The 10 Best Capture Cards of 2017

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Best Capture Card for Gaming
Best Capture Card for PS4
Best Capture Card for PC
Best Capture Card for Streaming
Best Capture Card for Xbox One
Best Capture Card for Wii
Best Capture Card for Twitch
Best HDMI Capture Card
Best Cheap Capture Card
Best 4K Capture Card

If you are looking for a way to improve your signal while gaming, or want to be able to easily record and stream gameplay why not consider picking up a capture card to catch data from a gaming device like an Xbox, Playstation or Wii. This little device will record your videos for uploading online. There are various types of capture cards, some of which are super versatile, offering special features like audio dimming for voiceovers and flashback recording which lets you easily grab game clips retroactively and share. Most of the cards only capture video and not audio. This is a great device for gamers who want more interactivity online—just because you are gaming alone at home, it doesn’t mean you can’t share gaming tips and instructions with your online community.

Capture cards are also super useful for recording, file conversion, and storage. Depending on the type you get, you can use them to record TV shows, movies and live video, as well as older analog or composite videos from various devices, even camcorders. All you do is pull the data from a DVR or other device for storage and playback in high-quality HD format. You can get capture cards for your PC to ensure that your main PC has extra power to run high-speed processes. So if you are playing role games all the time and can’t afford any lags, you can use this to boost your quality, stream, and record.

Most of the time, capture card setup is pretty easy via an HDMI connection between the card and your console. Then you will also connect to your preferred device via the card’s output port. Typically, all you need are USB and HDMI cables, a game console and a PC with data uploading speed of at least 10mb/second. Capture cards essentially act like an extra CPU for gamers and people who want to store large amounts of data without interrupting their PC system performance. They essentially encode your data for rebroadcast.

By the way, we have an article about the best HDMI switches, best wireless adapters, and android tv boxes if you are interested.

There are different types of capture cards which we’ll discuss in more detail below. Gamers generally find that a capture card helps in all gaming activities, just making everything easy and efficient. Some even come with features that let you easily edit your recordings or add audio. Note that pretty much all of these cards are compatible with Windows OS, and most of them work well with Macs and PCs but you’ll want to double-check compatibility specs before buying if you have anything other than a fairly recent version of Windows OS.

Best Capture Card for Gaming

1. Elgato Game Capture HD60, for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Xbox 360, or Wii U gameplay

People love the Elgato for gaming because it’s super powerful and is compatible with a huge range of consoles and records in full HD at 1080p / 60 frames per second: PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Xbox 360, or Wii U gameplay in full HD 1080p 60fps
This card HDMI to transfer anything from newer versions of Playstation, Wii and Xbox consoles. The Elgato is one of the higher end ones so is a bit more pricey but worth it if you’re looking for maximum power and durability. This device may not be compatible with older systems, however, and disabling HDCP encryption is necessary for compatibility with the Sony Playstation 4, which will also disable Blu-ray playback and some media apps.

The Elgato is small, light, sleek-looking, portable and super simple to set up via HD60 connection to a computer with a USB port. It’s less than 5 x 5”, and weighs less than 4 oz so it’s easy to store and carry when you are not using it. Buy this if you’re serious and looking to make a solid investment. It also comes with HDMI input/output, a mic output, and mini USB port. It grabs video through HDMI and transfers to a computer via USB and then connects to HDTV via HDMI out port and a second cable (not included). Use it with Nintendo Wii and MS Xbox One to easily stream via YouTube and Twitch with clear graphics at playback in 1080p 60 video. Use with a webcam as you stream games and record narration as well via a mic. If you want to do live commentary, the device will automatically lower volume so that other players can hear you talking over the game. This card also comes with Flashback Recording which allows anyone to snap bits and pieces of games retroactively just by sliding the time back in the window, which is a great feature if you are uploading your games in forums to share tips and tricks.

