Top 10 Best Capture Cards in 2017

Best Capture Cards

Gone are the days when you could share a screenshot of your gaming glories once every fifteen minutes and still be considered cool. In this modern era of gaming, you can record, share and even stream your gameplay live, all thanks to the smart gaming capture cards. There are tons of capture devices available, and it depends on which one you want to go for, based on your requirements.

Whether you wish to go for a capturing device that streams your gaming session live or the one that allows you to record and upload it later, picking the right device is a difficult task. To make things easier for you, we have come up with product reviews of some of the best capture devices on offer.

So, on the whole, The Elgato Game Capture is a high-quality record and a multi-featured wonder in a small package. Go for it!
Our Rating:
  • Excellent Quality of recordings and streaming
  • Small, sleek black design
  • Can record last 5 minutes of gameplay, if you forgot to press record
  • Can record commentary along with footage
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By Elgato
Overall, this Elgato Capture HD60 Pro can be an ideal choice for all your gameplay recording and streaming requirements.
Our Rating:
  • Excellent Quality of recordings
  • Small, sleek all black finish
  • Flashback recording which means it can record last 5 minutes if you forgot to press record
  • Live commentary which means it can record commentary along with footage
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By ClonerAlliance
Overall, this Elgato Capture HD60 Pro can be an ideal choice for all your gameplay recording and streaming requirements.
Our Rating:
  • Excellent Quality of recordings
  • Small, sleek all black finish
  • Flashback recording which means it can record last 5 minutes if you forgot to press record
  • Live commentary which means it can record commentary along with footage
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By Elgato
Elgato Game Capture HD Console Recorder is a great deal with so many features. It comes at an affordable price is efficient enough to handle streamer or gamers’ capturing responsibilities.
Our Rating:
  • Smoothly delivers excellent quality
  • Has additional advantage of manageable file sizes
  • Has efficient flashback recording
  • Can record commentary along with footage
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By Elgato
One of the best game capture software, it is apt for anyone whether a beginner or a professional. Although it does have the drawback of keeping a processing or storage medium, Diamond’s card is a real deal at an affordable price.
Our Rating:
  • Delivers perfect resolution
  • Is extremely easy to set up
  • Has a sleek and compact design; makes handling easy
  • Provides real-time Video commentary
  • Is functional on wide array of platforms like Windows, Mac, PS3, PS4, Wii U, etc
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By Diamond Multimedia
At an affordable price, Pyle Capture card is the best buy for anyone looking to record videos casually. It may not be appeal highly to extreme gamers but is certainly the best way if you are seeking to make an entry in gaming or YouTube business.
Our Rating:
  • Is incredibly straightforward and clear to use
  • Provides crystal definition recording
  • Is compact and provides hassle-free management
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By Pyle
If you choose a lower format and audio code less than 192 kps and try a few time to adjust the format, you will be able to record high-definition videos without any problem.
Our Rating:
  • Auto detecting the input video formats
  • Easy compatibility with Linux, Windows and OS X operating systems
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By Imillet
The Hauppauge PVR Rocket game capture card is a highly recommended video capture card. With its simple design and non-obtrusive video recording features, the record card is truly a masterpiece.
Our Rating:
  • 6’ long HDMI cable to connect to your console or PC.
  • A built-in microphone to record voice over.
  • H.264 encoder with speed as fast as 1-18 Mbits/sec.
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By Hauppauge
To record high definition videos while you play your game, the Hauppauge PVR 2 is the best video record device. The ability to record videos from your old consoles is also a feature that other games capture card lack.
Our Rating:
  • 6 feet HDMI cable, PS3 component video cable and adapter, and 9 feet USB cable.
  • The no delay pass through allows you to record video at the same time while you are playing. There is no time difference.
  • Two H.264 recording formats.
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By Hauppauge
Available at a really reasonable and affordable price in the market, the AVerMedia AVerCapture Low Latency Capture Card is the best and most highly recommended device in this price range category.
Our Rating:
  • Record retroactively - TimeShift
  • Live streaming options available directly to social media platforms
  • Recording of videos at low latency
  • The device does not get too heated from streaming or recording
  • The light indicator denotes streaming along with recording
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By AVerMedia

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Buyer Guide Questions

What Is a Game Capture Device?

A capture card is a device that allows you to record the gameplay, which you can later store, transfer, and share and even stream it live on YouTube. These computer capture cards enable the recording via connecting it to the gaming console and a TV using a USB cable. As the video is sent by gaming console to the TV, the device records the video as it is being forwarded to the TV by the console and also it compresses & stores the video. These high definition video capture cards can be connected to personal computers and servers using the plug-in that are provided for such purpose in the device.  The capture cards basically perform as a receiver for the input data. The signal of the video received by the device is either captured and recorded or is encoded and sent to social media websites, for instance in the case of Twitch.

There are more than one software drivers present in the capture card for attaining the completion of the process of recording the video for a certain purpose. There are a number of tasks that can be achieved using this technology. One can record multiple types of videos be it live digital media or archiving or perform other types of tasks such as scheduled recording or video editing and much more.  The HDMI capture cards which are used for these purposes are generally available in the market to be bought. These devices are then purchased and setup / installed in the host device to perform all the tasks that one desires to perform using it.

