*Review best according to redakciey. About the selection criteria. This material is subjective in nature, is not an advertisement, and does not serve as a guide to purchase. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.
This type of computer components, such as video capture boards, cannot be called mainstream, and the market does not have such a wide range of models when compared with the same motherboards or video cards. However, for some important tasks, such a device turns out to be a highly effective solution, and in some cases the only possible one. The editorial Board of the magazine offers you an extended review of the best video capture boards in the first half of 2021, according to our experts.
What is a video capture card?
First, let’s define the terminology and briefly Orient the reader in the topic. Perhaps the video capture card will be a simple, effective, and inexpensive solution to current problems that you might not even know about.
So, the video capture card according to the original design is an electronic device designed to convert an analog signal into a digital video stream. The device can be internal – connected directly to the motherboard via PCI or PCI-E interfaces, or external-connected most often via USB. Gradually, with the development of technology and the total translation of everything that can only be “digital”, manufacturers began to abandon analog interfaces in favor of exclusively digital ones. Therefore, even the concept of “capture” in relation to a digital stream has remained only a formality, and means nothing more than just recording.
Actually, the video capture function may well be performed by the video card in the computer, or even by the Central processor itself with an integrated video module. However, this way you can only solve a limited range of tasks, and certainly not record terrestrial or satellite TV shows. If we are talking about game streaming, especially in high resolution, or a centralized video surveillance system with video recording of the stream from several cameras, you can’t do without a separate device at all.
The video capture card allows you to capture a video stream without going through the video card and even in some cases the computer itself. Such a device can not only radically unload the system and prevent unpleasant, and often fatal lags, but also solve the fundamental possibility of performing tasks that even the most powerful video card cannot do.
Video capture cards are often also called video capture cards – they are synonymous and mean the same thing. In addition, it is useful to know that stand-alone TV tuners are also essentially nothing more than video capture boards, only with a more pronounced specialization.
How to choose a video capture card
Now let’s briefly analyze the main characteristics that will help you decide on a specific choice when buying a video capture card.
Internal or external
Contrary to popular opinion, they say that the external one is definitely better than the internal one, this point is far from so obvious. In fact, there are pros and cons to both form factors.
An obvious advantage of an external video capture card is portability. You can disable it at any time and move it to another computer. On the other hand, internal cards have significantly fewer “intermediaries” that affect the speed of data processing, and due to direct connection to the motherboard, they provide by definition the fastest possible data exchange. On the other hand, if the internal card freezes, you will have to restart the computer completely, whereas in the case of an external card, it will be enough to turn it off and on.
The General recommendations of specialists in this regard are as follows. If you plan to configure a stationary workstation for high-resolution streaming, or a centralized video surveillance system that will specialize only in this, it is preferable to choose an internal video capture card. If the computer is often used for other purposes, for which the presence of additional and temporarily unnecessary hardware in the system is meaningless or even undesirable, it is optimal to choose something decent from external video capture boards.
It is strongly recommended that if you buy an external card, then choose models with an interface not lower than USB 3.0. This will minimize the difference in data processing and transfer speeds.
Quality and speed of your existing Internet connection
How fast and stable your Internet connection is can directly affect the choice of video capture card. So, on a connection with insufficient bandwidth, you won’t be able to stream in ultra-high resolution. Another thing is that the Board can also be purchased “for growth”, assuming the prospect of improving the quality of communication. But if such an upgrade is not expected, there is no point in buying a new Board.
The same applies to maps that support multiple sources. For a video recording system, such an acquisition is a necessity, but for a streaming station, it is a pointless waste of money.
As for the connection speed in terms of streaming, 3 Mbit/s will be enough for SD quality 480p (if the channel is still not loaded with something else), with 720p, all other things being equal, a channel of 5 Mbit/s will be managed, for FullHD 1080p you will need at least 8 Mbit/s, and for 4K – at least 25 Mbit/s.
These speed figures are negligible for large cities of the Russian Federation, since in 2021 Internet service providers provide access to the Internet at much higher speeds. But in regions, and even more so in special conditions, where only mobile Internet is available without 4G, these indicators should be kept in mind. The speed must be compared with the capabilities of the video card. Expensive models that can capture a 4K stream at 60 frames per second do not make sense to buy if the connection speed of such data transfer simply does not physically pull.
