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Old February 24th, 2017, 12:59 PM   #1
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HDMI Gaming Recorders

This was mentioned in a past thread about capturing projection screens cleanly but without using screen recording software located on the presentation computer or using a camera pointed at the projection screen.

But, I can't find that thread. And HDMI capture devices have become more plentiful, more advanced and less expensive since then.

Are there recommendations for a non-pro, non-portable, HDMI passthrough capture device that would connect to a computer and harddrive for recording?

It would need an AUX-IN audio jack as well so I could get guide audio into the recording. In my case, with recording presentations versus gaming, there would be no embedded audio in the HDMI signal already.

I'm thinking of something like the Razer Ripsaw. It would go between the HDMI output of a Barco wireless video receiver and the room's HDMI projector input.

Using PowerPoint's built-in recording capabilities and then exporting a video from that has not been satisfactory for a number of reasons I won't get into.

I would prefer to record the live HDMI stream coming from the presentation computer to the Barco receiver, in this case a Surface Pro at the podium with no other connections available there besides the Barco wireless video transmitter.

I'm also considering one of the HDML brand cloner boxes since it doesn't require an external computer to record. It can record the HDMI pass-through stream directly to a USB drive.

Anyone done this to capture the live presentation screen including on-screen annotations from the Surface?

Last edited by Jay Massengill; February 25th, 2017 at 08:19 AM. Reason: Added information.
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Old February 25th, 2017, 08:17 AM   #2
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Re: HDMI Gaming Recorders

I know that Atomos devices are popular in this niche.
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Old February 25th, 2017, 08:34 AM   #3
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Re: HDMI Gaming Recorders

Thanks Gary, I thought about those but money is an issue. And since I've already spent my budget for the year, if it does get purchased it would need to stay with the folks who control that conference space and use the device for a lot of presentations not just the ones I attend to shoot with a camera and cut together in post.

So I was trying to stay away from the camera-centric professional models and go with something less technical and less expensive if anyone has successful experience with them.
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Old February 25th, 2017, 10:54 AM   #4
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Re: HDMI Gaming Recorders

Open Broadcast Software (a portable installation) on the presentation machine in combination with the Surface's onboard microphone for sync is a much easier solution if you have the right encoding settings setup. HDMI capture overcomplicates things with hardware. OBS will be FAR superior to PowerPoint's own recording functions.
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Old February 25th, 2017, 01:36 PM   #5
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Re: HDMI Gaming Recorders

Thanks for the software suggestion Jack. I record these sessions multiple times a month at two different company locations. At one location we have full control and ownership of the presentation computer so I'm sure adding OBS will be beneficial in that case.
At that location, only the screen recording is used for visuals, along with its guide audio, to sync up multiple audio sources mixed and recorded to 4-tracks that I clean up in post.

At the other location it's the opposite. No ownership, permission or time to work with the presentation computer which often belongs to a high level executive and arrives when they do, just minutes before the event starts.
In that case, I cut the screen recording together with camera footage and additional audio tracks in post.

I think I'll have to have a hardware solution for the recording in that case because of non-existent access to their computer or tablet.

I did notice in the recording last week using the Surface, that the STEREO onboard mics did a good job.
I think it will be a nice touch if I also use the PowerPoint recorder (which takes no additional time or software) just to get the sound of them drawing on the screen to go along with the visual recording of the annotation from the downstream HDMI recorder.

I have also forwarded a question regarding the Barco ClickShare that's being used in this conference space. Could it carry the onboard mic signal from the computer to the HDMI output of the receiver? As long as that signal is only captured by the recorder and not sent to the room PA, it would greatly simplify guide audio if I must use a hardware recorder and not a software recorder.
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Old February 28th, 2017, 05:41 PM   #6
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Re: HDMI Gaming Recorders

Hi Jay,

I record a lot of sporting events. Mainly hockey, soccer and rugby. I've used both the Hauppauge Rocket PVR and Avermedia LGP2 to run continuously as backup while I'm recording a game using a regular camcorder.

They are designed to record console gaming platforms for XBox, PS3, PS4 etc. but also work with camcorders and I assume they'll work with any HDMI input.

These models caught my eye because they have a standalone mode that lets them run without being connected to a PC. Also, they are a fraction of the cost of an Atomos. The Hauppauge records to any USB device at 1080/30 and the Avermedia to a microSD card 1080/60

Both allow you to add an external audio input as well. Both need to be powered via a USB connection. In my case I use a big external cell phone battery to power them.
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Old February 28th, 2017, 07:25 PM   #7
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Re: HDMI Gaming Recorders

Thanks for the additional info. There are so many to choose from. An HDML Cloner Box Evolve was ordered and should arrive by Thursday. It can also record directly to either USB or micro SD, or a computer if you want.

It was $119 on Amazon Prime. I will report back on success or failure by Friday evening.
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Old February 28th, 2017, 08:30 PM   #8
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Re: HDMI Gaming Recorders

Your welcome. The HDML-Cloner Box Evolve sounds like something I might be interested in. I would like to know how it works out of you.

