Best Video Capture Device For Live Streaming and Recording | Full Review and Top Picks
A capture card is required if you wish to live stream your games on Twitch or record gameplay to upload to YouTube. A capture card can provide you excellent records without interfering with your gameplay, whether it’s a brilliant match of Call of Duty: Warzone, an emotional journey in The Last of Us: Part II’s story mode, or a crazy sprint through the numerous obstacle courses in Fall Guys:
There are a lot of moving factors when it comes to hosting a professional live broadcast. Aside from a camera, an online video platform, and encoders, there are a few other streaming equipment that are sometimes forgotten. A video capture device is one of these instruments.
We’ll go over all you need to know about video capture devices for live streaming in this article. We’ll go through what video capture devices are, how to choose one, and how to use one with your streaming setup.
These best video capture devices in 2021 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.
Gerard Virga, a webcasting expert, first wrote this essay as a guest post for the Dacast blog in 2017. It was last updated in July 2021 to include the most recent developments in live streaming video capturing equipment.
Ultimate Knockout. Capture cards are ideal for both professional gamers wishing to improve their live-streaming setup and amateur YouTubers eager to start their next big Let’s Play series.
What to Watch Out For
While Sony and Microsoft’s consoles offer streaming capabilities, they lack the power of a capture card. Depending on the specifications of your capture card, it can output at resolutions ranging from 1080p to 4K.
A capture card not only provides for seamless recording, but it also allows streamers to be more creative with their streams or recordings, such as by employing overlays on live Twitch feeds and video effects. There is also excellent editing software available, like as Open Broadcast Software (OBS), that may assist any streamer in getting started.
How We Made Our Decisions
We based our decision on research from a range of media, as well as our own expertise of the products and consumer reviews. We looked into each device’s capture quality, form factor, and hardware, as well as its price and compatibility with other gaming systems.
Top List Video Capture Device For Live Streaming and Recording
- Stream and record your finest gaming moments
- Stunning 1080p quality with 60 fps
- State-of-the-art USB 3.0 type C connection
- Built-in live streaming to twitch, YouTube & more
- Easily record party chat using your game capture HD, HD60 or HD60 Pro
The Elgato Game Capture HD is one of the industry’s most remarkable capture cards. This capture device can record high-definition 1080p content from both Xbox and PlayStation consoles. The capture card is simple to install and comes with software that can handle all of the capture card’s daily activities. Changing the video quality and editing the audio behavior is likewise a straightforward operation.
Built-in live broadcasting to Twitch and YouTube is available on the HD60 S. Webcams and overlays are also supported, and you may use the bundled software to add them to your stream or game. The Elgato HD60 S has also garnered excellent customer reviews and is quite competitively priced for all of its high-quality features. There aren’t many better options out there right now that can compete with what the Elgato HD60 S has to offer.
- NIX THE LATENCY - The NIX video capture card's HDMI pass-through port streams and records your most essential business meetings without adding latency. Easily connect your DSLR to your Mac or PC. You'll never need to stress how your capture setup will affect your performance. Compete, record, and live capture in full HD at 1080p 60Hz
- MAX PERFORMANCE - The lowest resource usage around, this video capture device doesn't waste precious memory capacity or processor/graphics card performance to capture your live broadcast or gaming footage. Works with popular software streaming solutions such as OBS, Zoom, YouTube and Google Meet
- PLATFORM DETAILS - Includes USB 3.0 and USB-C cables to capture, stream, and record with most modern Windows, macOS*, or Linux systems with USB 3.0 ports (USB 2.0 with reduced quality/performance). Captures HDMI sources without HDCP like Sony, Canon, and Nixon
- COMPATIBILITY - Unencrypted HDMI Output Camera is required. Recording sources that force HDCP like Blu-ray players, iPads/Macs, and streaming boxes aren't supported. Not for industrial use. HDMI pass-through supports a max resolution of 1920x1080 @ 60Hz and can't use DVI/VGA/DP to HDMI adapters. PCM audio is supported.
- 2 YEAR WARRANTY - We love our Plugable products, and hope you will too. All of our products are backed with a 2-year limited parts and labor warranty as well as Seattle-based email support
Because of its inexpensive price tag and high-quality feature set, the Plugable Performance NIX 1080P 60FPS Capture Card with USB could be a good capture card for streaming. This capture card is designed for high-definition gaming and streaming.
Many different consoles and platforms are supported by the Plugable Performance NIX. All recordings can be set to run at 60 frames per second, and the device supports 1080p streaming. Another useful piece of information for broadcasters is that this capture card is compatible with popular streaming tools such as Xsplit and the OBS streaming software.
