Sep 28, 2017

Elgato Game Capture HD 3.1 Software Interface (Windows)


This article gives a general summary of all aspects of the Elgato Game Capture HD 3.1 software interface. 

This is from the Windows version of the application.

The interface is only slightly changed cosmetically from version 1.0 or version 2.0 of the software, but this article will assume that you are not familiar with those earlier versions.

 
Table of Contents


Sections of Software
Capture Section
Edit Section

Capture Section

Capture Section - Video Preview
Capture Section - Control Bar
Capture Section - Device
Capture Section - Live Streaming
Capture Section - Game Audio
Capture Section - Live Commentary
Capture Section - Tags

Edit Section

Edit Section - Video Preview
Edit Section - Editing and Playback Controls
Edit Section - Sharing of Recordings

Settings

Settings - Capture
Settings - Picture
Settings - Audio
Settings - Profiles
Settings - Advanced

Preferences

Preferences - Capture
Preferences - Sharing
Preferences - Updates
Preferences - Hotkeys
Preferences - Advanced

 
Sections of Software


Elgato Game Capture HD 3.1 software has 4 main sections:

1) Capture Section
2) Edit Section
3) Settings
4) Preferences

Each section will be discussed in more depth in this article.

 
Capture Section


Here is a screenshot of the Capture Section:

 


The Capture Section of the software is broken down in to three main areas:

1) An area that previews incoming video

2) An area that lets you start Recording, Streaming or using Live Commentary, as well as initiate Flashback Recording.

3) An area that lets you adjust the settings for Live Streaming, Game Audio, Live Commentary, as well as add Tags to each recording.  There also is a Sound Capture section, covered in depth a separate article.

4) An optional area that has controls relating to Stream Command - a feature that allows you to place graphical overlays on top of video, like a webcam.  Stream Command is covered in more depth in a separate article.

 
Edit Section


Here is a screenshot of the Edit Section:

 


The Edit Section of the software is broken down in to three main areas:

1) An area that shows a currently selected Recording.

2) An area that lets you edit that Recording, along with playing it back, or adjusting its Tags.

3) An area that lets navigate through your recordings, as well as Share (Export) them for use in other services and applications, like YouTube, Facebook or Movie Maker.

 
Capture Section - Video Preview


 


The Video Preview window shows the exact image that will be streamed or recorded.

Depending on your Elgato Gaming product, that video you see in the software may be delayed from live by a few milliseconds (Elgato Game Capture HD60 Pro or Elgato Game Capture HD60 S), to a few seconds (Elgato Game Capture HD).

 
Capture Section - Control Bar


 


The Control Bar is perhaps the most important part of the Elgato Game Capture HD software.

• Press the red button to start and stop Recording.  If you are Recording, then the Record button will be glowing red.

• Press the green button to start and stop Live Streaming.  If you are Live Streaming, then the Stream button will be glowing green.

• Press the blue button to start and stop Live Commentary.  If you are using Live Commentary, then the Commentary button will be glowing blue.

• If you want to rewind video, move the blue bar to the left. 

• If you want to initiate Flashback Recording, then move the blue bar to the left, until you get to the point where you want to begin, and then press the red button to start Recording.

The Control Bar also has a few buttons that let you:

• Take a Screenshot

• Disable the Video Preview window - you will not see video in the software, but your recording will still have video.

• Mute the Audio Preview - you will not hear audio come out of your computer, but your recording will still have audio.

 
Capture Section - Device


 


If you have an Elgato Gaming device connected to your computer, either via USB or PCIe, then it will appear in the Device section.

The icon that looks like a gear, at the bottom right corner of this window, will bring up the Settings for that device.  The various available Settings are covered later in this article.

 
Capture Section - Live Streaming


 


Elgato Game Capture HD can be used to stream video to various services.

When you first start the software, Live Streaming is not yet setup. 

You will need to use the "+" button to add a service:

Twitch
YouTube
Ustream
DailyMotion
RTMP

You will then choose the upload bitrate, in Mbps.  In some cases, like for Twitch, you will also select a nearby server.

To turn on Live Streaming, use the green Stream button at the bottom of the window.

Live Streaming is covered in more depth in this article.

 
Capture Section - Game Audio


 


As audio is captured by your Elgato Gaming device, colorful bars will animate in the Game Audio section, representing the overall volume levels for each channel.

You can select the volume, from 0-100, by using the circular control at the left of the section.

 
Capture Section - Live Commentary


 


The Live Commentary section will automatically let you choose between any microphones or headsets that are connected to, or built into, your PC

When Live Commentary is on, anything you say will automatically be inserted into the gameplay that is being captured.

If you make a recording, that Live Commentary will be in your gameplay, mixed in with the other audio.

