Video Recording Guide Part 3 - HD Console Capture Cards

HD Capture Cards

Here you'll find a list of common HD capture cards. Look at the differences and requirements, and decide what’s best for you. All of these cards cost around $200.

The Xbox 360 is the only console that can be recorded through HDMI. The Nintendo Wii doesn't have HDMI to begin with, and the Playstation 3's HDMI signal outputs in HDCP, which basically means HD Copyright. No capture card will capture this signal, forcing you to use Component cables to record the Wii or PS3.

LOTS of hard drive space is required for these capture cards. You can download the latest Drivers and Manuals directly from the manufacturer’s website.

Black Magic Intensity Series – Intensity Pro

John Tarr, the alcoholic who runs WikiGameGuides, has used this card.
This connects primarily through an open PCI-express port inside your computer.
Click here to buy or see in store.
Click here to visit the manufacturer’s site.

How to Use

Specifications:

  • This is an internal capture card, meaning it must be installed INSIDE your computer.
  • It can record 480i to 1080i resolutions.
  • It can record Component and HDMI signals, and has inputs and outputs for both.
  • It does not require its own power outlet.
  • It does not come with extra cables.

Requirements:

  • An open PCI-express expansion slot of any size
  • An extra set of Component Cables or an extra HDMI cable

Hauppauge HD-PVR

This is probably the most known of all HD capture cards.
This connects primarily through USB 2.0
Click here to buy or see in store.
Click here to visit the manufacturer’s site.

How to Use

Specifications:

  • This is an external capture card, meaning it’s set up without having to open your computer.
  • It can record 480i to 1080i resolutions.
  • It can record Component, Composite, and S-Video signals, and has inputs and outputs for Component.
  • It requires its own power outlet.
  • It comes with an extra set of Component cables.
  • It comes with a remote and an IR blaster, both of which are useless for console recording.

Requirements:

  • An available USB 2.0 port
  • An available power outlet

Black Magic Intensity Series – Intensity Shuttle

This connects primarily through USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt.
Click here to buy or see in store.
Click here to visit the manufacturer’s site.

How to Use

Specifications:

  • This is an external capture card, meaning it’s set up without having to open your computer.
  • It can record 480i to 1080p resolutions.
  • It can record Component, Composite, S-Video, and HDMI signals, and has inputs and outputs for all
  • It does not require its own power outlet
  • It does not come with extra cables.

Requirements:

  • An open USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt port
  • A motherboard with an x58 chipset or newer for USB 3.0 (a computer made after 2008 with a USB 3.0 port directly on the motherboard should work).
  • An extra set of Component Cables or an extra HDMI cable
Bananaowns's picture

This is a great overview for those of us looking to invest in a new capture card.  I do suggest you check out this Avermedia Game Capture HD.  It's similar to the Hauppage HD-PVR, but costs about $150.  Here is a link. http://www.avermedia.com/Product/ProductDetail.aspx?Id=556

MarioDragon's picture

John will be adding that later, I only put cards I had hands-on experience with.

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