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Author Topic: Going to start a Youtube channel - need advice on video capture on a CRT TV  (Read 2708 times)

realworksuks

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I have been using my snapchat to highlight some of the games I am playing... however, many of the people on my snapchat are women that couldn't care less.  Another problem with the snapchat is that I am always using one hand to play the games.  I am looking to step this up a bit.  I have spent most of the day researching how to get this started and I am hitting a roadblock on video capture possibilities.

Let me paint the scene.  I have a game room with 9 different consoles hooked up to a tube TV.  I use two different switchers that support 8 total consoles and then another console is hooked up straight through S video.  All are using composite video with the exception of the N64 using S video. 

What is the least hassle, least wire, way to record video footage for this set up?  The two options I have seen thus far are the DIAMOND VC 500 VIDEO RECORDER ONE TOUCH VIDEO CAPTURE and the Elgato - Game Capture HD60 - Multi.  However, the first option seems like it would require a lot of wires and many switches of the wires.  And the same can be said for the Elgato except that it would probably be worse as it only has an HDMI out.  I would have to get some kind of HDMI to composite converter.

Any thoughts or experience on this? 
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FAST6191

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Thoughts.
Yeah emulators are good stuff and it is trivial to capture that.

Anyway as that will probably not fly then sounds like you need a composite and svideo capture (assuming you don't want to upgrade your N64 as there are some nice RGB and composite options for it these days) with a pass through so it goes back into the TV, or you want a splitter (send one to your TV which you play on, another to the computer to capture and/or stream).

Just to state it really. Video capture and real time video streaming are different if you are having external sources more exotic than a webcam or single source. Start mixing sources together live and you benefit from having gear or a real affinity for software. Pointing a camera at a suitable screen can be done but it is not advised unless you know what you are doing or the game itself is not supposed to be the draw.

I really dislike the dedicated game capture market and the little devices aimed at it. I don't know why they are typically so awful and won't get out of my way but it is mostly the case and you get lumped with their awful software when you might just want to use virtualdub or something*. To that end I mostly go with either the older stuff; TV cards were a bit of a fad at various points, first for novelty and then when people were building DVRs and such, and thus I can find any number wherever I find old junk. As said cards don't do HDMI most write them off as junk and I can pick them up for "I am just glad it is not going in the landfill" prices. Being largely PCI based they have enough bandwidth to do the job.
The diamond thing seems to be the return of the awful USB capture devices (ezcap was a "popular" one for a time) -- the 30 megabytes a second of USB2.0 is hard to stream real time video over of anything you can encode in real time on cheap chips. To that end most are limited res and/or framerate, never mind how they might butcher the interlacing. Barely acceptable for stills and a simple demonstration, watched for quality is right out.
There are USB 3.0 versions available these days and while not good they do better. Check reviews is what I will say there.

There are also some that capture to SD or USB. Harder to use for streaming but can be a better cheap (but not as cheap as old PCI cards) entry for footage you upload after the fact.

Back when a few people also used old video cameras that had an input on them to capture footage for later transfer. Don't do this today unless you really have to.

*if you are watching all the kids with fancy streaming setups with a webcam, switching between screens/sources and cutting to existing footage during a streaming session then they can have some fairly fancy gear if they are doing real time games and not existing footage from them. Personally I much prefer post production and if I have to do live I can do most of that in software as long as it gets out of my way and presents me with a normal video stream, which again much of the el gato and other gamer focused junk has a hard time doing.

If your computer does not have a video out for your TV (I had svideo on my old directx9 cards but such things are rarer today) and you don't want go down the path of changing graphics cards you do still have options. You could chain a whole bunch of encoders and decoders but the latency tends to go up then hence my favouring splitters which have little to none, and who cares if your PC is lagging 3 seconds behind everything else in that scenario. Equally many of the conversion boxes try to deinterlace your stuff in real time on cheap chips which is not a recipe for quality, and if you have any kind of exotic output (PAL60) then they can come unstuck.