If you are using Live Streaming, then your Live Commentary will be sent along with the rest of the video and audio, so anyone who visits your stream can hear you speak while you play.

You can select the volume of your voice, from 0-100, by using the circular control at the left of the section.

To turn on Live Commentary, use the blue Commentary button at the bottom of the window.

Live Commentary is covered in more depth in this article.



Live Commentary Settings



The icon that looks like a gear, at the bottom right corner of this window, will bring up the Live Commentary Settings

The Threshold slider lets you set what audio level your voice should reach before Automatically reduce game sound is activated. 

The Attenuation slider lets you set how much to Automatically reduce game sound when you are speaking.

The game sound is reduced by the amount set in Attenuation if the microphone sound reaches the level set in Threshold.

 
Capture Section - Tags


 


The Tags section of the Elgato Game Capture HD has fields where you can enter the Title, Game, Description, and Tags for your Recording.

Those Tags will be associated with each Recording, and will also be available for any streams or YouTube uploads.

 
Edit Section - Video Preview


 


The Video Preview window in the Edit section shows the exact video you recorded.

It will display whatever recording you have selected in the Library section, which is to the right of the Video Preview window.

 

Your Library can be grouped by information you have used to describe your videos, including:

Game Title
Game Level
Creation Date
Tags
Shared

 
Edit Section - Editing and Playback Controls


 


To edit a Elgato Game Capture HD video:

1) Select Edit mode

2) Choose the Group in your Library that contains the video

3) Under the Videos section, highlight your video



Editor Controls



1) Timeline - This includes the black bar that lists where you are in the video, in minutes and seconds, as well as the thumbnail pictures of the video.

2) Playhead - The vertical, thin, blue line that indicates what section of the video is currently showing.  The Playhead will move as video progresses, and you can also move the Playhead manually, to quickly get to an exact section.  You can also click on the top of the Timeline, to quickly jump to that location.

3) Zoom - The circular buttons with a "+" or "-" sign in them can be used to disclose more or less thumbnails.  The more thumbnails you can see, the easier it will be to select an exact part of the video.  The less thumbnails you can see, the easier it will be to view more of the Timeline at once.

4) Segment - Each video starts out with only one Segment.  If you split the video into multiple parts, then each fractional Segment can be treated independently.  You can resize, move and delete a Segment.  The end of a Segment has rounded corners.

5) Selection - Any part of the Timeline that is highlighted light blue is a Selection.   Click on a Segment of video to make it a Selection.

6) Tag Editor - This button looks like a lowercase "i", and it opens up a window where you can add or adjust the Tags for the current video.

7) Go To Beginning - This button will immediately move the playhead to the beginning of the video.

8) Fast Rewind - This button will play the video backwards, at fast speed.

9) Play - This button will play the video at normal speed.

10) Fast Forward - This button will play the video forwards, at fast speed.

11) Current Time - This display will show the current position in the video, in minutes and seconds.

12) Mute - This button will turn the playback of audio off, and on again.  It will not permanently remove any audio from the video.

13) Split Segment At Playhead - This button looks like a pair of scissors, and it will split a segment into two parts, starting at the current Playhead location.

14) Delete - This button looks like a trash can, and it will delete the currently selected Segment.  If you use the Delete button by accident, you have the option of using the Undo command to restore the missing Segment.  You can also use the Revert to Original command to change the video back to its original form.



Resize Segment



If you grab either end of any video segment, you can resize it to a smaller length.

This would be the most direct way to remove content from your video. 

However, the video is not actually gone just yet - you can always resize the segment back to its original length.

When you Share video that has shortened segments, the missing (non-visible) content will not be shared.



Split Segment at Playhead



To split a video segment into two smaller segments, you can use the Split Segment At Playhead command.

1) Move the playhead to the point where you want the split to happen.

2) Use the button with an icon on a pair of scissors on it to split it.



Move Segment



To move a video segment, you first must have two or more video segments.

Then, click and hold on a segment for a few seconds, until your cursor turns into a hand.

While holding the segment, move it to the left or right on your timeline, until it snaps into its new position.  



New Video from Timeline Selection



If you want to save a particular selection of a recording, first click on it until it turns blue.

Then, right click on it, and select New Video from Timeline Selection.

A new clip will be created in your Elgato Game Capture HD library, that you can then save separately, or share to YouTube or other sources.

 
Edit Section - Sharing of Recordings


 


You can Share your Recordings to various formats, including:

YouTube
Facebook
Twitter
Email
Apple TV
iPad
iPhone
Movie Maker
File (MP4)

1) Select Edit mode

2) Choose the Group in your Library that contains the video

3) Under the Videos section, highlight your video

4) Under the Share section, select the format you want.

