Guide to Recording Games

Guide to Recording Games.
(Playing in HD while recording footage in SD)

Let me start by saying this is how I record games and of course, this is not the only way to do it.
This is a very simple way of recording games while playing at the same time. In no way do I know everything about recording game footage or specifics relating to resolution, lag data, screen size, copyright protection, PC requirements, graphic cards etc etc etc.
This is how I do it…it’s good enough for me and maybe for some of you who are not looking for anything overly complicated either.

Objective/Pros (or the reasons I chose the HAVA Titanium wifi)

  1. Recording games/game footage while still playing in HD. (Pass-through)
    Important Recordings will be in SD
    2)** PS3 (or other source) doesn’t need to be connected directly to the PC. (Wifi option is required of course)**
  2. <$200.00 price point (amazon price 9.23.2009)
  3. regular PC can be used (no need for an overly upgraded or preformance PC)
  4. can play back on the PS3 (havent tried it, but the PS3 recognizes it as a media server)
  5. You can attach an external HDD to it for storage (then playback on the ps3) I’m assuming, never tried it but it says you can.
  6. Storage is only limited by hard drive space on your PC. So if you have plenty of room, you can save a ton of footage.
  7. It is compatible with Windows 7, Vista, XP.

Cons: (that I know of)

  1. No HD recording.
  2. No HDMI I/O
  3. doesnt record 5.1
  4. PC video feed has a lag, so you can’t use the PC to play.

Equipment needed:

  1. Video game system with component output Xbox 360, PS3, or Wii.
  2. Hava Titanium HD with Wifi or Hava Platinum HD (no wifi). There are other PVR units out there ie SlingBox, Happauge, etc etc. BUT I knew for sure the HAVA has a HD pass-through so I can play on my TV without having the program open if I don?t want to record anything. The other brands may have this function but I wasn?t positive.
    Some features of the Hava Titanium HD wifi: wireless, doesnt require alot of computing power, uses component inputs, records footage on your pc’s hard drive OR you can attach a external hd to it directly. PS3 also recognizes the Hava on the XMB, if you have a hd attached to it, supposedly it can playback on your PS3. I have not tested that yet,although the hava icon shows up on XMB.
    And if you ever quit playing games, you can always use it for it’s intended use as a PVR.
    So I ultimately bought the HAVA titanium HD with Wifi from Amazon.
  3. Router with internet connection.
  4. Video selector with component inputs (I use the Pelican PL-970) or a set of component couplers if you only need to hook up single game system.
  5. Standard PC or laptop. You do not need a high end machine.

Cost roughly 120.00 to 200.00 depends what Hava unit you purchase.

Step 1:

Hook up your Xbox 360, PS3, Wii to your video game selector via component cable. Then attach the output of the video game selector to the HD IN (video signal) and the A/V IN (audio signal) of the HAVA.

If you only need to hook up one game system then you will need to attach video component couplers to the ends of the component cables. The reason is the component cable for the Hava are different from standard component cables in that the end that goes into the Hava are mini-plugs. When you use a video game selector you don?t need couplers because the selector is essentially the coupler (with multiple inputs).

Step 2:
Attach the HD OUT and AV Out from Hava to your TV.
Install the Hava software and follow instructions.
Attach an Ethernet cable from the HAVA to your router if you chose the Hava without wifi.

Step 3:
Open the Hava program. A screen should pop up and your video should start streaming in. There is a record button and live action rewind slider as well. All audio will be recorded as well, so if you want to record your trash talking, comments, or your opponent swearing as while your beating him to a pulp, just set your chat output to your TV.

Recordings are in .mpg in SD ready to upload to YouTube, or convert to your Ipod.

**There are other ways of doing this with different equipment, cost, difficulty in setup, and overall video quality. **I specifically wanted to play in HD and record my games at the same time. Problem was that I didn?t want to play in SD which you can record with any VCR, DVD recorder etc. This solves the problem because it has an HD pass-through, while the video feed into the PC is in SD. Though I would have loved recording in HD, you start running into problems like hard-drive space, huge file sizes, proper PC processing power, and cost. Additionally, copyrighted content like games, can not be recorded using HDMI, that?s why I?m using the component cables for HD.
I found this the easiest and cost effective way of playing your games in HD, but still recording game footage with pretty decent quality.
Feel free to comment, questions. I will post pics if you need them.
Thanks hope this helps.

Playing on Windows 7. Updated software was needed from Hava website.

The Hava screen complete with record/vcr buttons, time-shift slider, folder icon for recorded vids…


thanks for the tutorial !

I was looking for a device like this because I wanted to play in HD and record in SD. This Hava thing looks great.

You can use just about any capture card to play in HD on your TV, and just run a composite cable from your TV’s OUT into a capture card on your PC.

I do this with my Hauppauge capture card.

Assuming you’re just recording for Youtube or ipod or something you don’t really need HD capture. But of course it’s nice to have.

Also, if you’re going to buy any capture card, you gotta get one with hardware encoding. Some cheapo cards won’t have it, and it basically hogs the hell out of your PC’s resources.

