Streaming and Recording Guide/Research

[Deleted User][Deleted User] Joined: Posts: 0
I've recently been trying to move GYT into the streaming space and have come to learn a lot. I thought this would be useful information to the community as we see more and more events being streamed and matches being recorded. So I decided to document everything I have come to learn about streaming in the past month or so and share it.
MIND YOU THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS. I will update as I learn, and as I have time.

* Hardware *
* Capture Devices

Matrox MXO2 Mini - Compared to the other capture device solutions, the Matrox MXO2 Mini is a bit pricey for a consumer level product. It will cost you around the $450 - $500 range depending on where you chose to buy it. However, for it's price, I find it to be the most powerful and flexible of the devices I researched. It is also the device I opted to go with.

It's flexible in the sense that it can do both component and HDMI inputs and outputs and it can interface with both laptops via PCMCIA express card and PC/Macs through a PCI express card. Depending on which package you purchase it will either come with a PCMCIA express card or a PCI express card.

The Matrox site has a convincing list as to why to choose the MXO2 over the Black Magic Intensity Pro which also showcases why it's a powerful little device.

Of course it has it's own set of drawbacks. The device is very temperamental. While using it with my Macbook Pro, you can't have the device connected while you are booting or else the system will hang. Often times you will need to completely restart your system and power on the MXO2 in a specific order for the capture software to function properly with the device. Many of the restart issues have been documented in a review by Vade of "Create Digital Motion" I find that once I've set everything up correctly, so long as you don't touch anything or have a stream crash, the device runs smoothly.

Black Magic Intensity Pro - I've had mixed feedback when it comes to this device. Some have claimed this as the "Gold Standard" for video processing and video I/O; however when speaking to Cicada who runs the House of Cicada stream, he tells me that the windows version of the drivers are a bit "hokey" at best. He's had issues using the Black Magic Intensity Pro with streaming software such as VidBlaster.

DJWheat of Epileptic Gaming / LO3 has a resolution to Black Magic Intensity and Vidblaster issues.
The BM Intensity Pro works fine with VidBlaster, you just cannot use it directly into the program. I've done over 500 hours of streaming this year with the BM Intensity Pro + VidBlaster combo.

What you need to do is use a "catcher" program for VidBlaster.

VidBlaster is great program, but in reality it's optimization is pretty poor. So when you begin to pile more tasks into VidBlaster (recording, streaming, capturing cameras, etc) it really starts to take a beating (unless you are running a legit i7 core system).

I would suggest that you use VCam. VCam allows you to "capture" the signal from the BM Intensity Pro, and then you just fire it directly to VidBlaster. When you do this, you'll notice the quality of the BM Intensity Pro go from "totally shitty" to "Holy shit that looks awesome".

YOU ALSO WILL BYPASS ANY AND ALL ISSUES WITH AUDIO SYNC if you meet the following conditions... You must be using the Intensity Pro 2.1 drivers. Yeah I know, they are on like 3.4 now, but seriously, I played with about 12 versions of this driver and anything after 2.1 has some CRAZY audio de-sync going on (I think it has to do with locked framerates but BM has not confirmed this yet.

One drawback with the Black Magic Intensity Pro is that it's an internal PCI Express card. You will likely need a desktop PC to use it which is not as mobile as something like that Matrox MXO2 Mini and a laptop.

HDR Hauppauge - The Hauppauge is a powerful little device and is great for a cheap entry level recorder. It takes any HD input via component and records footage to your PC/Mac hard drive in h.264. It is important to point out that this device does hardware encoding straight into h.264, meaning your PC/Mac won't be spending precious CPU cycles encoding raw HD footage as the majority of the processing is being done by the box itself. This device quickly outputs game footage in h.264 format which many online video sites such as youtube or vimeo accept.

Where the Hauppauge really causes headaches is in post production. Since it encodes straight into h.264 which is a delivery format, it will take quite awhile to convert the footage back into a format used in editing programs such as Final Cut Pro. There are limited amount of programs that do simple cutting of footage but adding stuff like logos, player names, intros, background music may take awhile especially if you've recorded an entire 64 - 128 man tournament.

Some other drawbacks of the Hauppauge is that it does not have HDMI input.

Despite some of it's drawbacks, many people I have spoken to who own the device are generally happy with it. It's relatively cheap compared to some solutions, and there are not many people out there who are worried about adding logos, player names, commentary to their footage. They are much more worried about getting the footage out there and keeping a record of the match which this device can do quickly and easily.

Other things to note about this device is that there is limited OS X support right now. It does however unofficially work with Elgato's EyeTV video software.

Haunts from IPlayWinner.com discusses streaming with the Hauppauge
haunts wrote:
streaming from the Hauppauge is best suited for small gatherings and tournaments. It's not really the most reliable way to stream just due to the fact that if you try to do too much, Eye TV will slow down and you wont have the best framerate.

I'm running a MacBook with 4 gigs of ram and this method works fairly well but it does have many draw backs that I'll try to explain here.

The set up is as follows:

PS3/360 with component video cables connected to the Hauppauge.