And one more thing that can determine whether you need a video capture card at all, and if so, which one.
Owners of video game consoles who plan to stream, especially in high quality, will need a video capture card with almost no alternative. The power of consoles is most often optimized for games without a sufficient margin for other tasks. When choosing a Board for the console, you should compare the capabilities of one and the other. So, for simplified slim versions of consoles, it makes no sense to buy expensive video capture boards, since the console itself simply cannot give the quality that the Board is capable of recording. While more advanced modifications, the same PS4 Pro or Xbox One X, are already capable of much more.
Gamers with gaming desktop PCs already have a choice – with a sufficiently powerful processor and video card, combined with moderate requests for the quality of the stream’s “picture”, a separate video capture card may not be necessary. It is easy to check this ability of the game station – just run the game and specialized streaming SOFTWARE, and analyze the load on the system (video card, processor, RAM).
Rating of the best video capture boards
|Best internal video capture boards for streaming||1||Hauppauge Colossus 2||9 600 ₽|
|2||AVerMedia Live Gamer HD Lite||6 490 ₽|
|3||AVerMedia Live Gamer HD 2||12 420 ₽|
|4||AVerMedia Technologies Live Gamer 4K GC573||19 173 ₽|
|5||Elgato Game Capture HD60 PRO||16 899 ₽|
|6||Elgato Game Capture 4K60 PRO||24 290 ₽|
|Best external video capture boards for streaming||1||AVerMedia Live Gamer Extreme 2||13 400 ₽|
|2||AVerMedia Technologies Live Gamer Portable 2 PLUS||12 431 ₽|
|3||Elgato Game Capture HD60 S||13 990 ₽|
|4||AVerMedia Technologies Game Capture HD II||11 156 ₽|
|5||Razer Ripsaw||11 490 ₽|
Best internal video capture boards for streaming
In the first selection of the review, we will consider the best, according to our experts, video capture boards that are connected directly to the expansion slot of the PC motherboard. These are optimal solutions for the long term – all other things being equal, compared to external ones, they provide faster data transfer, do not depend on the bandwidth of the USB port, and are not limited in functionality.
Hauppauge Colossus 2
Hauppauge Digital, a prominent American manufacturer of television equipment and related electronics, announced the release of the Colossus 2 video capture card back in 2011. The model has proven itself well and there is still a demand for it. True, it should be borne in mind that the Board is not sold everywhere, but this applies to almost all products of this group due to their narrow specialization.
The device connects to a PCI Express slot. Bar extensions are removed interfaces: HDMI input, HDMI output, digital interface SP/DIF to transfer audio via the optical cable, the microphone input, infrared interface I / o (Blaster emitter and receiver), component video input.
The Colossus 2 card is capable of capturing and recording video up to FullHD 1080p with a frame rate of up to 30 frames per second. A working hardware H. 264 video codec provides an optimal ratio of stream compression and image quality. The bitrate can be set in the range from 1 to 20Mb / s.
A notable advantage of this model is its versatility. Due to the presence of the specified set of interfaces and functionality, Colossus 2 can be effectively used to record an unencrypted video stream via the HDMI port, create high-quality HD recordings for playback on Xbox and PlayStation consoles, record TV programs from a satellite dish or any other source (cable TV, set-top box of terrestrial digital TV), record gameplay from Xbox and PlayStation consoles.
Additional features of Colossus 2 are no less interesting than the main ones. So, the gameplay from consoles can be recorded by running a video stream through the component connection, and audio-through the optical interface. Using the video capture card, you can record high-quality optical DVDs directly on the fly in AVCHD format, which is compatible with Blu-Ray players. You can record up to 2 hours of HD video in one session. Of course, the DVD format is hopelessly outdated, but even in 2021, there are a lot of users who are in no hurry to abandon it.
To record discs and fill gameplay videos on YouTube, use the same software – Arcsoft ShowBiz, which is included in the package of Colossus 2. to record TV programs from cable or satellite, we recommend proprietary WinTV Hauppauge v7 SOFTWARE. There is even a complete StreamEez software package for streaming on Twitch, YouTube and other platforms. Its usability raises questions in comparison with other products, but this SOFTWARE is fully functional and free.