5) Your video will be encoded, and then sent to your Video folder.

 
Settings - Capture


The icon that looks like a gear, at the bottom right corner of Device section , will bring up the Settings window. 

 


The Capture Settings allow you to adjust a number of important settings:

1) Input Device - The available Input Device options will vary depending on what Elgato Gaming device you have, but options will include Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, iPad, iPhone/iPod touch, Wii U, and Other

2) Video Input - The available Video Input options will vary depending on what Elgato Gaming device you have, but options will include HDMI, Composite, S-Video and Component.

3) Audio Input - The available Video Input options will vary depending on what Elgato Gaming device you have, but options will include HDMI Audio and Analog Audio (for USB devices), or Line in Audio (for PCIe devices).

4) HDMI Color Range - There are two HDMI Color Range options, Standard and Expanded.

5) Profile - If you want to record in a different resolution than the original video, then you can adjust the Profile. There are 4 Profile options:

Mobile - 480x360
Standard - 640x480
HD 720 - 1280x720
HD 1080 - 1920x1080

6) Allow 60 fps - If you choose this option, then Elgato Game Capture HD will try to match the original frame rate of the video. Elgato Game Capture HD is limited in this area - 1080p video will always be 30 fps.

7) Quality - As you change the Quality, the amount of disk space needed per hour of recording will also change.  Quality is measured in Mbps (Megabits per second), and each Elgato Gaming device has a different maximum Mbps value.

8) Convert Standard Definition to 640x480 -

9) Stretch Standard Definition Input - If you choose to Stretch Standard Definition Input, then anamorphic video will appear as 16:9, instead of 4:3.  This can be useful when watching some DVDs.

 
Settings - Picture


The icon that looks like a gear, at the bottom right corner of Device section , will bring up the Settings window. 

 


Under Picture, use the sliders to change the Brightness, Contrast, Saturation and Hue.

If you don't like the changes you made, you can use the Reset Defaults button at the bottom, left corner of the window.

 
Settings - Audio


The icon that looks like a gear, at the bottom right corner of Device section , will bring up the Settings window. 

 


Under Audio, use the slider to change the Analog Audio gain, from -12 to +12 dB.

This control will not affect digital audio, like from an HDMI connection.

Audio will always have the following format:

Codec: AAC
Bitrate: 224 kbit/s
Sample Rate: 48kHz

 
Settings - Profiles


The icon that looks like a gear, at the bottom right corner of Device section , will bring up the Settings window. 

 


Here's how you share your picture settings profile using Windows:

1) With Elgato Game Capture HD connected, launch the software and open the Game Capture HD Settings window.

2) Modify the Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, Hue, or Quality sliders as desired.

3) Once you finish your changes, click on the "Profiles" tab.

4) Click on the "+" button to create a profile based on your new settings.

5) Name your new profile and click the "Add" button. Your custom profile has now been added, and a custom URL for the profile is displayed below.

6) To Share your new profile, click on the "Copy from Clipboard" button. You are now ready to paste the Clipboard contents into an email, Twitter, or Facebook message.

7) To Import a shared profile, open the message you received, then highlight and copy to the Clipboard the URL of the shared profile.

Return to the Game Capture HD Settings window, click on the "Profiles" tab and click on the "Paste from Clipboard" button.

Congratulations, you have now imported a shared profile!

 
Settings - Advanced


The icon that looks like a gear, at the bottom right corner of Device section , will bring up the Settings window. 

 


The Advanced Settings window for Windows offers two main options:


1) Component Compatibility - Adjust this slider if your Component video connection, for instance from a PlayStation 3, occasionally flashes a black screen or is not complete.

2) TV Compatibility - Adjust this slider if you are using 1080p, and your HDMI or Component video connection to the TV or monitor you use for gameplay occasionally goes blank, or shows strange colors or interference patterns. In this case, the captured picture will look okay.


To use these sliders, move them one step at a time.  Then, test the video connection again for 10-15 minutes, to see if the problem goes away.

The vast majority of TV sets and Displays will not need to be adjusted in this way, but if yours does, the "correct" number on the slider will vary, depending on what TV or Display you're using.

If you make an incorrect choice using Component Compatibility and TV Compability sliders, you can always go back to the original settings by using the Reset Defaults button.

 
Preferences - Capture


The icon that looks like a gear, at the top right corner of Elgato Game Capture HD application window, will bring up the Preferences window. 

 


The Capture Preferences allow you to adjust a number of important settings:

1) Library Location - This is where your EGC_Library folder will be stored.  The EGC_Library contains all of your recordings.  The default location is in your Videos folder.

2) File Export Location - This is where any files you Share/Export will be stored.  The default location is in your Videos folder.