PS3/360 Audio Cables running to a mixer of some sort.

A mic or two running to said mixer.

Master Out on Mixer connecting to the Hauppauge Audio in.

EyeTV with Preview Window Open

CamTwist with Desktop + capturing the EyeTV Window

Soundflower to route the sound for uStream.

So, it's been a while since I've had this set up so I'm sure I missed a detail or two, but the basic idea is you are routing the video to the EyeTV preview window and capturing that with CamTwist's Desktop +. You're then going to use Soundflower to route the audio through EyeTV to uStream (this is the part where screen shots would be handy.) You of course control audio levels via the mixer.

As far as the specific settings to get Soundflower to give you audio via uStream, I dont know off the top of my head.

The problem (besides the mess you have to go through to get it to work) here is that the video lags slightly ont he EyeTV preview window compared to what is happening real time. So if you have a camera set up and try to do a PIP with CamTwist, the footage of the game will be delayed. Not a huge deal but some may find it odd to see people jumping out of their seats before anything happens on screen.

Also, as I mentioned before, even though the preview window in EyeTV runs very smooth, if you try to do too much at once it will obviously start dropping frames.

Hava Titanium HD
I don't have much experience using the Hava series of capture devices but aggrastat has written about it in detail here.

* Signal Splitters - signal splitters are key for outputting footage from your source, whether it be a PS3 or Xbox 360, to both the television that players view and the capture device.

When dealing with splitters an issue that might come up is frame latency, in particular lag between input from the controllers and what is outputted to the television. It's the same issue that many have come across when dealing with "laggy" televisions. Some games such as Street Fighter IV require strict timing to up to 1 frame. One way to mitigate this problem is to make sure the splitter is powered with its own power source, that way the signal is amplified. There are unpowered splitters on the market, but I don't recommend them if the game you are recording/streaming requires strict input timing. Unpowered signal splitters can also lead to darkened picture quality since it's not being amplified.

Even if you do use the best powered splitter on the market, the splitter will still create some "lag"; however the delay created is in the microseconds which is unnoticeable. Humans can only discern delay when it gets to the millisecond range.

It is still important to use a non-laggy television or monitor, particularly the televisions or monitors that do not do post HD processing. If you use a splitter setup with known delay issues with a television that is laggy, you just compound the problem.

When dealing with streaming or recording gameplay from a PS3 or Xbox 360, there are two types of splitters to consider: component or HDMI. There are benefits and drawbacks to each type. Some devices, such as the PS3, encrypt HDMI signal in a protocol called HDCP. It's a protocol used to protect againsts pirates who attempt to capture or rip Bluray movies, for example. There are splitters and devices that decrypt HDCP signals, such as the HD Fury , but it is still inconclusive what kind of delay or lag is created from decrypting the signal. Component on the other hand is unencrypted. There are, however, been industry talks and rumors about locking component output during playback of protected content. It is certainly something to look out for in the future.

One other unfortunate aspect of choosing component is there are known monitors, such as the ASUS monitor used at Evolution 2009, that have no lag but only have HDMI inputs and no Component inputs. You should also consider that older generations of the Xbox 360 do not have HDMI out.

In speaking to Robb aka "Jedi Robb" of the Devastation group, he sent me a list of powered splitters, both component and HDMI, that have had no complaints from players who played on the systems at Devastation '09:

CE Labs AV501HDXi 1 to 4 Component Splitter - This is the component splitter I opted to go with.

CE Labs HA4-3 1 to 4 HDMI Splitter

Geffen 1 to 4 HDMI Splitter

* Get Your Tournament Streaming Setup Rev 2 *
GYT%20Streaming%20Setup%20small.png

* Software *
Telestream's Wirecast
I've used Wirecast now extensively for about 4 months, and I have to say that it is an impressive piece of software. It is very user friendly. It really makes incorporating professional style lower thirds, overlays, and logos into your broadcast simple. Having no prior broadcast production experience I was really expecting a steep learning curve -- something akin to learning photoshop or final cut pro for the first time -- instead I was surprised at how easy it was to use. Just from looking at it's user interface you'll notice that it almost takes a minimalist approach when compared to something like VidBlaster, a competing streaming software suite. There are not a lot of buttons to interact with yet it is deceptively powerful.
Wirecast.png

Pros
  • Really easy to use. If you understand the concept of layers from programs such as photoshop, GIMP, or premier then it will feel right at home.
  • Really simple to use chroma keying for green screen effects.
  • It comes preloaded with professional style shot-to-shot transitions and even a set of preloaded lower thirds. Adding your own lower thirds, graphics and video is as simple as dragging and dropping or importing them.
  • I had no issues so far with Wirecast detecting any of my connected hardware. It detected all my input sources, cameras, and audio devices right out of the box.
  • It has preloaded presets for streaming to your favorite streaming services including the two favorites Justin.tv and Ustream.
Cons
  • It has a slight chance of crashing the stream when you edit properties of shots during a broadcast.
  • It has no support for ip cameras or network cameras as of yet. They are working on this feature at the moment.
  • No easy way of queueing or adding playlist of shots. It does, however, have an scripting interface using various programming languages.
  • No integration with Adobe's Flash Media Live Encoder, though it does have it's own flash media encoder.
  • Its cost. This bad boy cost $449 plus $99 dollars for the HDV Camera plugin if you intend to use High Definition cameras. And yes for you people looking to Arrrrrrrquire :sweat: this software, just know that the registration process "dials home" meaning it checks the key with Telestream's servers.