- 【HDMI Game Capture】 Capture Card Based on the high speed USB 3.0 technology, It can capture one signal channel HD HDMI video signal. such as PS5, PS4, PS3, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, HDMI Camera, TV Box, DSLR, Nintendo Switch(Most devices with HDMI output ports)
- 【Plug-N-Play】Game Capture Card No driver or external power supply required, a Low latency game, meeting, live streaming. Share to youtube, facebook and twitch. Record HDMI signal source directly, No HDMI splitter needed anymore.It is not recommended to use an adapter.
- 【4K30P HD Quality】This Video capture card support Capture astonishing 4K30P video content.Video Capture Cards Record up to 120 frames per second in crystal clear full HD 1080P.Superb quality keeps your streaming and recording more professional. The recorded video signal can reach 4K 30P/1080P@120fps and the HDMI input max resolution up to 4K@30Hz. (Also supports 1440p60 capture and record)
- 【4K30 Pass-Through】Capture Card Plug and Play. There is ultra-low-latency technology and lag-free pass-through,High Refresh Rate passthrough get an edge over the competition with support for 1080p 120Hz displays.it provides you with an extreme experience when you are making a game live streaming.
- 【RECORDING AND STREAM】This audio video capture card achieves preview, recording, capture, live broadcast and other functions through many free third-party software. It is perfect for live streaming, video recording, screen sharing, live conference, distance education and learning and so on. With 3.5mm TRS Line In port, you can use it to add external sound or commentary. But it only supports 3.5mm TRS standard input.The recording format mainly depends on the live broadcast software you use.
The Y&H HDMI Game Capture Card has all of the qualities that make it a fantastic capture card for streaming. This capture card is one of the most affordable alternatives available.
Even at this low price, hundreds of useful functions such as screen sharing, live streaming, and 1080p video recording are available. With this capture card, you don’t need to install or update drivers, and it’s designed to work with USB 3.0 technology for quicker transfer speeds. Many popular streaming apps, such as OBS Studio and VLC Media Player, are compatible with this capture card.
- 【4K@30Hz Input and ZERO Latency 4K@30Hz HDMI Loopout】This capture card support 4K@30Hz input and 4K@30Hz Zero Latency Passthrough, noted: this capture card just support 1080P@60Hz capture, it can not support 4K capture.There is no latency when you use the hdmi loopout port, the hdmi loopout port is very usefully when you are making a game live streaming.
- 【Stronger Compatibility】This 4K hdmi capture card can be compatible with all 4K@30Hz 1080P 720P hdmi device, such as Wii U, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii, Switch, DVD, camera, ZOSI security camera, DSLR and set top box etc.
- 【USB3.0 YUY2 4:4:4 1080P With 60FPS】The HD video capture card can support 1080P with 60FPS, it is very suitable to use it for game live streaming.
- 【Faster Data Transmition】USB3.0 high speed transmission port,let your live streaming to Twitch, Youtube, OBS, Potplayer and VLC more easily.
- 【Plug and Play,No Need to Install Driver】It is compatible with Linux, Mac OS, windows 7/8/10, very easy to setup, there is no need to install driver.
The MiraBox Capture Card, USB 3.0 HDMI Game Capture Card Device now has increased support, allowing users to stream in 1080p at 60 frames per second directly to their favorite streaming sites. This capture card is a plug-and-play device that requires no additional drivers. Streaming is now more accessible than ever before thanks to improved compatibility with a number of the world’s most popular gaming consoles.
This game capture device can benefit from an HDMI Loop out wire to remove latency, allowing for real-time streaming of all steel while maintaining high-quality video and audio. MiraBox is a well-known brand in the capture card sector, with many customers praising the MiraBox capture card’s design. At this pricing point, the card is also fairly reasonable, making it one of the better budget options currently available on the market.
- Stream and record Xbox, PlayStation, WiiU, Nintendo Switch, or NES Classic Edition console gameplay. TimeShift – Record retroactively
- Capture in full HD 1080p with H.264 hardware encoder. Windows 10 , Windows 8.1 , Windows 7 , Mac OS X 10.7 or later
- Stream or share directly to YouTube, Twitch, and more with built-in commentary and RECentral software
- Note-LGP Lite does not support viewing, recording and streaming of HDCP protected signals. Recentral for Mac, does not support video streaming it only support video recording
- Stream Engine – Allows compatibility for popular streaming software. Please note that GL310 does not support MacOS 10.14 or above. To record PlayStation4, upgrade your system software to version 1.7 or later
The AVerMedia AVerCapture HD allows users to stream in high definition quality up to 1080p from their Xbox and PlayStation. This capture card is capable of broadcasting and recording with ultra-low latency.
