In an age when online gaming and social media have become entwined, a capture card has become essential for many gamers who wish to record or stream their exploits online. This device allows you to record or stream anything from your favorite shows to Call of Duty feats. You can later go back and edit these recordings before uploading them to a social media platform of your choosing.
Modern gaming systems such as PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch host incredible graphics that are challenging to capture with anything less than a dedicated capture device.
Many serious gamers have found success with Capture Cards for the purpose of streaming their play online; gaining a large number of subscribers by providing quality gameplay content that displays their abilities. In today’s high definition, high-resolution world, others have utilized Capture Cards to convert their favorite old DVD’s into an HD format to ensure a crystal clear picture on their screen.
With an ever-increasing demand, the market has been introduced to a large number of Capture Cards of varying capabilities and quality. When it comes time for you to decide which one is best for you, there are a number of considerations to factor in. We’ve done our best to break down these factors while providing reviews of the market’s top players.
We have poured over technical specifications for weeks and got hand-on with the best devices the market has to offer. Rest assured we have left no stone unturned to bring you this list, we have compiled a list of the top 10 options along with their pros and cons.
We have also put together a buyer’s guide and FAQ at the bottom – scroll down if you need more help making up your mind.
- 1 Top Picks
- 2 Elgato Game Capture HD
- 3 HDML-Cloner Box Evolve
- 4 Magewell USB 3.0 HDMI Video Capture Dongle
- 5 Av.io HD – Grab and Go USB video capture
- 6 Elgato Video Capture – Digitize Video for Mac, PC or iPad
- 7 Elgato Game Capture HD60 S
- 8 Easyday EasyCap DC60 – USB 2.0 Video Capture Adapter
- 9 AVerMedia AVerCapture HD, Game Streaming and Game Capture
- 10 AVerMedia Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus USB Game Capture
- 11 AGPtEK HD Game Capture Video Capture
- 12 Conclusion
If you’re strapped for time and would rather spare the intricacies, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve provided the short-list of the best options for your device with more detailed reviews below.
- Capture Card for Consoles Elgato Game Capture HD This is a simple Capture Card that provides virtually unmatched quality for the Xbox One. Elgato consistently provides high quality and performance, ensuring consistently a top-tier final product each and every time.
- Capture Card for Mac Elgato Video Capture to Capture Analog Video You’ll have the ability to transfer video from your device, whether a Mac or PC, from a VCR, DVR, camcorder, or any other video device producing a high-quality H.264 file. The Elgato Video Capture software takes you through the conversion process step by step, setting a precedent in user-friendliness.
- Capture Card for PC AVerMedia AVerCapture HD, Game Streaming and Game Capture For those of you who love to share your COD kill streaks or headshots on YouTube or Twitch, you might just have found the ideal Capture Card for your needs.
Elgato Game Capture HD
Appearance isn’t everything when it comes to tech gear but this product sure does look the part of a top of the line Capture Card. The high definition 1080p60 quality will highlight your each and every move, adding an even greater sense of legitimacy to your prowess. Its reversible USB-C connector allows you to simply plug in and gets to work, adding convenience and saving set up time.
The best part of this device is its ability to work with a wide range of systems, preventing you from being limited in usability if you’re a gamer who has a serious setup. Its versatility allows for use with Xbox One, Xbox 360, WiiU and PlayStation 4 and even preserve your feed when direct streaming without drops down to 720p. HD60 S offers a start of the art USB 3.0 connection that has changed the game in its ability to carry Gameview to an external capturing solution, being the first of its kind. Your ability to stream in real time will make a massive jump with this low latency technology.
In addition to your ability to stream gameplay directly, you’ll be able to record for hours to either show your progress through a mission or take snapshots of your best highlights. When reviewing, you’ll be able to access the exact content that you want to show your viewers through a high-resolution finished product.
What really sets this product aside is the stream command aspect. Through stream command, you’ll be able to edit your stream on the fly without limits. You’ll be able to add any number of features, from your webcam to alerts, in real time. This even allows you to use Flashback Recording to go back to any moment you missed and record it instantly. This unique feature even allows you to add a voice-over to provide commentary during your gameplay.
