Best Capture Cards: Our Top Picks Today

one of the best capture cards today - Elgato Game Capture HD60 Pro, stream and record in 1080p (Renewed)

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Today, online streaming is taking over as the preferred game entertainment delivery platform. Whether you are a receiver or a provider of online content, having high-quality capture cards for instant streaming becomes a necessary tool of the trade. Cards for streaming provide an enjoyable recording experience without compromising quality.

A high-quality capture card will capture, record and stream HD audio or video content from a PC or a console device directly to online streaming platforms such as YouTube and UStream. How much you enjoy the experience of using capture cards may depend on whether you use a console or a PC. There are several capture cards in the market today that offer superior recording experience. In this article, we provide insights to help you buy the best capture card with ease.

Frequently Asked Questions

Capture cards have become popular with the shift of media focus to online platforms. But how well do you understand them?

1.    What Are Capture Cards?

Capture cards are electronic devices used to record video or audio signals, usually through digital HDMI.

2.    What Do They Do?

Capture cards accept video and audio signals, digitize them and make them available to other hardware or software devices either as a final output or for further processing.

3.    What Are the Different Types of Capture Cards?

Capture cards differ depending on the platform used. The platforms are PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Mac, Wii and 3DS.

4.    Are Capture Cards Suitable for Me?

Get a capture card if you want to stream audio and video in extraordinarily high-quality, natural recordings to online streaming platforms or to manage video libraries and external storage. These are the main functions of capture cards.

5.    Do Capture Cards Work on Laptops?

Yes, they do. External capture cards connect to a laptop via their USB or Thunderbolt ports. Not all devices have USB ports however, so be sure to check specifications before buying a capture card.

6.    Where Can You Buy a Capture Card?

They are available in most electronic stores. You can also purchase capture cards from online stores such as Amazon.

How We Reviewed

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We examined the following capture cards based on design, quality of recording, portability, speed, compatibility with other devices, warranty and their prices. We have compared attractive features against the not so good features in these ten capture cards with a view of determining 2018’s best capture card. We hope you find this review useful in deciding which capture card is ideal for your desired online presence.

Overall Price Range of This Product

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Most capture cards are in an affordable price range though prices can rise steeply dependent on features they offer. In our quest to find 2018’s best capture cards, we reviewed ten capture cards whose price ranged between $45 and $380 with the average price being less than $170.

What We Reviewed

The following is a list of the capture card options we reviewed.

  • Elgato Game Capture HD 60 Pro
  • Hauppauge Colossus 2
  • AVerMedia HD 2
  • Pyle PVRC43
  • Hauppauge HD PVR 60
  • HDML-Cloner Box Evolve
  • Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro 4K
  • Roxio Game Capture HD PRO
  • Elgato Game Capture 4K60 Pro
  • AVerMedia LGP Lite GL310

Features

The Elgato Game Capture HD 60 Pro has taken the plug-and-play idea a notch higher. It offers very swift streaming through an authentic, superior USB 3.0 interface that is simple to set up. Its advanced GPU acceleration will guarantee unlimited and uninterrupted game-play recording that you can access through its built-in Twitch and Youtube streaming capabilities, or any other online video streamlining platform of your choice.

Pros

  • Offers unlimited recording
  • Sleek Appearance
  • Impressive 1080p30 quality
  • Straightforward setup instructions
  • High-speed, reversible USB-C connector

Cons

  • Limited editing options
  • price
  • warranty

This product can be found on Amazon for around $160.

Features

This sound capture card from Hauppauge is an internal sound card that connects to a PC motherboard and offers excellent functionality. It works well with Microsoft Windows 10, 8, 7 or Vista (32 or 64-bit), or Windows XP.

HDMI output and HDMI input ports are compatible with many gaming consoles. It records your favorite TV programs and other content in 1080p resulting in efficient and convenient streaming. It has StreamEez software for online streaming on Upstream, Twitch and Youtube.

Pros

  • Compatible with many gaming consoles and set-top boxes
  •  Offers full HD recording
  • Compresses saves disk space
  • Easy to use
  • Streams to Youtube, Twitch and Ustream

Cons

  • The internal sound card is only functional when paired with a PC
  • price
  • warranty

2-year warranty on parts and labor.

Features

This internal capture card offers full HD 1080p60. It has a unique design with a metal exterior and triangular holes coupled with a blue LED light underneath. It has plug-and-play support for all Windows versions 8 and above. Up to 4 cards can be accommodated in a game PC. Live editing is supported.

Pros

  • Excellent audio and video recording quality
  • Offers multi-card support
  • Customizable quality settings
  • Plug and play features

Cons

  • Compatible with PCs only
  • price
  • warranty

2-year warranty after registration with AverMedia.

Features

This external, standalone recorder and capture system records all data independent of a PC, sending recorded material to a micro SD memory card. It uses an AV/RCA cable for its standard connection with an optional HDMI adapter available.