- capture and record video in FullHD;
- a lot of interfaces;
- burn on-the-fly DVDs compatible with Blu-Ray;
- record TV programs from satellite channels;
- the best option for older PCs with Windows 7 and below.
- obsolete model;
- not the most perfect proprietary SOFTWARE.
AVerMedia Live Gamer HD Lite
The review will continue with the original opposite of the previous model – a much less functional, but also much more affordable video capture card from the AverMedia brand, well known for its TV tuners and related types of electronics. In fact, this is a simplified and maximally cheap version of the main model without the Lite prefix, the second generation of which we will consider in the next paragraph.
The phrase Live Gamer in the title clearly hints at the main purpose of the device. Indeed, this is a simple, extremely easy-to-learn and easy-to-use device for recording gameplay with interesting and useful additional features.
The number of interfaces in this model is minimized: two HDMI ports (input and output), two standard jacks (mini-Jack 3.5 mm) for audio. The Board itself connects to the PCI-Express slot of the motherboard and occupies one seat on the back of the PC.
Like the previous model, this card is capable of efficiently recording video in various resolution options-from 640×480 up to FullHD 1920 × 1080. The principle of application is the same – the video card is connected to the HDMI input of the video capture card, and that, in turn, feeds the image to the monitor via the HDMI output. The system recognizes the device as a “monitor” with the name AVerMedia HD. Audio is connected in the same way. Also, no one forbids recording not gameplay, but just a video stream from any receiver, using only an HDMI cable.
Special mention and praise should be given to the proprietary software for setting up and managing AverMedia Live Gamer HD Lite modes. First, the software interface is exceptionally well translated into Russian. Secondly, the interface itself is intuitive, logical and clear, and visually perfectly presented. Mode management provides a simplified approach for beginners and more detailed settings for advanced users.
The complete set of this Lite model is extremely ascetic – the Board itself, a short HDMI cable and documentation. But such a “living wage” is another factor of affordable prices. In the more expensive older configuration, which we will discuss later, the complete set is more interesting.
- simplicity and functionality;
- maximum accessibility in development, management, and configuration;
- reliable and trouble-free operation;
- records as FullHD;
- fully Russified software interface;
- affordable price.
- discontinued, limited quantity available.
AVerMedia Live Gamer HD 2
Following the previous model, we will consider its extended, if not full-fledged version. This is the second generation of AVerMedia Live Gamer HD video capture card. It was released relatively recently – in 2017. It is also not sold everywhere, but it is much easier to find it on online trading platforms than the same Hauppauge Colossus 2.
Externally, the card is almost one-in-one similar to the previous one, but here the manufacturer does not save on “premium accessories”, so the Board is equipped with a protective metal casing with designer perforations and illuminated AVerMedia branded paraphernalia. In an open case, the PC looks very impressive.
The external similarity with the previous model is also evident in the interfaces. Here we see exactly the same set on the extension bar of end-to-end HDMI (two interfaces-input and output) and the same end-to-end audio interface — two 3.5 mm mini-Jack jacks. It would seem that the difference between these models is small, but in fact it is very significant, and consists in functionality and capabilities. And this model is much more expensive.
The main advantage of this card is the ability to efficiently capture and record an uncompressed video stream in high-quality FullHD 1920 × 1080 with a comfortable frame rate of 60fps. And exactly the same is its important drawback – the device is not designed above the “ceiling” of FullHD, and at a very impressive price, 4K content will not be obtained with its help. However, at the time of the model’s release, affordable capture cards simply did not exist, so this circumstance cannot even be attributed to direct disadvantages of this model.
The software that AVerMedia provides for working with this map is significantly different from the simplified version DESCRIBED above. The interface is quite clear and logical, convenient and unobtrusive, but without distinct curtsies in the direction of beginners-everything is functional. The main program is RECentral 3. It captures the gameplay and provides a high-quality” picture ” of the stream to a variety of platforms-YouTube, Facebook, Twitch and others. A useful addition to RECentral 3 is the Stream Engine plugin, which effectively optimizes the use of system resources when running important streamer SOFTWARE like XSplit or OBS.
Against the background of the overall positive impression of proprietary software, it is impossible not to mention the disadvantage. Native SOFTWARE has some strange limitations in the choice of codecs and containers. Alternative SOFTWARE that is compatible with this video capture card does not have such problems.
