What is a Capture Card?

A capture card is basically a device that captures video between the source and display. Capture cards are really popular for people that want to record their gameplay from their PS4 or Xbox One. A capture card does exactly what it sounds like, and that is that it captures or records video.  A capture card acts like a pass-through for a video signal. For example, normally you plug an HDMI cable into your Xbox One or PS4 and then you need to plug the other end into the TV. The difference with a capture card is that you need to plug the HDMI cable into the capture card, and then use another HDMI cable to carry the signal back to your TV. The capture card will record everything that goes through it, and store it on your computer via USB cable. 

how a capture card works

Capture cards can record in all sorts of resolutions and framerate, but the best capture cards record in 1080p and at a framerate of 60fps. The capture cards that record in high resolution and high fps are also more expensive than capture cards that record at lower resolution and fps. Capture cards also come in many form factors, some capture cards are called external capture cards, and they are connected to a computer via a USB cable, and usually use USB 3.0. Another type of Capture card is a internal or PCI capture cards, and these capture cards need to be installed into a desktop tower computer, which is why most people that are new to capture cards buy an external one. I will cover the different types of capture cards further into this post, and help you choose the best capture card for your needs. 

Something to consider when looking to buy the best capture card for your needs is to make sure the capture card software is decent. Once all of your footage is on your computer you can edit it all you want and upload it. You can also stream whatever your capture card records. The best capture card for you depends on what you're looking for and what you need. If you need a capture card that is easy to use and provides great video quality, I would recommend an external capture card like the Elgato. One of the cons of many external capture cards it that they do not give you a live preview, meaning there will be delay while you're recording. The delay will not affect your video, but you won't be able to play a game while looking at the preview window. The best capture card for new users is definitely an external capture card, because all you need to do is plug it in with a USB cable. The best capture card for more experienced users would be PCI or internal capture card. An internal capture cards is connected to the PCI Express slot of your desktop PC and allows you to have a live preview of what you're recording and usually offers superior quality compared to a external capture. The best capture card depends heavily on what fits the needs you have.