Here is a sample clip of a stream we did using Telestream's Wirecast. This was recorded on 12/1/2009 of a Street Fighter 4 stream: Wednesday Night Fights

You can also check out our Justin.tv channel which has matches from our latest stream using Wirecast playing on loop.
* Other Useful Resources *
Current Get Your Tournament Streaming Setup Rev 2 - Here is a diagram I made using Dia that diagrams our current setup.
Producer and Co-founder, Level | Up Series
www.levelup-series.com
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Comments

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Joined: Posts: 0
    reserved
    Producer and Co-founder, Level | Up Series
    www.levelup-series.com
  • Scrub Goku SatsuScrub Goku Satsu I am a scrub Joined: Posts: 276
    Sounds fascinating, and something I will be following keenly.
  • SNAAAAKESNAAAAKE keptyouwaitinghuh Joined: Posts: 9,430 ✭✭✭✭✭
    "winavi" software converts hauppauge recorded mp4 files with the quickness. you can convert 10 min videos in like 20 minutes. only drawback is it doesnt wanna keep the source framerate(which is 60fps for games) and you have option for 30. I personally cant tell the difference once the videos are on youtube. 60fps video took like 2 hours to compress in sony vegas pro and the 30fps video took like 20 minutes.

    Id recommend winavi for encoding/compressing hauppauge HD recorded videos.
    you must defeat my Shen Long to receive the reward

  • hauntshaunts www.iplaywinner.com Joined: Posts: 3,098
    Streaming is possible with the Hauppauge, but only on Mac as far as I know.

    Nice guide. :)
    http://www.iplaywinner.com | http://www.keystoneii.com | http://www.versuscity.net | http://www.denjinarcade.com
    terror never had rules, kill the messenger and the bearer of bad news.
  • unastrikeunastrike Joined: Posts: 24
    Nice work on getting this info out there, AJ. I hope it helps a lot of people and cuts out some trial and error.

    Currently, I've got both the Intensity Pro and the Hauppauge HD-PVR and am using them on Windows platforms. Both definitely have their pros and cons...

    I'm pulling my hair out with the Intensity Pro. As a straight up capture device, it's pretty quality... when it's working. I get tons of bugs and crashes. Capturing in Premiere CS4 is spotty. Since I installed it, I can't even open up ustream or justin.tv's broadcast modes without crashing. It also does not seem to work in FME or VidBlaster. Deal-breaker for me.

    The HD-PVR, on the other hand, has been really solid. Takes quality footage (when you tweak the settings), but its limited in terms of flexibility. You can only capture with the included software (I'd love to be able to capture directly in Premiere) and the capture resolution MUST match your input. No scaling or down conversion. Still, if you're only looking to capture gameplay footage, I give this a thumbs up.

    Another thing to note is that both have pass-through video... Big bonus to each. Both seem negligible in lag, but the Intensity Pro's pass-through will only work while you've got a capture program up. That's a pain in the ass. The HD-PVR's is always on.

    Now, you've got me interested in this MXO2 mini. Has anyone used this with VidBlaster? If they have, and it's successful, please let me know. I'll jump on it.

    OH, one last tidbit. AJ linked to a component splitter... I haven't used that one, but I have tried one from Radio Shack. Seems very similar:

    Radio Shack 4-Way A/V Distribution Amplifier

    I can't recommend it though. Seems to blow out the audio.
  • WorstGiefEVERWorstGiefEVER GIEF Joined: Posts: 462
    Thanks for this info - being in the UK, I could not find the splitter you have here, so I popped over to Maplin (our equivalent to radio shack) and picked up the Shinybow 4 AV Distribution Amplifier. Have not had a chance to lag test it yet.

    Thanks to haunts' help I picked up the Startech S-Video to USB 2.0 Video Capture Cable and got my stream working with that last night, however I have not worked out why the sound was not working yet. Ustream kept crashing when the flash box popped up asking for access to things so I had to keep pressing no - I have installed the latest drivers for the device from the website so I will try again tonight and see if that helps.

    I'm doing it on PC rather than mac BTW. I will update this post as things progress. I need to get a hauppauge or hauppauge-like device now - a friend of mine has a hauppage PVR so I will test things with that first and take it from there.
  • SystemSystem Joined: Posts: 20,835 admin
    I'm pulling my hair out with the Intensity Pro. As a straight up capture device, it's pretty quality... when it's working. I get tons of bugs and crashes. Capturing in Premiere CS4 is spotty. Since I installed it, I can't even open up ustream or justin.tv's broadcast modes without crashing. It also does not seem to work in FME or VidBlaster. Deal-breaker for me.