Users may stream and publish directly to YouTube and Twitch, which is a useful feature for those who want to start streaming on their favorite social media networks quickly. After registering on the AVerMedia website, the manufacturer offers a 2-year warranty.
- 4K Zero-Lag Pass-through: Play your high-fidelity console games in their original 4K60 Ultra HD format while creating your content via recording or live streaming in 1080p60
- PC and PC-Free modes: PC mode allows you to use the LGP 2 Plus with any streaming software; Select PC-Free mode to record on the go and save your video content on your micro-SD card; Choose Storage mode to access and share your video footage with ease
- Plug and Play Technology: LGP2 Plus works right out of the box as it uses UVC technology; Simply plug it on your Windows computer or Mac, and you are ready to capture and/or live stream your unique gameplay moments
- Live Commentary and Party Chat: adding commentaries to your live streams or capturing your console party chat has never been so easy; Plug in your headset, grab your game controller and let LGP2 Plus do the rest
- Wide Range of Compatibility: LGP2 Plus works with gaming PCs and laptops running Windows 10, 11, Mac 10.15, or later operating systems and is compatible with mainstream recording and live streaming software such as OBS, Streamlabs, Xsplit, and RECentral 4
With both HDMI and analog input connections, this is a superb all-around alternative that supports a wide range of input and output resolutions and devices. This device supports video capture up to 1080p at 30 frames per second, as well as push-button recording and pass-through functionality for streaming and recording.
It also comes with excellent tools for video and audio editing and broadcasting. This model has an SD card port that you may use to record and save video to an SD card, which allows you to use it without a computer.
- Record your Xbox, PlayStation, or Nintendo gameplay
- Flawless 1080p quality at 60 fps
- Unlimited capture right to your PC or Mac
- Flashback Recording: record retroactively
- One-click sharing to YouTube, Facebook and Twitter
If you want the highest possible picture quality, this is an excellent option that just cannot be beaten. This gadget can record up to 1080p 60 fps HD video and has pass-through HDMI connections, allowing you to broadcast live gaming while recording. One of the most appealing aspects of this model is the ability to stream video at one resolution while recording at a different one.
This means you can record at 1080p 60 fps while streaming at a lower resolution for improved bit rates. Another notable feature is Flashback Recording, which allows you to go back into the software on your computer and begin recording even if you haven’t done so yet. Keep in mind that because this model only has an HDMI input, it will not operate with older systems that requires an analog input. The included software, on the other hand, makes it simple to record, edit, and share videos, as well as live stream information.
- Capture/Edit including real-time "Voice Commentary"
- Standalone - Record directly to a SD card without a PC
- Streaming - Stream directly to Twitch, Upstream or your Smartphone/Tablet
- Stream TV from your set top box to your local in home network mobile device or laptop
- One Touch push button game capture
This is an excellent gadget for capturing 1080p 30 fps HD video without the need for a huge system array. The HDMI and analog video/audio inputs, as well as an HDMI output and USB connection for pass-through performance and streaming, make it simple to set up.
This can be used to record video from your computer, but it also works well with external devices like a video game console or a video cassette player. It’s simple to start recording content at any moment thanks to a simple push-button record function. You can also use the integrated card slot to record directly to an SD card, which makes it suitable for usage with or without a computer.
- HD Video Recorder for set top boxes or gaming consoles using HDMI or Component technology
- Recorder includes digital audio (SPDIF) and IR Blaster Technology. Laptop or desktop PC with 3.0 GHz single core or 2.0 GHz multi-core processor
- Records video in a high definition H.264 Blu-ray compatible format to your PC from a Set Top box using Component Video, from the Xbox360 using HDMI or from the PS3 using Component Video
- Includes HDMI and component cables and USB cable is 9 feet. Microsoft Windows 10, 8, 7 or Vista (32 or 64-bit)
- Records at video resolutions up to 1080i in real time using a built-in hardware H.264 encoder
This video capture device has a lot to offer, including 1080p HD video capture and a record button for easily starting and stopping recording. You can even go backwards in time while streaming or playing a game, or start recording later if you miss something important.
While it has HDMI input and output (along with a USB cable), many devices, such as the Playstation 3, only have a single AV input. Individual analog video and audio connections, on the other hand, would be more beneficial for a wider range of applications. Overall, this is an excellent choice, but it is not the greatest option for every video capture arrangement.
