High quality hardware-based screen capture?
February 19, 2009 2:51 PM   Subscribe

Trying to record a video card output (VGA/DVI) with this camera. What adapter do I need and how would you recommend setting it up?

At this point, I only see two options - either use screen capture software (not preferred since I'm using a memory-intensive program) or just film the screen. I've been looking online and haven't yet found an adapter or converter, so if you know of anything, please chime in. The camera can record either an incoming composite video signal or DV video signal (through firewire).

I'm trying to record this in extremely high quality, because it is for a video that we are distributing to our customers.

Your help and suggestions are greatly appreciated!
posted by siclik to Technology (7 answers total)
Using screen capture software will have the best result by far. Can you simply get a beefier machine to run the demo on for production purposes? Most screen-cap programs won't use multiple gigabytes of memory.
posted by GuyZero at 3:16 PM on February 19, 2009

Response by poster: @GuyZero: I hear what you're saying, but the software route really isn't a viable option for a number of reasons - the most prohibiting being our "unique" IT guy flat-out told me he won't allow the installation (for whatever reason).

At this point, I'm thinking maybe get a DVI-to-VGA adapter and use this converter to acquire a composite signal. I'm positive the image will be slightly fuzzy, which why I'm kind of looking for a way to go straight from DVI to firewire into the camera (eliminating any analog conversions).
posted by siclik at 3:40 PM on February 19, 2009

That sort of digital-digital conversion box would be great, but some googling doesn't seem to indicate that it exists. Also, it would be a fantastic way to pirate DRM-protected video content and might be somewhere on the edge of legality in the US.

That camera has a s-video input - that may be your best bet for doing this via the "analog hole". VGA to s-video converters should be straightforward to find. A HDMI to s-video converter.
posted by GuyZero at 3:54 PM on February 19, 2009

I have that converter you linked to, and you are correct in thinking that the image will be fuzzy. If you want anything resembling quality going into that camera via analog connections, an HDfury with DVI input and component output would be the thing to use.
posted by zsazsa at 4:01 PM on February 19, 2009

Screen capture software is really the way to go, but barring that:
What you're looking at (VGA -> composite -> analog mini plug input on the camera) would theoretically work, though it's going to be limited to 720x480 and a soft 720x480 at that.
Something like this could work too; it's designed to capture from cameras that have hdmi out but if you set your monitor to a standard HD resolution and used a DVI to HDMI converter, it might work.
posted by kid_dynamite at 4:10 PM on February 19, 2009

Oh. This spec: Analog-to-Digital Converter : Yes (Signal Convert with DV only) makes me believe that it can't capture HD analog content. Never mind my HDfury suggestion. My new suggestion: beat some sense into your IT guy.
posted by zsazsa at 4:17 PM on February 19, 2009

I also wanted to say that but thought it would be off-topic. But definitely beatdown on your IT guy. He needs a pretty good reason to stop you from making money for your company. This problem can be solved in about 1 minute of discussion between your VP of Marketing and the could-be-unemployed-quickly IT guy.
posted by GuyZero at 4:23 PM on February 19, 2009

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