Recordings of video game sessions are all over YouTube. Some players post their most memorable victories, and others share their funniest failures. A growing number of gamers record and upload full “Let’s Play” walkthroughs of their favorite games. You can use your recordings to relive your favorite video game moments, show off gameplay to your friends, and connect with other gamers. A few players are skilled, informative, or funny enough to even make money from their videos. Companies such as Achievement Hunter have gained huge followings, and their videos attract millions of views.
Cables and Copy Protection
To record your own videos, you’ll need some special equipment and some time to configure your gaming console and computer. Once you’ve set up your recording system, however, you’ll be ready to make HD videos whenever you want.
The exact equipment you’ll need depends on the kind of game console you’re using. PS3 consoles come with High-bandwidth Digital Copy Protection (HDCP), a program that allows them to play Blu-Ray discs but also interferes with video game recordings. HDCP is way that HDMI connections verify that the other end is an HD Display. It prevents recordings of Blu-Ray discs. To record your gaming sessions, you’ll need a Component cable to connect your PS3 to your recording device. Xbox 360, on the other hand, does not use HDCP. HDMI cables would work fine to record from an Xbox in HD.
Technique #1: Video Splitter & Capture Card
Once you have the right cables, there are two basic ways to record video from your gaming console. The first way is to use a video splitter, a device that enables your console to transmit video to your TV and your computer simultaneously. Most splitters work with either HDMI or Component cables, but not both. Make sure you buy the right kind of splitter for your console. You’ll need three sets of cables to use a splitter. Connect your console to the splitter’s Input slots, and then connect your TV and your computer to the Output slots. You may need to add a video capture device to your computer, such as a BlackMagic Design Intensity Pro
You’ll need to install video recording software onto your computer to record from a splitter. FRAPS and AVS Video Recorder are two popular video capture programs that will give you professional-quality results. Freeware programs are also available, but they will place watermarks or limit your video length. Start the recording software before you play and let it record until you’re done – it’s easiest to edit later.
Technique #2: Hauppauge PVR 2 Recorder
A more expensive, but easier method for recording your gaming sessions is the Hauppauge PVR 2 Gaming Edition Recorder. This device automatically records video and sends it to your computer. The Hauppauge recorder comes with a cable for the PS3 as well as cables for your TV and computer. If you’re using an Xbox, you’ll have to supply your own HDMI cable. The PVR sits as a “tweener” between the game console and the TV to record the sessions. The first time you use your recorder, it will install software onto your computer. After that, you can begin recording with the touch of a button. Hauppauge’s Showbiz software includes a video editor, and it can upload your videos directly to YouTube.
Adding Voice-Over Audio
If you want to include commentary in your videos, it’s best to record that audio separately. Add it to your video when you edit. Some people like to record real-time commentary as they play, while others create commentary later as they re-watch their videos. If you use a microphone headset, you’ll be able to maintain consistent volume and vocal tone. Use a program such, as Audacity, to record and edit your audio. Syncing audio to video can seem tricky at first, but YouTube has many tutorials to help a beginner out.
Have fun, and prepare to share your gaming achievements with the world!
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