Nowadays, as long as there is a computer or a mobile phone, almost everyone can broadcast live on various platforms and share games and life. But if you want to put the pictures of home consoles such as PS5 or Switch into the live broadcast together, or enjoy 4K high-quality game recording, the video capture card is an indispensable tool.
Video Capture Card Selection Guide
First, we will explain how to choose a suitable video capture card according to the purpose and application occasion. Especially, the requirements for video recording and live broadcast may be different. It is recommended to filter these items first, so as to effectively save time in comparing product specifications.
1. Select the connection type according to the purpose and preference
Most video capture cards operate by connecting to a computer, so it is recommended to select a suitable connection port to use according to the type and specifications of the computer at home.
① Highly expandable computers can choose "capture card"
If you have a well-equipped desktop computer at home, you can try to see the "video capture card" installed directly on the motherboard. Because it operates through the built-in PCIe slot, not only the transmission speed will be much faster, it is less likely to cause picture freezes or delays due to insufficient bandwidth, and there is no need to provide additional power supply and placement space. More convenient and tidy.
However, since the capture card is one of the components, if you are not familiar with the internal structure of the computer, it would be safer to ask a professional to install it. Moreover, this type of equipment is usually only responsible for importing signal sources, transcoding and encoding tasks still require a powerful CPU and graphics card to bear, and the effect may not be ideal if a lower-end computer is used. Therefore, please be sure to confirm the hardware requirements of the product before purchasing to avoid problems after installation.
② "Acquisition Box" that supports laptops or simple computers
For laptops or small PCs with limited volume and no built-in redundant PCIe slots, an external "video capture box" is an excellent choice. Most of these products are connected by USB2.0 or above transmission lines, and the functions will have more changes compared with the acquisition card. For example, some models have built-in hardware encoding, which can greatly reduce the computing burden of the computer, and even store the recorded video directly in the SD memory card, so that the game process of the home console can be recorded without a computer. Compare.
2. Confirm the type of built-in connection port
At present, most home game consoles and other devices on the market have built-in HDMI, and it is very convenient to connect various video capture cards. However, if it is an old model such as the early PS series or Wii, you may only have AV or component interface to choose from. Although you can use various adapters to connect to hosts that are not originally supported, it is very likely that there will be a delay in the picture, and you will even have to spend extra budget and time to find products, so please pay more attention to whether the component interface of the product is available when purchasing. Corresponding.
3. Pay attention to whether the product supports the "Pass-through" function
Some video capture cards only have a built-in HDMI output connection port. Only through OBS and other live broadcast or video capture software can the screen of the home game console be displayed on the screen. In addition to the problem of decreased clarity, delays may also occur. If you want to avoid this kind of situation, it is recommended to choose a product with the "Pass-through (loop out)" function, so that not only can the screen be displayed on the common screen and recording software at the same time, but almost no delay will be felt.
Since you can operate the computer to do other work while playing games, the loop-out function is an indispensable ideal technology for game anchors, and when playing fighting games such as FPS or DNF, there will be no operational errors due to delays. It is a great advantage for players.
4. The image quality of full HD or above is better
There are many video capture cards that support 4K resolution on the market, but in addition to having a 4K screen to enjoy the full experience, if you need to record videos, the file capacity will be very large, and at present, except for the top anchors in China, most anchors still have It is not possible to use the 4K line to broadcast live smoothly, so unless there are special reasons, it is recommended to choose products that support the capture of full HD resolution.
However, if you want to enjoy ultra-high-quality game screens and video recordings for yourself, and if the computer specifications allow, it is still worth buying a model that supports 4K. In particular, new hosts such as PS5 can already play games with 4K resolution, so if you have such needs, you might as well take them into consideration.
5. Confirm the specifications to avoid delays when live streaming or recording games
For anchors who need to live broadcast, if the screen is delayed or freezes, the experience of playing games or interacting with the audience will not be very good, so it is recommended to confirm the specifications in this aspect when selecting, in order to have a pleasant and comfortable use environment .
① 60fps frame rate can ensure smoother game screen
The specification that affects the smoothness of live broadcast or recorded video is called frame rate, which refers to how many pictures and videos can be played within 1 second. For example, 30fps means 30 pictures can be displayed in 1 second, and 60fps means 60 pictures. The higher the value, the better the picture quality. will be smoother. When choosing a video capture card, please try to focus on 60fps products. In this way, not only can you record extremely smooth videos, but you can also get a better game experience for the audience and the anchor during the live broadcast.
Most of the currently sold video capture cards already support 60fps, but because some models display and capture specifications are not the same, please remember to confirm this part of the relevant information before purchasing.
②Encoding type will affect computer performance and delay
To put it simply, "encoding" refers to the process of computer processing video data, and the types of encoding are currently divided into two types: "software" and "hardware". Because the software code still needs to go through the CPU and graphics card when live broadcasting or recording video, and requires high-performance components to exert its full capabilities, and it will also cause a heavy burden on the computer during operation, so it is not suitable for low-end computers; but Also because it is processed directly through the PC, the delay is relatively low, and the experience for game anchors will be better.
As for the hardware encoding, the product's own chip is used to assist in the calculation, which can greatly reduce the burden on the computer, and even a low-end PC is enough to handle it. Therefore, if you want to play the game live, you can also use a video capture card with loop-out function to reduce the picture delay.