Friday, September 5, 2008

How to screen capture/ record from PS3 or Xbox 360

This Guide is Archaic(old) - (new) Updated Article is Here 
I've attempted to keep the below article updated but it wasn't doing any justice since several articles have linked to, and quoted from this. I've decided to leave most of it as-is and focus on the new article above.

You will need:
1. A computer
2. A Capture Decide.
   An HD Device like the PVR or a computer capture card (possibly needs a computer upgrade)
3. The right cables

If you've ever wished you could do better than recording the screen with a video camera, you've come to the right place.

In the $30-$50 price range you'll only be able to capture DV quality footage. (which is still considered HD online, by Youtube etc. (720p).)

To get good HD footage you'll need something better. Like the HD PVR2 by Hauppauge.
image credit: Amazon inc.
The newest PVR device makes it super easy to record your footage.  You can pick a quality up to 1080p30 for recording, while the footage streams to your screen in full resolution  1080p60, with "no delay" video passthrough. The device sends the files to your computer via USB. Comes with the cables, USB and a 6ft HDMI cable to connect to the TV. And with the "no delay" passthrough you don't have to worry about having to split the signal to watch yourself playing while recording. Like you will with the USB or capture card method.

Capture with a USB device

You'll need
1. An AV to USB converter.

The Dazzle comes with software for capturing and editing, and another Pinnacle software for burning the footage on DVD. connects to your computer by USB/USB 2.0.


2. A way to split the video signal two ways

Some Xbox 360s came with a 6-in-one output cable (HD/AV) like the one in the picture here. It has three regular RCA cables (Red, White and Yellow) and 3 component to use for your HDTV ( Red, Blue, Green cables).


  • You can simply plug the 3 component cables into your TV and the 3 regular AV cables  into the USB device (the Dazzle).
  • Then switch a flip on the cable over to "TV" , and it will still send out signals to both your TV (in regular quality through the component), and to the USB device at the same time.

If your Xbox 360 didn't come with that cable you can get the one listed here. (Yes it still fits the newer Xbox 360, I have the black slim one (2011))
The only drawback is that the audio cables (red and white) you'll probably want to go to your Dazzle to record the sound, so no audio on your TV unless you follow the splitter method below.

Ps3 (or Splitter Method).

This same method can be used for Xbox if you don't want to get the cable above (if you only have RCA), or if you want sound through your TV while capturing.
The PS3 doesn't have a cable like the one above, with the ability to split the signal two ways, so you'll need to do a workaround to split the signal.

You'll need three of these RCA splitters/adapters. (or at least one for the Yellow video cable) You'll need the AV cable for your PS3 if you don't have one And you'll need one set of RCA cables.

The RCA from your PS3 goes into one splitter each. The extra RCA cables go into the splitters also - matching colors with the PS3 ones; the other end of the extra RCAs go into your Dazzle. Then the three splitters go into your TV. And you switch your Ps3 to analog mode (AV).
See this video for a walkthrough:

Capture via a capture card - HD or SD?

You'll need a capture card like one of these.
If you use RCA Card/cables instead of HD, you can use the same splitter setup mentioned above, switching the Dazzle with the capture card.

To record HD footage you need to make sure you have the right hardware You'll still need to split the signal if you capture with a capture card and play at the same time, there will be a delay of the footage before it reaches your computer monitor so it's a bit hard to play.
You could connect your console directly to your computer and capture while you play in the capture window of your editing software,  the delay will be at least a second or more, from the PS3/Xbox, through the wires, to the capture card (your computer) which records and sends to your computer monitor at the same time.
The delay depends on the speed of your computer and the capture card.

So you would rather want to see yourself playing on your TV while your computer records.
You'll need an HD switch/splitter with at least 1 input and two or more outputs.
And two extra HDMI cables.
 The setup here is somewhat simple. Your Consoles HDMI cable goes into the splitter's input, and the extra HDMIs go into the outputs, one going to your TV and one to the capture card. Then you'll need a editing software (or Quick Time Pro) to capture.

28 comments:

Nina said...

Thanks for this!

... said...

sorry for saying cuz other ppl can tell, its frickin obvious

Anonymous said...

Is it worth taking reducing the gameplay footage to record? No. It'll be a cold day in hell when I use red, yellow, and white to plug in my Console.

Anonymous said...

Whoa that came out bad. Somehow multiple thoughts jumbled into one comment. Let me rephrase that: Is it worth reducing the quality of your gameplay just to record? No way I would play with anything other than an HDMI cable plugged in.

Anonymous said...

Pretty cool you made a video on how to record content from the ps3 to a pc. You can get the splitter cables way cheaper at monoprice.com. Lol I just looked up the price. They want like 50 cents or less for the splitter cables. Anyways, I agree with the above poster. I wouldn't degrade video signal to record video. I currently use a DVI2USB solo device from epiphan to record video. The thing cost me $700. I started recording video on my ps3 like four years ago with this thing so don't hate me. That's why it cost so much. I'm probably going to move over to a Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle or a Hauppauge HD PVR. The BIS will keep you truely HD 1080p, while the HD PVR is 1080i. Anyways good luck to you recorders out there.

Anonymous said...

Don't listen to the haters - EXCELLENT tutorial. Very easy to follow and concise - can't say that about most tutorials.....keep up the good work - the rest of you people calling names should keep quiet and remember - what goes around comes around.

Anonymous said...

this device is easy to use... but hdcp content will not pass through it....and your comp has to be on while you are recording...or a separate monitor than where you are playing...so if you use your xbox 360 for Netflix , hulu or stuff like that it will not show on your screen thru this device.. you will have to disconnect the pvr and plug your hdmi or display cable directly to your monitor or tv to play hdcp content...

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