definition)
This is a fairly new capture device from Roxio and it is compatible with most operating systems out of the box. This device costs around the same price range as the Dazzle capture devices but is in a lot smaller package. You can easily hook the Roxio USB Capture up using the same method as shown in the above YouTube video for EasyCap. Buy Roxio Video Capture USB here.(right click and open in new tab or window)
I persoanlly have used this device and highly recommend it for anyone with a standard definition television setup. The device is tiny compared to a Dazzle and you can usually get a Roxio USB Capture for around 20 to 30 dollars cheaper than a Dazzle itself. It does come with editing software as well so it's a pretty affordable package to get started with.
Devices For Those with High Definition Televisions
There are a lot of Devices on the market now that allow you to play and record in HD at the same time. The prices on these devices vary but typically run in the $100.00 to $200.000 range. Keep in mind that MOST of these devices DO NOT RECORD HD BUT ALLOW YOU TO PLAY IN HD AND RECORD IN STANDARD DEFINITION. These devices however are much more affordable than buying an internal capture card and a grapics card to run it.
I have not seen an affordable External Device that accepts HDMI inputs. Even the HD PVR is limited to component and composite inputs. This means YOU WILL NEED XBOX COMPONENT CABLES so you can run them to your device of choice. I have listed an affordable pair of Xbox 360 component cables for those devices that will need them.
Blitzbox (A Customer Support Nightmare) DO NOT PURCHASE A BLITZBOX!
I used to host a link to Blitzbox on this page, however, after having a huge personal issue with them I decided to use this section to warn potential purchasers of their capture devices. Their customer support will answer you but not do any of the things they say they will. Their capture device also has horrible quality which can be verified with any video capture test you can find on Youtube. If you feel that my sentiments about Blitzcast and the Blitzbox devices are not enough to deter you then please read in the comments below about another users experience and do some reasearch on the web about them.
I ordeded a Blitzbox AirDuo ($157.00) for the wireless streaming ability of it for recording things I was not concerned with being in HD. I changed my mind however for a number of reasons. I received an email saying my money would be refunded after my e check cleared. My e check cleared 2 days later and they shipped the item immediately. I never received the item because one of the reasons I cancelled it is I ordered it to a P.O. box I no longer paid for. I have sent numerous emails to their customer support and have not received a refund to date. They have not responded to my latest emails even though I have forwarded all my correspondence showing my requests and their confirmation that it would be cancelled.
Setting up Hava HD Wireless
Hava HD Device (Record in Standard and Play in HD)
The Hava is also a newer device that allows you to play in High Def and record your Xbox 360 gameplay at the same time in standard definition. It is quite expensive for a standard def recording device but it is a small price to pay for someone who has paid a few thousand dollars for a HD-TV and wants the full benefit of it while recording their game play. It also will has many more uses than system than a game specific capture device.
There are a few versions of Hava on the market and a lot of guides available on setting them up. Hava's are becoiming quite popular for recording gameplay even with their cost. The Hava Platinum is slightly more affordable than the wireless versions of Hava. I have found a very good text guide for using the Platinum version of Hava to record your 360 gameplay. You can view the detailed text setup guide (right click and open in new tab or window) here.
Hauppauge HD PVR Setup
My Video Using the HD PVR
Hauppauge HD PVR, (Record and Play in High Definition)
This is the device I personally now use for my Youtube recordings and for publishing videos to Machinima Respawn. Here is a video showing how to setup a Hauppauge HD PVR to record your Xbox 360 or PS3 gameplay. This device captures FULL 720p or 1080i HD video in a variety of formats and is worth the money for anyone interested in capturing their gaming in extremely high quality.
There is one downfall to the HD PVR and that is the fact that it does not have an HDMI input port. An HDMI port is necessary to get a quality HD signal with a 1080p HD TV because component cables are really designed for 1080i or 720p signals. This means you will have to purchase component Xbox 360 cables to run to the Hauppauge HD PVR to plug into the devices component input port. A new HD PVR in box comes with a set of component cables to run back to your HD TV from the output so there is no need to purchase another set.
The Hauppauge HD PVR will accept a 1080p signal through the component cables however it only records in 1080i which is basically an upconverted 720p signal. For this reason it is much better to set your Xbox 360 to 720p and record in 720p as well.The truth is there is very little difference between 720p and 1080p on a television that is under 50 inches. There have been a lot of studies done on HD TV picture quality to verfiy this fact.
Hauppauge HD PVR System Requirements
- You need AT LEAST a dual core PC with AT LEAST 1 gig of RAM...
- You need AT LEAST a 256 meg Video Card...
- You NEED HD video editing software that will recognize the M2TS files produced by the Hauppauge. (Sony Vegas Pro 8.0c, Pinnacle Studio, and Corel Video Studio work)
Devices For Those with a Mac or Mac Book Computer.
There has been a limited amount of external devices that allow you to record gameplay on a Mac however as the popularity of Mac's continue to increase more devices are becoming available. I will list these devices as I can as they do become available.
Slingbox Media Pro HD Setup
Slingbox Media Pro HD. (Record Mac in Standard and Play in HD)
A lot of people have been looking for a way to play their Xbox 360 in HD and still be able to record gameplay on their Macbook. There used to be no other way to do this than spend thousands of dollars of equipment. Most equipment on the market was and is only compatible with windows computers and devices. Now there is one device on the market that enables Mac users to get in on making game videos affordably and its called the Slingbox HD Pro.
This video tutorial will show users how to record their Xbox 360 gameplay on their Macbook Pro using the Slingbox HD Pro without losing their HD gameplay quality.
Video Capture for Mac Setup
Video Capture for Mac USB (Standard Definition)
This is a newer device for those with a Mac that has a USB 2.0 port. This is one of the more affordable devices that will work for a Mac but it only works for standard definition recording. Only purchase this device if you have a standard def t.v. and a Mac with a USB 2.0 Port.
This device is the same thing as a Dazzle capture card for Windows computers. They are fairly relaiable and offer decent quality standard definition video as well. They typically come with a software editing program from Pinnacle Studios. The sotware is fairly simple to use but limited in its capabilites versus a program such as Sony Vegas 9.0.
You can view the knowledge base for the Video Capture for Mac USB here.
Minimum System Requirements:
- A Macintosh computer with a Power PC G4 (500MHz or faster)
- G5 or Intel Core processor 256MB of RAM
- 512MB recommended Internet connection for registration
Roxio USB Capture for Mac (Standard Definition)
When it comes to affordability and quality for capturing standard defintion gameplay on a mac this is the device many may want to consider. I have personally owned a Roxio USB for Windows and used it for well over a year with no issues. Its an extremely small capture device yet does not lack in power or capability. This device is what built my Youtube channel to over 3,000 subscribers so its definitely a good device to start your gameplay recording with.
You can view the text guide for setting up a Roxio USB Capture for Mac here.(right click and open in new tab or window)
You can purchase the Roxio USB Capture for Mac here.(right click and open in new tab or window)