I Don’t Need Your Stupid Game Bar

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Dec 24, 2019

Filed under: Rants 44 comments

This post isn’t relevant right now. This post is for the benefit of people in the future. Whenever I complain about the difficulty of getting screenshots or footage from a game, I often get asked perfectly reasonable questions like these:

  • Shamus, the game has a built-in camera mode and it looks fantastic. Why don’t you use that?
  • Shamus, why don’t you use the built-in streaming feature in this game?
  • Why don’t you use the Microsoft Game bar, or the equivalent feature in Steam, Origin, Uplay, GoG, or the Epic Games StoreHAHAHA. Just kidding. Epic Games Store doesn’t have any features.?

I get asked a question like this every few months by earnest and well-meaning people. I also get asked these questions by pushy and self-important recording platforms that assume they’re the first program to ever offer this feature and they just can’t IMAGINE how I survived before they came along.

So here is the complete answer to all of these questions, in a conveniently-linkable location…

I Have a System Already, Thanks

This is Microsoft's game "bar", which pretty well reflects their kitchen-sink apprach to application design. If you can't do something well, then try to do many things poorly.
This is Microsoft's game "bar", which pretty well reflects their kitchen-sink apprach to application design. If you can't do something well, then try to do many things poorly.

I use BandiCam to record all screenshots and game footage. I have an entire workflow built around this system. I know what the hotkeys are, I can hit them quickly when I need to, and I know the hotkeys aren’t going to do anything to impact gameplayThe Microsoft Xbox Windows Game Bar Assistant Overlay – or whatever the stupid thing is called – is invoked by pressing WIN+G. In lots of games, G is also THROW GRENADE. It might work the way you want, or it might go very wrong. Do you feel lucky?. I don’t want to press record, watch a 10 minute cutscene, and then realize the recording didn’t happen because the hotkeys are different than what I’m used to, and then realize the game just auto-saved and I can’t get another shot at the cutscene without playing through the entire game again. Games take a long time to play, so the stakes are pretty high here. I need to be able to hit record and trust that the system will work. I’m usually concentrating on the game, and I don’t want to have to babysit an unknown system to make sure it’s capturing what I need.

Every game bar and recording software has its own defaults for storing things. Some put them in with the save files. Some will stick them in something like /photos or whatever. Others have their own special-snowflake places to put things. They usually store them in a common folder named something unhelpful, like “screenshots”, and the images will be named something stupid like screenshot1.jpg, screenshot2.jpg, etc. All of these programs default to saving things on my C: drive, which isn’t large enough to hold hours and hours of game footage from dozens of games.

BandiCam is part of my organizational system. I have an entire external hard drive dedicated to storing footage and screenshots. When I use Bandicam, I know that the material will go to that drive, I know that it will be saved under a folder named after the game in question, and I know the material itself will be named with a timestamp so I can sort them later. Yes, all files on Windows have a “created” timestamp, but that becomes useless if you have to copy the files somewhere else for whatever reason. Having the timestamp in the name means everything will be sorted chronologically, and will stay sorted. If I have recordings from multiple playthroughs, they won’t get all mixed together.

This naming system also fixes the problem where Windows will use naive file sorting and things will end up like:

image1
image11
image12
image13
image14
image15
image16
image17
image18
image19
image2
image20

…and so on.

If I need some Rage 2 screenshots a couple of years from now, I don’t have to remember which platform I played on or which random recording program I used, then figure out where that program dumped the files, and then work out what order all the videos and screenshots should be in. I jump to my capture drive and look under /RAGE2. That’s it. I know all video files will be in the same format, rather than switching randomly between competing types. When it comes time to make a video, I’ll know that all game footage is compressed using the same system and I’m not going to need to hunt for a converter for this semi-obscure version of an old video format. (Or a surprise new one.)

The BandiCam notification over the Steam overlay over the Discord overlay over the game I'm playing.
The BandiCam notification over the Steam overlay over the Discord overlay over the game I'm playing.

Also, lots of recording programs are either too invisible or too pushy. The Microsoft game bar loves to pop up at random times to announce that it recorded that thing you told it to record. I don’t know if those announcements would show up in game footage, and I really don’t want to find out the hard way. Other programs might not give you an indication if you’re recording or not. I don’t want to have to learn every system and all of its exceptions and eccentricities. When I’m using BandiCam, I can always see a frame counter in the upper left corner to let me know the program is ready. If it’s green, it’s idle. Yellow means it just captured a screenshot. Red means it’s recording footage. I know this indicator won’t appear in any of the captured material.

