Want to start recording gameplay and posting it on YouTube? Well what you’ll need first is a video capture card or device. Video capture cards work by decoding the video signal from the source the viewer is watching or using, recording it, and allowing it to be stored for future viewing or editing. The video capture cards on this list represent my picks for the best on the market and all are extremely user-friendly, easy to operate, and technologically powerful:
Hauppauge HD PVR 2
The HD PVR 2 is focused more on home media users who want to record broadcast TV than game capture, although it can be used to do that. It includes an IR blaster to control the set-top box it is connected to and bundled with WinTV software. It is also compatible with Windows 7 and Windows 8 Media Center making it right at home in the living room as a DVR replacement. You can record component or HDMI sources up to 1080p and the video and audio are stored as surround sound.
Elgato Game Capture HD
As the name suggests, the Elgato Game Capture HD focuses on video game recording but records just about any video source well and provides excellent HD content that you can quickly save and upload to the web. Keep in mind that this video and game capture device focuses on the recording side of things and not so much on the editing but in most cases though, less is more – fewer editing tools and extra complicated features result in a video game recorder that excels at capturing your in-game footage quickly and almost effortlessly. A plus if you want to concentrate on your gameplay and not your video capture hardware.
Blackmagic Design Intensity Extreme HDMI and Analog Capture & Playback Device – Thunderbolt
Intensity Extreme from Blackmagic Design is a 10-bit video capture device that can utilize the blazing-fast speed of a Mac’s Thunderbolt connection to provide capture and playback of standard- and high-definition video via analog and HDMI connections. You can connect your camera, deck, or any other video source to the Intensity Extreme via the HDMI port or, using the included breakout cable, analog connections for HD or SD video capture to your computer. With the 10 Gigabits per second Thunderbolt connection, data rates up to 20x that of USB 2.0 are supported.
Roxio Game Capture HD Pro
Like the Elgato on this list, the Roxio Game Capture HD Pro focuses specifically on video game capture and provides you with a host of gaming-specific features and tools. This capture device provides an even balance between ease of use and quality design. The hardware isn’t particularly difficult to set up or use and comes with video editing software to make your basic edits and quickly upload your videos to the internet.
Hauppauge HD 1540 PVR Rocket 1080p Video Game Recorder
The Hauppauge HD 1540 PVR Rocket gaming capture card is very small and lightweight and works even without a computer and power outlet making for an extremely portable device. The Hauppauge HD 1540 uniquely records video directly onto a USB thumb drive of any size although, generally speaking, with video larger is better when storage is concerned. Starting the capturing is extremely easy as there is no need to install any software. Combine the HD 1540 PVR Rocket with a gaming laptop and you have a powerful portable game streaming combination indeed!