6 Best Capture Cards | March 2017

We spent 31 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. If you think your gaming ability is good enough for public display, you may want to try one of these capture cards. We've included models that hook up to both PCs and gaming consoles, some of which even connect via RCA cables for recording video from older systems like PS2 or even Super Nintendo. Now you can demonstrate your awesome playing skills to the world. Skip to the best capture card on Amazon.
6 Best Capture Cards | March 2017

Overall Rank: 3
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 5
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 6
Best Inexpensive
The HopCentury Capture Box 4 is a reasonably priced option perfect for those looking to start their own YouTube gaming channel. It lets you start recording directly from the box, so you don't have to worry about connecting a PC.
The StarTech.com USB3HDCAP might be pricey, but if you need the capability to create lossless raw video recordings at 60fps in true HD for future editing, the ability to schedule recordings, and analog video support, it is worth every penny.
The slim and sleek Razer Ripsaw is the ideal choice if you care just as much about aesthetics as you do performance. It is available by itself or in a streaming bundle that includes headphones and a microphone, and can record in resolutions from 480i to 1080p.
The Elgato HD60 Pro is designed to be installed internally within your computer for a seamless video recording experience. It can create true HD videos at 60fps, meaning the results are very smooth without any choppiness in fast action sequences.
  • separate audio and video tracks
  • simple editing software
  • six-foot usb cord
Brand Elgato
Model 1GC109901002
Weight 11.2 ounces
Whether you are trying to record from an old gaming console or a new one, the AGPtek VG0025-MBE1 can handle the job. It supports HDMI, composite, and component inputs. You can also connect multiple inputs at the same time and use the remote to choose which to record from.
  • one button still image captures
  • real-time voice recording
  • 2gb max file size
Brand AGPtek
Model VG0025-MBE1
Weight pending
The Elgato HD60 S can record your epic gaming sessions so you can show them off to friends later, or live stream them straight to Twitch via the 3.0 USB port, all in stunning 1080p resolution. It even has a live commentary feature to lay down a voice-over.
  • retroactive recording
  • on-the-fly stream layout changes
  • latency-free hdmi pass-through
Brand Elgato
Model 1GC109901004
Weight 7.8 ounces

Video Game Culture

Video gaming is no longer just a pastime for children. In fact, 49% of American adults currently play some type of video game on a regular basis, and four out of five homes own some kind of device used for video gaming. The popularity of gaming today most likely stems from the fact that the majority of 30-40 years olds grew up playing video games as children, and many have continued to do so as they have grown into adulthood.

Another contribution to gaming popularity over the last decade has been the advent of smartphones and handheld tablets. These new gaming mediums have piqued the interest of many people who previously may not have played video games. Titles like Candy Crush Saga, and most recently Pokemon Go, have taken the world by storm with over 20 million daily players in the US alone.

Video game culture refers to a subculture formed by the commonality of playing video games. What once started as a subculture seems to be entering the mainstream as more and more people identify themselves as gamers. The influence video games have on popular culture is becoming more evident as we see an increasing number of prime time TV commercials, advertising new video games as well as TV series, and big screen Hollywood movies based on popular games.

The term gamer, which used to be a slang term for a frequent video game player, has made its way into the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Video gaming is no longer the anti-social activity it once was either. Online capabilities now allow people on different continents to play games together and chat in real time using headsets. Entire social networks have sprung up around gaming with websites, forums, and even conventions focused on specific games or genres.

These massive online video games have allowed for the creation of gaming clans, which are large teams of players who often logon to play specific games at specific times. The team members will help each other complete quests and vanquish players from other clans thereby helping each other increase in levels or unlock special game features.

Using A Game Capture Card

There are a few reasons people may choose to use a game capture card to record their video game adventures. One of the most basic being the ability to prove to friends that one has really produced the unbelievable scores or beat that really hard level they are touting. It is a way of having proof of one's accomplishments which nobody can deny.

Another reason is to help fellow gamers beat a particularly hard level, boss, or puzzle. It is similar to how game makers used to publish guides for really hard role playing games, but instead it is gamers helping other gamers for free out of a sense of camaraderie. Finally there are people who do it in the hopes of creating a mass of followers, which can be from an ego-based or profit-based motivation.

Using a video game capture card is a relatively simple endeavor that anybody can do, even those with limited tech knowledge. It is often as easy as connecting the game capture device to the gaming console via the supplied cables, usually USB or HDMI. Most do not require any separate power source.

When a gamer wants to record their gaming adventures, all they have to do is press the record button on the capture device. Some consoles have even integrated capture card controls onto the game controller, like the PS4 which allows one to press the Share button on the game controller to start capture card recording.

Recording commentary over gameplay is equally as simple. All one must do is plug their gaming headset into the necessary jack on the capture card device. Then volume can be adjusted via the headset's volume controls to ensure it is neither too quiet nor too loud.

Earning An Income From Video Game Streaming

Recently, a sub-industry has sprung up around the gaming industry. Game streaming has become a source of income for serious gamers out there, with a lucky few earning six or seven figure incomes. A quick search through YouTube, for any popular video game title with the words commentary or walkthrough headlining it shows just how many people out there are sharing their video game recordings.

There are even sites like Twitch.tv, which are dedicated to video game streaming. Game streaming sites like this are becoming so popular that Amazon actually purchased Twitch.tv for nearly 1 billion dollars in 2014.

A gamer by the name of PewDiePie currently has the most popular YouTube channel with over 47 million subscribers. He plays a variety of games and delivers a dynamic monologue throughout. He is able to rack up an impressive seven figure income from his YouTube video game captures.

Another popular video game streaming personality is Jeffrey Shih, known as TrumpSC on Twitch. He began streaming in 2011 and now has a partnership with Twitch that allows him to live off his earnings. It costs $5 to subscribe to his Twitch channel and he has over 700,000 followers. Twitch takes a 50% cut, but that still amounts to over $1.5 million. He currently has a set schedule from 1:00 to 6:00 PM EST streaming Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft.

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Last updated: 03/22/2017 | Authorship Information