Features:

  • Separate audio and video tracks
  • Simple editing software
  • Six-foot USB cord
  • Easily stream via YouTube and Twitch
  • 1080p / 60 fps
  • Includes Flashback Recording
  • Compatible with PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Xbox 360, or Wii U

Best Capture Card for PS4

2. Magewell XI100DUSB-HDMI USB Capture HDMI 3.0 HD Video Capture Dongle

The Magewell XI100DUSB-HDMI is completely plug-and-play compatible with the most recent Linux, Windows and Mac operating systems. It’s a very solid HDMI-based device that stands out against competing cards in this price class. You can count on superior image control and speed with streaming and recording with the Magewell. The video processing results are fantastically clear and smooth.

This little dongle is so tiny that it will surprise you with its power. It supports a maximum of 1920 / 1200 p. The Magewell produces video with very stable results, no glitches or errors, with only the highest quality game capture. You can use the Magewell with both 3.0 and 2.0 USB types. You can even connect your camcorder or other devices quickly and easily to your PC using this high-resolution capture card. The Magewell is also useable with a 4-port HDMI switcher.

On purchasing this card, you can expect the highest resolution progressive scan qualities at 1080/720 as well as firmware updates are possible even remotely, plus you’ll get solid API support with the compact design. You can even make firmware updates remotely, so this is a great option if you are traveling or just want to make updates from the next room in your house.

Use this to use the camcorder as a webcam without drivers you can use for Skype or Google Hangouts without doing any extra configuring or updating. You can use this to record in VLC as well if you are recording videos and shows online. It’s also great support for group gaming chats and meetings. The overall quality will depend on your choice of software, and you may need drivers to support the highest quality audio. Overall this card a is superior and choice.

Features:

  • Fully compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac
  • 1080 x 720 scaling in full HD
  • Works with both 3.0 and 2.0 USB formats
  • Firmware upgrade support
  • Plug and play setup
  • Plug multiple devices into one host
  • Multiple color output spaces

Best Capture Card for PC

3. StarTech 4-Port PCI FireWire Adapter Card with Digital Video Editing Kit

The StarTech really stands out at the top of our list as a PC card specifically for a number of reasons. Use it to stream high quality, lag-free videos and use it for editing and file management. You can use this to store a heck of a lot of data as well. Because it’s a little bit higher cost than some of the others, it’s worth the investment if you are planning on using it extensively and for a long time. Overall, it is a very sturdy and reliable and worth the long-term investment.

The frame rates on the StarTech are superb, resulting in the best quality video. It’s also compatible with a variety of devices, and installation is fairly easy, just look for a listing with the number 1934 in the device manager. You can plug this into a camcorder in playback mode and should be able to easily import video from there. This capture card is very adept at transferring videos from devices like camcorders and creating compact, usable, storable files in file types like Avi. You can use it to record and archive old video footage and programs from various file types.

Buying a capture card like this is a cheap way of getting maximum quality digital file transferring and editing. The StarTech uses HDMI to transfer anything you like from newer versions of Playstation, Wii and Xbox consoles. If you are looking to connect it with a Nintendo 64, note that it will support component cables but needs a component This device will improve the ease and speed of all devices if you are simultaneously gaming and recording. The 4 port FireWire PCI adapter card features ULEAD video editing software, enabling anyone to take videos from other sources and edit them quickly and with a user-friendly interface.

Features:

  • Internal and external FireWire ports lets you easily connect a variety of devices
  • Sold with Digital Editing kit to give you pointers on how to manage video files
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Connects FireWire 400 device with a 6-pin connector to desktop
  • Data transfer up to 400 Mbps
  • Plug-and-play setup
  • 1 internal and 3 external ports
  • Smooth compatibility with both Macs and PCs

Best Capture Card for Streaming

4. Hauppauge Colossus 2 PCI Express Internal 1080p HD-PVR

If you’re looking for a tool to improve your speed while streaming games and recording video, and you want to be able to easily grab gameplay data to share in your online communities, grab a Hauppauge Colossus to use with your Xbox, Playstation or Wii and your problems will be solved. This device allows you to easily grab your favorite shows from cable and satellite boxes and in H.264. H.264 is used by Blu-Ray and is the best kind of compression quality-wise. It results in very clear images and audio for very realistic gaming and sharing. Not only does this allow for optimal viewing, the high-quality compression means you are using up much less disk space than MPEGs.

