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
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
- AVerMedia GC513 Live Gamer (LGP2): Suitable for any streamers; content creators or hobbyists, new or experienced, this portable capture card allows you to enjoy 4K gameplay and easily edit in 1080p60
- Pass-through technology: The LGP2 allows you to record amazing gameplay at Full HD 60 fps without experiencing annoying lag and in 4Kp60 thanks to the lag-less integrated pass-through feature
- Plug and play technology: Ready for use at any time, the LGP2 uses the latest UVC technology making the process easy - simply plug the LGP2 into your mac or computer and you are ready to stream
- PC-Free Mode: A unique feature of the LGP2 is its portability and can therefore be easily setup to record gameplay wherever you go - whether on an iphone or a PC tournament, your options are endless
- Items delivered: 1 x Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus Game Streaming Capture Card; 1 x HDMI cable; 1 x USB Micro to Type-A cable; 1 x 4-Pole 3.5mm audio cable and quick guide
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.
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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.