Thanks for the input, I was hoping to learn some different ways of doing this as well.

So basically youre playing in HD and the Hauppauge capture card is recording the HD output from your TV and scaling it down to SD?
Does it use a PCI slot?

I wasn’t aware that some TV’s have an output. I will have to look for that in my next set. What TV are you using?

What is the model of the card you’re using and what sort of inputs does it have so that it can handle the HD input from the console? HDMI? Component? The HD capture cards I have seen can record HD TV signals but they don’t have HD inputs for recording off air. The HD cards that do support this cost a few hundred dollars to more than $5,000.

Ha, I have a $20 gamebridge that I hook up to my TV (USB tuner). While playing in HD on my TV the xbox still outputs SD on the composite cable. Plug it in and record away! No PCI slot used, entire budget for project - $20

component is not HD, so dont get those two mixed up. and you cant use "just about any capture card " for this… Theres only one model of Happague that can capture HD, and its not even in the same price range as the others.

actually the HDMI in the xbox 360 doesnt have copy protection, you can record from it easily provided you have a capture card that uses hdmi…

PS3 however, does have HDCP, so you cannot record from there. It’s sony being sony.

What exactly do you mean by that? A connection isn’t necessarily a certain resolution of course, but other than that? And what do you mean by HD? Component is often used to push 720/1080, so in that sense the signal carried by component would be the consumers definition of “HD”.

Yes, Component is capable of HD. I don’t know where you got that.

And I didn’t say I captured in HD, I actually said I captured in low quality, since I only have use for vids going up online and on portable devices. Sorry if I wasn’t clear on that.

I’m just outputting in SD to capture. And this you can do with just about any card.

See above…

And while we’re at it, I wouldn’t say this is completely out of the price range:

And Happauge have more for cheaper. The 1212, the 1950, I don’t know where you guys are getting $5000.

edit, just saw you said a few hundred to $5000, but yeah you can get some for around 75 on ebay that have component input

Component cables are capable of HD, yes. But capture cards w/ Component, not necessarily. You can get negligible capture quality through S-Video compared to Component.

and yeah like i said dont mix them up, just because it accepts component doesn’t mean its capable of HD recording. Do any of these “$75 ones” on ebay capture in HD? I’m fairly sure it does not.

I just re-read your previous post and I saw that you are outputting composite from your TV. I have a TV with HDMI and Component and it can’t downscale to composite out. I can only use the composite out if I’m using a composite source.

Had no idea that Xbox simulantenously outputs both. Nice. No luck for PS3, it only outputs from one source. NO Gamebridge option for PS3, unless you want to play in SD.

Good to know, Sony bastards. I also record Resistance 2, RFOM games so that wasn’t an option for me.
Everyone thinks I’m nuts for wanting to record games, I love watching the few good games that I have over and over. Sometimes you do learn a few things watching “film” of your games…yea I have no lilfe

I need to start recording gameplay for reviews that I do, but this tutorial is French to me… I seriously need everything explained to me really simple, and if anyone has a simple video tutorial of what they bought to do this and how to hook it all up, then I would be grateful!! PM me and I’ll check that too! =)

Great way to play Rockband for a crowd, use an HDTV as a stage monitor, and use the SD out for a projector behind you. It’s wonderfully simple!

there are a few capture cards that capture component HD
HDRECS (aka Pegasus) for sure and possibly Intensity Pro…
HDRECs does cost about 1000 dollars, but it does HDMI, DVI, Component, S-Video, composite and VGA. Now that I think about it, it also does FM radio too IIRC.

Which obviously hard as hell to find cause thats how everything I want to buy is (looking at HDRECs and Fighting Layer…)

There is also another way to do this but its a lot of hardware (especially if your starting from an HDMI point).
Basically goto a HDMI splitter/amp. Feed one of them to the TV and the other to a HDMI-DVI cable, and the dvi cable to a converter to at least component and then component to s-video/composite (unless you have a dvi to component that downgrades the image to 480i). But thats a lot of work and likely a lot more expensive… damn HDMI >.<

I did know about the Blackmagic Intensity Pro, but that was kind of pricey. It does have a HDMI pass through. (useless for recording PS3 games because of HDCP). In addition, i was afraid that my computer lacked enough power to run it. I looked at some scalers too, pricey as hell.
I’m sure this will all go down in price eventually, hopefully.

Thanks for the guide aggrastat!

i have the blackmagic card, and i’ve been using it for the last couple months to record SF4 matches.

The best thing i did not expect about the HDMI is that the recorder is completely transparent when it hooks into the video feed. It does not reduce that quality or cause lag, which is awesome cuz it saved me money on not buying an hdmi video splitter. The bad part is that it require alot of CPU cycles (w/ hardware compression) when there is a lot of motion, and requires a constant 19mb/sec from the hard drive when recording.

Barring the cost of the card itself and the misc required equipment, this is the best way to record in HD and play in HD.

The hava solution is also very good and recommended for regular people at home. I’ve been meaning to ask if you have any video samples you recorded with your setup…