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Video Capture & TV Tuner Cards

Video capture and TV tuner cards are important tools for recording video to stream or upload to the internet. They are especially used by gamers in the vibrant Lets Play and live streaming communities. These devices are primarily used for capturing gaming footage from a TV while playing on a console

What is a capture card and what does it do?

A capture device or card allows you to record gaming footage to share with the world. Typically using the PCMCIA standard, they are necessary for filming footage from older game systems because there were no built-in options for recording. Only the PS4 and the XBox One come with the ability to record and stream game footage internally. Any systems older than that require a video capture card to record footage. Game capture cards allow you to capture HD footage. Consoles that can record and stream tend to do so with much lower bitrates. Capture devices help you gain and retain viewers by providing lag free and high-quality streams.

What does a TV tuner card do?

A TV tuner allows television signals to be received by a computer or laptop, where they are converted from analog into digital footage. The tuner is necessary to stream live footage from older consoles to the internet. Depending on the configuration, the two devices may be connected via USB, HDMI, or other cable. Additional software may be required.

What can you do with the footage?

There are a number of things you can do with captured video game footage.

  • You can upload footage to video sites such as YouTube.
  • You can live stream your games to sites such as Twitch.
  • You can build up a library of gaming clips for personal use or to share with your friends.
How do you use a capture card on a PlayStation?

The PS4 has the built-in ability to record and stream gameplay. However, having a game capture card gives you more options, such as recording longer video and having higher-quality streams. Every other PlayStation system, including the original, 2, and 3 require a capture card to record or stream footage from your TV. You connect the system to the card via an included HD cable and then connect the card to the TV. You may need to alter your system's A/V output settings.

How do you use a capture card on an XBox?

The XBox One also has the built-in ability to record and stream gameplay. Like with the PS4, a game capture card can heighten the quality of your streams. Every other XBox system, including the original and 360, require a capture card to record or stream footage from your TV. The connection process is very similar to the one outlined above for PlayStation systems.

Do you need a capture card for PC?

No, they are not necessary for PC where there are programs that can record directly. You may choose to use an external capture card for PC if you are not getting good quality footage. Always stream via a direct cable connection rather than over Wi-Fi for best capture results.

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