HDMI and Component video capture

Ever since I got my Nintendo Wii and especially since my Xbox 360, I wanted to be able to record the output onto a PC, to make some video reviews or walkthroughs. In the old days of Xbox and Playstation 2, the S-Video connector was "State of the Art". Ok, there is RGB over Scart, but the quality was not that different compared to S-Video, and you can easily capture S-Video with about every 20 € TV Card on the market.

Nowadays, this became more complicated. Sure, the Xbox 360 still supports S-Video output, but why on earth would anyone do that if you have a 32" LCD TV with HDMI in that allows 720p? Playing Gears of War in SDTV is simply not the same as on 720p. On the Wii, it can be argued whether Component and S-Video are that different, but I still think that Component is much better.

So my task was now to find a way to record HDMI/Component Signals. My first approach was to kill two flies with one stone: Find an A/V Receiver that not only upscales everything to HDMI, but that is able to downscale HDTV Signals from HDMI down to standard PAL-Resolution Composite/S-Video Signals. That way, I could play on the TV in full resolution and have a "good enough" signal to capture as well. That approach seemed logical, as I want to buy a receiver anyway. Well, guess what? There is no A/V Receiver that is able to do that, at least not in the <1000 € price range. Nice idea Michael, except that it's not gonna work.

The second approach proved more successful: Find a Capture Card for the PC that has HDMI and Component Inputs.Blackmagic Intensity Pro Before research, I was sure that those exist, but only in the "Pro" price range of well over 1000 €. To my suprise, there is a card that does that a lot cheaper: The Intensity Pro from BlackMagic. Priced at 349$, it's surely more expensive than the 20 € TV Cards i've used in the past, but the price is still managable. I'll have to dig out some more reviews, but what I've seen so far seems promising.

Comments (4)

F34RMarch 21st, 2008 at 19:58

I am interested in your results with this. I have been searching for something to do exactly what you are speaking of. Reviews... I want to be able to do walk through and review videos in 720p.

Has this been a promising device in that respect ? Can you post a video that you've done with a gaming console in at least 720p ?

mstumMarch 21st, 2008 at 23:11


unfortunately, i did not buy the card yet. I plan to do so in June or even later.
I did found two nice Videos on YouTube though:

[...] and almost ready to record (fighting with a broken hard drive in a RAID-0 array and with the Blackmagic Intensity Pro’s lack of good configuration options – the setup is arguably overkill anyway, it was meant for [...]

SchnäppchenjagdJanuary 23rd, 2013 at 16:34

Wow, this piece of writing is pleasant, my younger sister is analyzing such things,
so I am going to inform her.