Most importantly, I know that when I stop recording I’m not going to get a stupid popup asking me which social media site I want to upload to. BandiCam isn’t ever going to pull me out of the game, ask me to log in, or tell me what people are up to on some stupid “friends list”. It stays hidden, does its job, and doesn’t get clingy when I haven’t interacted with it for a while.

Also, having the recording done by an external program is more likely to give performant results. BandiCam is specialized software that’s been in development for over a decade. It’s probably going to be better optimized than the tacked-on recording mode thrown together by a random game developer. It also means that I can keep recording smoothly, even if the game is struggling. This keeps the two systems isolated and prevents cascading failures. If the game crashes, I won’t lose my footage. If I run out of storage space for recording, the game won’t crash.

I MUST disable the Origin overlay, because it blocks all other recording software.
I MUST disable the Origin overlay, because it blocks all other recording software.

Also, often in-game screenshot systems exist to make screenshots that are pretty rather than accurate. Maybe they’ll do some post-processing to enhance the saved image, or the system won’t capture the HUD. If I’m trying to write an article about how confusing and over-cluttered the HUD is, then a bunch of screenshots without the HUD are useless to me. I want my screenshots to reflect the game as I saw it, not as the game designer wants to pretend it looks. I’m trying to critique the game, not market it.

I still haven’t found a system that allows for my absurd absent-mindedness. Sometimes I’ll start playing without hitting record first. Or I’ll remember to hit record but forget to hit stop and end up recording an hour of pause menu. There’s probably no fix for that, and I expect the problem will get worse as I get older. I was a scatterbrain in my 30s, so I can’t imagine what a mess I’ll be in my 50s.

Still, this is the system I’ve settled on, and deviating from it would cause chaos for me in the future.

Speaking of absent-mindedness: I just scheduled this post and realized it’s going to appear the day before Christmas. A technical and needlessly hostile rant on usability is perhaps not the best pre-Christmas greeting.

Ah well. Merry Christmas anyway.

 

Footnotes:

[1] HAHAHA. Just kidding. Epic Games Store doesn’t have any features.

[2] The Microsoft Xbox Windows Game Bar Assistant Overlay – or whatever the stupid thing is called – is invoked by pressing WIN+G. In lots of games, G is also THROW GRENADE. It might work the way you want, or it might go very wrong. Do you feel lucky?



From The Archives:
 

44 thoughts on “I Don’t Need Your Stupid Game Bar

  1. ccesarano says:

    Merry Christmas Shamus! Even if the post isn’t particularly festive, the background certainly is.

    Plus, thanks to you, I’m thinking maybe I should try BandiCam for any time I need to record footage on PC rather than console. So there’s that!

  2. Chris says:

    I have nvidea shadowplay and its also weird. sometimes it randomly opens up the overlay, then when i try to open the overlay it doesnt work, only for it to open 5 minutes later, and using the ingame screenshot system is just as annoying as you have to google every time which place the game decides to put the pictures.

    >Also, often in-game screenshot systems exist to make screenshots that are pretty rather than accurate. Maybe they’ll do some post-processing to enhance the saved image, or the system won’t capture the HUD. If I’m trying to write an article about how confusing and over-cluttered the HUD is, then a bunch of screenshots without the HUD are useless to me. I want my screenshots to reflect the game as I saw it, not as the game designer wants to pretend it looks. I’m trying to critique the game, not market it.

    This so much, nothing is worse than taking a screenshot (by hammering some combination of F10, F12 and printscreen) only to find out it removes your hud and instead slaps on a logo. It not only does not what it advertises (take a screenshot) but it also looks like some official promotional material. Its the same stuff as the last rant was about. Companies shoving stuff down your throat you dont want, because most people don’t complain.

    And don’t worry about the date, I enjoy my anger. Merry Christmas everyone

    1. Dev Null says:

      Yeah, I’ve noticed that the annoyingly-useless popups are now no longer limited to my games platform, but seem to include my graphics drivers as well now. Thanks NVIDIA.