While being able to capture gameplay is a massive plus, the production quality abilities of the HD60 S is unparalleled. You’ll have the ability to set a production standard that will be challenging for your audience to ignore.
- Compatible with a wide range of devices
- 1080p high-resolution quality with 60 fps
- Top of the line USB 3.0 Type C connection, Bitrate- Up to 40 Mbps
- Built-in live streaming to Twitch, YouTube, and other social media outlets
- Instant Gameview: stream with low latency technology to avoid lag
- Stream Command: add webcam, overlays, and more to customize your gameplay view
- You have to have all 3.0 USB on your connections and on your computer in order to use
- If you’re a streamer, you must set specific recording times or risk lag and lost frames.
- If you just download the program on the website, make sure that you are downloading the right version as there are other duplicates of lesser quality
- On the more expensive side
HDML-Cloner Box Evolve
The HDML-Cloner Box Evolve can capture videos from any source and record them on your USB flash drive, TF card, or your PC. Without lag, you’ll be able to enjoy the quality of your videos without interruption, never skipping a beat. You’ll also have the option to adjust the recording bitrate to save your file as a sole complete video or split it into 2 GB files.
This product features a schedule recording feature, allowing you to record videos instantly. It possesses two HDMI inputs and a single AV input, making it possible to switch the ready input signal in real time at the click of a button. This feature makes it possible to avoid constantly plugging and unplugging, preventing damage to your device that comes with constant friction.
The output from this recording is encoded with H.264, ensuring compatibility with just about any platform on the market. This video codec is widely adopted, providing ultimate quality, convenience and versatility.
One of the best qualities of the HDML-Cloner Box Evolve is that it allows you to record your gameplay and videos without needing a PC, providing for unlimited video capture without a split. It has an automatic start at a pre-determined set time, ensuring your video is captured whether you’re there or not. Switching input with a single click is a newer feature that is sure to help extend the life of your device by limiting the micro-damage that regularly occurs with manual input switches.
- Convert analog video to digital MP4 files compatible with modern computers or viewing devices
- Schedule recording in advance, CEC, bitrate adjust and snapshot
- Standalone video capture device with 2 HDMI and 1 AV (composite) inputs with easy access input switch
- 4K input is supported for maximum power
- Free video edit/conversion software included – extremely user-friendly.
- Live gameplay/videos streamlined directly to YouTube, Twitch or Facebook
- The ability to record HD 1080p HDMI videos from various game consoles and other video sources
- Recorded clips are not in an editable format unless converted first
- Cloner Alliance software has been known to have some efficiency glitches in the past
- Works best with 4K TV, slows with other sources
Magewell USB 3.0 HDMI Video Capture Dongle
The Magewell USB 3.0 Is one of the more affordable options available when it comes to Capture Cards, still delivering on solid performance and user-friendliness. Although the brand isn’t as well known, it can be challenging to tell their products apart from the big names when considering quality alone.
In terms of logistics, this device allows you to stream in 1920x1200p resolution at 60 fps and uses a USB 3.0 interface for instant streaming. You’ll be able to convert the input single up or down, convert frame rate and de-interlace without a lag. No additional drivers are needed as it offers a plug that pairs easily with OBS software.
It comes with all of the bells and whistles that you could usually expect with an HDMI Capture Card, especially for the price. With the lower price, however, there are some qualities that lack in comparison to the market’s top products such a decrease in audio quality. Additionally, the device heats up pretty intensely when using it for an extended period of time.
- User Friendliness
- Plug and Play instantly
- Compatible with OBS software for optimal performance
- Perform frame-rate conversion and de-interlacing in real-time with its own hardware opposed to relying on adaptation from outside source
- Lower audio quality
- Has been reported to get hot after extended use time, may require breaks during streaming
Av.io HD – Grab and Go USB video capture
The plug and play AV.io HD Capture Card is one of the most user-friendly devices out there. It comes with a cable that can be connected to your HDMI or other video source and a USB 3.0 cable that can be connected to your computer. In two simple plug steps, you’re ready to record.
