HDPVR question!


#1

our group wants to start recording fights and commentating on some of them and making certain types of videos about them. what would a good way to do that? I’m assuming HDPVR would be the main way but I know that’s pretty expensive. Are there cheaper ones out there that work or is there another way to do it that doesn’t involve that? we are working with both 360 and PS3.


#2

I use the poor man’s way - an EasyCap, $10 at Amazon, and VirtualDub on PC (free).

The composite input is terrible, but the S-video is alright at 480p. The audio capture also doesn’t play well, so I use an RCA to 3.5mm stereo adapter, and capture audio through the microphone port. ($3)

There are limitations to capturing in “SD”, but pretty good workarounds. The card can’t capture in 16:9, but your Xbox/PS3 can output in 16:9, even in “SD” modes. So you can capture in 4:3 (which will look squished), then stretch it back to normal in post-processing.

The card only captures at 30 fps, but again, your xbox/ps3 is outputting at 60fps. You can convert the captured file to true 60fps using deinterlacing filters (bob doubler, I think?). The audio might not sync up at first, but that’s easily fixed as well.

To deal with input lag (which is really bad through the capture card), I use the S-video cable from gamestop, which has both composite and s-video outputs ($15 - the cable also works with PS3, Xbox360, and Wii). I’ll run the composite into the TV, and the s-video to the capture card. When recording, I’ll play on the TV (which looks terrible, but with minimal lag), and capture on my computer (which has terrible input lag, but looks good) .

Here’s a sample:

As you can see, it’s not great, but passable in the little youtube window.

Of course, if you’re willing to spend more money on a less ghetto method, I encourage you to do so =P. I won’t be streaming stuff or pumping out videos every week, so this $30 method works for me.


#3

yeah, we weren’t planning on doing weekly or anything either… at least not at this moment. is this tough to do? also… what editing software is good yet… again… cheap lol. i’m not great with tech and computers but then again… i’m not showering in hundred dollar bills either. i do have a friend that is good with computers and all but yeah… how tough is this and the software and all. btw thanks for the input.


#4

The editing software I use is VirtualDub (free). I basically learned everything just watching YouTube videos and experimenting. Plenty of Halo/CoD players online with capture tutorials. I basically followed this one:

And experimented further. Just try stuff out. You’re not going to explode your computer or anything.


#5

ha. you don’t know me. jk jk. it isn’t dead yet with all the crap i’ve tried on here. thanks for the info man, helps a lot.


#6

Just to clarify, while the S-video output has superior image quality, both Composite and S-video only output an interlaced signal: 480i.

If you want to use true progressive scan, you’ll have to use at least component video. Progressive scan is important, since as you’ll note being mentioned our HDTV lag thread, deinterlacing is one of the more time consuming post-processing tasks an HD television or monitor has to perform in order to be able to display an SD signal at all.

As for an device that can record progressive scan, a Roxio Game Capture records in 480p via component and can pass through full high def. to the television if I’m recalling correctly. Full HD passthrough means the television won’t have to deinterlace or scale the image any more than it would have to normally, which would practically eliminate lag.

The Game Capture costs approximately anywhere between 70-100 bucks at the moment, meaning it averages at approximately half the price of a Haupauge PVR. Just be sure to buy the game capture device and not the cheaper PC game capture software; seems like a lot of vendors on eBay get the two confused.

My primary concern would be exactly how it goes about recording the 480p image. If it proportionally scales the image down while recording, that might work. If it crops parts of the image out, you might have times where your combatants aren’t seen in the recording because they’re spaced too far apart.


#7

you can select the output with the Gamecap(16:9 or 4:3). although i’m assuming the op wants to do 360/PS3 stuff, he should leave it on widescreen.


#8

Yep, if being able to play lag-free while capturing is a priority, you will need to spend more than $30 =P. EasyCap + post-processing works fine for tutorials and combo videos, though. It’s perfectly playable, but far from “tournament ready” for sure.


#9

OK, I’ve done this with some HD games on my 360, so this definitely works, but requires a bit of computer to put behind it, basically, this is an HD Capture method for experts only who have nice machines.

