If you’re just getting started with streaming, you may have some questions about the best way to get started. Perhaps the biggest one of them all is whether or not you need a capture card in order to stream on your computer. If you’re reading this, chances are you already know that streaming requires a lot more gear and software than a traditional video recording. It also requires some pretty specialized hardware that may not be something everyone has lying around. However, if you’ve read this far, we can assume that you want to stream and not just record videos like usual. That means it’s time to crack open the old Google machine and get researching! There is no single right answer when it comes to whether or not a capture card is even necessary for streaming on your PC. It all depends on your unique situation and what type of equipment you already have available. Here’s what you need to know about if a capture card is right for your setup:
Do You Need A Capture Card To Stream On A Pc?
Yes, We recommend a capture card for beginners and casual streamers who are comfortable with the technology and don’t mind dealing with more equipment. If you’re looking to stream full-time, you should also consider getting a capture card, but only if you can afford to do so.
What Is A Capture Card?
A capture card is a piece of hardware that allows you to plug in your computer and record live video directly from a source, like a gaming console or a camera. The most common type of capture card is the PCI card that plugs into the computer’s PCI slot. These cards have been used since the early days of streaming. Other types of capture cards include USB devices that plug directly into the computer’s USB port and are a great choice if you don’t have a PCI slot available. The only downside is that they do not provide the same level of quality that a PCI card will. For example, a USB capture card will likely only provide a 480p stream at best, while a PCI card is capable of much higher resolutions.
Why Do I Need A Capture Card For Streaming?
- You can stream your gameplay life
- You can stream with multiple devices
- You can record and stream at the same time
- You don’t need a capture card if you already have a PC that is capable of recording video
- You will get better quality, faster performance, and more options
- You can use your PC for other tasks
- You can use a capture card to record other things, not just gameplay
- You won’t have to deal with all the technicalities of streaming on a PC
- It’s also easy and cheap to get started with capture cards if you don’t want to spend money on software or hardware right away
- You can share the stream with your friends in real-time!
What Do I Need To Stream?
The first thing you need for streaming is a PC. If you’re just starting out, we recommend using your PC as a streaming device and using a capture card to stream from your console or camera.
A Capture Card
You will need a capture card to connect your camera or console to your PC so you can view and record the video. There are several different types of capture cards: PCI, USB, FireWire, and even wireless! Each type has its pros and cons, but for the most part, all of them are capable of recording video at 1080p HD quality (or higher) when used with the right software on a fast enough computer.
A Capture Card Software
You will also need software that can be installed on your computer in order to use the capture card properly. The best software is called Xsplit or OBS Studio (which is free). These programs allow you to easily record gameplay from your console or camera onto your PC and broadcast it live via Twitch or YouTube Gaming. You can also use other programs if you want, but make sure they support recording from sources like consoles and cameras! Here are some popular programs for streaming:
A Remote Control for Your Capture Card
Remote control is not necessary unless you want to be able to adjust settings during stream without having to go into your computer every time! This can help save time if you’re trying to stream while playing games online because it will allow you to stop recording at any time and go back to playing.
You can get away without a microphone if you want, but it’s recommended that you use a microphone because it will improve your quality and reduce background noise! If you don’t have one, Amazon or eBay are good places to check for deals on them.
A Monitor or TV
A monitor is not necessary unless you want to broadcast your stream to other people in real-time and watch them while you stream! You can also use an old TV if you don’t have a monitor or the money for new equipment.
A Headset & Microphone Cables
If your capture card has a built-in mic, then there is no need for additional equipment! However, if your capture card has an external mic jack and/or requires a headset for audio input, then you will need: (1) a headset with a mic and (2) cable(s) that goes from the headset to the capture card’s mic jack (3) cables that go from the capture card’s mic jack to the computer’s sound card. If your computer does not have built-in sound output, then you will need (4) cables that connect from the sound card to an external speaker or headphones so people can hear what is being said during live streaming without having to open their browser window or other applications when someone is streaming on Twitch or YouTube Gaming!
When You Don’t Need A Capture Card To Stream On Pc
If You’ve Got a Gaming Console
You can still stream games from a gaming console if you want to! You will need (1) an HDMI cable that connects from the console to your computer’s HDMI port and (2) an audio cable that connects from the mic jack on the capture card to the TV’s audio input jack. If you don’t have an HDMI cable, you can also use an old VGA cable.
If You’ve Got a Camera or Camcorder
You can also get away with streaming your gameplay if you have a camera or camcorder! This is great for people who want to stream while they are out of the house and don’t want to lug around their capture card and other equipment! All you need is (1) a USB/HDMI cable that connects from the camera or camcorder to your computer’s USB port and (2) cables that connect from the mic jack on your capture card to both the camera or camcorder’s audio input jack and its video output jack.
If You Have PS4, Wii U, Xbox One, or Nintendo Switch Games Installed on Your PC
If you’ve got one of these consoles installed onto your PC, then there is no need for additional equipment! However, one thing that is important when streaming games on PC is having enough memory for them because games take up memory in addition to what’s being used by other programs like web browsers, chat clients, and other applications. If you don’t have enough memory, then your games may run slowly, not load at all, or even crash!
If You Plan to Stream on Xbox One or Wii U with a Capture Card
It is possible to stream on Xbox One or Wii U with a capture card if you have Windows 10 installed on your PC. However, this won’t be possible if you are using Windows 7 because the Xbox 360 driver no longer works on Windows 7! The only solution for this is to upgrade your PC’s operating system to Windows 10!
If You Want to Stream on PS4 with a Capture Card
It is possible to stream on PS4 with a capture card if you have Windows 10 installed on your PC. However, this won’t be possible if you are using Windows 7 because the PS3 driver no longer works on Windows 7! The only solution for this is to upgrade your PC’s operating system to Windows 10!
If you’re serious about streaming, you need a capture card. This is especially true if you want to stream at a high resolution. Without a capture card, it would be nearly impossible to stream at a high resolution from a console because of the lower-quality signal provided by a console’s HDMI out. A capture card will provide a higher-quality signal that is easier to pick up on. It will also allow you to stream at a much higher resolution. However, if you have a PC with a built-in mic and you only plan on streaming at a low resolution, you may not need a capture card.