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Is it necessary to use a capture card when live streaming games on your computer?

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Author : PURPLELEC
Update time : 2024-07-08 10:31:48
  Game live streaming has become very popular nowadays, and many users have a lot of lag when using computers for live streaming. Because live streaming requires upload speed, and the general bandwidth upload does not exceed 100kb/s, can live streaming be done without a capture card?
capture card
  Whether a capture card is needed for computer live streaming of games depends mainly on the following factors:
  1. Type of live source:
  • If you are live streaming PC games and your computer performance is powerful enough (with a fast enough CPU and GPU), then an additional capture card is usually not required. Most modern graphics processors (GPUs) have hardware encoding capabilities and can directly handle the encoding of game screens without a capture card.
  • However, if you plan to live stream game screens from game consoles (such as PS4, Xbox, etc.), then a capture card is needed to capture the video output of these devices, because game consoles do not directly interact with live streaming software.
  2. Performance considerations:
  • Using a capture card can reduce the burden on the live streaming computer. After the capture card converts the video signal into a digital signal, it is transmitted to the computer through the USB or PCI-E interface. This can avoid the dual pressure of the gaming computer to handle game rendering and video encoding at the same time, thereby reducing the possibility of game lag or frame drops.
  • For computers with weaker performance, or when you want to maintain the smoothness of the gaming experience without sacrificing too many system resources for video encoding, using a capture card is a good solution.
  3. Multi-device synchronization:
  • If you need to synchronize multiple video sources (for example, game screen and camera screen) for live broadcast, a capture card can help you manage these different input sources more easily.
  4. Portability and compatibility:
  • For laptop users, external USB capture cards (also known as video capture boxes) are an excellent choice. They are easy to carry and usually have good compatibility.
  5. Professional needs:
  • For professional-level live broadcasts, especially those anchors who pursue high-quality video output, high-performance capture cards can provide better video quality, lower latency, and a more stable live broadcast experience.
  In general, if your computer performance is strong enough and you are live broadcasting PC games, you may not need a capture card. But if you are live streaming the images from a game console, or your computer performance is limited, or you are pursuing a more professional live streaming quality, then using a capture card would be a wise choice.