    The BM Intensity Pro works fine with VidBlaster, you just cannot use it directly into the program. I've done over 500 hours of streaming this year with the BM Intensity Pro + VidBlaster combo.

    What you need to do is use a "catcher" program for VidBlaster.

    VidBlaster is great program, but in reality it's optimization is pretty poor. So when you begin to pile more tasks into VidBlaster (recording, streaming, capturing cameras, etc) it really starts to take a beating (unless you are running a legit i7 core system).

    I would suggest that you use VCam. VCam allows you to "capture" the signal from the BM Intensity Pro, and then you just fire it directly to VidBlaster. When you do this, you'll notice the quality of the BM Intensity Pro go from "totally shitty" to "Holy shit that looks awesome".

    YOU ALSO WILL BYPASS ANY AND ALL ISSUES WITH AUDIO SYNC if you meet the following conditions... You must be using the Intensity Pro 2.1 drivers. Yeah I know, they are on like 3.4 now, but seriously, I played with about 12 versions of this driver and anything after 2.1 has some CRAZY audio de-sync going on (I think it has to do with locked framerates but BM has not confirmed this yet.

    I am going to pick up a Matrox MXO2 Mini to work in conjunction with this particular device but I still think the Intensity Pro is a solid solution for capturing (keep in mind it works great for both console capture AND HD Camera capture).

    EDIT: I'll try to post some screenshots of how I have this setup, right now I'm kind of "disconnected" cause I am putting an i7 rig into my streaming formula.
  • SystemSystem Joined: Posts: 20,835 admin
    Software for the Hauppauge HDPVR which I recommend would be:

    - rcTVCap for recording (0% CPU utilization during recording, since it is a CLI application)

    In other words I what I see on my LCD monitor is what I get after recording.

    http://blog.arogan.com/2008/06/hauppauge-hd-pvr-model-1212.html

    NOTE: There should be a batch file in one of the comments which you can use to simplify recording.

    - RipBot264 to transcode and sync the raw A/V to either MP4 or MKV

    http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=127611

    For splitting/joining TS files you can use TSSplitter:

    http://www.ffprojects.net/

    Works great with this setup and using rcTVCap is easier to time starting and stopping a recording to me IMO compared to the default software it comes with.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Joined: Posts: 0
    The guide has been updated with our Streaming Diagram and sample clips using wirecast
    Producer and Co-founder, Level | Up Series
    www.levelup-series.com
  • TatsujinkenTatsujinken tragic hero Joined: Posts: 854
    aj so pro :3
    I HIT A FLOW ALL DIPPED IN LOTION
    SIT BACK AND SIP MOE AS I COUNT MY DOUGH
  • CicadaCicada NO, YOU CANNOT. Joined: Posts: 1,392
  • unastrikeunastrike Joined: Posts: 24
    Well, damn! VCam worked, Wheat. I was real happy to see that. I've tried a few others like that, but this was the first to work. Thanks for that.

    I uninstalled the current Intensity Pro drivers... installed 2.1 to head off any audio sync issues down the road. But I am still having browser crashes in justin.tv and ustream. Doesn't matter what other programs are running at the time. Anytime I have Intensity drivers installed, I crash whenever I go into broadcast mode. Firefox or IE. I've recently reformatted the pc too, I can't think of any conflicts other than hardware.

    Trying to save up for a Matrox Mini now. Shit is frustrating since I'm sitting on 2 $200 capture devices - neither of which I can stream with.
  • Las Vegas PimpLas Vegas Pimp XBL: Da Big Punisher Joined: Posts: 3,568 ✭✭
    Hello sir, this is off topic but I think you're the best one out there that may be able to help me. Don't want to create a new thread for my waste. But I have this Sony Handycam and I heard I am able to record my xbox or ps3 gameplay with it rather than buying other products out there. Do you know if this is true and how would I be able to do it?
    Still have that SRK OG mentality.
  • ZankenZanken Joined: Posts: 278
    Subscribed.
    Theres a few recording threads around here, but this is by far the most valuable. Thankyou!
    http://www.couchwarriors.org/
    Monthly Ranbats for Third Strike, Blazblue, Soul Calibur 4 and Street Fighter 4.
  • PumpkinBomberPumpkinBomber Troll Hawk Joined: Posts: 3,681
    Thanks for the info dude. :tup: I ordered the Matrox mini and we'll be trying it out at the upcoming Mardi Gras tournament in New Orleans http://www.shoryuken.com/showthread.php?t=222142
    and if it goes well then we will also be using it for streaming and capture at the Battle for the South tournament in May. I'll let you know how it goes, and if I have issues I may ask about them here if it's cool. Thanks again. L8
    "Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience." - George Carlin
    "I'm all in." - Phil Ivey
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Joined: Posts: 0
    Updated the guide with some Wirecast information as well as a link to a Hava guide.
    Producer and Co-founder, Level | Up Series
    www.levelup-series.com
  • VarleranVarleran Zako Joined: Posts: 641
    Is there any ... err ... "less expensive" software that can be used to compile a stream? I don't need a lot of features, but I'd like to know what alternatives are out there.
  • KooperKooper Need a dispenser here! Joined: Posts: 2,069 mod
    Very nice guide, and very good equipment you're using! Sadly though, not many people have that amount of money to be capturing HD content like that and streaming it with premium software.