It is compatible with TV-VCR-CD/DVD players, digital cameras, camcorders and most PC drivers, giving you instant plug and play capability. It can record both audio, video and live TV.

Pros

  • Can record video, audio and live TV
  • Compatible with most PC drivers
  • Can function independently of a computer
  • Sold with all the cables and adapters necessary for recording
  • Saves videos and audios on microSD memory cards
  • One-touch record

Cons

  • The digital HDMI adapter retails separately
  • Has limited video resolution of up to 480p
  • price
  • warranty

1-year warranty

Features

This capture card from Hauppage is loaded with superior features. It has a built-in record button that allows you to control your recording independent of a PC. It has lag-free video pass through that enables you to record at its maximum 1080p while playing games on an HMDI TV set. More a box than a card, its power is provided through a USB port on the back side, and StreamEez for Twitch and YouTube Live is provided.

Pros

  • Simple and portable design
  • Works independently of a PC
  • Capable of voice-over recording and mixing

Cons

  • Has a poor visual design
  • Cannot operate at 60fps
  • price
  • warranty

2-year warranty

Features

These are standalone video capture devices that support two HDMI and one AV inputs. They capture and record videos via a full HD 1080p HDMI. These recordings are transferred to an optical drive, USB flash drive, micro SD memory card, or an external hard drive.

The standalone HDML-Cloner Box Evolve operates effectively without the need of a PC or laptop. It comes pre-loaded with a free video converter/editor that converts analogue videos to MP4 files. It has a 16 GB USB flash drive, 264 encoding, scheduled recording, and Consumer Electronic Control (CEC) support for universal remote controls.

Pros

  • Lag-free pass-through feature
  • Generates high-quality MP4 files
  • Records videos both manually and automatically
  • Output video encodes in H.264
  • Comes with a mini remote control for easy recording
  • Video capture at 1080p/720p
  • Compatible with Windows and Mac

Cons

  • May not be compatible with all devices
  • price
  • warranty

2-year warranty

Features

These BlackMagic capture cards are compatible with any computer with PCIe slots, Including Mac, Windows and Linux-based computers. With HDMI and analogue breakout connections, the Intensity Pro 4K works with NTSC/PAL, HD and Ultra HD video with or without compression. It works with popular video editing, audio, and streaming software and is packaged with free DaVinci Resolve Lite and Media Express software.

Pros

  • Capture and playback in Ultra HD at 30 fps
  • 1080p at 60 fps
  • 4-lane PCIe Card for 4, 8, 16 lane slots
  • Packaged with free DaVinci Resolve Lite and Media Express software

Cons

  • None reported
  • price
  • warranty

1-year warranty

Features

The Roxio Game Capture HD PRO capture card allows you to capture real-time Xbox 360 and PS3 game play to your PC, Xbox One and PS4. It will edit H.264-encoded videos and give you an option of sharing them via the click of a button on YouTube or Facebook.

The Game Capture HD Pro allows you to check the bandwidth and live stream speed as you steam game plays from your console. Free Roxio game recording software and video editing software is included, as is a USB cable.

Pros

  • Ideal for Windows 10, 8, 7 and XP platforms
  • Customizable to include personal game reviews
  • Captures real-time Xbox 360 and PS3 game play on your PC
  • Free Roxio game recording software and video editing software provided

Cons

  • HDMI and console-specific cables retail separately
  • price
  • warranty

1-year warranty

Features

Elgato Game Capture 4K60 Pro capture cards utilize 4K resolution at 60 FPS to generate ultra-quality recordings.  Elgato provides dedicated software that allows you to record with ease and export your audio and video files for editing in your favorite app. Resolution up to 2160p60 is supported.

Pros

  • Works well with 4K capture at 60 FPS
  • Supports HDR
  • Produces high-quality videos
  • Has a user-friendly companion app

Cons

  • RECentral app may be slow
  • price
  • warranty

1-year warranty

Features

The AVerMedia LGP Lite GL310 easily records game play from all mainstream consoles. It has an onboard H.264 encoder. It effortlessly streams game play in 1080p to your favorite platform and allows you the option of recording a copy as you play. Its 1080p recording is controlled with a hot button.

Streaming is through a single click, compatible with any DirectShow compliant streaming application, and directly to YouTube, Twitch or Ustream.

Pros

  • Designed to handle serious video capture and streaming

Cons

  • Accompanying instructions are not easy to follow
  • Lacks video editing capabilities
  • price
  • warranty

1-year warranty

The Verdict

Based on our research, we believe the Elgato Game Capture 4K60 Pro is 2018’s best capture card. Most online streamers, especially those with an Xbox One X platform and who want to capture above 1080p highly recommended these capture cards. This capture card comes with a companion app ideal for beginners. And, though the device produces ultra-quality recordings, using it doesn't require a technical science degree.

Though we have our favorite, we've presented a number of other quality capture card devices with various features that may satisfy a particular need. You can rely on the information we've provided to select an excellent capture card from among these.

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