- efficient and reliable uncompressed video recording with no delays;
- you can combine audio streams and system sounds;
- FullHD recording at 60 CAD / sec;
- high-quality hardware compression;
- appearance, illumination.
- limitations of native software.
AVerMedia Technologies Live Gamer 4K GC573
Finally, the third and most powerful model in the selection of the best internal video capture boards produced by AverMedia Technologies. This is a Live Gamer 4K GC573, and, as the name implies, the card is capable of recording a video stream in 4K resolution. And this is not the only bright and expressive quality of this very expensive flagship model.
The card is connected to the PCI-E connector of the motherboard. Its dimensions are not too different from the previous two, that is, very compact, even taking into account the protective casing. Therefore, it can easily fit even in a small miniITX case. The appearance is almost the same as that of the Live Gamer HD 2-designer casing, backlight. Moreover, there are already several RGB-backlit zones that can be configured separately.
The rear panel displays interfaces – two HDMI2.0 sockets.end-to-End connection allows you to maintain the original quality of the broadcast video stream without delays.
As mentioned at the beginning, the device is capable of capturing and recording video in ultra-high 4K resolution, and even with a comfortable frequency of 60 frames per second. There’s even built-in HDR support. As for The FullHD resolution, here the Board is capable of an incredible frame rate of 240fps. The H. 264 or H. 265 + AAC codecs are used for video compression while maintaining the highest possible quality. End-to-end transmission of 5.1 and 7.1 multi-channel audio is supported. recording of HDCP protected signals is not supported.
The very impressive hardware characteristics of the Live Gamer 4K GC573 are perfectly combined with proprietary software. The main tool for work is the 4th version of The recentral multifunctional software package. In the program environment, you can capture and record a stream, view the result, conduct online broadcasts, change various settings, and switch modes.
The functionality of Recentral 4 is a separate big topic, and after buying a video capture card, it is recommended to study the program’s features in detail so as not to miss anything important and useful. So, for example, not everyone knows that standard SOFTWARE provides effective tools for editing, running a multi-stream stream, creating different scenes with individual design, broadcasting websites, displaying panels for chat and collecting donations, and much more.
For the sake of justice, we note that with all the rich functionality of standard software, some points still need to be improved.
- the flagship model;
- recording in 4K;
- high and ultra-high frame rates;
- HDR support;
- powerful multi-functional software;
- end-to-end transmission of multi-channel audio;
- appearance, customizable RGB lighting.
- individual imperfections of the software.
Elgato Game Capture HD60 PRO
Now let’s look at two popular and well-proven video capture cards of the Elgato brand among game streamers. Let’s start with the simpler Game Capture HD60 PRO model. It serves as a kind of intermediate link between Game Capture HD60 S and the top-end Game Capture 4K60 Pro, which we will analyze below.
Game Capture HD60 PRO is a compact device for internal connection directly to the motherboard via the PCI-Express interface. Dimensions-122x56x14mm, weight-102g. The PCB electronics are protected by a solid black casing. Its key difference from the younger models is the presence of the hardware h codec.264. this solution is considered by experts to be an extraordinary one, since configurations of this kind are typical for Autonomous devices with the ability to write directly to a memory card. Here we are talking about a conventional fixed capture card, and such hardware adds serious advantages to the model. Another thing is that the codec itself for 2021 and for a map of this level is clearly outdated.
The capture card of this model supports different resolutions and ways to display the “image”. The minimum resolution is 480p, the maximum is 1080p at 60 frames per second. A 30-frame rate is also supported, including interlaced images (1080i, 576i). The maximum bitrate is 60 Mbit / s.
The manufacturer already positions its full compatibility with the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch game consoles in the very technical characteristics of the device. The interface configuration here is exactly the same as that of The AVerMedia capture card described above – two HDMI pass-through ports. At the same time, the expansion bar is painted black with the same coating as the protective cover, and the ports are signed in large white letters: “IN “and”OUT”. This seemingly small detail gives this model a big plus in terms of ergonomics, although, it would seem, what can be the ergonomics of the internal device. The fact is that most often such signatures are made by stamping on the metal surface of the strip without coating, and in low light conditions they are simply not visible.