Speaking of HDMI for capture of that I prefer either to go for the black magic cards aimed at video production (older versions drop considerably in price, and a "just 1080p" one can be had for not a lot as we are all supposed to be filming in 4k or some such), or for the cheapo Chinese cards as they do get out of my way. The black magic things may need HDCP strippers (seldom sold as that, however many of the cheapo Chinese "splitters" and switches will, to handle that if your consoles/devices use that (many do).
Downside of the Chinese HDMI capture devices is they can be limited to 1080i
Capture of VGA if you are going there is a fairly expensive hobby -- far better to find some card which outputs DVI (it is basically HDMI without the sound) or HDMI (there are a few in AGP form factors).

Said HDMI capture can also be useful if your PC is limited and can't game and stream -- far easier to buy a cheap refurb machine and a cheapo card and stream from that than spend thousands getting a machine to do top flight games and encode high res video in real time both at the same time.

realworksuks

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Thoughts.
Yeah emulators are good stuff and it is trivial to capture that.

Anyway as that will probably not fly then sounds like you need a composite and svideo capture (assuming you don't want to upgrade your N64 as there are some nice RGB and composite options for it these days) with a pass through so it goes back into the TV, or you want a splitter (send one to your TV which you play on, another to the computer to capture and/or stream).

Just to state it really. Video capture and real time video streaming are different if you are having external sources more exotic than a webcam or single source. Start mixing sources together live and you benefit from having gear or a real affinity for software. Pointing a camera at a suitable screen can be done but it is not advised unless you know what you are doing or the game itself is not supposed to be the draw.

I really dislike the dedicated game capture market and the little devices aimed at it. I don't know why they are typically so awful and won't get out of my way but it is mostly the case and you get lumped with their awful software when you might just want to use virtualdub or something*. To that end I mostly go with either the older stuff; TV cards were a bit of a fad at various points, first for novelty and then when people were building DVRs and such, and thus I can find any number wherever I find old junk. As said cards don't do HDMI most write them off as junk and I can pick them up for "I am just glad it is not going in the landfill" prices. Being largely PCI based they have enough bandwidth to do the job.
The diamond thing seems to be the return of the awful USB capture devices (ezcap was a "popular" one for a time) -- the 30 megabytes a second of USB2.0 is hard to stream real time video over of anything you can encode in real time on cheap chips. To that end most are limited res and/or framerate, never mind how they might butcher the interlacing. Barely acceptable for stills and a simple demonstration, watched for quality is right out.
There are USB 3.0 versions available these days and while not good they do better. Check reviews is what I will say there.

There are also some that capture to SD or USB. Harder to use for streaming but can be a better cheap (but not as cheap as old PCI cards) entry for footage you upload after the fact.

Back when a few people also used old video cameras that had an input on them to capture footage for later transfer. Don't do this today unless you really have to.

*if you are watching all the kids with fancy streaming setups with a webcam, switching between screens/sources and cutting to existing footage during a streaming session then they can have some fairly fancy gear if they are doing real time games and not existing footage from them. Personally I much prefer post production and if I have to do live I can do most of that in software as long as it gets out of my way and presents me with a normal video stream, which again much of the el gato and other gamer focused junk has a hard time doing.

If your computer does not have a video out for your TV (I had svideo on my old directx9 cards but such things are rarer today) and you don't want go down the path of changing graphics cards you do still have options. You could chain a whole bunch of encoders and decoders but the latency tends to go up then hence my favouring splitters which have little to none, and who cares if your PC is lagging 3 seconds behind everything else in that scenario. Equally many of the conversion boxes try to deinterlace your stuff in real time on cheap chips which is not a recipe for quality, and if you have any kind of exotic output (PAL60) then they can come unstuck.

Speaking of HDMI for capture of that I prefer either to go for the black magic cards aimed at video production (older versions drop considerably in price, and a "just 1080p" one can be had for not a lot as we are all supposed to be filming in 4k or some such), or for the cheapo Chinese cards as they do get out of my way. The black magic things may need HDCP strippers (seldom sold as that, however many of the cheapo Chinese "splitters" and switches will, to handle that if your consoles/devices use that (many do).
Downside of the Chinese HDMI capture devices is they can be limited to 1080i
Capture of VGA if you are going there is a fairly expensive hobby -- far better to find some card which outputs DVI (it is basically HDMI without the sound) or HDMI (there are a few in AGP form factors).

Said HDMI capture can also be useful if your PC is limited and can't game and stream -- far easier to buy a cheap refurb machine and a cheapo card and stream from that than spend thousands getting a machine to do top flight games and encode high res video in real time both at the same time.
 