Build your library of favorite shows for family and friends to enjoy for years to come in fantastic HD video quality. The Colossus catches video from cable TV, satellite, DVR box, Playstation and Xbox and creates the highest-quality videos in HD. It then allows you to record your recordings on your PC hard disc, bringing them back around to TV in HD with 5.1 audio. The optical audio input creates awesome audio quality whether you are playing games, watching live TV, sharing or streaming.

This device also features a state-of-the-art recording scheduler which means you can plan to record your favorite TV shows and store them for as long as you want. Unlike some other recording devices, it won’t “kick” the old recording off if it gets too full, which is great for people looking to have a massive library of their favorite shows and movies in full, high-quality HD. And you can also build your library via grabbing your DVR collections. The difference between this and DVR units is that with this you don’t have a space limit. With this, you can fill up a hard drive then add another disk to the PC. This device can record to external USB drives.

The Colossus does an excellent job of compressing files so that you don’t need to face interruptions on your PC. Hauppage’s built-in StreamEez application to stream anything live quickly and easily with Twitch, Ustream or YouTube.

Features:

  • HDMI in and out
  • Component video in
  • Optical audio
  • 1080p recording
  • Use with Twitch, Ustream or YouTube

Best Capture Card for Xbox One

5. Premium Reshow HD Video Recorder Box – Capture & Share Your Gaming Moments Without A PC

This is an awesome card for grabbing and sharing your best memories without even needing a PC. No fancy setup or hookups needed, just connect it to a gaming console and plug in a FAT or similar device and press a button to record. This is compatible and easy to use with almost any game console as well as DVD players and other video devices. You can even record your own commentary over your video clips. This editing feature is great for those looking to build educational portfolios while gaming, or who just want to teach friends and family online for fun.

Buying a capture card like this is an inexpensive means of getting super good quality streaming and transferring through a variety of systems and uploading to YouTube or recording live TV quickly from a range of devices. The intuitive user interface setup fits with DVD players, Digital cameras, camcorders even VCRs. Use it to easily stream and record game activities at a speed of 30 fps so you catch everything in full resolution and 1080p video playback. Grab the Reshow HD and you’ll have a head start on sharing all of your online gaming activities. You could even start your own YouTube channel and build a worldwide network! This is a very easy solution to your gaming needs. This device is compatible with Windows and Mac OSX.

Features:

  • Single-button function
  • Records videos up to 1080p and 30fps
  • Passthrough function means you can enjoy game and record it simultaneously
  • Compatible with PlayStation 4, XBOX One, Nintendo Wii U and PC
  • Make your own Let’s Play and commentary videos

Best Capture Card for Wii

6. Elgato Systems Game Capture HD High 1080p Definition Game Recorder

This is a sweet little device that is small, fast, light and offers zero latency when it comes to power in gaming. You’ll want to use this as a support to help your sharing and streaming activities if you’re involved in online networks or multi-player games. It’s so nice to be able to share your gaming journey with family and friends, you may as well make sure you are offering a high-quality video!

This capture card utilizes H.264 to ensure maximum quality and compression standards. This also allows you to hook everything up to a big screen TV and watch in HDMI without interruption. You can also use the flashback recording feature to catch special gaming moments…basically, it allows you to timeshift your gameplay super easily. You just slide the shifter back and record. This puts a whole new spin on the idea of time travel!

The Elgato also allows you to manage your personal audio while you stream, which is something that most cards don’t do. Basically, the volume of the video automatically decreases if you are adding voiceover instructions. This is perfect for teaching other players your awesome gameplay strategy. You can also edit and share everything super easily on all social media channels. The Elgato is small, sleek, and able to be set up directly to most newer consoles with a single cable.

