Capture Device

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Video capture devices are used to capture a video signal and save it onto your computer's hard drive. This is the most popular recording method used by speedrunners.

This method allows for several advantages:

  • Capture devices are available for both standard definition and high definition
  • Allows for you to stream gameplay online
  • Recordings are stored on your hard drive so they are easy to manage

There are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Depending on your capture this requires a decently powerful computer
  • A large amount of hard drive space is required

Standard Definition Capture

From left to right: Composite Video (Yellow), L Audio (White), R Audio (Red), and the higher quality S-Video
Resolutions 240, 480i

Standard definition capture devices have connectors for the three RCA plugs. Yellow for composite video and red and white connectors for audio. There is another connector for S-Video. These capture devices should be what you use to capture footage from older consoles (Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Nintendo 64). You can also use these devices to capture standard definition footage from newer consoles.

High Definition Capture

Component Connectors - the Green, Blue, and Red cables on the left are used for video (Y,PB,PR) and the white and red connectors are used for audio

HDMI Connector - With HDMI a single cable is used to send both video and audio
Resolutions 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p

High definition capture devices have component connectors and/or HDMI connectors. For component connectors you have three cables for video (Green, Blue, and Red) and red and white connectors for audio. HDMI connector uses one connector for both the audio and video signal. These capture devices should be what you use when you want to capture footage from newer consoles (Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Wii U) in high definition.

Note for HDMI Capture

A/V footage sent over HDMI connectors may have content protection that will prevent you from recording it. This content protection is known as High Definition Content Protection or HDCP for short. If you plan to record footage from a Playstation 3 using an HDMI connector, HDCP will prevent you from doing so. You have a few options.

  • Use component A/V connectors instead
  • Some HDMI splitters may be able to bypass HDCP.

Currently the Playstation 3 and Playstation 4 are the only consoles on the market that uses it. The Wii U, Xbox 360, and Xbox One do not use HDCP.

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