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Hi, I'm really new to this whole thing, I want to start streaming N64 gameplay but am still a little confused about what I need and which specific brands of things are good and which are terrible.. and I don't want to spend a ton of money on something that I will later find isn't compatible with my stuff or whatever.

According to the knowledge base I need a standard definition capture device for N64. So it will not work with an hd capture device? I'm asking because I thought I remember N64 streamers saying that they use an hd capture device but I could be wrong. ALSO, I have an HDTV, is there going to be any problem with compatibility with a standard def capture card or will it not matter as long as I can play on my tv? Finally I was wondering if anyone could point me in the right direction on which capture card I should buy? I don't want to spend a ton of money but I also want my thing to WORK (ie I heard the dazzle just straight up doesn't work for a lot of people). How much money realistically should I be spending on one of these? I have no idea.

The other thing I don't get is the power splitter. according to this I need one. Do I seriously need three sets of AV cables or what? And the power splitter has to accept the yellow white and red jacks but also has to have 2 ports for the other end of the cable? I've tried searching around but I don't know where to find something like that, can someone give me like an example of one? (like a link or something?)

If you answer my questions thank you very much, I know I'm totally clueless. i did try to read the knowledge base and search google to learn about this stuff but there was only so much I could find out/understand.
Thread title:  
I'll take this from back to front.

Yes, if you hook up your N64 to a TV and a Capture tool with a powered splitter, you will need 3 sets of AV cables.

The reason this is, is to that you can hook up the N64 to whatever TV you want, and whatever capture tool you want, without either interfering with the other, especially without giving you any sort of lag.

An HDTV that is LCD or Plasma is likely to give you a little trouble, in that it's likely to give you lag, that is, what you're seeing on screen actually 'happened' in the console a number of milliseconds earlier, sot hat your inputs end up being a number of frames behind.

However that's a game play issue, one that many people overcome to varying degrees.  It won't hurt your capture at all.

The KB has a list of recommended capture tools, you should check those.

Pick one listed as 240p capable to ensure best compatibility with older systems.

follow up question.. can I just hook up my N64 to the capture tool, and hook that up to my PC and just play looking at my PC? Cause yeah I just realized you're right about the lag, it's kind of hard to play, and also if I can avoid buying a powers splitter and more av cables then I want to..
The Dork Knight himself.
Yes you can play that way, BUT you'll get the same amount of screen/input lag as you would playing on a standard HDTV. Depending on your computer, this could be anywhere from 1 to 5 frames of lag.
Hmm... that's tough...  Typically using a capture card's preview window itself introduces a lot of lag...

Check to see if your tv has a "game mode" or similar.  Some tvs have a mode that attempts to reduce the latency in an attempt to help w/ input lag.  If this doesn't help, you may have to find a different tv to output to.

One alternative to picking up a powered splitter is to find a capture card with a good, fast passthrough.  In that case, you'll be able to hook up video to your capture card, and then pass it through from your card out to your tv.  You'll need two sets of cables in this case, instead of three sets.

About your earlier question about SD versus HD cards, it's mainly about if the card is capable of recording SD video.  A lot of HD cards can't record SD video, and additionally don't have the inputs required to connect SD video devices.  There are some cards that are good all around cards, but they can be hard to come by and are often times expensive.

These links may be helpful in figuring out your preferred setup:
If the cost of the powered splitter is an issue, you could get three Y cables from Radio Shack, to act as an unpowered splitter.

Splitting this way *can* cause problems if the signal is degraded too much, but a two way split will *often* work.
The Dork Knight himself.
Another solution that I've found works out pretty well is to raid a local thrift store and find an old CRT that has A/V out jacks. This way you can feed the signal from your console to the TV, then out from the TV to your capture card. Aside from avoiding the need for a powered splitter, this simplifies the cable setup. If you wish to capture with s-video (assuming your console can do that) then hooking the cables up might be an issue, but it's still easier than getting a powered splitter (assuming everything is in close proximity like my setup).
Edit history:
honesty79: 2013-12-16 07:20:12 pm
honesty79: 2013-12-16 06:51:26 pm
alright.. here's the update

I found out that pogokeen, you were right my tv does indeed have a game mode so I can play with no lag, hooray!

After some research I'm probably gonna get the EZCap because I've heard the absolute worst things about the dazzle and I honestly don't think I can even put PCi-E stuff into my laptop so that's out (and most of those ones don't do SD anyway). It's a little unfortunate because it appears that pretty much every capture card has problems and it feels like it's almost a gamble because it might not even work at all. But i'd rather pay 30 bucks for something and it not work than like 60 or 100 so..

And so for the powered splitter I'm thinking about getting this because people on this site say it's good even though it's expensive, Ill be able to handle it because of the EZCaps cheapness..

And so if I get those 2 things then all I need are 2 sets of composite cables? Then will I be set?

Also what is the difference between a male and female composite cable, which one would I want?
Edit history:
honesty79: 2013-12-16 07:20:52 pm
honesty79: 2013-12-16 07:20:34 pm
actually maybe the male/female thing doesn't matter as I just found something that doesn't even say if it's one gender or the other.. idk..

wait edit actually it seems I cannot buy the EZcap because I live in the US and the only one that is available that doesn't seem to be a cheap knockoff clone is like $300. wut. okay screw this im probably getting off topic anyway
Edit history:
pogokeen: 2013-12-16 07:27:31 pm
pogokeen: 2013-12-16 07:26:25 pm
Cool, I'm glad the tv mode worked out! Smiley

The difference between a male and female cable connector is what's at the end of the cable:  male plugs typically have protruding pins or similar contacts, whereas female receptacles have openings/socket connectors that hold the male plug.  They can only mate with their opposite gendered connector (unless they are hermaphroditic, but that's another story unrelated to audio/video work).  For an example, the powered splitter you linked has only female receptacles.

Typically, cables are referred to as Male to Male, Male to Female, or Female to Female -- simply denoting what gender of connector is on each of the two ends of the cable.  You'll probably want two sets of Male to Male audio & video cables (in addition to whatever audio/video cable you already have for your game system).  If you're using S-Video, note that the powered splitter does not convert S-Video signals to composite or vice-versa.

Edit:  These RCA cables for instance, are male to male (probs not a good quality cable, just an example):