    For people who are having trouble wrapping their heads around prices, here's what I'd like to add to the table:

    - Go SD, not HD: As much as we love high quality streaming and recordings I understand that your budget is low. Normally in a major tournament setting most major matches will be held on a CRT TV due to it's inability to lag. Using this to your advantage you can minimize the cost of your setup substantially. Instead of going component or HDMI instead you'll focus on using composite wiring (yellow, red, white) or S Video.

    -Use a composite/S-video splitter: This way you can save a bunch of cash. As an added bonus you can even look for a CRT TV with a video output as well, which means you wouldn't even need to buy a splitter.

    -Use a composite/S-Video capture device: Although the capture devices discussed by Potato were really nice, they of course also very expensive. A usb based capture device can be extremely cheap and portable as well as those which are PCI card based are extremely low cost.

    -Use free software: Stream your event using ustream which allows you to stream your content with Flash Media Live Encoder 3. You can do this by following their guide and will cost you nothing to broadcast.

    -Commentary Mics: This is one area where you need to at least spend a little bit of cash. Going with a nice USB based mic can really boost the overall quality of your stream as not neck breaking prices. Personally I use the CO1U mic and I am extremely satisfied with it's professional quality.

    Again, thank you Potato for your fantastic recommendations which I personally plan on implementing in my own broadcasts. However for those who are tight on cash and would like a cheaper alternative I feel this is about the cheapest bang for your buck you can go.
  • KGershkoffKGershkoff On the journey of a thousand miles........ Joined: Posts: 229
    Can you have 2 different VGA inputs on 1 PC monitor via a VGA splitter?

    For example:

    1 connection is from a desktop computer to the monitor.

    And 1 connection from a PS3/360. where this connection can be used in a video editing program on the PC.
  • creep23creep23 Pacquaio Is Scared Joined: Posts: 125
    I use a dazzle to stream.
    EVO2k10 Bound.
    The WORST Balrog in Sacramento.
  • PumpkinBomberPumpkinBomber Troll Hawk Joined: Posts: 3,681
    I got my Matrox MXO2 Mini installed and works fine for capturing using the Matrox A/V tools. But. Ustream, Vidblaster, and Wirecast don't see it as a capture device for streaming though. I'm guessing there is some trick to it. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

    Sony Vaio Laptop PC Core 2 Duo 2.8 Ghz running Windows 7 64-bit with 6GB Ram using the Express/34 card of course. Like I said, capturing at 720p 59.94fps is no problem.

    Edit: so I was able to use VidBlaster and create a virtual camera that pulls video from the area of my desktop that has the Matrox AV tools preview video playing. I can then stream the video this way. With no sound. I'm guessing I can use the line-in on my computer to stream the sound. This would give me a work around solution, but it seems pretty lame to have to do it this way.

    Another solution that may work could be to sort of "tape delay" the stream. Meaning capture an hour at a time and then use Adobe Media Encoder CS and/or Flash Media Encoder to stream the resulting files. This seems like a pain to do though.

    Any thoughts or other solutions are welcome.

    Edit: Streaming with the Matrox MXO2 Mini is not supported on the PC for the following:
    Ustream, Livestream Procaster, Telestream Wirecast, Vidblaster, Flash Media Live Encoder, On2 Flix Live

    Capture with Adobe Premiere Pro CS 4.2.1 works well and resulting files can be converted with Adobe Media Encoder CS 4.2 to most other formats for easy distribution to YouTube, DVD, Blu-Ray, etc.
    "Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience." - George Carlin
    "I'm all in." - Phil Ivey
  • SystemSystem Joined: Posts: 20,835 admin
    UNA: I think I know what's crashing your browser. I did some testing and it seems like when the BMIntensity Pro is set as the SOURCE for input it will crash the browser. I was able to recreate this with FIREFOX several times.

    The reason it seems to work for me is because I have USTREAM and JUSTIN.tv picking up my VIDBLASTER signal and not directly from the BM Intensity Pro. You might want to check that out.
  • SystemSystem Joined: Posts: 20,835 admin
    I got my Matrox MXO2 Mini installed and works fine for capturing using the Matrox A/V tools. But. Ustream, Vidblaster, and Wirecast don't see it as a capture device for streaming though. I'm guessing there is some trick to it. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

    Edit: Streaming with the Matrox MXO2 Mini is not supported on the PC for the following:
    Ustream, Livestream Procaster, Telestream Wirecast, Vidblaster, Flash Media Live Encoder, On2 Flix Live

    It kinda seems like you figured it out... I wish I could have found the answer before some people purchased it, because I almost made the same mistake with the MXO2Mini. IT DOES NOT WORK WITH DIRECTSHOW on PC (as you have stated). Have you tried the "VCAM" solution? See if VCAM can pick it up and then send VCAM to VidBlaster (or other production software). The MXO2Mini will basically not work with anything that requires DirectShow on a PC.

