Best Capture Card 2017 – Guide, Tips, & Expert Reviews

Streaming services like Youtube and Twitch are becoming more popular by the day. If you want to start recording and streaming videos yourself, you’ll need a capture card. You’ll also need a capture card if you want to record your favorite TV shows and movies for digital storage. The best capture cards are easy to set up, capture video in high definition, and have the versatility to work with all your favorite video and gaming consoles. With the best capture card, you get uninterrupted, high quality recording that your audience will love watching.

If you’re ready to take your streaming production to the next level, then check out our new guide of the best capture card of 2017.

Who Needs a Capture Card?

Capture cards perform a simple job that can be used for many applications. One of the most popular uses is to live stream to the internet, either from a gaming console or your PC. The best capture card should make it easy to stream right to platforms like Youtube and Twitch.

You can also record and upload videos from your camcorder, cable box, DVD player, and other devices. People commonly use capture cards to transfer VHS tapes and family videos to digital format.

Additional Things to Consider

Choosing a capture card can be tricky business, and the best one for you depends on several factors. Consider these options when choosing the best capture card for your needs:

  • Video Quality. Everyone wants their stream or media to be recorded in the highest video quality. All the best capture card models support at least 1080p FHD resolution. After that, frame rate (FPS) determines how smoothly your video will run. Check the native frame rates of the games you intend to record before choosing a capture card. Many of the newest titles run at 60FPS.
  • Connectivity. One of the most important features to consider is connectivity. Ensure that the TV, monitor, gaming console, and whatever else you’ll be using to record can connect to the capture card. The best capture cards regularly include HDMI In and Out, USB, and Component connections.
  • Installation. There are two types of capture cards: those that connect to your computer via USB, and those that are installed via PCIe. USB capture cards are ideal for console gamers and those who are recording shows and movies from their television. Those who live stream from their computer, especially PC gamers, want a PCIe capture card because it will supplement the CPU’s power for a smoother experience. You’ll also get lower latency with a PCIe capture card.

Best Capture Card Top 7 Comparison Guide

PictureNameLive StreamingVideo QualityPriceRating (1-5)
PictureNameLive StreamingVideo QualityPriceRating (1-5)
1. Elgato Game Capture HD60Yes1080p 60FPS$$$4.2
2. Elgato Game Capture HD60 ProYes1080p 60FPS$$$4.2
3. HDML Cloner BoxNo1080p 30FPS$$4.1
4. Hauppauge 1512 HD-PVR 2Yes1080p 30FPS$$$3.7
5. AGPtek Game Capture Streaming Video HDYes1080p 30FPS$3.7
6. AVerMedia Live Gamer HD, Game Capture and StreamingYes1080p 30FPS$$$3.6
7. AVerMedia Game Capture HD 2No1080p 60FPS$$$3.6

Reviews of the Top Rated Capture Cards

1. Elgato Game Capture HD60

Widely considered the best capture card for gamers, the Elgato HD60 S will exceed your every expectation. This capture card connects to your computer using a USB 3.0 connection, ensuring the fastest transfer speeds. Record and stream at up to 1080p 60FPS, accommodating the high native resolutions of modern games.

You may wonder why anyone would use a capture card when XBox One and PS4 allow streaming straight from the console. For many, the difference is both in performance and the ability to edit streams in real time with video editing software. Elgato’s included software package allows you to intuitively monitor and control the quality of your stream. You may also edit previously recorded video so that your uploads look professional.

Versatility is another benefit of the HD60S. It works with both PC and Mac, and can connect to all the newest consoles. You’re even free to use other software like X-Split and OBS with this device. When video quality, performance, and easy installation are all important, choose the Elgato Game Capture HD60 S.

2. Elgato Game Capture HD60 Pro

PC gamers have more to worry about than just streaming video. Unless you use a dual computer set up, you’ll be streaming from the same computer you’re playing on. That can really tax your CPU without one of the best capture cards. Luckily, the Elgato HD60 Pro was made with you in mind. Very similar to the HD60 S, this is a PCIe unit intended for those who demand optimal performance.

Like the HD60 S, the HD60 Pro records at max resolutions of 1080p 60FPS. Live stream using the included Elgato software package or your own video editing software. With this capture card, it won’t be too taxing to both record a master copy of unlimited file size and live stream at the same time. Live stream on Twitch, then edit and upload the file to Youtube, all with this high performing capture card.

The benefits of using a PCIe capture card include lower latency and improved gaming performance. Unlike the HD60 S, the HD60 Pro cannot be used with Macs, but that is one of the only differences. Buy the HD60 S for console gaming, and the HD60 Pro for PCs.

3. HDML Cloner Box

Not everyone needs a capture box for live streaming. If you want to record shows and movies from a DVR, DVD player, camcorder, or other device, the HDML-Cloner Box is the best capture card for you. You can also use this capture card to record gaming sessions that you edit and upload later. That’s because this capture card does not require a computer to record, and instead stores files on a USB memory stick or other external storage device.

Record all your home videos, old VHSs, TV shows, and more to digital format in dependable 1080p 30FPS quality. The included software is easy for anyone to use, allowing you to make basic edits and format your videos. It’s simple to set up, and includes HDMI In and Out connectivity. This may seem limiting, but remember there are adapters of all kinds that can connect you to older electronics like VCRs.

For its price, you won’t find a better value capture card. The HDML-Cloner Box is a must have for gamers and video archivists alike that do not necessarily require live streaming.

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