How to capture video/sound with PC games@high res?

How to capture video/sound with PC games @ high resolution?

What is the best way to capture PC games at high resolution? eg. 1024 or above. Give me system specifications and hardware/software needed.

I would also like to capture other video/sound (PS2, XBOX)
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  1. Pardon me if I'm wrong but I don't think you can 'capture' a pc game and save as video. For XBox or PS2, You need a very good video capture card and a very powerful computer to capture video at high res, say 720x576 (DVD standard). 1024x768 is way too high for a video capture, maybe you need a P4 3.06GHz + 1024MB RAM + professional DV capture card to do this, I'm not very sure about capturing at this high res.

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  2. I'm sure that software exists out there that will capture video and sound from a computer game, but I'm not aware of it. I do know a program that will capture still images from a game, but not video and not sound.

    As for PS2 and xbox, I believe that all you will need is a VIVO video card (short for Video In Video Out) or a TV capture card. I recommend the all-in-wonder series from ATI (any model). Elsewise a GF4 with tv-in or a seperate capture card such as the pinacle card or the Leadtek Winfast tv2000 XP. Don't get a GF3 or lower with video in because of the RAMDAC issue, and don't get a USB capture card due to bandwidth issues.

    You can use video capture with just about any middle of the road PC. It helps to have lots of RAM and a large, fast hard drive. If you're thinking of converting it to divx or mpeg 4 then a high end Pentium 4 would be better than an Athlon. Video conversion is still one of the few things that the P4 is better at than an Athlon, partly due to the SSE2 instruction set.

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  3. Unless you are willing to pay $2000+ for a professional (REAL-TIME CAPTURE ONLY) card you will not capture anything that high into the computer. As for a direct computer 'screen capture' mode I have seen nothing out there, and you would require at least a dual processor (MAYBE, and HT) processor to capture while playing on the same computer, however I have seen no software that does that. Xbox and Cube, etc. should be very easy (as long as you are not running in HDTV mode) using an ATI card.
    If you want to capture the video for your own archiving purposes, then your ONLY option is an HDTV out connector and recording it to a DVHS tape (only consumer HDTV recordable format). However other than that there will be no consumer or even pro-sumer solution for you. IMHO.

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  4. Is there anyway I can have two computers, one computer with the latest graphics card to date playing a game with a video/audio out. Then a second computer with a real-time video capture card?

    Or how does this real-time capture card work?
  5. The technology is not up to your task, not yet. The bandwidth requirements for high resolution capture is just too high. We can barely capture DVD quality, 480i (720x480 interlaced), with real-time data compression.

    Say you wanted to capture video at 1600x1200, 32 bit color, 85 Hz resfresh. That's 1600 x 1200 x 4 (32 bit) x 85 = ~653 MB/sec of raw bandwidth. That's theoretically within the capability of AGP 4X (1033 MB/sec) but not when it's be used to run a game at the same time.

    Saving the data is more of an issue. The PCI bus is only 33 Mhz which means the max bandwidth is only 264 MB/sec, less than half of what you need. [<b>EDIT</b> - Oops that's 133 MB/sec]

    Then there is the hard drive. We only now have ATA133 hard drives. These have a theoretical bandwidth of 133 MB/sec (hence the ATA133 name) but that's just the interface speed. For continuous reads you get about 35-45 MB/sec with modern hard drives. For continous writing it's even lower (not sure on the numbers) but lets call it 35 MB/sec.

    Somehow you have to get your video stream of 653 MB/sec down to less than 35 MB/sec. That's 20:1 compression realtime. Lot's of processing and the hardware isn't yet available.

    Suppose you did manage to overcome all these problems and you get your video down to 35 MB/sec. Well now you have 2.1 Gigabytes of data for every minute of video, 126 GB for every hour.

    I forgot about sound. You need synchronized sound. More data.

    Well, this is an extreme example but I hope this gives you some idea of the problems getting high resolution video.

    <b>99% is great, unless you are talking about system stability</b><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by phsstpok on 04/01/03 03:09 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
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