    I've decided to stay away from the MXO2 Mini Solution and have begun to research alternatives to the BM Intensity Pro. I may have found one. Info to come.
  • SystemSystem Joined: Posts: 20,835 admin
    There's a new contender for capturing on the PC and it may be the BM Intensity Pro Killer! Introducing the AVerMedia AVerTV HD DVR MTVHDDVRR!

    This particular product is only $80 and the biggest difference between it and the BM Intensity Pro is it DOES NOT HAVE OUTPUTS. The BM Intensity Pro allows you pass any signal you put into the card via HDMI/Component/etc. The good news is that it's not as finicky as the BM Intensity Pro and will allow you to switch source formats without having to make a bunch of changes in a control panel.

    I'm currently testing one of these cards in my QuadCore and i7 box, and I will give a full report when my testing is completed. I figured for anyone who didn't want to buy and BM Intensity Pro but wanted the ability to capture via HDMI+Component+etc would like to do some research.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815100049
  • ShinjiGohanShinjiGohan Joined: Posts: 4,421 ✭✭✭
    out of curiousity, any word on HDRECs also known as Pegasus here in the USA?

    http://magnetro.com/pegasus.html
  • SaveFightingSaveFighting Games & Pussy..Cats Joined: Posts: 357
    One thing with streams and overlays please for the love of god follow image retention guidelines (This effects LCD and Plasma tech.) Your on screen logos or graphics should be at least 20-30% (For player names 10% should be fine though even 0% is fine since they change a lot.) transparent to insure long term viewing habits on HDTV's does not have any unwanted effect.

    Any added borders should be a light gray and not white or black. This insures even wear.

    Also, many people might think image retention is not a problem on LCD TV's though it surprisingly is.

    http://www.practical-home-theater-guide.com/image-sticking.html

    I view all my streams via HTPC hooked up to my 60 inch HDTV with image processing turned on to clean up the image. You know what on good quality stream it is very enjoyable. :) Thanks to all the SF streamers on here. You guys are doing an outstanding job.
    Real gamers play Fighting games. Fuck all the haters.
  • ShinjiGohanShinjiGohan Joined: Posts: 4,421 ✭✭✭
    I'm trying the vcam with my BM intensity pro but the only resolution that he wants to keep is SD... is there something that I'm doing wrong? if I have my PS3 on 720 and try and set vcam at 720 it'll default back to 480i so it won't switch to the proper resolution thus I don't see anything. outside of downgrading my drivers to 2.1 for the audio issue could there be another reason for this?
  • hbreakzhbreakz Joined: Posts: 238
    i have a question about the Black Magic Intensity Pro . lets say i hook my ps3 up to it and try to play it off that on the pc will there be any input lag? i really want to play my ps3 in windowed mode on my pc. i have asked around but they say no input lag but i rather find out from you guys.


    my choices is either hd pvr or black magic pro. which should i just ?
    psn: hbreakz
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  • SNAAAAKESNAAAAKE keptyouwaitinghuh Joined: Posts: 9,430 ✭✭✭✭✭
    hauppage hdpvr is nice but it randomly freezes after 15-20 minutes. this has to be the most idiotic casing ive ever see. there are NO air ventilation holes on the box so it gets hot with the quickness. for me it doesnt really matter because what I record is usually 10 minutes or less(MGO surivival/tourney matchs).
    you must defeat my Shen Long to receive the reward

  • CicadaCicada NO, YOU CANNOT. Joined: Posts: 1,392
    i have a question about the Black Magic Intensity Pro . lets say i hook my ps3 up to it and try to play it off that on the pc will there be any input lag? i really want to play my ps3 in windowed mode on my pc. i have asked around but they say no input lag but i rather find out from you guys.


    my choices is either hd pvr or black magic pro. which should i just ?

    not a good idea.
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  • RXSRXS The Canadian Stream Supreme Joined: Posts: 2,138
    DJWheat: curious to find out how that AverMedia card works out for you.
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  • ShinjiGohanShinjiGohan Joined: Posts: 4,421 ✭✭✭
    i have a question about the Black Magic Intensity Pro . lets say i hook my ps3 up to it and try to play it off that on the pc will there be any input lag? i really want to play my ps3 in windowed mode on my pc. i have asked around but they say no input lag but i rather find out from you guys.


    my choices is either hd pvr or black magic pro. which should i just ?

    playing it within windows will add lag, if your capturing on top of that then you'll get some choppiness in there as well. It'd be best to use the HDMI/component pass through and resend the signal back to your TV. From my studies there is virtually no lag on the pass through, as long as your playing on a non laggy TV set anyway.
  • PlayNTradeHarveyPlayNTradeHarvey Jimmy Huynh Joined: Posts: 380
    Very nice guide, and very good equipment you're using! Sadly though, not many people have that amount of money to be capturing HD content like that and streaming it with premium software.