- Capture, edit, share, and live stream your gaming footage from your PS4, Xbox One, PC, and more in crisp HD video (up to 1080 30p/1080 60i) with your choice of HDMI or component input and output
- Stream gameplay from your console as well as your commentary directly to YouTube and TwitchTV, with the ability to test your bandwidth and detect your live stream speed
- Edit H.264 encoded videos, add 1 of over 95 transitions, up to six picture in pictures, soundtracks, special effects, text, and voice overs; Share your videos to YouTube and Facebook with a click
- Access set up videos and tutorials with the VIDEO; HDPRO community
- Each set includes the Roxio Game Capture HD PRO, USB cable, Roxio game recording software and video editing software, and Getting Started guide; HDMI and console specific cables are sold separately
Despite its size, this video capture device is simple to connect to a variety of PCs and other platforms. This device can capture 1080p 30 fps HD video and comes with software to stream and record video quickly. This model supports a wide range of file formats, making it perfect for applications that require a wide range of input and output.
Hotkey support for start and stop capturing, the ability to add voice commentary or background music to recordings, and a USB cable for power are all included. Because there is no physical record button or SD card, you must use this pick with a computer, however it does have HDMI and component input ports. Keep in mind that this option is only available for Windows.
F.A.Q – Video Capture Device For Live Streaming and Recording
What is a Video Capture Device, and how does it work?
A video capture device, sometimes known as a “video capture card,” is a hardware component that connects your live streaming camera to your computer. Video capture devices are most commonly associated with PCs, but they can also be utilized with laptops equipped with the necessary connectors.
Video capture devices are used by broadcasters to link their external stream sources to the video streaming platform running on their PC.
Video Capture Devices: What Are They and How Do They Work?
Video capturing devices are divided into two categories. USB devices that require their own software and PCI Express (PCIe) devices that offer plug-and-play are examples.
The latter is preferable because it is less complicated to use and does not require the assistance of drivers. They commonly connect to a desktop or rack system via a PCIe adapter slot.
There’s also the Mini PCIe version or the newer M.2 standard, which has a smaller form size. These cards have the advantage of being directly connected to the system, allowing for higher performance. This improved performance also enables the use of several input channels on the same device.
Which Capture Card Should You Use?
This buyer’s guide to capture cards compares seven of the top capture cards currently available on the market. For users who want to record high-quality gaming, each of these capture cards has something unique to offer. There are minor variances between each of these capture cards, making it difficult to select the best one for your requirements.
It’s critical to consider your budget and the particular values of each capture card to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your money.
What is the best way to use a capture card?
It’s not difficult to use a capture card. It lies between your system and your screen, stealing a duplicate of whatever is being sent to your screen. In most situations, this entails connecting your console or PC to the capture card, and then connecting the capture card to your TV or monitor using another HDMI connection.
The capture card is then connected to your computer through a USB wire. Once everything is connected and started up, you can use streaming/capturing software like OBS Studio to add the capture card as an input device.
How do you pick a capture card?
It’s actually quite simple to choose a capture card if you know what to look for. The most significant spec is the capture card’s maximum resolution and frame rate. It’s especially crucial if you’re using a PS5 or Xbox Series X to get a capture card that can give the full resolution and frame rate of your console. You can get away with a lesser quality if you’re only streaming gaming rather than capturing it (streaming at 4K consistently is still a few years off).
Then there’s the technique of connection. Five of the seven alternatives listed above use a USB connection, while others use a PCIe connection. PCIe capture cards go into an open slot in your computer and, despite their differences in appearance, serve the same job. PCIe capture cards, on the other hand, have higher bandwidth than USB, making them suitable for capturing lossless or near-lossless gameplay.
Finally, take into account the passthrough. Depending on what the passthrough supports, your capture card may limit the quality and frame rate of your games. For example, the Elgato Game Capture HD60 S+ enables 4K passthrough at 60 frames per second, allowing you to stream or record at the full resolution of a PS5 or Xbox Series X.
Is a capture card required?
Although the PS5 and Xbox Series X have internal capture capabilities, it is recommended that you use a capture card. A capture card will not only allow you to customize your broadcast using tools like XSplit and OBS, but it will also allow you to record higher-quality gaming.
Without getting too technical, video encoding puts a lot of strain on a computer’s processor, and recording games internally frequently results in lower-quality encoding. As a result, even if you can record at greater resolutions, you can only record for a certain amount of time.
A capture card solves this problem by allowing you to tweak the quality of your games and record for longer periods of time and at better resolutions. A good capture card is also necessary for streaming, as it allows you to enjoy the full quality of the game while handling the streaming separately.
My name’s George Owens and from past 10 years I am working as hardware engineer and built many PCs for myself and my friends. I love gaming, programming, graphics designing and basically anything that has to do with computers and technology. If you ever need a hand with anything, feel free to contact me and I will be more than happy to help you out.