This technology was well-acclaimed and appraised in the field of consumer technology products as and when it was launched in the market. Even a review in iPhone life considered this technology to be amazing as it could even be used to record the gameplays of iPad games if done so with the proper setup.

What is a Capture Card for Xbox One?

From Xbox to Nintendo, capturing the game-play videos on any gaming console is no more an impossible task. This is all because of the USB capture device technology that has come to market very recently. The videos of gameplays can be recorded on Xbox One using both methods – via Capture Card for Xbox One and without using any capture device.  When capture cards are not used, in that instance either you can directly command the Xbox to record your video saying that – “Xbox, Record that!” or you can go to the Xbox button and double tap it and also press X to do the needful. This is how you can record videos without capture cards.

However, in the case of Xbox One capture cards, you need to install and setup a third party device in order to achieve that what you desire. Game capture device can be used to record as well as live stream the game-plays that from Xbox One. All you need to do is find the best video capture device that can record, stream and perform other functions that you desire on your Xbox One. This device should be the one that can be an interface between your Gaming Console and your TV/PC.

If you are planning to adopt a capture device for Xbox one’s gameplay recording, then you must ensure that you have the necessary equipment required for such setup. Some of these things that you have to bear in mind while going for a gaming device are –

  • The Gaming Console
  • TV or PC Monitor where the gameplay is being shown
  • Apt capture device
  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Microphone attached to your PC
  • Webcam
  • Another TV or monitor for streaming the video

One great option to proceed further with the recording device is the AverMedia AverCapture Low Latency Capture. This device permits one to capture videos that are of low latency and compressed with a print quality of 60 fps (full HD). Also, there are other options available in the market when it comes down to choosing a great capture card that suits your needs. These capture cards can be from Elgato or Blackmagic Intensity or Hauppauge. The features and functions in all the devices vary a little bit and make them different from each other.

It is solely a decision to be made by the user himself that which card would he or she need for the purpose of recording gameplay and which one will suit his needs most aptly.

What is a Capture Card used for?

A capture card is a hardware device used to record/capture a video or gameplay. The device can be of two types – internal and external. The internal card is inserted into the PCI slot of the PC while the external card is connected using its USB cable.  If you are a serious gamer and wish to record and publically display your skills and gaming glories, capture device lets you do so with ease. For using this device, the user needs to have two computers. The first PC is the one on which the actual game/video is being played. This PC sends video signals (in HDMI format) to the second PC in which the capture card is installed.

A number of capture cards have come up in the market packed with various features. They are excessively used for video editing, video conversion and other production activities.

  • Capture cards facilitate recording of gameplay on various gaming consoles including PlayStation and Xbox. They not only record from gaming consoles but also from a DVD player, camcorders, set-top box or a VCR tape. The capture device is compatible with both Windows and MAC PC’s.
  • Even though Xbox has an in game recording feature, the video quality is not so good. Capture cards help in capturing gameplay in HD format (as high as 1080p) and with best graphics. They also have an excellent streaming speed of 60fps.It means that you have a separate raw footage of your gameplay besides being stored on the device itself. The raw footage can be later used for video editing or production purposes.
  • Some capture cards have a flashback recording feature. This is a very important feature as it helps you record, rewind or pause a specific event that you earlier missed. For example, if you are playing a game but forget to record the particular event, when you play the recorded footage rewind to the event that you found interesting and hit the record button, the activity will then be recorded.
  • Many capture cards today are equipped with special software that can easily share or live stream your HD footage on social media platforms like Twitch, YouTube, Upstream directly.
  • Some Capture cards help you in audio production as well. They support voice commentary that can be stored in MP3 format and can later be added to the footage during video production. Capture cards have a second audio-mix channel or mic-in feature to record voice.
  • Though many popular gaming consoles and PC’s have built in video/gameplay capturing elements, playing video at the same time while it is captured causes jittering in the video. Especially when you are playing a game, this jittering can create a lot of trouble. Installing a capture device eliminates this problem, as streaming and recording is done on separate devices.

Do I need a separate Capture Card for PC and Gaming Console?

A capture card is mainly of two types – internal and external. The internal capture device is installed in the PCI slot of the computer and is specially designed for the same. On the other hand, the external capture card consists of a USB cable or similar technology to connect to the gaming console. Hence, the internal capture cards are designed for PCs and the external cards for consoles. This calls for separate gaming consoles depending upon the method you are using for capturing video.

For PC gamers, an internal capture device does the job. The user needs to have two different PC’s one for streaming and the other for capturing (in which the capture card is installed). While the user plays video or games on one PC, the GPU of that system send analog signals to the other PC wherein the capture card converts them into video format and saves it. It can also be carried out using a single PC. The difference is that one needs to manually convert GPU signals into HDMI or DVD and transfer it back to the same PC via the capture card. Therefore, internal capture cards are mainly used for a PC to PC transaction.