The careful attention of the manufacturer to details is noticeable even in the configuration. Although it is modest, the presence of a shortened bracket for compact enclosures says a lot about the responsible approach of ELGATO Communications engineers.
- a reputable and respected brand;
- high technical level;
- capture and record in up to FullHD 1080p 60fps quality.
- support for interlaced mode;
- manufacturer’s attention to detail;
- built-in hardware codec.
- outdated codec for a relatively new map.
Elgato Game Capture 4K60 PRO
And complete the first part of the review of the best video capture boards according to the top flagship version of ELGATO Communications-the Game Capture 4K60 PRO version, capable of recording video content in ultra-high 4K resolution. In the gaming segment, as of the first half of 2021, we can say more or less confidently that this is objectively the best stationary solution on the market in this price and target segment.
At the time of this model, its capabilities were significantly superior to existing game consoles, and the ability of the card to effectively capture and record the stream with a 4K resolution and 60 frames per second was considered as prospects.
Just by the appearance of the Board, you can see that we are dealing with a high-level device. Perfect Assembly, a protective cover with a patterned exterior design, all the same important “little things” as the previous model. The interface configuration is the same – two pass-through HDMI ports. Just in case, we remind you that with respect to video capture boards, the concept of “pass-through” for ports does not imply direct desoldering – the signal will appear at the output only if the incoming signal meets the established standards. Dimensions of the device-88 × 20×167mm, weight-273g.
The mentioned capture capabilities with a large margin are already registered on the product packaging – effortlessly (sans effort) and flawlessly (flawlessly). And this in this case is not a marketing ploy, but a real technological level. Such efficient operation is based on powerful electronics: the ITE Tech it6802e controller, which deals with I/o; the silicon Image Sil9777CLUC processor, which provides signal processing; and four SmartDVO P11100 working processors manufactured by Yuan (Taiwan).
Technical features of Elgato Game Capture 4K60 PRO allow you to capture a video stream in 4K resolution with high frame rate from any external source. It can really be anything – a video camera, a player, a receiver, any equipment up to industrial or medical, which has a video output with a 4K stream. As for video game consoles, the market is just beginning to “catch up” to the sky-high level of Game Capture 4K60 PRO. This means that this video capture card will not be outdated for a long time, as it is significantly ahead of its time.
- top-end flagship;
- record video content in 4K;
- HDR support;
- stylish appearance;
- high-level electronics;
- significant groundwork for the future.
- not fundamental, they are lost against the background of indisputable advantages.
Best external video capture boards for streaming
The second selection of the review of the best video capture boards according to the magazine version is more extensive. External form factor devices will be presented here. Their main advantage is portability. Otherwise, the characteristics, as well as the cost, vary in the same wide range as for internal boards.
AVerMedia Live Gamer Extreme 2
Let’s start with the production model of the well-known AverMedia company, whose best product samples were already presented in the previous selection. Here we will analyze the popular and relatively inexpensive Live Gamer Extreme 2 model, which, as you can easily understand, is aimed at game streamers.
Just to clarify, we are talking about the second generation of Live Gamer Extreme. This version differs in principle, since it does not have an analog input, but only a digital one. And this is not a drawback, but only a clear correspondence with progress – analog technologies in the mass have already become history.
Externally, the device is almost no different from the first version of Live Gamer Extreme, which was released a few years earlier. The same small plastic case with a similar color design. Only here there are already only two functional interfaces-end-to-end HDMI input and output. Dimensions of the device – 45 × 97×29mm, weight-182g.
The Board is connected via a high-speed USB3.1 Type C port. The kit includes a connection cable from Type C to classic Type A. The maximum supported capture quality is FullHD 1920 × 1080 resolution at 60p.
It is worth noting that the HDMI ports here are pass-through, and the device can pass a video signal up to 4K with a frequency of 60p without changes. That is, when you normally view video content or play at maximum speeds ,the” picture ” on the monitor will be like when you connect it directly, and the FullHD limit applies only to capture and recording.
AverMedia Live Gamer Extreme 2 has the same “problem” with the software as other similar products of this brand – RECentral 4 has strange limitations in the codec selection parameters that are not available in third-party SOFTWARE. Fortunately, the manufacturer wisely provided the DirectShow interface, due to which you can use any software for working with video streams to operate the Board.