    For people who are having trouble wrapping their heads around prices, here's what I'd like to add to the table:

    - Go SD, not HD: As much as we love high quality streaming and recordings I understand that your budget is low. Normally in a major tournament setting most major matches will be held on a CRT TV due to it's inability to lag. Using this to your advantage you can minimize the cost of your setup substantially. Instead of going component or HDMI instead you'll focus on using composite wiring (yellow, red, white) or S Video.

    -Use a composite/S-video splitter: This way you can save a bunch of cash. As an added bonus you can even look for a CRT TV with a video output as well, which means you wouldn't even need to buy a splitter.

    -Use a composite/S-Video capture device: Although the capture devices discussed by Potato were really nice, they of course also very expensive. A usb based capture device can be extremely cheap and portable as well as those which are PCI card based are extremely low cost.

    -Use free software: Stream your event using ustream which allows you to stream your content with Flash Media Live Encoder 3. You can do this by following their guide and will cost you nothing to broadcast.

    -Commentary Mics: This is one area where you need to at least spend a little bit of cash. Going with a nice USB based mic can really boost the overall quality of your stream as not neck breaking prices. Personally I use the CO1U mic and I am extremely satisfied with it's professional quality.

    Again, thank you Potato for your fantastic recommendations which I personally plan on implementing in my own broadcasts. However for those who are tight on cash and would like a cheaper alternative I feel this is about the cheapest bang for your buck you can go.

    What program or how can you commentate with game audio and mic together? using usb mic.
    Try Before You Buy!

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  • RXSRXS The Canadian Stream Supreme Joined: Posts: 2,138
    virtual audio cable works good :)
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  • PlayNTradeHarveyPlayNTradeHarvey Jimmy Huynh Joined: Posts: 380
    cool thanks man...have been searching forever

    I just dled it, is there any trick to work it with ustream?
    Try Before You Buy!

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  • PlayNTradeHarveyPlayNTradeHarvey Jimmy Huynh Joined: Posts: 380
    nevermind got it, youtube tut helps!
    Try Before You Buy!

    Street Fighter 4 Fight Night every Fridays in my House! 5pm to 9pm
  • VesperiaVesperia Fine asian canadian Joined: Posts: 75
    Sup guys, I need a decent powered component splitter for a Canadian =) just has to be 3-ways. Something around the $200 line or less, if anyone can point me in the right direction that would be dope.
  • ChaoticMonkChaoticMonk Shut The Front Door Joined: Posts: 860 ✭✭
    Fantastic resource of information but unfortunately out of my price range.

    The problem with most guides I'm finding online is the result in you plugging in your console to a device (e.g. dazzle) then sending one signal to the PC to record while the other goes to your tv to play.

    My problem is that I play using my PC monitor. My xbox is connected via a VGA cable to the 2nd input port on my monitor (Dell LCD) while the audio goes in to my Line in (I can then listed to the xbox audio via my PC headset).

    What is a cost effective solution which would allow me to continue to play on my pc monitor while still being able to record?
  • PumpkinBomberPumpkinBomber Troll Hawk Joined: Posts: 3,681
    Sup guys, I need a decent powered component splitter for a Canadian =) just has to be 3-ways. Something around the $200 line or less, if anyone can point me in the right direction that would be dope.

    The one mentioned in the OP can be had for <$200 if you look around the Internet. eBay has a few last I looked.
    "Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience." - George Carlin
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  • VesperiaVesperia Fine asian canadian Joined: Posts: 75
    Yeah I just found it actually thanks alot for the reply. I can't wait to try this out. Is there any other alternatives to the Vcam solution for using with my mx02? I can only find shareware for Vcam but if it is the best option then I might as well buy it. Thanks again.
  • PumpkinBomberPumpkinBomber Troll Hawk Joined: Posts: 3,681
    Yeah I just found it actually thanks alot for the reply. I can't wait to try this out. Is there any other alternatives to the Vcam solution for using with my mx02? I can only find shareware for Vcam but if it is the best option then I might as well buy it. Thanks again.

    VidBlaster can do the same thing as Vcam plus all the realtime production effects. The trial is free and fully functional. It just has an icon in the top corner saying it's a trial.
    "Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience." - George Carlin
    "I'm all in." - Phil Ivey
  • PlayNTradeHarveyPlayNTradeHarvey Jimmy Huynh Joined: Posts: 380
    What software should I use if i would like to stream both webcam and gameplay at the same time? Streaming on ustream.
    Try Before You Buy!

    Street Fighter 4 Fight Night every Fridays in my House! 5pm to 9pm
  • VesperiaVesperia Fine asian canadian Joined: Posts: 75
    VidBlaster can do the same thing as Vcam plus all the realtime production effects. The trial is free and fully functional. It just has an icon in the top corner saying it's a trial.

    oh, I though in your past post you mentioned you couldn't stream with mx02 mini on vidblaster. Dj wheat mentioned to try Vcam with it. Could you please elaborate on the method you used if you have the time.
  • PumpkinBomberPumpkinBomber Troll Hawk Joined: Posts: 3,681
    oh, I though in your past post you mentioned you couldn't stream with mx02 mini on vidblaster. Dj wheat mentioned to try Vcam with it. Could you please elaborate on the method you used if you have the time.