There is no installation required as the AV.io HD is a UVC capture card, simply meaning that the device uses the drivers that your operating system already has in place. Once you plug in, it will be listed as an option for your software’s available cameras regardless of the computer you’re using. All you have to do is adjust the streaming endpoint and you’ll be all set to stream in real time.
This device is very versatile and can serve well across a range of functions, from gameplay streaming to medical hardware, bridging the gap between work and play compatibility. You’ll be able to capture your gameplay in real time with easy to use software such as OBS. You’ll be able to replicate your output from anything with a VGA, DVI or HDMI output port for easy uploading. Its compatibility with collaboration tools will allow you to share high-resolution video image, document cameras and more.
AV.io HD provides all of the parts necessary to start capturing gameplay or video all in one. It allows you to utilize your favorite streaming software to stream to whatever endpoint source fits best for your demands. When it comes time for work, you’ll also have the option to share your content through collaboration tools, ensuring you’ll never skip a beat when it comes time for big meetings.
- Lightweight, easy to take on the road
- Doesn’t make noise during use
- VGA to USB control without disruption
- Compatible most video encoder software, regardless of device
- USB cable is non-standard (on the device side), so it’s harder to replace when damaged
Elgato Video Capture – Digitize Video for Mac, PC or iPad
The Elgato Video Capture is perfect for transferring any video to your Mac or PC in a high-resolution H.264 file. The user-friendly software takes you through the process step by step, from the original connection to assisting you in sharing the content for easy to watch video.
This product provides for the ultimate in convenience when digitizing home video for playback, syncing, or editing on a variety of movie editing software. It’s easy to use software allows for easy uploads and pairs with either Mac or Windows computers, but has been known to work better with Macs.
Elgato Video Capture has the unique ability to convert sentimental home videos from the time of VHS tapes to modern devices. Since magnetic storage capabilities are limited by deterioration over time, it is essential to make this conversion as soon as possible to avoid losing precious hours of footage. This device will allow for a seamless transition that you and your loved ones are sure to value for years to come.
The user-friendliness of Elgato Video Capture is second to none. The step-by-step instructions ensure you don’t miss any key components of the transfer, allowing you to trim unwanted footage at their end of the recording. With a simple click, you’ll have the ability to add the footage to a video library of your choosing or playback footage on a number of different platforms. Its easy upload capabilities will also ensure you can share your favorite home footage with all of your followers, putting the early days of your film prowess on proud display with high quality.
Aside from just converting magnetic video from the VHS tapes of times past, Elgato Video Capture will allow you to convert content from VD discs or your DVR for playback. This content can be converted to your Mac or PC from any device that contains composite RCA or S-Video outputs while also coming with a SCART adapter for easy conversion features.
- Transfer video from a VCR or other magnetic video source to your Mac or PC with ease
- Step by step software guides you through every step and turns your analog into digital, high-resolution video footage
- Captures video in the universal H.264 digital format – ready for output to a wide variety of viewing devices and video storage libraries
- Comes with Elgato Video Capture, Composite-to-SCART adapter, and the Composite video/RCA stereo cable
- High-level video resolution: 640×480 (4:3) or 640×360 (16:9)
- Software installation has had some negative feedback due to time and efficiency
Elgato Game Capture HD60 S
For online gamers and streamers, you’re more likely than not familiar with this device already.
While many Capture Cards can only stream in SD, Elgato HD60 S offers 1080p as its standard. With the complexity of modern gaming graphics, it is essential that you utilize software that will do your recordings justice so your viewers can see just how impressive that head shit was.
The USB-C connector is second to none in design and function. You’ll be able to transfer data and power your device using a single port, keeping your devices from overloading and saving you the trouble of buying multiple adapters. In an era when convenience is the key, look no further.
This device is compatible with both Mac OS and Windows devices, perfect for the whole family. The user-friendliness of the HD60 S is unlike virtually all other devices on the market, removing frustration if you decide to have a change of heart in computer loyalties. The versatility of a Capture Card is an easy quality to underestimate but truly cannot be overstated.
The device also offers a stream command that will allow you to add a signature touch to your gaming footage. You’ll be able to overlay graphics, putting on a real show for your viewers. Especially for those gamers with their own channel and following, you can even stamp your brand logo onto the screen which is a massive benefit when it comes to marketing yourself and ensuring your footage can’t be recycled by cyber trolls.
