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Tutorials. How to Capture Gameplay from XBOX 360

This article will explain how to capture, record, and broadcast high quality and high resolution gameplay video from XBOX™ and XBOX 360™ video game consoles. XBOX 360 capture can easily be achieved using the XBOX 360 HD AV cable and a VGA modern frame grabber from Epiphan Systems.

Audio Video Record and Stream from Xbox 360

Epiphan Frame Grabber Hardware Required to Capture Xbox 360

In order to record or broadcast a video stream for XBOX 360 game play, you will need the following hardware:

Computer to Capture Video
A computer is required in order to save the video. It can be a Windows PC, a Mac, or a Linux machine.

XBOX 360 HD AV cable
The XBOX 360 AV cable plugs into the A/V out port at the back of the XBOX and adds a VGA port as well as stereo RCA audio outputs.

Frame Grabber or Capture Card
A frame grabber is required for digitizing the video signal coming from the XBOX 360. You may choose a frame grabber based on the uplink type (PCIe, USB2, USB3, Ethernet/IP), resolution and frame rate that you would like to capture at. Epiphan Systems offers a comprehensive line of frame grabbers at various price/performance points. For XBOX capture, the VGA2USB offers high interlaced quality capture for a relatively low cost, whereas other frame grabbers provide higher performance progressive capture. These include DVI2USB3.0, DVI2PCIe and VGA2Ethernet. Below is a chart comparing the different frame grabbers offered by Epiphan Systems:

VGA-DVI Frame Grabbers Comparison Chart VGA2Ethernet Details VGA2USB Details VGA2USB LR Details VGA2USB HR Details DVI2USB Details VGA2USB Pro Details DVI2PCIe Details DVI2USB 3.0 Details

 

Stereo RCA to 3.5mm Audio Jack Converter (optional)
If you need to record audio and do not have RCA audio inputs on your sound card, a RCA composite to 3.5mm audio adapter/converter is required. This can be purchased at most electronics stores.

VGA Splitter (optional)
If you need to output the video signal to a monitor other than the one to which your capture computer is connected to, a VGA splitter will be needed in order to multiply the VGA outputs from the XBOX 360, thus allowing you to use another monitor. Active VGA splitters are of higher quality and allow for a sharper picture, whereas using a passive VGA splitter can result in a low quality picture.

Step 1: Connect HD AV cable and capture card to XBOX 360

For this example, with DVI2USB 3.0, you will need to hook up all capture equipment in the following manner:

XBOX 360 capture with DVI2USB 3.0

The HD AV cable will add a VGA output to the XBOX 360. The VGA cable will connect to DVI2USB 3.0 using a VGA to DVI adapter or VGA to DVI cable. From there, the VGA output will be converted to a digital format readable by a computer using the DVI2USB 3.0. When the DVI2USB 3.0 is plugged into the computer, the PC recognizes it as a high resolution video camera, and you can use the free Epiphan Capture Tool, or 3rd party software program to capture, stream or broadcast the video and audio from the xbox AV signals.

The audio cable must be connected to the line-in port of your laptop or computer. If your computer does not have stereo RCA inputs, a 3.5mm converter will need to be used.

Step 2: Start Capture Software

Once the corresponding drivers are installed, any Frame Grabber device from Epiphan Systems will appear as a  high resolution and high frame rate external camera. This means that you may use virtually any software package, including Adobe Premiere, Windows Media Encoder, and QuickTime to capture, record, or stream the video. In fact, some video capture programs allow you to broadcast your video live to an audience. Most software program that supports external video capture cards, TV tuners, and similar devices will be compatible with the Epiphan Systems frame grabber.

For the purpose of this tutorial, we will be capturing video from XBOX 360 using Windows Media Encoder. Other tutorials are available for the following applications:

Step 3: Configure Windows Media Encoder

Windows Media Encoder has both recording and webcasting capabilities. For the purpose of this tutorial, we will cover  its recording capabilities only. If you would like to broadcast using Windows Media Player, please consult this tutorial.

After starting Windows Media Encoder, you should see the following screen:

XBOX capture

Select “Capture audio or video” and press “OK”.

From the “Video” drop-down list, select the Epiphan frame grabber device. If the frame grabber does not appear in the list, check your USB connection and make sure that the latest drivers are installed properly. Select “Next”.

XBOX capture card

Select a file name for the recording and use “Browse” to select a location to save to. Press “Next”.

XBOX capture

If you would like to create video for portable devices or future web streaming, you may select that option. To preserve the original quality, select “Web server (progressive download)” and press “Next”.

Select “Full screen video (CBR),” choose the desired bit rate, and press “Next”

XBOX capture

You may edit the recording's title and author. This information appears as the title when played back in Windows Media Player or other software. Press “Next”

XBOX capture

In this screen, select “Begin capturing when I click Finish” checkmark and press “Finish”.

XBOX capture

Step 4: Record Video from XBOX 360.

You are now recording the video stream  from your XBOX 360 through Windows Media Encoder! Press “Stop” when you are finished recording. The video output is also seen through the preview window in Windows Media Encoder. Your recording will be saved in the location that you specified at the beginning of step 2.

XBOX capture

If Quality of video not sufficient.

If your video quality from the WM Encoder is not sufficient, try stopping your recording and going into the “Properties” button found at the top of the window. From there, go into the “Processing” tab and select “YUY2” from the “Pixel format” drop-down list.

XBOX capture

Step 5: Adding Audio to Your Recording

In order to add audio from your XBOX 360 into your recording, you must select the "Audio" check box in the New Session dialog. Make sure to specify your sound card.

Audio Recording from XBOX 360

The Result

The following videos were captured while playing Project Gotham Racing using Epiphan Systems' DVI2USB and VGA2USB Standard capture devices. Naturally, if using higher peformanc frame grabbers like the DVI2USB3.0, DVI2PCIe and VGA2Ethernet, thevideo quality and frame rate will be much higher.

XBOX 360 capture

Captured with DVI2USB
Captured with VGA2USB

XBOX capture
640x480 Video
XBOX capture
1280x1024 Video
XBOX capture
640x480 Video
XBOX capture card
1280x1024 Video