On the other hand, the external capture cards work in an entirely different way in which capturing software is involved. These cards generally come with a USB cable (port 2.0 or 3.0) which is connected to the console be it PlayStation or Xbox. The PC on which you are playing a game needs to have recording software which is compatible with the capture device. The software basically reads what the status or activity the card and works accordingly. Once streamed, the video is there to the software and so is a raw footage! Hence, external capture cards can be used for gaming consoles or similar devices only.

With a large number of PlayStation and Xbox players, the demand for external capture cards is quite high as compared to the internal capturing cards. This is also because a PC to PC setup is more complicated and time-consuming. One also needs to have a dual PC setup to carry out the process.

How does a Capture Card record?

A capture card lets you record real-time gameplay/video from your gaming console or any external device to your PC while you are still playing the game or video.

Technically, a capture card acts as a receiver for input data. If you are playing a video/game on one PC and you want to capture it on another, the GPU of that PC will send video signals to the other PC which contains the capture device. Therefore you will need two separate PCs. If you are using a capture device on only one PC setup, the process gets a little complicated. For this, you will have to pick up GPU signals via DVI or HDMI from the PC and transfer them back to the same PC through the capture card.

To put it in a simple explanation, we can say that if you have two PCs, one to stream from and one to play games on, the signal goes from your GPU on your gaming PC to the capture card attached to your stream PC. The signal can then be captured and recorded, or encoded and sent to sites like Twitch. If you are streaming from one PC and trying to use a capture device, you’d be taking the signal from the GPU and sending it, via HDMI or DVI, back into the computer via the capture card, where it would be recorded and encoded. This is why it would be pointless to use a capture card on a single PC setup.

Capture cards also help in capturing gameplay from a gaming console like PlayStation or Xbox. The method is quite simple. To enable capturing, you will have to connect the capture card via the USB cable to your console, given it as an external card. Software such as Xsplit is most recommended. Afterwards, you will have to install capturing software to your PC; this software will read the actions of the capturing card. The software needs to be configured, and the format in which you want to capture the video must be selected. If you want to record on a CD, choose the MPEG-1 option and for DVD format, select the MPEG-2 option. There will be a pop to input the file name after which you can start capturing the gameplay. Once the video is recorded, you can edit the raw footage as per your needs.

Though capture cards may record the audio straight from the game, it is not always the case if the settings are not made accordingly. One must cross check the card configuration.

You may always choose the option of attaching a microphone input while the card is on the device you are using. This enables you to add other audios while the card records the audio from the game simultaneously.

Reviews to suit you

Top Pick

Capturing and sharing clips of your gaming glory is easier than ever before, and Elgato Game Capture HD60 S allows you to do that with perfection. If you are a hardcore gaming lover, this capture card is meant for you as it allows recording for hours and hours of gameplay. Moreover, thanks to the latest updates, you can not only record at 60 fps, which is a lot better than before but also stream it live with other gamers on Twitch and YouTube; making this a truly excellent capture card that you can go for. The 60 fps recording ensures that you can even record the swiftest of movements in the gameplay, which makes the recorded video clips truly amazing. When it comes to the design of this Elgato Game Capture HD60 S capture card, it is smaller in size as compared to its predecessors and looks quite sleek and stylish. The setup is as easy as it can get. All you need to do is just download and install the software and hook up the device to your gaming console and your computer – and you’re ready to go! This Elgato Game Capture HD60 S is meant for serious gamers and if you are one, go for this top pick!

Premium Choice

If you’re looking for a high-quality product to record or stream your gaming glories, the Elgato Game Capture HD60 Pro can be an excellent choice. It is an internal video record card that gets the feed from HDMI devices and records it in 1920x1080p with a frame rate of 60. The standout feature of this capture card is low latency that ensures no delay when you get on with a USB 3.0 device. The device also features a built-in system that allows you to stream your gameplay live on Twitch and YouTube. You can also add live commentary to your feed, which is another highlight of this capture card. The Elgato Game Capture HD60 Pro also allows you to save a “master copy” at 1920x1080p at 60 fps simultaneously while streaming your gameplay’s live feed. The master copy keeps separate copies of the stream so that you can edit it at your convenience, later. This is a really handy feature, especially if you’re a hardcore gamer who loves to spend hours playing a favourite game. The recording is simply brilliant – it catches every fine detail of the gameplay, making the recorded video clips so amazing when you watch it later or share it with friends. Overall, the Elgato Game Capture HD60 Pro is truly a premium choice capture card that you should go for – highly recommended!

Great Value

Most capture cards allow you to record your gameplay on a PC but how about saving it directly onto a memory stick? Sounds cool, isn’t it? The HDML-Cloner Box allows you to do that as you can easily store your streams directly on a USB drive. It supports full HD 1080p recording, and you can use any video device with this capture card to record your gameplay video clips. This recorded clip can be easily transferred to any platform and played there, making it a truly fantastic capture device to have. The device is incredibly easy to use – all you need to do is just push a button, and it starts recording the gameplay. Last but not the least, you also get a free 16 GB flash drive free with this product – making it an excellent value for money capture card that you can go for.

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