Features:

  • Compatible with PlayStation 4, Xbox One & Xbox 360, Wii U with non-encrypted HDMI
  • Supports multiple resolutions up to 1080p30
  • H.264 Encoding
  • Flashback Recording
  • Sold with hard drive, quick start guide, USB cable, HDMI cable, component adaptor

Best Capture Card for Twitch

7. Imillet HDMI Video Capture with USB3.0/2.0 Dongle 1080P 60FPS

This capture card is great for recording all of your gameplay footage and uploading footage to sites like Twitch and on social media…if this is something you love doing, you should definitely give this a try. The Imillet is an interesting mid-price choice for those looking for a capture card for recording, file conversion and storing. It’s great for the basics, with solid frame rates for clear footage and playback in high quality. It won’t freeze up your CPU and is very easy to use, generally, especially for Windows OS–you just have to download the software and update your settings per your preferences. Use this to record your games as well as transfer files from other video devices. Depending on the type you get, you can use them to record TV shows, movies and live If you are playing role games all the time and can’t afford any lags, you can use this to boost your quality as well as continuously stream and record without interruption.

The Imillet lets you record play and record without deflating your productivity, speed or power. This is a decent quality card in the lower price range. Featuring plug-and-play setup, it’s compatible with all three basic operating systems and makes it easy to share games on all social streams. The 1080P 60 FPS capture card offers superior speed and quality for streaming and sharing. So long as your devices have HDMI outputs, you can use it for file transfer to and from pretty much any device. Instructions are included that tell you how to use the software. Simply connect signal sources (Blu-Ray, game console or satellite TV boxes) with HDMI and plug the USB cable to your computer.

Features:

  • USB 3.0 capture audio and video
  • 1080P 60FPS Drive-Free Capture Card Box
  • Works with Windows, Linux and Mac OS X
  • Low latency for game, meeting, life streaming, journey.
  • Easy to share to YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter
  • Won’t use up CPU power
  • Detect input and adjust output automatically.
  • Options for required output. 1080p/60HZ & UAC and UVC in & YUV 422 out.
  • Warranty: 6 months replacement and 12 months repair.

Best HDMI Capture Card

8. HDML-Cloner Box, Standalone Mini 1080p Gaming and video Capture box without PC

The ClonerAlliance HDML-Cloner Box offers a super easy set up that plays straight from the box with a one-touch setup. Use it to record movies super easily and transfer to USB without even needing a PC. It comes with easy-load and simple setup software that lets you flawlessly record and stream into a single-file format. If you purchase it, be sure to check and see if the updated firmware fits the NTFS USB drive directly. This box creates full-length files and DVDs and records all of your games from most consoles. With it, you can take all of your videos even if they are in different devices or formats and put them all in one place on a USB storage device. The one-hit record button on capture box saves your favorite videos safely.

The ClonerAlliance supports all types of USB memory sticks and captures in 1080p HD with H.264 compression. This level of encoding means that you won’t use up too much space but the speed is high. Any platform can be used for playback from videos you’ve captured with this card. You can use any memory stick, disc to transport to any type of device including phones, tablets. This device comes with free software that helps you create DVD/Blu-ray movies from videos, or merge various files into one. It does all of your converting into smaller files that are still surprisingly clear and clean. The device also features an HD pass-through function which means that you won’t see delays while you’re gaming and recording at the same time.

Features:

  • HD 1080p supported
  • Support any video device
  • HDMI cable included
  • One-button recording
  • Free lifetime firmware and software upgrade
  • Free premium 16GB USB flash drive
  • Compatible with Xbox 360 Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Wii, PC, DV, VCR* (etc.)

Best Cheap Capture Card

9. Pyle Video Game Capture Card Recorder

Here’s a solid, inexpensive video and gaming recording device for all of your playback and streaming needs. The Pyle is totally compatible with recent versions of Mac and Windows and comes with a super easy-to-use plug-and-play drive to a 4G micro SD card for storage. If you have old DVDs or other devices you want to transfer into newer types of video formats for storage and viewing, this might be a great option for you.