You will need:
Beefy computer, at least Core 2 Duo at 2.6ghz or so. More is better here.
Tons of Hard Disk Space. Just tons of it.
Avermedia HDPVR. 99 bucks at Newegg. Takes HDMI and component in! Or any other HDMI capable capture card. Hauppauge makes one now, Avermedia has a more expensive model thats external but captures H.264 on crappy computers in real time.
HDMI cables. Get a bunch, at least 3, as that’s what you’ll need at minimum.
This magic box: http://www.amazon.com/ViewHD-Powered-Splitter-Certified-Outputs/dp/B00263D7A4/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1308945422&sr=8-11

The Hookup is pretty simple. Xbox360 goes into the Splitter, comes out to the capture card and your Television. Play/watch on the television and just record on the computer. Easy as pie, and you get 720p out. Now, I realize the video and audio desynced here, but I was not using a system of sufficient speed, so please excuse that. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csP9afjTpCo

This setup also works pretty well for steaming to Justin.tv or Ustream.tv, but only using Flash Media Live Encoder. This application uses a TON of CPU strength and as a result, you can only do about 360p live streaming with a Core 2 based machine. Be aware that you will crash applications over and over if you try to stream using an Avermedia HDPVR directly from your web browser. Don’t do it.

HDCP is an issue for the PS3. However, if you google around, using the AverMedia HDPVR and a slightly old driver, you can get around that.

Some Clairifications:
Composite video and SVideo are 480i max. You can’t get 480p out of them. They are standard def only inputs.
Component video starts at 480i and goes to 1080i. Use 720p over 1080i unless you have a need for the vertical resolution, most games only support 720p anyway.
HDMI is DVI on a new plug, and carries 480i to some large resolution I can’t remember. Its more than 1080p anyway. You won’t be capturing 1080p on today’s hardware though.


#10

Oh right, I should’ve mentioned that. This is also part of why you use component video and not H.D.M.I. There is no H.D.C.P. over an analog connection; there’s just no technology that really allows it. Now Image Constraint Token might be an issue, since it’d prevent stuff from being transmitted over analog in high def. to begin with but such products will be labeled I.C.T. on the box and I don’t think anything uses Image Constraint Token until at least next year.

Component Video is technically able do 1080p and beyond, it’s just that the Advance Access Content System doesn’t allow a device to output A.A.C.S. encrypted content i.e. bluray movies at that resolution.

Does anybody know if this this an issue with video games?

I’m not sure about anything else but I know the Playstation 3 doesn’t output 480i over H.D.M.I. It’ll upscale to 480p first, which may not actually be desirable in all instances since it’s not precisely the best upscaler on the market. If you have any PS1 games you’re playing, you may in some cases want to use composite, S-video or component and tick off every progressive scan setting on your PS3.

Also saying HDMI is a little more than D.V.I. on a new plug is kinda oversimplifying the issue. H.D.M.I. is compatible with digital D.V.I. signals but they’re not exactly the same.

H.D.M.I. is slightly more complex in that it can send YCrCb video signals and does audio in addition to video. There’s also D.V.I.-A, which is basically V.G.A. over the D.V.I. connector, which H.D.M.I can’t handle.

In other words, they’re compatible but they’re not fully compatible, meaning that there can be problems if you try to use a crossover cable without knowing what the full specifications of your products are. An unlikely scenario but it’s good information to have on hand, just in case.


#11

the back of the game’s packaging will usually say it it supports 1080p and uses HDCP…


#12

[quote=“Tonepoet, post:10, topic:128091”]

Oh right, I should’ve mentioned that. This is also part of why you use component video and not H.D.M.I. There is no H.D.C.P. over an analog connection; there’s just no technology that really allows it. Now Image Constraint Token might be an issue, since it’d prevent stuff from being transmitted over analog in high def. to begin with but such products will be labeled I.C.T. on the box and I don’t think anything uses Image Constraint Token until at least next year.

Component Video is technically able do 1080p and beyond, it’s just that the Advance Access Content System doesn’t allow a device to output A.A.C.S. encrypted content i.e. bluray movies at that resolution.

Does anybody know if this this an issue with video games?
[/Quote]

Yes. All Video output by the Playstation 3 is subject to HDCP and the ICT. So, you have to do component video or the AverMedia hack that defeats HDCP (Which totally works well and is easy to do, so do this instead of capturing wrong aspect ratio and color information from a YPbPr analog signal on Component cables and do RGB over HDMI instead!)

Also, once your analog signals start getting that high resolution, you start dropping obscene amounts of video data, thus making the use of them less and less desirable.

Wrong. The Playstation 3 DOES output 480i over HDMI. HDMI is effectively, digital DVI (DVI-I) and therefore supports EDID (Google this one). Most monitors do not report that they support 480i as a valid resolution (because most monitors no longer support 15khz horizontal video signals), and therefore the Playstation 3 does not offer the choice (Because the monitor connected has told the console that it can’t display 480i video). Some Televisions and Monitors do, Mine does, but since it also supports 480p, 720p, 1080i, and 1080p, there’s no point in using 480i as it’s an LCD monitor and 480i is just going to look like trash. 480i mode is only on my monitor for 15khz only things, like any pre-Gamecube game console or arcade boards that I can plug directly into the VGA port on the thing.

