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Best Capture Cards For Games Recording

Updated on June 11, 2012

Best ways for you to record your epic gaming moments

Have you ever just sat there playing a game and thought? "Damn I wish I could have shown people that". I know that I have sat down playing many different games and having this moment so I decided to buy a capture card for my console and I want to share with you all the knowledge i gained in researching for the best capture cards for the price and how to get them going.

This lens is going to give you the basic knowledge you need to choose the right way of recording your games, the setting up process and a few tips of what to do with your videos. When reading this make sure you read the whole lot because you might miss something out that could have been good for you to know.

What is a Capture Card/Device

and what does it do?

A Capture Card is an electronic device that links any other electronic device to link directly to your PC or Mac to record the video source you choose in real time. The most popular use for Capture Cards now is to record video games on consoles and that is how so many popular people make their videos on Youtube etc.

There are two main types of Capture Card and they are normally wildly different in price these two types are SD (Standard Definition) and HD (High Definition) now these are very very different in terms of the quality of the recording you will capture. All video has different quality and this is determined by the amount of pixels that each frame is made up of.

What are the differences of SD and HD?

A pixel can easily be described as a small dot of a certain colour, when you have many of these pixels you can rearrange the small coloured dots to create an image. So the more pixels you have the smaller they can be shown on screen and produce a sharper and clearer image for you eyes to see giving you every detail as detail it can be when not looking at it in real life.

As I said above the difference of them is the amount of pixels that make up each frame of the video that is recorded. The highest possible quality an sd Capture Card can record is 720x576, this means that each frame will consist of 414720 pixels spread to fill the entire screen. The highest possible quality a HD Capture Card can record is 1920x1080, this means that each frame will consist of 2073600 pixels spread to fill the entire screen.

Looking at the difference in the amount of pixels that the SD and HD Capture Cards record at you can easily tell that the HD Capture Card has a higher pixel count and will look a lot clearer as shown in the picture above. Now you know the basics of what you will be looking at now we can get on with me showing you different Capture Cards and which ones are best for the money they cost.

Standard Definition Capture Cards

EzCap 116 DC60+ - Standard Definition

The EzCap 116 DC60+ is probably the cheapest Capture Cards you can buy and is just as good as a lot of its standard definition rivals and the price is one of the most appealing things about it. there has been a lot of problems with these Capture Cards however because there are a lot of fake look a likes but the one in the description is real and is worth the money it costs. It records in colour and supports PAL 60 for those in Europe and also NTSC 433 for those in the United States. The Amazon link I have provided is quite expensive because this includes all the necessary splitters and extra cables you will need to play on your own screen at the same time as recording.

Roxio Game Capture - Standard Definition

At the higher price end of the standard definition capture card list sits this roxio game capture, it records in up to 480p but unlike most of SD capture cards this one allows you to carry on playing in high definition whilst you are recording, I think that the ability to play in HD whilst recording is its best attribute. It works with both Xbox 360 and PS3 and I would say is the best option for those people with a bit of extra cash but not enough for the HD capture cards. This is the best SD capture card on the market at the moment.

AverMedia EZMaker 7 - Standard Definition

The AverMedia EzMaker 7 is one of those capture cards that is not very popular amongst capture card users but is worth looking up as it works very similar to the EZcap, it is very simple to setup and use but a disadvantage is its price although the higher price does come from a product with a bigger brand and therefore better quality customer service and better software is provided also. This should still be one of your options when you are choosing and price wise it is in the middle of the average EZcap and Roxio price.

Avid Dazzle - Standard Definition

The same as the Aver Media device this is priced in the middle of the average range for a standard definition capture card. The Dazzle capture card is probably the most well known SD capture card as it is sold in electronic stores whereas the others normally aren't this however has a lower price when bought off of Amazon. This works exactly the same as the EZcap although unlike most of the other options Dazzle gives you the decision to choose from many of there products this normally differs in price and the more expensive ones providing better software.

High Definition Capture Cards

Hauppauge HD PVR

This is the most popular choice for most professional montage creators on Youtube and other websites used for sharing content. If I was to buy a HD capture card then this would be my second choice and I will explain why I think the Black Magic Intensity is better on that post. It uses the RGB component cables to record in up to 1080i which is really high.

Black Magic Intensity Pro Shuttle

This capture card in my opinion is the best one for the reason that you can have a hdmi output giving you less cables to handle at the same time as recording at 1080i, but the best thing about it is also a disadvantage, it connects to your computer via USB 3.0, this is a relatively new and most computers don't have it built in but the advantage is that it is much faster and reduces transfer time between your computer and console making the final viewing look so much better even if you have a slow computer.

AverMedia HD

This capture device is not very popular but still a very good choice it is just as good as the previous 2 capture cards but at a slightly lower price, and that is the main advantage to this product over the rest.

Elgato HD

This Elgato much like the AverMedia is not very well known and not a very popular choice due to its price but it also has its advantages as well as being able to record at the same quality as the rest of the HD capture cards, this would be that you can literally use plug two cables into it to make it work and these are hdmi cables so you know that you will be getting good quality picture and minimizing the amount of cabling sitting on your floor.

What do you think?

Tell what you think is better, budget Standard definition or luxury High definition capture cards?

Tell me what you thought about this new information

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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      All a bit too technical for me- but good luck.

    • profile image

      OliviaDaughter LM 

      8 years ago

      Hello I found you in the forum today. This is a good lens. If you can stop over and check out my lens. I am new but and the writing can be a challenge but I love the excitement of finishing a lens. I love the squidoo community. Take Care


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