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Trying to figure out video capture cards without knowing vocabulary/terminology

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hello there. After going over articles and discussing it with a friend, I am finding it frustratingly difficult to figure out what I should be doing in terms of video capture hardware on the new system I am designing. There are three types of video capture I would be dealing with, and I don't have a firm grasp on what I need and how things are supposed to be connected in order to achieve what I'm trying to do.

The three categories of video capture includes:
1. Livestream style capturing where the subject I am trying to capture is contained on the computer in question.
2. Capturing from external analog devices via coax or RCA cables
3. Capturing from external digital devices via HDMI

I've already become aware that for categories two and three it will likely require separate capture devices, but I am having a hard time figuring out if either of those as an onboard PCI card would also be able to handle internal capture recording, taking the strain off of the CPU. In addition, I am having trouble understanding what additional hardware connections would be needed to make it work. When I first started looking into it I was under the impression that the card would handle all of the internal capture needs via the PCI bus, but some of what I have heard and read makes it sound like that may not be the case, but I am not clear on this point. When it comes to video recording hardware, I would consider myself a novice, I am trying to learn, but it seems like I keep hitting snags trying to learn what needs to be done. Any help I am able to understand would be wonderful.
post #2 of 5
Ive used a few different capture cards and the only one I feel takes the strain off the cpu is aver media's Live Gamer HD. *Now it only takes the load off the cpu when using the included RECentral software. If you pare the Live Gamer HD with something like obs, it still taxes the cpu pretty good when trying to stream games. You are going to be limited with the hdmi input and output on this card but it does include a dvi adapter. (Im sure other adapters can work). You are also limited to streaming 1080p 30fps or 720p 60fps. if using the card on a single monitor setup you will be limited to 60hz on your monitor (there is a weird way to clone displays but I have also heard that is hit or miss on how it comes out)

Im not sure how the new El Gato is with taking loads off the cpu. I have heard it can help, but to the extent I do not know.

Hope that helped somewhat.
post #3 of 5
I use this HDMI capture card (you can get it a lot cheaper off Amazon, just be sure to got the "60L" version). I does its own encoding, I don't think it puts much load on the CPU at all. I haven't tried capturing video off the computer, but I think gamers use it to record games so I guess it'll do it. I can check out later, but it's on a HTPC with no games loaded - I can see if I can capture YouTube or something. The HDMI capture works extremely well - there's an HDMI to DVI adapter is why you don't see an HDMI port on it, and I think the analog stuff would go into the S-Video port, never used that.

Scratch this - I fooled around with it some last night and it appears that it only captures from an outside input, not things running on the PC.
Edited by GnarlyCharlie - 2/26/16 at 6:42am
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post #4 of 5
Check out the AVerMedia Live Gamer Extreme (LGX)

It is an external device, and strictly uses USB 3.0 (prefers the Intel chipset powered ones), powered off tge USB interface as well, no powerbrick)

but it can

Capture upto 1080p 60fos @ 60Mbit (or 50Mbit if using Nvidia Enc Codec)
Capture off HDMI
Capture off Component
Capture off a Dedicated PS2/PS3 Component Cable provided
Capture with its own RECentral v2.0 software, OBS, and XSplit
Capture in Windowsd 7, 8, 10 and OSX IIRC
Capture two external audio inputs simultaneously with the main video/audio source + PC in sources
Capture with Streaming Layouts (Webcam input, other stream inputs)
Play in Realtime while capturing, because of the USB 3.0 interface, there is little to no lag within the preview window.
Stream with out audio delays (for the same reasons)
Stream, Save a copy while streaming or Capture and Edit Live with RECentral 2.0
Play via a HDMI bypass output port if you really need zero lag.

h.264 codec will require upto 30-40% free CPU (used w/ an overclocked i7-3770k)
Nvidia codec will require up to 10-15% free CPU (used w/ GTX680s in SLI)
Intel QuickSync was dropped from the RECentral 2.0 software but OBS can still use it (requires 15-25% free CPU)

This is what I use. And last week there was a sale for just $120 for a new one off Amazon, too bad it's now back up to $180
Edited by Bravoexo - 2/25/16 at 12:14pm
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
The problem with the avermedia box is that it for my uses it only records HDMI and onboard video, something that, from what I've read, could be done with an onboard PCI express card. I am also planning to record using older RCA inputs (composite, not component) as well as coax. The devices I would be using the older inputs for include my sega genesis, which uses stereo composite thanks to having the sega CD expansion, my SNES which uses a coax box, and the capability of recording off of my VCR for digitizing VHS tapes. I could conceivably put a coax slitter between the VCR and the TV it's hooked up to and run it between that and the capture card.
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