Capture Video Games With MBP

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Satyricon, Aug 16, 2007.

  1. Satyricon macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2007
    I am a graduate student who is doing research on the relationship and influence of video games on stereotypes and prejudice of/toward women and minorities.

    I was at a university that had a video capture system, but since I have moved, I no longer have access to such a system. Also, that system was only for windows.

    Since the university will be paying for whatever hardware/software I need, it would be nice it it was compatible with both windows and osx, but I know this might not be possible.

    I tried searching the forums, but couldn't find anything that clearly answered my question.

    I need to know if I am able to hook an xbox 360 directly to my mbp and just use some kind of software to capture it. Or do I need some piece of hardware to act as a go between.

    I can get access to Final Cut Studio, but any other software would be fine.

    If you need more info, just let me know. I hope I explained my needs clearly enough.
  2. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    Interesting topic, as for the question unfortunatly I have no idea other than using Fraps from within Bootcamp.
  3. CartoonHeroII macrumors member


    Apr 21, 2004
    Rigby, ID
    I use the Canopus ADVC 300 to capture video from analog sources and it works nicely. You basically plug the Xbox into ADVC's RCA ports and then it'll connect to your MBP over Firewire. Then you use iMovie to import your video. I would also assume Final Cut would work, but I haven't used it. Best of luck on your research!
  4. Satyricon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2007
    That looks like it will do the trick. What is the difference between that model and the less expensive models. I only ask because the less money I spend on that, the more I will be able to spend on a variety of games. I'm not sure how much money my advisor has, but I know she is planning on buying a tv and she thinks there will be enough for an xbox also. I don't know if we will be able to afford the model you suggested.

    Of course I could probably buy the xbox with my own money and that way I wouldn't feel as bad if I decide to just play it during some leisure time. I don't think I should have to force myself to turn video games into a job. I still want them to be fun.
  5. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I would look at recording to tape and not capturing directly into your machine a few reasons:
    1. A random computer glitch/hiccup would hose your entire capture/play session if you are going directly into your computer.
    2. You'll have a backup of all your footage incase your HDD fails.
    3. You can capture only what you need so your machine isn't cluttered w/gigs and gigs of wasted space.

    Also, does it matter to you whether or not you record in standard definition or high definition?

  6. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

    Dec 12, 2002
    I agree with the 'record to tape, then move to Mac' philosophy.

    If you have a standard DV camera, the majority of them can input and record standard RCA or S-Video, which you can then input over FireWire like any home movie. (Some cameras even do pass-through, recording to the tape while at the same time passing the signal to the FireWire port.)

    If you don't have a camera, then the cheapest option is probably a TV tuner with RCA ports, like the EyeTV 250 or EyeTV Hybrid. Both of those can input a standard composite video signal with very little delay input.
  7. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    Jul 14, 2004
    I've recorded game output before and there are a few things to consider. The first and most important is if you use the Canopus or any DV bridge, there will a noticeable delay between controller input and what you see on the screen. This will likely have an effect on how people play the game (e.g. they'll be more frustrated trying to adjust to the delay than paying attention to the game). So, I'd recommend that whatever setup you do, that the audio/video has a clear path to a normal TV (this will also make the study environment more 'believable' than playing a console game on a laptop screen). Here's the setup that I use:

    AV outputs from the Xbox go into a VCR. The VCR serves as a splitter: you hook the RCA-out into the firewire DV bridge (and into your MacBook), and you use the coaxial-out to hook up to a TV. This'll let people play on the TV without a delay and let you monitor/record the footage on your laptop. So not only can you record DV directly, you could also stick a VHS tape in there if you wanted a backup (believe me, though, footage recorded directly to DV looks a lot more presentable than digitized VHS). This setup also has the advantage of not being very expensive :D. I use the Canopus DV-55 which is the cheapest they offer... works just as well but it's one way (into your computer), which is fine for my needs. As for the EyeTV Hybrid mentioned above, they advertise 'zero-latency' but according to a review I read some time ago, that zero-latency comes at the expense of bad picture quality.

    In the past I've captured into iMovie because the import process can be easy started, stopped, and started again just by clicking on a single button. If you want to work in Final Cut, though, you'll have to take the DV files and export them as a Quicktime Movie (with DV as the codec), which FC seems to like better.

    If you have any questions about my system, let me know!:)
  8. Satyricon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2007
    Thanks for your great reply. The delay will not be an issue. I will most likely be playingthe games myself and editing together clips to show participants. I am meeting with my advisor to discuss the equipment I need to get purchased. I'll post something when I get a little more figured out.
  9. Lebowski macrumors 6502

    Oct 10, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    [xbox]----red, yellow, white--->male to male adapters from radioshack (cheap) -----> red, yellow, white ends of camcorder out. video running into camera. camera in VCR mode, hit record and play while you capture.
  10. Satyricon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2007
    Ok, I think I have it figured out.

    Ideally, I will be able to play on the tv, while recording to my MBP. I think the second tier of products on the canopus site will work for me. It looks like there are outputs via firewire and another output that I will be able to use to hook up the xbox to a tv. Is it safe to assume that both of these connections will be live at the same time.

    I have a few questions regarding how I actually record the footage. Once I hook everything up and open up a program (iMovie, for example), will I just capture from the device and it will record to my hard drive while I play? There isn't anything else to it?

    Anything I'm overlooking before we make our purchases?

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