The model reveals the maximum of its potential in the presence of effective and high-performance hardware encoder. Even with a very modest bit rate of 10 Mbit / s, the device in tandem with a high-performance GPU retains small graphic details in the game. Given a frame rate of 60 frames per second, the visual difference with an order of magnitude higher bitrate will be insignificant.
The most noticeable drawback of this model is that it does not provide the ability to write to the memory card independently, bypassing the PC.
- capture and record as FullHD 1920 × 1080 at 60p;
- maximum quality with an efficient hardware encoder;
- high-speed connection via USB3. 1 Type C;
- support for interlaced mode;
- DirectShow-compatible with third-party capture or streaming SOFTWARE.
- offline recording to the memory card is not possible;
- limitations of standard SOFTWARE.
AVerMedia Technologies Live Gamer Portable 2 PLUS
Now let’s look at another external AVerMedia video capture card, which is already portable “for real”. This means that it provides the ability to record the captured video stream to a memory card, thereby eliminating the offensive drawback of the previous model.
We immediately warn the reader that you should not overestimate the proud marking ” 4K “on the package, as it is clarified by the designation “pass-through”. This means exactly the same ability as the model described above – end-to-end transmission of a video stream with a frame size of 4K, but not its capture. And such a deliberate emphasis on end – to-end 4K broadcasting is not only and not so much a marketing ploy. The fact is that the previous version of the model, without the PLUS prefix, is almost identical in everything to this one, except for just this specified feature.
Dimensions of the device case – 147×57×47mm, weight-185g. The design is distinctly gamer – angular lines, a combination of black and orange colors. On the top edge is a large triangular start button with multi-color led illumination. Other controls include a volume rocker button and a mode switch slider.
This model uses a more advanced HDMI interface version 2.6, which is an indisputable plus. There are also two standard 3.5 mm mini – Jack jacks: one for headphones or headsets in the headphones+microphone format; the second is also a four-pin RCA stereo L/R Jack that supports mixing mode. The card itself connects to a PC or console via USB 2.0 UVC, which, of course, can not be called something good, when” in the right way”, given the declared bandwidth, it would be necessary to equip the Board with a third-generation port.
The maximum working resolution for capture is FullHD 1920 × 1080 at 60p, including 720p, 1080i (interlaced) and 1080p. In offline mode, the maximum bitrate is 20 Mbit / s. When working via a PC, the bitrate is not formally limited by anything, only by the capabilities of the computer itself and the corresponding software. The format of flash memory cards is SD/SDHC, recommended for class 10 and higher.
- capture and record FullHD 1920 × 1080 video at 60p;
- end-to-end 4K video transmission;
- ability to work offline with writing to a flash card;
- expressive design;
- HDMI version 2.6.
- outdated USB 2.0 interface.
Elgato Game Capture HD60 S
Once again, ELGATO Communications is featured in the review of the best video capture boards according to the magazine. This time we will look at the popular external model Game Capture HD60 S.
Externally, the model is a miniature device measuring 112 × 19×75mm and weighing 106g in a plastic case with fully rounded edges. The body color is black and the overall style is made in the same spirit as the internal models described above. Connection to the computer for installation and power supply – via USB 3.0.
It uses exactly the same video interface connection scheme as the previous two models. The HDMI port sockets are located on the narrow ends of the device body on opposite sides from each other. The connection is end-to-end, and the broadcast via the Board to the screen occurs without delays. The bandwidth for end – to-end broadcasting coincides with the Board’s recording capabilities-the “picture” resolution is up to FullHD 1920×1080 with a frequency of 60p.
The video capture Board is equipped with proprietary software with the simple name Game Capture HD. In its environment, the video stream is encoded in MPEG4 format using the H. 264 + AAC codec with a bitrate of up to 40 Mbit/s. Here, as in the standard AVerMedia software, there is a strange bitrate limit. Its oddity is that the manufacturer does not prohibit the use of third-party SOFTWARE with Elgato Game Capture HD60 S, and it may not have any restrictions and most often does not.
A feature of this model that users do not like is the lack of the ability to work independently and write to an external flash memory card – there is simply no slot, and all the work on capturing and recording can only be done in conjunction with a PC.
