Just to confirm, I did get the old Capture Card working again. Updated all drivers and took it apart for a cleaning session and hey presto, she works again.
Anything Elgato makes is super reliable, from experience. Are you looking for an internal or external capture card? An Elgato might be a little overkill for what you're looking for, but it might also handle everything you need. That Happauge also appears to support S-Video? That might be a concern for you if you're playing retro games--what input method are you using? A lot of new capcards support HDMI only.
It would be an external capture card. Everything I do is through a laptop so can't install any PCIe related hardware sadly. I'll be on the hunt for a PC eventually though.
And actually, I can't remember how I ended up with this particular capture card. All my Retro recording is done VIA emulator purely for quality purposes. I used to find that a lot of viewers struggled with the classic blurry/ scanliney look since my main audience was between 15-23. I don't think many of them even knew what a CRT was ahaha
The Cap Card is used with Switch, PS4, PS3, blah blah, anything that has HDMI, anything else has an emulator and 'shadowplay' to record so it won't be an issue if my next card is HDMI only!
Depending on what your budget is and how high of quality you need would definitely help. If you just need something cheap for retro games to be captured for your PC, then there's something called the GV/USB2 Capture Device I got off Amazon a few years ago. At the time it was only $35 and it takes composite/S-Video, and for the price it worked pretty great!
Edit: You do need to install the drivers through a non-English GUI, but I believe on their website they have a walkthrough just circling the buttons to press. Sketchy as hell? Yes. Did I do it anyway and it hasn't given me any issues? Also yes.
Budget isn't a real problem so I'd be happy to get something that was reliable and recorded 1080p (Possibly 4k, if I ever decide to get a console that'll manage that ahaha) and 60FPS as the one I own now is only 30fps. It's never been an issue to be at 30fps though, just occasionally some animations when a character takes damage and flashes it makes them look like they're not flashing.
You are one brave person installing things that way. I salute you.
Avermedia and Elgato are the 2 big names nowadays and they offer similar products, so it's up to you which one you go with. If you want something you can plug into a laptop Elgato's USB offerings are more compact I think. I have an Elgato HD60S and the most recent iteration of that is the HD60S+ which additionally does HDR. Avermedia on the other hand has offerings that can work standalone away from a PC and record directly onto MicroSD. If you're just doing streaming that's not terribly useful though.
Most USB options are limited to 1080p60, both companies have an external model that can do 4K60 as well as PCie models that can do 4K60, but on the Avermedia side their 4K60 external model is designed for Thunderbolt 3 whereas Elgato's can work over USB 3.0. Sounds like you'll probably be sticking with 1080p though. Either brand can do 4K60 passthrough so you can play in 4K and stream at 1080p which is honestly as high as you would want to go with streaming since a lot of people don't have fast enough internet for 4K streaming but if you're recording then getting something that can record at 4K might make sense.
I'd say between the two Elgato's software might be better, but you're probably not going to use Elgato's software but instead use OBS or Xsplit so it doesn't matter all too much. Both companies advertise low latency, both have similar specs on paper.
If you want to plug in non-HDMI devices like retro consoles you'll need an adapter to convert it to HDMI as all of the options nowadays are HDMI only.
You're dead right, It'd be a USB connection for me and 1080p would be adequate for sure. even the upgrade to 60fps would have been welcomed had I not fixed my original one!
Much appreciate the in depth answer. Very thorough and Avermedia isn't a company I've actually heard of so, I'll take a look at those cards regardless. Elgato was likely to be the choice I'd have made if I'd not asked here in the first place. I was concerned that the compact size of them meant they were a little lacklustre in performance but I'm glad you've cleared that one up for me.