Capture cards, Hardware

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Tacoma18
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Capture cards, Hardware

Post by Tacoma18 »

Newbie here,

I'm currently using two capture cards on our system at our church connected to two cameras with no audio (audio is completely separate), looking to add another capture card to capture PowerPoint/video from a big screen TV in the sanctuary. I'm looking for guidance on using three capture cards, a lot of research shows dropped frames when connecting more than one capture card to a single USB controller... even though I'm not with two, I think 3 is above and beyond one controller's capabilities. I do not know if I have more than one controller on the current Motherboard... let's say no. Do I buy a USB-powered hub to supply power to each capture card so it's not relying on the PC USB, an internal USB hub controller, or an internal 4-port HDMI capture card? The latter being the most expensive considering I have 2 4k cam link capture cards already?

Thank you for your time, look forward to your suggestions.
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MJKlein
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Re: Capture cards, Hardware

Post by MJKlein »

Normally one would use a hardware switcher and have multiple cameras connect to it instead of separate cameras and capture devices. I understand that the reason it was done this way is because of the cost. But that doesn't make expansion easy. You are most likely right about the dropped frames with adding a 3rd card. I would certainly have external USB power connected because that bus would probably be maxed out. If you are dead set on staying with what you have now, I think the 4 port HDMI capture card might be your best bet, but I would check with the supplier or the manufacturer and see what they recommend before buying one. I understand the reluctance because you are already in deep with the 4K capture cards already though. There comes a time when one has to level up though and that can be painful. Personally I wouldn't want to do that either.

Instead of a separate capture device for each camera, have you looked at a small hardware switcher that can handle 2 or 3 cameras? Restream has a pretty good article about the pros and cons of a hardware switcher and also their top picks for hardware units: https://restream.io/blog/best-video-switchers/

Let us know what your research yields. Thanks and welcome to the forum.
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Tacoma18
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Re: Capture cards, Hardware

Post by Tacoma18 »

Thank you for your reply. We are currently using Streamlabs to live stream, which gives us the ability to switch between cameras or any source. Typically I only use two sources at once, full screen is typically the main camera and a smaller window in the corner of the stream that has another camera on the choir or a PowerPoint, but never three sources simultaneously. This makes me think even more since I'm only using two sources at once with no issues, as long as I stick with a maximum of two sources being used I should be able to hook as many capture cards as I want with a USB-powered hub and switch between the sources. I'm going to get the powered hub, and a cheap capture card(since it's just for a PowerPoint) and will let you know how it goes. $50 is cheap for an experiment LOL!

And yes, if it were my own rig I would have gone with an internal 4 port capture card to begin with to allow for future expansion... I was not involved with these decisions in the beginning, unfortunately. I also have to keep this as simple to operate as possible just in case I'm not there to stream the service.
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MJKlein
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Re: Capture cards, Hardware

Post by MJKlein »

Now you're seeing the issues with upscaling software switching rigs. Apps like Streamlabs are for live streamers like gamers. Once you get into the Enterprise side, things quickly escalate. Please do post a follow-up and let us know your results as it will benefit others. Thanks.
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Tacoma18
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Re: Capture cards, Hardware

Post by Tacoma18 »

Items are on order, I will post my results soon... I understand how this could be beneficial to others as there isn't a lot of information regarding multiple capture cards being used simultaneously on one system. Using a USB-powered hub with independent on/off switches for each port is like using a hardware switcher at a fraction of the cost... just not as fancy LOL! Will let you know.
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MJKlein
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Re: Capture cards, Hardware

Post by MJKlein »

Looking forward to hearing the outcome! Thank you and take care.
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