- reputable brand;
- reliable and trouble-free operation;
- convenient and user-friendly interface;
- functional and carefully designed SOFTWARE (except for bitrate restrictions);
- high-speed connection via USB 3.0;
- capture and record FullHD 1920 × 1080 video at 60p;
- you can use third-party SOFTWARE without any bitrate restrictions.
- limitations of standard SOFTWARE;
- offline operation is not provided.
AVerMedia Technologies Game Capture HD II
Once again, let’s turn to the assortment of the prominent manufacturer AVerMedia Technologies. Let’s now consider a multifunctional external video capture card, which has striking advantages over the previous examples, but costs quite moderately.
The first and most important thing that is in this model is complete autonomy and maximum usability, up to remote control of the remote control. By Autonomous in this case, we mean the ability of the card to record a stream without any involvement of a PC or laptop. As for the autonomy of power supply, everything is not so smooth here, since for operation the device still needs to be powered via a 12V 1.5 A adapter from the mains, and there is no built-in battery. This is a problem, but not a critical one, since there are plenty of portable batteries on the market. The only strange thing is that the manufacturer does not include a standard adapter in the delivery package.
Externally, the device is made in the form of a compact box with rounded vertical corners with a pleasant design in the game style. The main controls located on the front panel: the USB port connects to external hard disk, two standard socket 3.5 mm “mini Jack” separate microphone and headphone jacks, power button, record button, the sensor for the remote control on the center – two LEDs indicating the work of an source.
Now about these very sources. AVerMedia Technologies Game Capture HD II is capable of recording a video stream from two sources-an HDMI port or a component interface of five “tulips” displayed on the back panel. Also on the back panel there are pass-through HDMI ports, an RJ45 network interface, and a power connector.
This model records FullHD video at different frame rates – up to 60 frames per second. There are also 30-CAD/sec modes, including interlaced scanning. Moreover, this mode is set by default, which is very strange and inconvenient. But this is almost the only significant engineering blunder, which, again, is not critical.
This device has a separate 2.5″ hard drive Bay with a SATA interface. Rubber stoppers allow you to securely mount discs of different thicknesses. External 2.5″ hard drives that do not require a separate power supply are also supported.
- complete autonomy for capturing, recording, and even partially editing data;
- remote control;
- private hard drive Bay;
- support for external hard drives;
- nice game design;
- the widest and most flexible functionality;
- mobile app;
- one of the best combinations of functionality and cost.
- default interlaced scan (you need to change it manually);
- no power adapter included.
At the end of this part of the review, we will present something special. The famous Razer – the most “ideological” manufacturer of equipment for gamers-also applied in this segment, offering its own solution. The Razer Ripsaw gameplay capture card, of course, is inferior in functionality to the previous model at a comparable cost, but for tasks specific to Razer, you don’t need more.
Externally, the capture Board is made in the traditional Razer style – black main color, “sinister-poisonous-light green” indicator illumination, brand symbols. Dimensions-130x17x86mm. The surface of the upper panel is matte, the sidewalls are glossy. The bottom edge is fully rubberized-prevents slipping on any surface.
This model is somewhat related to the previous one by the presence of a composite input. There is also a component input, a pair of HDMI pass-through interfaces, and a USB 3.0 Type-C form factor. There are separate standard 3.5 mm jacks for the microphone and external audio source. Signals can be mixed. The mentioned indicator light informs the user about the operating modes by changing the frequency of flickering. The video stream is written with FullHD 1920×1080 quality and 60p frequency.
The standard operating software for this model is Razer Synapse 2.0. the Device also supports the most popular software for streamers – OBS and XSplit. In addition, all Razer Ripsaw customers get access to an additional service-Razer GameCenter.
When you turn it on for the first time, the app scans your computer for installed games and their compatibility with the video capture card. Recorded gameplay can be saved immediately to the cloud using convenient tools. The SOFTWARE is integrated into the games themselves, and you can quickly take screenshots and perform other manipulations using the slide-out widget.
In conclusion, we will note some nuances that the manufacturer does not particularly emphasize, and for users it may be an unpleasant surprise. So, the connection interface here is not USB3. 0 gen2, which makes it not so universal in terms of compatibility, and on a number of PCs and laptops, the connection may not work at all or work unstable. In addition, this model is driver-compatible only with Windows, starting from the” seven”, and you will not be able to use it on Apple computers.