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First, if a thread has already been made, or anything that I have probably missed, please point me in the right direction.

I'm obviously interested in streaming, so of course I want to know the best capture devices I can buy or at least, know which devices I should ignore.

I'm interested in streaming on all consoles. I currently own everything from the 3rd generation to the sixth(along with a Wii-U).

What's the best device out there that will give me the ability to stream on most if not all systems?
What devices are best for each system?
I know nothing of splitters, which should I buy?
Any extra cables, devices, or whatever I should keep in mind?
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pogokeen: 2013-11-22 04:11:39 pm
This thread may be helpful:

Additionally, things to look out for should probably include:
* whether you need a passthrough or not, and a check to see how much lag a card's passthrough adds.
    If the card you get has a good passthrough, you may not need a splitter.
* whether the card you are looking at supports interlaced signals
    If it does, for recording, it's typically preferable if it does not do in-hardware deinterlacing, so that you can do your own deinterlacing in software.  For streaming, this depends on your streaming software's support for deinterlacing though.
* whether the card does in-hardware compression/encoding
    Typically, for recording, you'll want to have the freedom to encode in any encoding -- hardware encoding can be detrimental for this.  For streaming, hardware encoding can be beneficial to keep your processor/video card from having to do the encoding work in real-time, but only when you are not doing your own in-software compositing (OBS screen setup w/ a timer, for example).  Compositing will force you to re-encode anyways, so the hardware encoding performance benefits would be mostly lost.  Hardware encoding can still be helpful though w/ the bus bandwidth issue mentioned below.
* Make sure your motherboard/bus can support the bandwidth you need w/ whatever card you're looking at.  Some PCI-E cards require later versions of the PCI-E bus (gen 2, gen 3, etc.), some require certain PCI-E slots w/ more lanes (which are a limited resource on motherboards), and some motherboards have slow throughput w/ too many cards installed.  Additionally, USB 3.0 capture cards can tend to test the limits of your USB 3.0 bus -- if you've got a flaky one, or too many things installed on the same USB 3.0 bus, you may experience frame loss.
* whether you are outputting to a tv or a monitor
    outputting analog video signals to a monitor will typically require some sort of processor to convert the signal to digital.  Using a preview window from your capture card typically causes quite a bit of lag.  If you have to display analog signals on a monitor, see: <- (great website for video processor reviews & guide) <- (great all around processor & deinterlacer)
    Otherwise use a TV for these signals
* Finally, the typical setup I've seen tends to be using an SD capture card for analog SD signals, and a separate HD capture card for digital HD signals.  Different cards excel in different areas, and typically it's harder/more expensive to find a good all around card than to simply get two.

Some other threads that may be useful:

Sorry my post is so complicated -- it's a bit of a complicated issue...
Best of luck finding your preferred setup! Smiley

EDIT: I forgot to mention the HDCP issue.  Some hd devices use content protection which can be a pain for capture.  See this thread for an overview:
Alright, thanks. I'll start checking this out.