Yeah but if you’re doing ALL THIS WORK to capture 480i video using HDMI, you should just buy component cables and connect them to your Playstation 2. That would be about 2000 times easier, and for 480i the difference in video quality between Analog and Digital signaling is going to be really Minimal, now, 720p or 1080i on the other hand, you’re going to see HUGE differences in aspect correctness and coloring between Analog and Digital (with digital showing a correct picture and analog not) so the argument is basically “Use Digital if you’re doing better than 480p”

It is oversimplifying the issue, however, Meant to be a guide for someone who’s really new at this and needs the quick answer. The Long answer is of course slightly different. Part of the HDMI Spec is that all HDMI devices are required to detect a DVI device and output pure DVI to it, thus defeating the incompatibility.

Yes but if you’re using YCbCr/YPbPr instead of RGB, you’re a bad person. More on why RGB is better than everything later.

Of course, but remember that DVI-A is really just VGA signaling designed to output over the DVI connector such that the new connector didn’t outdate a TON of VGA equipment already on the market when DVI was introduced. It’s 2011. Nobody should be using VGA anymore unless they have a DAMN good reason. Its also totally not relevant for the conversation at hand because we’re talking about outputting from a video game console supporting HDMI, which is digital only. And there are only two of said consoles, and both of them can be viewed perfectly on the capture hardware in question, so more not relevance.

Again, I’m going to point out that it’s 2011. HDMI Spec says “You must output DVI” not that it matters, as the capture cards in question support the correct signaling, and even if they didn’t, the console is required by specification (Since it has the licensed HDMI logo and port on it) to support DVI signaling. You’ll also notice that my guide was designed to get someone with no knowledge and 200 dollars recording 720p video in seconds. That’s the goal. I’ll sum up the 4 points of my guide here really quick, 1. buy this stuff, 2. hook it up this way, 3. configure it this way, 4. it will work. We’re not trying to go into super duper detail about why things can go wrong if you take things that weren’t mentioned in the first place and add them to this situation.


#13

Not every device follows the standards as they should, which can cause problems for bargain hunters on a budget choosing to follow general precepts rather than following explicit directions, which is why I felt the extra information was important. Sure it’s 2011 but the second hand market still has a lot of funky old devices on it that might look good for the price but cause problems later. We can assume what the console will be but perhaps not anything else, say like the capture card or the display, so the subtle differences are good to keep in mind.

To reiterate and demonstrate the above, rather than trusting that the specifications match the expected standards, it’d probably be safer to check the manufacturer’s specifications directly and search for statements by various product owners on the subject. Whether it should or it shouldn’t, the PS3 does not support 480i over H.D.M.I. and speaking from personal experience with my CECHA## it certainly doesn’t auto-detect the screen’s resolution and automatically change the settings with E.D.I.D: that’s information you have to set manually every time you change the video connection from one connection to another. It doesn’t make very much sense that the PS3 would ask you to check all of the supported resolutions of your television set, if it already knew.

As par how this relates to the D.V.I. compatibility requirements of the H.D.M.I. specification, I can’t even think of a D.V.I. display that doesn’t support some form of progressive scan signal. A.F.A.I.K. computer monitors have all been natively progressive scan for decades now. Interlaced signals only existed on televisions due to fit within the limited bandwidth of over the air broadcast and home video only used it since it was the only readily available connection. Computers never really faced these problems, since they were connected directly to the source and had their own dedicated displays with their own special inputs.

Interestingly after rereading the PS3’s video output page linked above, it would seem 1080p is supported over component, except apparently for “copy protected content on blu-ray disc”. What that means exactly I’m not completely sure of though.

Not everybody with a PS3 currently has a PS2, but anybody with a current generation console can take interest in its backwards compatibility features. Even fighting game fans, since there are a small number of arcade game ports to the older systems. All we’ve been told is that they want to use PS3s and 360s, so buying a PS1or a PS2 just for specific titles adds more to the overall cost of the setup.

Also it might not be that much more work, pendent on your exact setup, considering that you still have to change a menu setting to go back and forth between component and composite. You may have to disconnect and reconnect a console every time you want to switch from older games to newer games this way pendent on your setup.

Even if you don’t, you’ll still have to switch inputs with the remote every time you switch from the PS2 to a PS3 and visa-versa, meaning you still have to press the input button a handful of times at the very least. It’s a little more convenient but not a whole ton like you’re making it out to be.

Well, unless you have a fancy T.V. that can auto-detect which inputs are currently in use anyway…