HD Video Game Capturing (Xbox 360, PS3)
This page is not as complete as I would like it to be. I have been working on it over time though. But you can get the most information by getting in contact with me or if you need some work done rather than putting out for the money.
If you have any questions or problems, post a new topic or reply to a topic (or pinned topic) in my forums: Video Game HD Capturing and Streaming
I use an Intensity Pro to capture my HD video. Currently I do this only from Xbox 360 but you can pretty much capture it from any other source as well. I have used it for the PlayStation 3 too (PS3) too.
The difference between the Intensity and Intensity Pro is that the Pro allows you to capture via component for $100 more whereas the Intensity only captures from HDMI. Blackmagic-Design no longer makes/sells the Intensity, only the Pro and has since gone down in price since I bought it for $349, now only $199. So if you are currently using HDMI, you’re good. But if you plan on going with component and playing on your TV as well. If you are using component cables, I highly recommend using a Amplifier to split your component cables up rather than either 1) only having one cable connection or 2) feeding through the Intensity Pro. I own a few of these and they are the best: CE LABS AV 400COMP Amplifier.
To capture I use 2 applications as of this moment until I find alternative better applications that I find much better. Those are iuVCR and ChrisTV Professional. I use iuVCR to capture video and ChrisTV Professional to capture screenshots. I really wish iuVCR’s “snapshot” feature wasn’t broken as to why I have to use ChrisTV to capture screenshots. I have tried other applications to do such a feature or even replace both but none that I liked or that had a good screenshot feature. So for now, I switch apps when necessary.
The above is crossed out as since I have done upgrades to my system, including Windows 7 64-bit, I now use different, better software. I will always love iuVCR and only at times prefer it over virtualdub, but I now use virtualdub for my capture software over it. It is really the best capture software out there to use. Trust me on this, you can look for hours and try different applications with the Intensity Pro and I bet in the end, you will come to the same conclusion. Sure, you can try software like Premiere or Vegas Pro to capture, but you will run into problems among other things that like captures just not being as great as they could of been.
Instead of ChrisTV to take still pictures, I just capture video and extract the picture from the video file using Vegas Pro which does wonders and so easy. Plus it will save you money too if you were deciding to go with it or not.
Now since these files sizes are going to insanely large if you use uncompressed video such as myself. You are going to need a video editing application to go with that. Now I really just use Sorenson Squeeze (which is a video compressor, not editor) but when I need to edit video or delete scenes and what not, I use Sony Vegas 8 Pro for that. I encode everything into mp4 files using MainConcept AVC/AAC. You can see all my encoding settings under the guides section above.
You are welcome to use compressed video with whatever codec of your choosing but a lot of them are not quite good for HD or you are going to need a system that can handle on the fly.
Are there alternatives?
Yes but you may not like them or be willing to find the ways to acquire them. Will write them here soon.
There is also a new device by Hauppauge called the HD PVR. I am not looked much into this but do remember awhile back people talking about it as it was not released yet and just recently was. Check it out yourself, I will check into it and write back about it here later.
What to stay away from?
The HAVA Platinum HD. Though this is a good device if you want to record your basic TV or watch TV over the internet from your house on the road. Then go for it. But since this article is on capturing HD content, stay away from as it can NOT capture HD. It only captures at 480i. It will however allow you to watch TV/play games to your console as you capture in 480i though. The quality is not so great though. If I were to be forced to use this and capture 480i, I would definitely get an amplifier and just have the 2nd signal coming out of the amplifier go to the HAVA. The software it comes with it pretty good. Does what it needs to do, simple, clean. Now when I said the pass through quality is not so great, it’s just a little noticeable in quality (colors) and I didn’t want to have to put up with that for a $120 device.