This card offers great quality video capture and is one of the best basic cards available in this price range. Expect very high-quality video and audio quality for recording gameplay. It features a video digitizer recorder and an A/V capture which create awesome quality digital files to store, replay and stream. Easily save and stream your videos to YouTube or record live TV quickly from a range of devices. The Pyle features a Standalone Recorder & Capture System and an intuitive user interface setup use with all of your digital devices like DVD players, Digital cameras, camcorders even VCRs. All cables and adaptors are included in the package. This device is easy to use and will save you time, hassle and brainpower in the long run.

You can use this card with various HDMI-AV adaptors, but note that they are not included with the device. It’s compatible with your TV, VCR, CD/DVD Player, Digital Camera, Camcorder, and pretty much any video device you can think of. It will record live TV at the touch of a button as well as capture video clips of any part of your gameplay that you desire with ease. It comes with all of the connectors required for basic setup and is a universal plug-and-play with your computer and laptop. If preferred, you can save your recordings to a Micro SD memory card.

Features:

  • AVI output
  • resolution of 640 x 48 pixels
  • USB 2.0 interface
  • 1016 kbps bitrate
  • Standalone Recorder & Capture System
  • AV (RCA) Connection Cable
  • USB Power Cable & Adapter
  • USB/5V Adapter power source
  • Weight: 0.079 lbs
  • Video Capture with Ability to Record Live TV (Records Audio & Video)
  • UnPnP (Universal Plug-and-Play) via Computer / Laptop

Best 4K Capture Card

10. HDML-Cloner Box Evolve

If you’re looking for a super-efficient way to grab your gaming and streaming activities on a USB, look no further than the HDML-Cloner Box Evolve. This is a very cool 4K capture card that allows you to easily schedule and record all of your favorite shows and movies with ease. Use it to schedule your recording and record your favorite shows even when you’re at work or out and about. It comes with a remote control for ease of use as well as two HDMI inputs. With the HDML-Cloner, all you need to do is set up a video source like a game console, you don’t even need a PC. Since You don’t need a PC to operate this device, you just slip the USB drive in for recording. Record videos via a box or game consoles anytime and save them to the USB or card in

With the HDML-Cloner, all you need to do is set up a video source like a game console, you don’t even need a PC. Since You don’t need a PC to operate this device, you just slip the USB drive in for recording. Record videos via a box or game consoles anytime and save them to the USB or card in high-quality SD. You’ll never see lagging or glitching while recording at the same time as gaming. Schedule recording your shows ahead of time ahead and never miss a show again. The power turns off automatically if no signal is detected for about 3 minutes.
Using the bitrate button allows you to record unlimited video then you can save it without splitting. It’s essentially the largest amount of bitrate you can get for a quality image without splitting the recording. The HDML-Cloner Box Evolve supports two HDMI inputs and one AV and comes with a state-of-the-art remote. Just push a button to set up the input signal. This kit is no muss no fuss, no wires, just one button, and the one-touch feature means that there’s less fussing around and moving cords around, keeping everything in better condition over the long haul.

With this capture card, you can get 1080 / 720 p recordings happening easily with one touch recording via your remote, so you don’t even have to move from your couch or chair. It also lets you can capture game and streaming in full HD high speed but without using up a ton of space, since it uses H.264 encoding, which ensures optimal compression. The card also comes with micro SD cards and makes it easy to upload your gameplay video training via a video camera or Go Pro. It’s also quite easy to set this up to record movies in order to build a media collection to watch later in high-quality HD. The HDML-Cloner Box Evolve is completely compatible with the most recent versions of Mac and Windows.

Features:

  • Supports 4K and CEC
  • Supports two HDMI inputs and one AV
  • CEC wake-up
  • H.264 encoding
  • 16GB USB flash drive
  • 1080p/720p video capture
  • Includes remote control
  • compatible with the recent versions of Mac and Windows