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HD Capture Devices  (Read 2415 times)

Offline OMGsus

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HD Capture Devices
« on: 01:30 PM - 06/06/08 »
Ive been gettign a lot of questions regarding HD-Capture devices. I know there are some of you out there with even more info, so chip in as well.

I personally prefer analog capture due to our good friend, the "analog hole" ;D

My fav, verynice h.264 hardware encoder. Passthrough. Cheap.
http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_hdpvr.html

Very close second, nice software features. Has an easy youtube option. Even cheaper!
http://www.blackmagic-design.com/products/videorecorder/
(buy here, not shipping yet)
http://www.avalive.com/Black-Magic-Design-Blackmagic-Design/VIDREC/49580/productDetail.php

HDMI capture, digital (beware of HDCP!). no hardware encoder. raw dumps eat HDDs for pre-breakfast snacks. Relatively cheap as well, pro unit handles OODLES of analog inputs.
http://www.blackmagic-design.com/products/intensity/

Ive seen this card in action now too thanks to miraged. It's very rare and highly sought after. Good luck finding it :P This card is the best for it's cutting-edge website design alone.
http://earthsoft.jp/PV4/tech-specification.html

« Last Edit: 02:20 PM - 06/06/08 by OMGsus »

Offline xSir Nubx

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Re: HD Capture Devices
« Reply #1 on: 01:56 PM - 06/06/08 »
Good info. I prefer the first one so you can play and record.

Offline miraged

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Re: HD Capture Devices
« Reply #2 on: 02:49 PM - 06/06/08 »
Okay here are my 2 cents.

A few months ago I started to look for new capture devices. Previously I was using a DVD Recorder and it was @#$% troublesome to record anything. In the process of finding the right capure solution I came across HD capturing which was even more impressing (considering we have consoles like PS3/360 and HD video hosting like vimeo). After a lot of research I decided to go the HD capture way.

Also as a sidenote, if you really want to capture HD you should get yourself a bit into video editing in general (and it can be pretty time consuming). Also most captures in HD will eat HDD space like crazy and 1TB can be gone very fast. So be sure your PC even has the capabilities for HD capturing. (also there are more factors like RAM/CPU (how many cores) and other stuff).

From what I got there are only a few HD capture devices for the consumer market (at least in a "normal" price range).

Almost all offer the same however if you want to buy HD capture card you have to make a decision because especially the devices from the US don't support 480p. Nothing to worry about when you want to capture XBOX/PS3 but you wont be able to capture PSP or Wii for instance.

US Devices

Blackmagic Intensity PRO $349 PCI Express



Card Overview

Imho a very good card for 720p+. I read the software from Blackmagic isnt that good but you can use other software and you have free choice of compression codecs (Cineform NEO is said to be a awesome codec with very good quality and size). The breakout cable seems to support component in and output at the same time. The card can capture lossless.

Blackmagic Video Recorder $119



Card Overview

Not too much known about it yet. It has component input but the site doesnt note what resolutions it will support. Keep a eye on it.

Hauppauge HD PVR $249 External



Device Overview

Actually this was the thing I wanted to purchase but it was delayed a few times and from what I got from the specs it simply doesnt support 480p. I once again read that the software for some previous hauppauge devices wasnt too good. This card has a hardware encoder and you can capture directly to H264 which saves you a lot of space on your HDD. However that means you have a certain degree of quality loss in contrast to cards that can capture in a lossless way. How big the difference is and if you would even notice it is a whole different story. The box supports input and output at the same time which could be a big plus for some people. I am still waiting for real tests from people.

Japanese Devices

There is a huge (well for some) barrier here since the support, the software and basically everything is in japanese. Also these cards are only produced, sold and distributed in Japan, therefor acquiring them isnt a easy task.

Earthsoft PV3/4 ~19000YEN ~$165 PCI Card



Device Overview

This is what I got now (PV4). The card also captures in a lossy codec (with its own file format) but like H264 you barely see a difference between lossless and lossy. Also the card only supports audio input over digital optical input (aka Toslink), which is a problem for Wii/PSP since you need something to convert your analog sound. Also I read you can capture 5.1 sound with some extra DLLs by some japanese guys. The next thing is that Japan has a different component input called D-Terminal which means you will need a adapter from D-Terminal to your consoles or component (I am using a video input selector).

I am using just for a short time but I am totally happy with it so far. I can see why someone wouldnt want to buy this but for me its the best way to have a card to capture from every console at the moment (well this gen). I got it from a friend in Japan which reduced shipping costs and stuff a lot for me.

Monster X 22800YEN ~$200 PCI Express



Device Overview

I dont know know too much about the card. Its pretty similiar to the PV3/4 but it has analog audio input. I read that people got similiar results like with the PV3/4 however I read about some software problems too. I am not 100% sure if this card can capture lossless or if it captures lossy.

480p devices

I know that there is also a graphics or tv card that supports component input but from what I got its hard to get hold of and some people where happy with the results but others not. This card wouldnt make much sense if you want to capture XBOX/PS3.


If you want to read more about HD capture cards I can only give you the following thread on doom9.org.
« Last Edit: 03:08 PM - 06/06/08 by miraged »

Offline Lev_Astov

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Re: HD Capture Devices
« Reply #3 on: 07:40 PM - 07/28/08 »
Hey, I've got a question for those of you who know about HD capture cards.  I think I need one, but not for capturing video, I want to display it on my computer in real time.  You see, my pc is running video out to a custom display I have made of two projectors, and there is no way to connect an HD source, like a 360 or ps3 to the display. 

I am hoping that with at least one of these devices, there is some way to connect a game console or better yet, my FiOS set top box and watch HD content on my big screen.

Does anyone know if these capture cards can do that?  Particularly, with low enough latency for playing games?

Also, I was looking into the BlackMagic Intensity, but I read some things about HDCP issues with its HDMI port.  Is that an issue that anyone can tell me more about?

Thanks!