Need to Capture Video from an XBox 360 on a Ridiculously Low Budget

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by pmoore8, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. pmoore8 macrumors newbie

    Apr 14, 2011
    Okay, internet. I have a challenge for you.

    I'm on a budget of $20 ($50, if I need to push the boundaries). I have a project due within a month that requires me to capture video footage from my xbox 360. The technology at my disposal right now is:
    • a Macbook Pro (purchased sometime in early 2009, running Snow Leopard)
    • an HDMI cable
    • a Mini Displayport/HDMI adapter
    • an Xbox 360 (of course)
    • VMWare Fusion 3 (with Windows 7 installed)
    • Final Cut Pro 7
    • The latest version of Quicktime (again, kind of goes without saying)
    • Quicktime Pro 7 (apparently, that didn't disappear when I got the new version of Quicktime

    So, internet, what've you got for me, or am I stuck in the middle of the Pacific Ocean without so much as a life raft?
  2. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    Composite video output? Capture to a VCR, DVD recorder, DV camcorder, or USB video capture device.

    I know you didn't mention any of those devices on your list, but I'm sure you can scrounge some of the stuff I listed.
  3. Tonepoet, Apr 14, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2011

    Tonepoet macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2010
    Probably because he doesn't have it. This isn't a list of things he wants, so much as a list of things he already has. The only thing he seems to need is a capture device.

    The lowest priced video capture device that'll do progressive scan, that I've seen is a windows device (which I see isn't a problem), the Roxio Game Capture and while it'll pass through HD through to your television while you play, it only records enhanced definition (480P). However it eats up all of your budget in and of itself at the best price I can find for it (It's unfortunately out there though, with other vendors charging a fair bit more) and you'll need 360 component cables though, as well as standard component video and stereo cables in addition.

    The 360 cable looks to be really cheap at the moment though (under $4 as of this writing) and you might be able to skit by the latter requirement by borrowing standard RCA cables from other devices in the house. I'd be surprised if you didn't have any and while there's debate as to their adherence to a proper specification, they still use the same connectors.

    Your other option allows you to waaaaaaaaay under $50 if you don't mind recording interlaced video, as standard definition video capture cards also found on amazon can fit anywhere under the $10-30 price range. Their reliability is rather suspect though, as few of them even have 4 star ratings. A composite video cable should've come with your xBox, although you'll still need another composite+stereo RCA plug and some splitter cables to pass it through to your television. Saw a video of some guy who did it that way with a Dazzle, at the least.

    Why is passing through the signal to your T.V. so important? Well the recording process tends to cause lag in the mangitude of 30 seconds, which is fine for home movies or whatever but happens to be positively frightning for video games, where timely inputs make the difference between life and death.

    Anyway, good luck to you sir. I haven't actually quite done anything like this myself but always wanted to, considering how much I do enjoy watching Lets Play videos on Youtube.
  4. TheXIIIth macrumors member

    Apr 9, 2010
    1. A camcorder
    2. A cheap tripod
    3. Some cheap stereo audio cables [RCA to 3.5MM stereo - available at any Radio Shack or Best Buy]
    4. Your XB360
    5. Your TV

    a]. Plug the audio cables in to the appropriate audio out ports on your TV
    b]. Turn on your TV and start your gaming your session as you would normally
    c]. Prior to actually starting - set up your camcorder and tripod 4-6 feet away from your TV. Fix your shot by zooming in/out until only the picture of your gaming fills the frame of your shot.
    d]. Plug the audio cable from the TV in to your camcorder's external audio in port. This will eliminate all background noise like you mashing on the buttons like a fiend or your dog barking in the window at the kid down the street for example. You'll have clean audio of nothing but the game you're playing
    e]. Close your curtains, blinds or shades to kill any glare or light. In fact, it's best to do this after the sun has gone down. The darker the better
    f]. Press record on your camcorder and start gaming
  5. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    If he can get a camcorder -- and so long as he doesn't need HD quality recording -- then he'd get better results by running the AV cables directly into the camcorder a/v inputs. If it's a miniDV camcorder, even better, because he can transfer the DV footage in digital form to the computer for editing with iMovie.
  6. pmoore8 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 14, 2011
    I do actually have access to a VCR. I'm not sure about the DVD Recorder. I know someone who has one, but I don't know how easy it would be to convince them to let me borrow it. As far as camcorders go, none of the ones I own allow for any kind of A/V or DV input so someone's going to need to recommend a model to me.

    Interlaced video would be perfectly fine, as I can always de-interlace in post-production.
  7. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    Many miniDV and other tape-based camcorders should have A/V inputs (most of the time you do need a little adaptor cable to break out the RCA jacks though) but I imagine they probably started to drop that port when camcorders became little phone-sized solid state devices. If your camcorder is a Flip HD or that style, for example, you might be out of luck there.

    Another option would be to pick up a USB video capture device such as this:

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