The Atomos products look great but they are overkill for what I'm doing. I just wanted backup while I'm recording a sporting event in case the SD card corrupted or ... gasp ... I forgot to push record!

Cheers.
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Old March 3rd, 2017, 08:37 PM   #9
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Re: HDMI Gaming Recorders

The HDML Cloner Box Evolve worked exactly as I needed today. It cleanly recorded the HDMI output of the Barco ClickShare that was carrying the output of the Surface Pro wirelessly from the podium. I needed no hands-on contact with the presentation tablet at any time. It also passed the signal on to the room's projection system without causing any interference.

Your mileage may vary. It is a consumer level device. It records 1920x1080 at 30 frames per second.
Vegas Pro 12 on my machine at work had no problem with the recorded file but I didn't get a chance to check absolute sync with the XA20 camera over the hour program.
When I took the files home to my main machine, Vegas wouldn't play the file even though Windows Media Player would. I ran the file through HandBrake and also converted it to 29.97 frames per second.
That file synced up perfectly with the camera across the entire hour.
It also captured the live on-screen annotation the presenter was marking on the Surface Pro exactly as I needed it.

I didn't have enough time today during limited setup to fully experiment with feeding it guide audio. I probably have a dozen different ways to do that depending on the program requirements. The box has separate mic in and headphone out jacks.

I also briefly experimented yesterday with recording to a second computer and that worked fine too.

The unit I received uses a remote control that needs two AAA batteries versus the past version with one CR2032. This was a past complaint in reviews that no coin cell battery is supplied. There are still no batteries supplied, but most people have AAA batteries around. The remote worked well and is very useful.

The Evolve does come with a Toshiba 16Gb USB drive that is empty (no adware) and formatted to NTFS already. The recorder also has an onboard clock that held the time from setting it yesterday afternoon until I hooked it up again this morning. The date and starting time are in the file name, which is very handy.

The software and driver is supplied on a miniature CD, but I transfered the files to USB on an older laptop with a CD tray and snap-on spindle. The firmware was dated December 20, 2016.

Overall I can envision this recorder being a very handy device for a number of purposes, including capturing old analog material or DV tapes if you have no access to FireWire. I haven't tried either of those yet, but it's an option.

You could also turn an old camera with no recording, or a dSLR with a time limit on recording into a long-form recorder.

The power jack is not a USB even though it's 5V at 2 amps. The AC to DC converter supplied uses a tiny coaxial power plug. If you could obtain the right adapter cable, I'm sure you could make a large USB battery brick work.

The documentation was adequate. Since I didn't have any problems I didn't need customer service.
Overall I'm pleased so far. I will relate more detail about the audio recording quality after some additional testing.

Last edited by Jay Massengill; March 3rd, 2017 at 08:50 PM. Reason: Added about onboard clock, file names and other details.
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Old March 4th, 2017, 11:56 AM   #10
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Re: HDMI Gaming Recorders

zidoo x8 or x9s
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Old March 4th, 2017, 01:29 PM   #11
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Re: HDMI Gaming Recorders

They look interesting too, but so much additional functionality and complexity that I don't need in this situation and the non-technical folks who bought the Evolve wouldn't be able to understand either.
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Old March 4th, 2017, 02:31 PM   #12
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Re: HDMI Gaming Recorders

No not at all complicated. Super straight forward. Child's Play in fact.
I had the older x9 and now use the x8
HDMI IN function is default app that opens when the box is booted up just click record more or less All the other apps are similar to what is at the play store as in any android device but stay in the background as they do on a phone or tablet
I use mine attached to a livewedge multi camera switcher to record its output
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Old March 5th, 2017, 04:24 AM   #13
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Re: HDMI Gaming Recorders

Jay. The USB battery for charging phones, tablets should work as they put out 2.1a. I have an HDMI sender / reciever and found there was not enough oomph to run them. But they did require 4a. My solution was, believe it or not, the rechargeable battery pack from emergency lights that you find in exit doors. They produce 5a.
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Old March 5th, 2017, 05:14 AM   #14
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Re: HDMI Gaming Recorders

I don't anticipate needing battery power for my uses, but I will carefully measure the DC plug on the supplied AC to DC adapter and post it here this coming week.

A ready-made USB to barrel adapter cable of the correct dimensions may be easy to find depending on that measurement.

If not, the cable of the supplied adapter could be cut in half and a mating pair of USB jacks soldered onto the ends of the cables. Then you could go either AC or USB power to the Evolve, and the AC adapter could charge the USB brick if it wasn't powering the recorder.

I've also ordered a few 645-style batteries in the past, but they actually went into the emergency lights that needed them. They are certainly plentiful, cheap and easy to adapt.
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Old March 5th, 2017, 12:26 PM   #15
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Re: HDMI Gaming Recorders

A bit bulky but this ones. http://www.thesafetycentre.co.uk/sto...GGmBoCXEfw_wcB
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