How to capture video from HDMI?

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by SickPuppy, Oct 14, 2018.

  1. SickPuppy
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    SickPuppy New Member

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    I don't even know where to start. Back in the day all you needed to capture video was a VCR. Today it looks like HDMI is the most common form of video output, so I was wondering all the different methods of capturing video from HDMI. I would assume that there is a device that captures to a PC for the best results. Is encryption anything to be worried about? I would guess capturing a max resolution of 1080 would be good. Will capturing from any device work, like a cable box, dvd/blueray player, gaming console, appletv/amazon fire, etc...
     
  2. Lucifer666

    Lucifer666 all the world needs is me

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    You need an HDMI capture card. Best consumer one on the market AFAIK is the Elgato HD60 if you're looking for 1080p60. Even the cheapest should let you connect it to streaming/recording software like OBS.

    As HDMI transmits a digital signal sometimes device manufacturers block video output from being recorded (read up on HDCP). Some capture cards bypass this, some devices like the PS4 let you modify HDCP settings, etc. so it's always good to check compatibility specifically for whatever you're trying to capture.
     
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  3. Shadow#1

    Shadow#1 Wii & 3DS Softmod Expert

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    If the sending device has HDCP u will need to get a hdmi v1.3 splinter and then your capture device on then other side of the hdmi splitter
     
    Last edited by Shadow#1, Oct 14, 2018
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  4. B_E_P_I_S_M_A_N

    B_E_P_I_S_M_A_N I'm better than you I think

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    Most modern consoles have gameplay capture built-in to the OS. Here are instructions on how to do it on an Xbox One, and here are instructions on how to do it on a PS4. For PCs, you can use OBS Studio.

    Keep in mind, however, that video quality using these built-in tools won't be as good as capturing directly from a capture card. However, if price is an issue, and you're not looking to make professional gameplay videos, you're probably better off using said tools.
     
  5. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Nov 21, 2005
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    For basic 1080p stuff it is a bit easier.

    Encryption/protection. Yes. It is called HDCP (high definition copy protection I believe). Not everything will use it and some things vary (some games vary, the PS3 notably used it all the time, the PS4 mainly leaves it as an option and uses it for video playback for obvious reasons). It has been defeated though for the older versions (some of the 4K and 3d stuff might still be tricky).
    A HDCP stripper will be wanted for this, though most people instead found that a lot of Chinese HDMI switch boxes (many inputs, one output) or splitter boxes (fewer inputs, multiple outputs to simultaneously do things*) also happened to lose it along the way (not all so make sure). Similarly a lot of HDMI capture cards from the same part of the world ignore it.
    Technically such things did exist back in the VCR era. See macrovision.

    *also nice for playing because some capture methods even if they have a passthrough will add a notable amount of latency to the affair.

    Anyway three primary methods.

    1) HDMI capture card. If you have HDCP otherwise handled or not an issue. Western tech wise I like Blackmagic devices, technically they are aimed at film makers but that just means if you can get them playing then they are even better. Back in the day the ones on the usual aliexpress, dealextreme, taobao, BangGood... type sites were quite nice but I am a few years out from those at this point.
    The second style of PC based one is aimed at security cameras and the third at those making their own media machine that wants to capture external inputs.
    2) Gamer style capture devices. I don't get streaming at all but the popularity of it means you can buy such tools fairly cheaply here. Many are aimed at streaming and as someone that likes being able to control my video and recording methods I dislike their level of hand holding. Others will dump video to SD or USB and pass it through to your display of choice. Steer clear of the USB 2.0 ones (EZCap was a popular brand here back when) that will try to pass it through USB (think webcam quality), I have not seen anything rise up to properly address USB 3.0 or use a proper encoding method for 2.0.
    Check but you tend not to need to worry about HDCP with these as they negotiate things accordingly where it matters.
    3) digital video recorders. If they record your cable/digi/sat box then they can also record a game. Will tend to dump things to a hard drive or whatever that you pick things from later. Not as popular these days and mainly took off as people otherwise had them and they could get the job done.

    Speaking of streaming some of the higher end people will have fairly advanced mixing technology -- live video is something of a world unto itself. HDCP can also crop up here, though as injecting content over the top of a protected stream can be done and is not really a legal issue compared to removing protections then you have some more options (though if you want to have some things to shove in the path to lose the protection then that is no bad thing either)
     
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  6. SickPuppy
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    SickPuppy New Member

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    In general, I am just looking for a way to capture HDMI, a method that will work for just about any HDMI output device. I would assume a console captures it's video to be shared with other consoles or youtube so the resolution might not be top notch, I don;t have a current gen console so I don't know.
     
  7. SickPuppy
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    SickPuppy New Member

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    Thanks for that lengthy reply. I just started looking into this, would a HDMI capture card work fine, do they come with the HDCP stripper built in or would something like that need to be added? I'm guessing that just about anything with a video output would have some kind of encryption.
     
  8. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    Personally I always go for giving me the most options approach. I hate growing out of things and have always found the standalone capture box market aimed at gamers to be too constraining. Others are more concerned with having something more akin to plug and play (not that a capture card with a copy of virtualdub is a hard to handle setup).

    Protection wise most western company ones (like the blackmagic stuff* I was singing the praises of earlier) will not have HDCP stripping built in as it would frustrate them legally (removing protection tends to be considered against the law in a lot of places) and their target markets might not benefit from it (your video camera should not have HDCP as you are the one pointing it at things). The game stuff will tend to know this though and have workarounds for it, or have agreements with companies so they can get it done.

    *even a few years ago things had shifted for production purposes to 4K so the 1080p was sold off cheap enough, it is not going to be worse today)

    Device wise I am going to have to say go looking ([insert device name] HDCP into a search engine will get you what you want -- it is not illegal info or anything to note what has it and share that knowledge), and if you do want to invest some $25 in a box which just so happens to remove it then I won't discourage you there either. If you want to start with the cheapo bangdealexpress Chinese card which removes it and then move to a better device if it is something you care for then you have the capability still, not to mention splitters and/or switches are useful devices to have anyway and even if not for you then you could probably flog it on to someone that would want it for about what you paid for it (or what you paid for it if you go round and set it up for them).
     
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  9. Captain_N

    Captain_N GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    Mar 29, 2010
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    You can capture to a vcr and a dvd recorder easy. You just have to get a hdmi to RCA converter box.
    HD capture cards are used to capture full 1080. You will need a box to get rid of the copy protection signal. The capture card by law must accept this signal. a box can filter it out so you can capture protected sources.
     
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