What does a Capture Card do?

What does a Capture Card do?

Introduction

So what do the best Capture Cards do? Capture Card does a lot of different things, however the most popular use of them is to provide gamers with a way to record their game play and upload it to the internet when they want to. A video capture card will capture video signals and convert these video signals to digital data that is compatible with your PC.

Types of Capture Cards

There are two main types, the internal circuit board and external boxes. The internal circuit board you will install inside your computer itself. These will plug into your standard PCI and PCI Express slots on your motherboard. The external box connects via USB or some other interface. Either way, they both work in similar ways in that they capture video, some will only accommodate analog and some only digital and very few will accommodate both. The Capture card will then process all your video input and stream it through either your PCI slot or USB connector.

It differs from a video adapter card as this sends images to your screen and the capture card records the video as data. Capture cards will accept video from various sources, depending on the type of capture card you have, such as a cable TV, DVD players and video cameras and will work in unison with your PC software which is what displays the video and will allow you to save your video in a media file.

How do they Function?

First you have to look at how you will input your data and what features it offers such as tuners. Your capture card take video in from different sources, either digital or analog data.  This means if you have an RCA and S-video jacks they will only process analog video and the HDMI connector will accommodate HD from digital sources. Some capture cards offer tuner circuits that will be able to select channels from either antenna or broadband cable TV signal. If your capture card offers a tuner, you can watch TV and check your emails on your computer simultaneously in different windows.

Next thing to look at when trying to understand what capture cards do is how they convert the video signal. The basics are that the high-speed chip on the capture card will analyse the video signal and then turn it into a stream of digital images. Using different sources will determine what quality you get so if you are taking in analog signal the resolution will be a lot lower than if you are capturing HD signal.

So how does it store the information that it gets from the different sources. These are stores these images into an area called a buffer. The buffer will also help your PC to stay in sync by regulating the amount of data sent through to the PC. The buffer is like a reservoir which keeps the data in storage until ready to be sent to the PC.

Drivers and Editing Software

Every capture card will come with the manufacturer’s software which are called drivers. When you install the capture card on your computer either internally or through USB port the PC will automatically load the drivers which are then integrated into the computer operating system. Without these drivers, your computer will not be able to recognize the card and will not be able to process any information that comes through the card. The capture card will then display the video on your computer and allow you to edit scenes and then save them to your PC’s hard drive.

Things to Remember

Only very few capture cards will be able to record audio signals at the same time as processing video that has been captured. Capture cards can only support audio streaming from one source and not multiple ones. Capture cards are able to process information with standard resolutions or frame rates.


Share post on
Team @ ISITRATED.com
By Team @ ISITRATED.com

The team @ ISITRATED.com is made up of experts and tech enthusiasts. All here to provide you with unbiased product reviews and informative buyers guides. Meet the team on our about us page.



isitrated.com is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

How to use a DSLR Camera: A Beginners Guide Knowledge Base

How to use a DSLR Camera: A Beginners Guide

With the advent of relatively advanced cameras in our phones, practically everyone has now...

By Team @ ISITRATED.com
The Correct Gaming Desk Setup for Prolonged Gameplay Knowledge Base

The Correct Gaming Desk Setup for Prolonged Gameplay

Introduction Having a gaming desk with the perfect setup to cope with all of...

By Team @ ISITRATED.com
What is 1440p & Why Do We Need It? Knowledge Base

What is 1440p & Why Do We Need It?

What is 1440p? “1440p” refers to the height of the display in pixels, with...

By Team @ ISITRATED.com
What are Computer Cases Made of? Knowledge Base

What are Computer Cases Made of?

Computer cases are made of various different materials. Steel and Aluminum are the most...

By Team @ ISITRATED.com
7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headsets for PC Knowledge Base

7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headsets for PC

Unfortunately PC gamers are the only ones that are able to take full advantage...

By Team @ ISITRATED.com
How Do Gaming Headsets Work? Knowledge Base

How Do Gaming Headsets Work?

Gaming headsets work by integrating the best of both worlds from the microphone and...

By Team @ ISITRATED.com
What is Low Light in Photography? Knowledge Base

What is Low Light in Photography?

As a photographer, one of your biggest enemies is light or the lack of...

By Team @ ISITRATED.com
Point and Shoot Camera VS DSLR Knowledge Base

Point and Shoot Camera VS DSLR

Capturing a photo has never been easier, yet more confusing with the variety of...

By Team @ ISITRATED.com

Latest Posts

The Best eGPU for 2022 Graphic Cards

The Best eGPU for 2022

The graphics card on a computer was once seen as largely immutable. Along with...

By Team @ ISITRATED.com
Best Ergonomic Keyboard for 2022 Keyboards

Best Ergonomic Keyboard for 2022

Ergonomic is a word that’s thrown around a lot in the world of keyboard...

By Team @ ISITRATED.com
MVMT Watches for Women in 2022 Watches

MVMT Watches for Women in 2022

The Watch.  In today’s world, the watch is often considered an old school method...

By Team @ ISITRATED.com
Gaming Headset with Best Mic Gaming

Gaming Headset with Best Mic

Looking for a gaming headset with the best microphone is no easy task. We know that...

By Team @ ISITRATED.com
Best Capture Card in 2022 Gaming

Best Capture Card in 2022

Have you ever wanted to be able to make recordings of what’s happening on...

By Team @ ISITRATED.com
How to use a DSLR Camera: A Beginners Guide Knowledge Base

How to use a DSLR Camera: A Beginners Guide

With the advent of relatively advanced cameras in our phones, practically everyone has now...

By Team @ ISITRATED.com
Best Budget Gaming Laptop in 2022 Gaming

Best Budget Gaming Laptop in 2022

It wasn’t that long ago that the idea of gaming on a laptop seemed...

By Team @ ISITRATED.com