- High-resolution 1080p quality with 60 fps. For Mac- GPU- AMD or NVIDIA
- Top of the line USB 3.0 Type C connection, Capture Bitrate- Up to 40 Mbps
- Built-in live instant streaming to Twitch, YouTube and more platforms
- Instant Gameview: stream with superior low latency technology to avoid lag
- Stream Command: add webcam, overlays, and more to help you customize your footage.
- For Mac’s, macOS Sierra, Intel Core i5-4xxx quad core or better or AMD or NVIDIA is required for proper function
Easyday EasyCap DC60 – USB 2.0 Video Capture Adapter
If you want to become a master at DVD production, this simple device is the best option available. It’s easy to use application makes it perfect for beginners and seasoned vets alike.
The UTV 007 Chipset will soon find itself in the homes of more and more individuals trying to test the waters of DVD production. While the James Bond reference is pretty cool, this device backs up the star power name by capitalizing on quick and efficient task completion. The quick turn around ensures you’ll have plenty of juice for additional work, saving time and energy.
This device is certainly one of the more inexpensive options on the market and packs a big punch when it comes to quality that mimics professional capabilities. The manual provides the “how to” for every possible feature (of which there are many) but the best way to master this device is to simply play around with it and learn it for yourself, at your own pace. The layout is easy to follow for any beginner and is sure to have you logging some serious hours on your production training.
One of the qualities of this device that really jumps out is its compatibility with both 32 and 64-bit Windows PCs. It’s no secret that working to resolve these issues with external devices can consume incredulous amounts of time; time that could be spent putting together your final product. The ability of Chipset to bypass this means you’ll be able to complete more projects and devote more time to the quality of your content as opposed to just sorting out technical issues that pop up.
For a small design, this product delivers in more ways than could ever be expected for something that can slip in your back pocket. You’ll never have to worry about overheating being an issue and you certainly won’t have to add an extra desk to store it. Pop it out, slip it in your device and get to work doing what you love.
- Support for All Formats: record in DVD+/-R/RW, DVD+/-VR, and DVD-Video to ensure versatile use
- Professional editing software with easy to use application
- Compatible with WIN 7 8 10 32bit and 64bit, saving time in adaptation
- Share finished projects on DVD, tape, the Web, and mobile devices of your choosing
- Instructions are not detailed, may be challenging for beginner’s
- Some select systems may not be easily recognized by the device
AVerMedia AVerCapture HD, Game Streaming and Game CaptureAVerMedia AVerCapture HD, Game Streaming and Game Capture is yet another favorite among gamers who relish in the chance to share their gameplay recordings on servers such as YouTube and Twitch.
This device is specifically designed for streamers using ultra-low latency technology. This ensures that there won’t be a lag in your stream, deterring viewers because of a poor connection. In addition to avoiding lag, you can be sure that the connection will provide a high-resolution time and time again. It possesses buffers and onboard firmware that push data through, providing you with the consistency needed to build up a larger following of viewers.
This device possesses a special quality in that it is directly integrated with YouTube, allowing you to stream and upload directly while saving time. This streamlined ability allows you to handle what matters most while making sure there isn’t a lag in your streaming capabilities.
In order to be successful with streaming, it is pertinent that other devices and platforms are able to read to code from your system. This device uses H.264, the most widely compatible encode, as its default. Because of this, it is highly unlikely you’ll come across a platform that will force you to adapt your stream, allowing you to spend more time streaming than ever before.
When it comes to customer service, the makers of this device want you to know that you’re in good hands. While most Capture Cards only offer a 12-month warranty protection, you’ll receive two full years with your purchase of the AVerMedia AVerCapture. If this doesn’t help you sleep well at night, we’re not sure what will.
- Stream and record Xbox, PlayStation, Wii U, Nintendo Switch, or NES Classic Edition console gameplay to a large number of output endpoints
- Capture in full HD 1080p with H.264 hardware encoder. Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Mac OS X 10.7 or later for versatile capture quality
- Ultra-low latency streaming and recording preventing lag and lost signal
- Stream Engine – Allows compatibility with most popular streaming software.