Thanks for your words... I've always thought that emulators wouldn't be a good thing to do but it looks like you need a PC anyway to record the videos... and jeez... it's not like I will probably have full let's play type videos anyway.  Maybe I will reconsider the emulator part.  But anyway, thanks for all of the thoughts.
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SysopGrace

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if you're fine with most things being on composite video then its not impossible... just a bit "dirty" in terms of the signal quality for what I'm about to suggest:
1 - search for and purchase a decent composite video capture device. since I've never done this and composite video isn't great anyways, I will recommend you take a look at this instead as it is cheaper than the diamond: http://amzn.to/2CU1ofm

2 - get a "splitter" for composite video, also for s-video as you have mentioned it too...

3 - one side goes off to your TV, the other to your computer.

4 - you never mentioned that you wanted LIVE streaming or to mix in your own microphone, much less another camera pointed at yourself... I work for a small production company and we honestly just run multiple cameras and microphones and then sync them up afterwards... its not the most elegant but its very cheap and easy to setup: if you wanted to do just audio commentary/microphone you just point a microphone at yourself - it will also have some of the game's audio being captured from the TV's speakers which will let you sync it up in post. the same applies if you wanted to add a webcam/camera/picture-in-picture of yourself... again, I will say that it is NOT for live streaming or the most elegant of solutions but we don't always have the best on hand...

Lenophis

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What is the least hassle, least wire, way to record video footage for this set up?
It really depends on the consoles themselves. A lot of newer ones aren't designed to look that good using composite signals. You would want to upgrade to component or HDMI if they support it, but then you need a capture card and TV that supports them. Some CRTs can do component, and I think some later models support HDMI before they were discontinued outright.

The things you definitely need are a powered splitter, such as this one, which will let you take the output from your switch and feed it to your TV and PC at the same time with no signal loss.

You already have the switch, so now you just need a capture card. This will depend on your PC itself. Do you have a crappy laptop that only has USB ports? If so, there are composite capturing devices, such as the Dazzle that can do what you want. However I would stay away from such, despite being limited on options. If you have a desktop with PCI-e slots, then I would recommend this, which I use myself for composite capture. It can capture composite, component, S-Video, and HDMI for resolutions up to 1080i, and as low as 360p.

If you're curious on quality of this card, you can check out this, this, or this. Granted they are Youtube videos, but it should give you enough of an idea of how good the quality can be. As a sidenote, I do use S-video for my composite captures, since it has higher quality than the AV yellow composite cable.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2017, 09:01:30 am by Lenophis »


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KingMike

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With Dazzle, it's too bad they didn't seem to care about fixing the driver problem with Windows losing the audio capture (Windows audio capture device configuration becoming corrupted). I've seen some workaround and unofficial fixer programs but they didn't seem to work for me.
It seemed otherwise a decent device for its relatively cheap price and that fact that individuals cared enough to try to fix that seemingly widespread problem should've said something to the devs.
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realworksuks

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It really depends on the consoles themselves. A lot of newer ones aren't designed to look that good using composite signals. You would want to upgrade to component or HDMI if they support it, but then you need a capture card and TV that supports them. Some CRTs can do component, and I think some later models support HDMI before they were discontinued outright.

The things you definitely need are a powered splitter, such as this one, which will let you take the output from your switch and feed it to your TV and PC at the same time with no signal loss.

You already have the switch, so now you just need a capture card. This will depend on your PC itself. Do you have a crappy laptop that only has USB ports? If so, there are composite capturing devices, such as the Dazzle that can do what you want. However I would stay away from such, despite being limited on options. If you have a desktop with PCI-e slots, then I would recommend this, which I use myself for composite capture. It can capture composite, component, S-Video, and HDMI for resolutions up to 1080i, and as low as 360p.

If you're curious on quality of this card, you can check out this, this, or this. Granted they are Youtube videos, but it should give you enough of an idea of how good the quality can be. As a sidenote, I do use S-video for my composite captures, since it has higher quality than the AV yellow composite cable.

Hello,

The consoles in the game room I'm talking about are systems that range in age from NES to PS2... so it's NES, SNES, Saturn, PS1, PS2, N64, Genesis, and I also have a Gamecube and Dreamcast in there as well but hardly use those.
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