    With the MXO2 mini you need to have the video playing in the Matrox AV Controls preview window. Then use VidBlaster to capture Desktop for Camera 1. Select 16:9 if you are playing HD video from the Mini, and select the area where the AV tools preview window is playing. Now you have a virtual cam in VidBlaster. This doesn't give you audio though. For that you would need to split the audio before it goes into the Mini. Send 1 set of connectors to your line-in on your pc and 1 to your Mini. Now u can set up the stream module in VidBlaster and you are set. If your pc is fast enough you can record with the AV tools and stream with VidBlaster from the 1 PC. You probably need an i7 processor to do both at the same time though.

    Ps. There may be better ways to get the audio into the stream. If you have the audio playing in the AV tools preview along with the video you could use the Line-out on your pc as the source for the stream. You may need software like Virtual Audio Cable to do this though.
    "Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience." - George Carlin
    "I'm all in." - Phil Ivey
  • pennylanepennylane Joined: Posts: 337
    Just to clarify, there is no way to play a game on 360 in 1680x1050 while recording in SD, is there?

    I'd like a convenient way to record matches at home so I can upload them online. I'm playing 360 on a computer monitor via VGA. It seems like recording in HD would be expensive for just recording matches, but recording in SD involves playing in SD and would result in having to deal with upscale lag.

    I see the post below me mentions VGA splitters. Are there also capture cards that accept VGA inputs?
    Bay Area
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  • ShinjiGohanShinjiGohan Joined: Posts: 4,421 ✭✭✭
    Fantastic resource of information but unfortunately out of my price range.

    The problem with most guides I'm finding online is the result in you plugging in your console to a device (e.g. dazzle) then sending one signal to the PC to record while the other goes to your tv to play.

    My problem is that I play using my PC monitor. My xbox is connected via a VGA cable to the 2nd input port on my monitor (Dell LCD) while the audio goes in to my Line in (I can then listed to the xbox audio via my PC headset).

    What is a cost effective solution which would allow me to continue to play on my pc monitor while still being able to record?

    so instead of a component or hdmi splitter you'll need a vga splitter. then one of the vga ends can goto your monitor, and the other to the recorder (might need to be converted from vga to component or something like that unless you have a vga recording card.)
  • pennylanepennylane Joined: Posts: 337
    so instead of a component or hdmi splitter you'll need a vga splitter. then one of the vga ends can goto your monitor, and the other to the recorder (might need to be converted from vga to component or something like that unless you have a vga recording card.)

    Can you convert a VGA signal of varying resolution to SD with a converter of some kind? What I'm asking is, could you connect something like this?

    360 (VGA @ 1680x1050) -> VGA splitter -> VGA to s-video converter -> SD capture device

    The other end of the splitter would just go to the monitor at the same VGA@ 1680x1050 resolution.

    If there is such a thing as a VGA to s-video converter but the input resolution also has to be SD, could you use something like an XCM Mega-Cool 1080p VGA Box to change the resolution? It has a VGA input and output. I'm not sure how it works, but if it could downscale instead of upscale that might do the trick. In which case, it would look like:

    VGA splitter (@1680x1050) -> XCM Mega-Cool 1080p VGA Box (output 640x480) -> VGA to s-video converter (480i) -> s-video capture device

    I have no idea how feasible this is but I'm thinking out loud.
    Bay Area
    Xbox Live: SturDGoldenBear
    USF4
  • RXSRXS The Canadian Stream Supreme Joined: Posts: 2,138
    Penny: yes you can do that. It's fairly easy. You just have to set your 360 to the correct resolution. i think the height has to be something by 768
    Visit TorontoTopTiers at http://torontotoptiers.com
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  • PumpkinBomberPumpkinBomber Troll Hawk Joined: Posts: 3,681
    Just to clarify, there is no way to play a game on 360 in 1680x1050 while recording in SD, is there?

    I'd like a convenient way to record matches at home so I can upload them online. I'm playing 360 on a computer monitor via VGA. It seems like recording in HD would be expensive for just recording matches, but recording in SD involves playing in SD and would result in having to deal with upscale lag.

    I see the post below me mentions VGA splitters. Are there also capture cards that accept VGA inputs?

    http://www.shoryuken.com/showthread.php?t=174660&highlight=Capture+card
    "Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience." - George Carlin
    "I'm all in." - Phil Ivey
  • ChaoticMonkChaoticMonk Shut The Front Door Joined: Posts: 860 ✭✭
    The problem with most guides I'm finding online is the result in you plugging in your console to a device (e.g. dazzle) then sending one signal to the PC to record while the other goes to your tv to play.

    My problem is that I play using my PC monitor. My xbox is connected via a VGA cable to the 2nd input port on my monitor (Dell LCD) while the audio goes in to my Line in (I can then listed to the xbox audio via my PC headset).

    What is a cost effective solution which would allow me to continue to play on my pc monitor while still being able to record?

    Anyone with input on this question? I'd be perfectly happy to record in SD and play in HD. I'm just hoping I don't have to shell out $300+ or have 4 or 5+ signal splitters, amps etc.
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