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Tech Accessories

Best Video Capture Device

There's a pretty wide range of video capture devices out there that cover a lot of different potential uses. If you want to capture video professionally, for web streaming content or converting analog video to a digital format, then you should consider a high-end model that gives you more input options and ensures high output. But there are also quite a few models that are very affordable and can be purchased for easy video capture at a very reasonable price. Consider the type of media you want to capture and the physical input and output connections you need for your existing hardware, before purchasing any device.

These video capture devices offer the best picture quality thanks to HD video that supports up to 1080p 30 fps video quality. You get HDMI pass-through performance with all of these devices, which means they have HDMI output as well as input, so you can play or stream live in addition to recording gameplay with a single device. All of these video capture devices include great software that makes it easy to control how you stream or record video and audio, plus edit, save, and post video without the need for additional, expensive video-editing programs.

AVerMedia Live Gamer Portable Recorder

This is a fantastic all around option which supports a wide range of input and output resolutions and hardware, with both HDMI and analog input connections. You can capture video up to 1080p at 30 fps with this device and it also features push-button recording, pass-through functionality for streaming and recording. It’s also bundled with great software for editing and broadcasting your video and audio. A standout feature with this model is an SD card slot you can use to record and save video to an SD card, which lets you use it without a computer attached.

Elgato Game Capture HD60

If you want the best picture quality possible, then this is a great choice that simply cannot be beat. You can capture up to 1080p 60 fps HD video with this device as well as pass-through HDMI connections, so you can stream live gameplay game while you’re recording. One of the nicest features with this model is you can actually stream video at one resolution while recording at another. This means you can stream at a lower resolution for better bit rates while recording at 1080p 60 fps.

Another standout feature is Flashback Recording which lets you go back through the software on your computer and start recording even if you haven’t already done so. Keep in mind this model only has HDMI connection, so it won’t work with older hardware requiring an analog input. However, the bundled software makes it easy to record, edit, and post your videos, or stream content live.

Diamond Game Caster HD GC2000

This is a great device that makes capturing  1080p 30 fps HD video simple and convenient without the need for a large system array. It's quite easy to set up thanks to both HDMI and analog video/audio inputs, along with an HDMI output and USB port for pass-through performance and streaming. You can use this to capture video from your computer but it also works well to record from an external device such as a video game console or video cassette player. A simple push-button record function makes it easy to start recording content at any time. You can also take advantage of the integrated card slot which lets you record directly to an SD card, making it ideal for use with or without a computer.

Hauppauge 1512 HD-PVR 2 High-Def Personal Video Recorder

There is a lot to like about this video capture device such as 1080p HD video capture and a record button to quickly start and stop recording. You can also skip backwards while streaming, playing a game, or begin recording after the fact if you missed something noteworthy. While it has HDMI input and output (along with a USB cable) it only has a single AV input for certain devices like the Playstation 3. This is opposed to individual analog video and audio connections which would make it more useful for a broad range of applications. Overall, this is a great option, but not necessarily the best choice for every video capture setup.

Roxio Game Capture HD Pro

Although a bit on the large side, this video capture device is easy to connect to a wide range of computers and other platforms. This model can capture up to 1080p 30 fps HD video, and comes bundled with software to efficiently stream and record video. You get support for a lot of different file formats with this model, so it’s ideal if you need a variety of input and output. There are also some great extras like hotkey support start and stop capturing, the option to add voice commentary or background music to recordings, and a USB cable for power. The lack of a physical record button and SD card means you need to use this pick with a computer, but it does include connections for both HDMI and component input. Keep in mind this pick is only compatible with Windows.

Greg Wiesen
With an AA in Computer Animation, I have spent years building computers and playing video games. I learned early on that the best way to figure out a new software program was to just start pushing buttons and see what happens (saving often, of course), and that is still my philosophy. From hard drives and motherboards to graphics cards and "holographic" keyboards, I enjoy checking out and playing with all the tech I can get my hands on. I have written hundreds of informative computer and technology articles in the past, and I believe that anyone can understand and use a computer. I'll worry about research and trying out different hardware, you just enjoy the results.
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