- Stream or share directly in real time to YouTube, Twitch, and more with built-in commentary and RECentral software
- 2-year warranty after registration at AVerrmedia website guaranteed
- Lgp lite does not support viewing, recording, and streaming of HDCP protected signals. Recentral for Mac does not support video streaming it only support video recording limiting some streaming options
- GL310 does not support MacOS 10.14 or above which may pose a challenge to newer models
AVerMedia Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus USB Game Capture
For experienced, serious gamers who are ready to make the jump with their streaming, the AVerMedia Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus USB Game Capture is the device you’ve been looking for. As a 4k device, there is more than enough power for high-quality streaming around the clock. Going with anything less than this will be sure to put you behind your competitors.
The headset commentary option will allow you to take your viewers through your thought process while playing, giving them an insight into what your plan is almost as if watching a Khan Academy video. It’s an easy integration to make, allowing you to simply throw on your headset and start playing without ever missing a beat.
When rolling with this device, you have the option to stream with or without the use of a PC. Turning off this option will allow you to go through your files in private and in an unrestricted manner. While the goal of streaming is to share your capabilities and footage with the world, it is hard to imagine many gamers would be disappointed about the ability to keep their privacy while streaming. This helps to keep both gamer files and content safe from cyber trolls.
In addition to just allowing you to provide your voice over, this device allows for your viewers to hear console chats during the stream. Because the clarity of each voice is maintained, viewers will be able to identify the different members of your team during the stream and gain a real insight into the plotting that goes down when taking on a tough mission or opponents. The quality this adds to your stream is a massive bonus for your channel.
Regardless of whether or not you’re using a PC, the simple press of a button will begin 1080p60 recording. If you are on the road, all of your games will be contained in the microSD card with absolutely no extra hardware required. When you’re back at home, you can simply switch the LGP2 Plus to Storage mode to convert it over to a card reader, reducing the dreaded risk of losing memory cards.
- 4K Pass-through: Experience 4K while recording at Full HD with max juice
- PC & PC-Free Modes: Capture with or without PC and read your files on the fly in real time
- Headset Commentary: Add your commentary to your streams or recordings to customize your stream
- Capture your party chats effortlessly with individual voice recognition
- No documentation, troubleshooting help or FAQ online so calling may be the only option
- Cannot set up using an elite XBOX controller with 3.5MM connection, limiting options
AGPtEK HD Game Capture Video CaptureThe AGPtEK HD Game Capture Video Capture is a new device that has become a big player in the recording market due to its user-friendliness and convenient size. There is an onboard hard drive that allows for phenomenal storage in this small device, serving as a great starting point. As you build a library of recordings, you may eventually switch to an external hard drive device but this will be more than enough o get you going.
Despite how small the device is the function has been maintained without even the slightest hint of compromise. It is hard to believe they were able to fit so much juice into such a small device that uses virtually no power consumption. Even with such high production, the device never overheats and won’t ever bug you with that prolonged buzzing.
The 1080p quality matches the standard we have come to expect with all of the technology available in this modern era. The beauty of this device is that this standard has been adopted and requires no connector to carry over the quality, giving you consistent video and sound with less time and effort than most commercially available devices.
- A game capture card to record videos or audio files. Records full HD 1080p video quality with HDMI and YPbPr input to ensure quality imaging every time
- Record 1080P HD video for HDMI device into USB disk/Hard drive directly, support up to 128G for USB drive (FAT32) and 2TB for hard drive – serves as a great internal piece to start
- Supports connecting a microphone and record your voice to comment when playing a game to allow for customization
- This device doesn’t stream in real time
- Works with USB 2.0 device only which may limit image quality
There are a ton of Capture Card options to choose from and it is important that you make your purchase based on what your specific needs are. There is something on the market for everyone, from serious gamers who are trying to make a living to mothers trying to hold on to VHS memories by converting images.
The most important part of this decision is understanding the why behind your purchase and we can guarantee that the guide above will take you through the purchasing process from there.
If you have used one of these devices, please help your fellow gamers out and leave a review below.