3) Screenshot Location - This is where any Screenshots you take will be stored.  The default location is on your Desktop.

4) Enable Flashback RecordingElgato Game Capture HD has a video buffer, that constantly records video while you play your game.  You can manipulate that buffer as much as you want - rewind, pause or fast forward. You can also use Flashback Recording to rewind incoming video to where you want to start recording, and then press the Record button.  Elgato Game Capture HD will start recording from that point, even if it's from an hour ago. 

5) Enable Stream Command - Stream Command adds the ability to overlay webcam video and still graphics on top of your gameplay, while you are streaming. Stream Command is covered in more depth in a separate article.

 
Preferences - Sharing


The icon that looks like a gear, at the top right corner of Elgato Game Capture HD application window, will bring up the Preferences window. 

 


The Sharing Preferences allow you to adjust a number of important settings:

1) Sharing Destinations - You can choose what Destinations will appear in the software to Share completed recordings to, including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Email, Apple TV, iPad, iPhone, Movie Maker and a standard File (MP4).

2) Use 1080p for iPad and Apple TV exports - This will ensure that all exports remain 1920 by 1080, for maximum compatibility with an iPad or Apple TV.

3) Always convert new videos to MP4 file  - The contents of your EGC_Library folder are kept in a Transport Stream format, and aren't meant to be directly manipulated.  Therefore, you can set all of your completed recordings to automatically export as a separate H.264 with a .mp4 extension.  You'll have two copies of your recording - the raw, original recording that your Elgato Game Capture HD uses, and a .mp4 copy that you can use as you see fit.

4) Mix the following tracks to exports > Webcam / Overlays  - If you are using Stream Command to add a Webcam image, or other Overlays, then you have the option of either keeping those elements in your exports, or leaving them out.  If this preference is turned on, then you will have your Webcam and Overlays in all of your exports.

5) Mix the following tracks to exports > Live Commentary audio - If you are using Live Commentary to add your voice to your recordings, then you have the option of either leaving your Live Commentary track in your exports, or excluding it.  If this preference is turned on, then you will have your Live Commentary in all of your exports.

6) Export to separate files > Webcam - If you are using Stream Command to add a Webcam image, then you have the option of requesting a separate copy of your Webcam video.  If this preference is turned on, then you will receive a separate file that includes a full resolution copy of your Webcam video.

7) Export to separate files > Live Commentary audio - If you are using Live Commentary to add your voice to your recordings, then you have the option of requesting a separate copy of your Live Commentary track.  If this preference is turned on, then you will receive a separate file that includes a full length copy of your Live Commentary track.

 
Preferences - Updates


The icon that looks like a gear, at the top right corner of Elgato Game Capture HD application window, will bring up the Preferences window. 

 


The Update Preferences allow you to adjust some important settings:

1) Software Update > Always check for updates - When this feature is on, Elgato Game Capture HD software will let you know when each significant software update is ready, and will give you an option to download and install it if you like.  Such updates are not automatically installed - you always have to approve or deny the update.

2) Feedback > Help to improve Game Capture HD by sharing anonymous usage data - Elgato Game Capture HD software Developers are always looking for ways to improve all aspects of the Elgato Gaming experience, when this option is turned on, anonymous usage data is periodically sent to Elgato Systems for close analysis.

 
Preferences - Hotkeys


The icon that looks like a gear, at the top right corner of Elgato Game Capture HD application window, will bring up the Preferences window. 

 


The Hotkey Preferences allow you to adjust some important settings:

1) Hotkey > Start/Stop Recording - You can choose one key, or a combination of keys, to toggle Recording on and off.

2) Hotkey > Screenshot - You can choose one key, or a combination of keys, to take a Screenshot.

 
Preferences - Advanced


The icon that looks like a gear, at the top right corner of Elgato Game Capture HD application window, will bring up the Preferences window. 

 


Elgato Game Capture HD for Windows is able to use Hardware Accelerated Decoding and Encoding

More specifically, that means that the software will be able to use your PC's graphics processor to help encode and decode video.  The available options will vary depending on what computer you are using.

See this article for more details:

Elgato Game Capture HD and Hardware Accelerated Decoding and Encoding



Decoder


Hardware Accelerated Decoding supports AMD, Intel, and NVIDIA graphics processors.

Dedicated graphics processors are most efficient.

The built-in Software codec delivers optimum quality at the cost of higher processor load.



Stream Command Encoder


Hardware Accelerated Encoding for Stream Command is also available.

Dedicated graphics processors are most efficient, especially when using Stream Command.

The built-in Software codec delivers optimum quality at the cost of higher processor load.

The slider that goes from Best Performance to Highest Quality only affects encoder settings.

You can lower this setting if you see any performance problems during live streaming.