How to Record Video Game HDMI Output?


My friends and I having a bit of a dilemma here. We want to record direct game footage of BlazBlue from our tournaments, but we don’t have many ideas to make it cost effective. I was hoping if anyone with experience could share their ideas with me.

Being that we’d be capturing game footage from a cabinet, we’re dealing with a DVI output. The ultimate goal would be to get the footage on to my laptop so I can encode the videos with live commentary as well. Using a DVI to VGA converter and plugging that into a VGA capture device seems to be the best option, but those apparently cost $350 or more. Is there a better way?

My laptop does have an HDMI port, but to my limited understanding it’s only output and not bi-directional (unless there’s some trick to this).

Any and all help, input, and advice is much appreciated. Thanks!


well the first idea u had seems like the only way to do it but im going to say check out your local CircuitCity they are going out of business to try and find a deal


Output is definitely non directional, it can only output. There are some HDMI capture cards, which would be your best choice to be future proof, but they need ridicolous computer specs, and are super expensive. I am in the same dilemma, I wish a powerful, with hardware encoding built in, hdmi and component and composite video capture card would exist, that is also cheap, no such luck as of yet, most likely in a few years.


First of all, you need more clarification. You aren’t actually dealing with DVI output on the Taito X2, you’re dealing with DVI-I output. That means that it can output either DVI or VGA with no adapter needed besides the DVI–>VGA dongle (which is included with all Taito X2 kits from Japan, but you can get on for $10 or so I’d imagine). There’s no conversion going on here; the video card on the Taito X2 can output both analog and digital just like most PC video cards.

So you want the cheap way? The way most of the Japanese arcades do it is:

3-way VGA splitter (2 VGA outputs for head-to-head and 1 for your capturing device. If you’re not doign head-to-head, a 2-way VGA splitter will of course suffice)

VGA to S-Video converter (, $40)

Then finally any DVR/HDD recorder with an S-Video input (so any of them).

This way, you downscale the HD video to 640x480i. You’re not getting lag, because the VGA splitter isn’t doing any conversion, just amplifying the original signal. You capture the 640x480i through a standard S-Video capturing device. Especially if you were just planning on uploading to Youtube, the quality is good enough and much more affordable. You can’t realistically go the VGA/DVI/HDMI capturing route without building a PC for that explicit purpose which will of course run you several hundred more dollars.


Awesome post, poon. Thanks for the advice.


I’ve just put together a brief project write up on a set up I’ve made to do good quality recording with very little performance hit. You do need some pretty beefy hardware to do it of course, but the results I have are far better than anything my rig can do on fraps etc.

Check it out: