Capturing Game Play at a Low Price

Have you ever been to YouTube and seen people recording their beastly game play sessions in HD? Have you ever then read the description box, containing a plethora of expensive software and equipment? Yeah me too, but I have good news today, on how you too can record HD game play for almost half the price. You’ll spend under $150-$162 for all of the parts, and who knows maybe you’ll become an internet sensation from your walk-through videos or an insane kill cam.

You’ll need 5 things. First you’ll need an AVerMedia AVerTV MTVHDDVRR recorder it retails at $99.99 at Newegg with free shipping anywhere in the United States. If you are using component or composite cables, the AVerTV comes with an HDMI multicart-out connectors to support your device, so if your using a game cube or Sega Saturn they got you son!

 

Also before we continue, make sure you have a PCI-Express1 slot available on your computers motherboard. Most modern-day computers come with 1-2 of these so you should have one. Below is what it looks like.

Next you’ll need a HDMI splitter with one input and multiple output connectors. Now we get into a bit of tricky wording so I’ll keep it as simple as possible. Intel created something called High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection, or HDCP in short. It’s a form of digital protection that prevents you from capturing digital video and audio that’s being transmitted from a Display Port (DP), Digital Visual Interface (DVI), High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI), Gigabyte Video Interface (GVI), and/or a Unified Display Interface(UDI). So if you’ve ever hooked up HDMI cables to your PS3 or XBOX 360 and wondered why you couldn’t see anything on the TV, now you know. All devices such as TV’s and Video recorders have to be HDCP compliant otherwise you wont hear or see a thing.

Now back to getting that HDMI splitter. there are two options you can choose from here. The first is the fiscal buyer method which is literally a shot in the dark. At Monoprice there is this HDMI splitter (see image below) for $5.23. This splitter is not HDCP compliant which means its a passive splitter; a passive splitter basically just sends the signal through, and is unable to do hand-shaking between HDCP devices and because of this, when you use long HDMI cables you can sometimes witness lag on screen. Not too much to effect your overall game play but it will become annoying to hear a gun shot a couple 100 milliseconds too late. Now before you cast judgement and say you wont buy it, it will work with your Xbox 360 or your PS3 when you set it to 720p, and go through the trivial process to make it work. Please note that if you choose this splitter you will need a short HDMI cable for it to work properly, at max a cable underneath 6ft long.

The other option is the ‘do it right the first time’ option. Below is another HDMI splitter but this one is HDCP compliant, which means it is powered, and has the necessary juice to handle HDCP compliant devices. So you shouldn’t have any issues with it. Plus it comes with 4 output options to accommodate you, should you have multiple HDMI cables going to your TV or PC’s Sound Card. This splitter can also accommodate HDMI cords up to 30ft in length but I doubt your computer is that far away from your PS3 or Xbox 360.

 

 

Next you need a pair of High Quality HDMI cables, I again recommend Monoprice for that. They have a plethora to choose from.

The last thing you need is a little program called FRAPS, FRAPS retails for $37.00. FRAPS is an application recorder for games and other programs, it has the ability to record  up to 60fps or higher, and take in-game screen shots along with other features that you may find handy in the future. Personally I would recommend using the AVerMedia software because it will allow you to record 18 MB of uncompressed data Unlike FRAPS, where a 30 second clip can be 800 MB and also it won’t stop randomly like FRAPS will sometimes.

 

Step by step guide to set up your recording system

*Before you begin this make sure your console is set to 720p*

Fiscal User Setup Guide

  • Install the AVerTV card into you’re PC by sliding it into the PCI-Express 1 slot and removing or unscrewing any slot covers preventing you access to the HDMI ports once installed
  • Once its installed, go download the latest drives from their website and instal the video software for AVerTV
  • Next plug in 1 HDMI cable located to the left of the card in
  • Plug 1 HDMI into the TV
  • Now plug in the PASSIVE HDMI dongle into the back of the PS3 or XBOX 360 (make sure the console is off)
  • Load AVerTV media center and select Live Video and then in the drop down box select HDMI
  • Plug the AVerTV HDMI cable into one of the ports on the back of the dongle
  • Now turn your console on (It should show your console booting)
  • you should be able to see your console on your PC now
  • Now plug in the HDMI cable coming from the TV into the second port of the HDMI dongle (it should work)
  • now select record in the AVerTV software

Now you can show the world how good of a gamer you are. Please note that this method is very unstable and is known to work irregularly, and you will have to unplug the TV’s HDMI cord and then re-plug it back in to record video and play on the TV.

Do-It-Right User Setup Guide

*Your console can remain at 1080p since your splitter is HDCP compliant. If you do have issues, switch to a lower resolution.*

  • Install the AVerTV card into you’re PC by sliding it into the PCI-Express 1 slot and removing or unscrewing any slot covers preventing you access to the HDMI ports once installed
  • Once its installed, go download the latest drives from their website and instal the video software for AVerTV
  • Next plug in 1 HDMI cable located to the left of the card in the AVerTV
  • Plug 1 HDMI into the TV
  • Plug 1 HDMI into the TV
  • Now plug the ac adapter for the HDMI splitter
  • Connect your PS3 HDMI cable into the input section of the splitter
  • Now plug both your TV and AVerTV HDMI cables into the splitter
  • Load the AVerTV video software
  • select live video and HDMI and then press record

When you use a powered splitter its actively splitting the signal incoming from the PC between two or more devices. Now you can show the world how good of a gamer you are

*I excluded FRAPS because it’s not really needed since you are being provided with software from AVerTV. If you wish to use FRAPS with AVerTV software, simply load AVerTV first then FRAPS and set the options of how you want FRAPS to record video and audio.*

STAY TUNED TO A REVIEW OF ALL THESE PRODUCTS IN TANDEM IN THE UPCOMING WEEKS!

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