    2. Grimwear says:

      Nvidia can suck an egg. I decided to try out their overlay for game capture and it worked easily and without problem. Unfortunately I woke up one morning and bam. Overlay and all associated features no longer worked. I did some digging and it turns out that my graphics card is now too old and is no longer supported by GeForce Experience. That’s fine, honestly it is an old card but what isn’t fine is that they’ve set their requirements for the overlay and game capture to what version graphics driver you have. So I now have a permanent message at the top of the program saying I have a critical update pending that I literally cannot install because my graphics card isn’t supported and I’m now locked out of features that used to work flawlessly. What’s worse is that there’s no way for me to revert the updates to my knowledge since any time you boot GeForce it automatically updates and any posts I found about stopping that were from 2 years ago and people came in to say that it didn’t work anymore because Nvidia changed where they hid the update. Why couldn’t Nvidia have just left me the old version of the overlay and tied overlay availability to the download of the new drivers? This doesn’t make me want to upgrade but when I do I’ll be sure to look at all their competitors first. Also I swapped to OBS and it works great so good job Nvidia.

      1. tmtvl says:

        Insert Linus Torvalds flipping Nvidia the bird meme here.

      2. Duoae says:

        I had this whole argument with Destiny’s system of kicking people out of content…. didn’t find much traction with that. :/

        1. shoeboxjeddy says:

          You didn’t find much traction because your argument is inaccurate, most likely. Complaints regarding the original version of Destiny 2 are very different from how the game currently functions.

  3. Lino says:

    Merry Christmas to you, too! By the way, I’ve heard that recent Win 10 updates has led to capture software like BandiCam having more issues than normal, leading people to think it may be the next target in Microsoft’s Embrace, extend, extinguish approach to competition. Have you (or anyone else using such 3rd party software) noticed anything like that?

    P.S. I love the festive background! However, I still miss the old comment counting system that used dice to tell you how many comments there were, along with a funny line about the number of comments!

    1. Shamus says:

      Yes. BandiCam has been having a lot of trouble for the last ~6 months or so. I forget what Windows update broke it, but every few hours BandiCam magically loses the ability to detect games (called “hooking” here) and must be restarted.

      Of course, you can’t PROVE that this is Microsoft’s fault. Each company can point a finger at the other. I’d blame BandiCam if it wasn’t for Microsoft’s fondness for EEE, as you noted.

      1. Richard says:

        Microsoft have been making a lot of changes to “Fullscreen” mode relatively recently – Fullscreen-Exclusive no longer exists, the DWM is now always active.

        While this change has likely improved multi-screen and task-switching, I am absolutely certain it will have broken things.

        MS probably haven’t intentionally broken Bandicam, but I also doubt they have tested against it because the new Microsoft Way is to release stuff without doing any testing, and deliberately ignoring beta tester comments.

      2. Jeff says:

        I blame Microsoft.

        They’ve got this whole sandbox thing for at least Outer Worlds installed from their store, and it basically prevents anything from hooking onto it – the most annoying being my Logitech mouse thing that lets me assign buttons to the DPI buttons that I’m not hardcore enough to actually use for DPI.

    2. Duoae says:

      Oh, really?! I had noticed that i couldn’t take screenshots with bandicam in certain games but i thought it was perhaps down to those particular games.. also, some games would only post black screens in bandicam unless i restarted the programme and the game.

      I always had to check the first screenshot of a session that is wasn’t happening. Was very annoying the first time it happened and i hadn’t realised.

  4. emptyother says:

    Enjoy it while you can. Some company is gonna solve your lack of problems eventually by buying up the Bandicam company.

    > Others have their own special-snowflake places to put things.

    I found yesterday that Ubisoft now have decided to put their screenshot folder into my cloud drive folder. In a new “Pictures” folder, right besides my own existing “Pictures” folder (duplicate naming possible because i18n). And they take automatic screenshots of achievements. Grr..

    Hope some developers read this and learn not to do that.

  5. Dreadjaws says:

    OK, but why don’t you use GeForce Experience to record your footage?

    But seriously, if you’re ever in a pickle, that program does all the stuff BandiCam does. I’m not sure what the default hotkeys are, but they can be changed, just like the destiny folder. Videos are time/date stamped and saved on a folder with the game’s name within the destiny folder and I’ve never experience any weird compression. Since it’s not part of any game it also doesn’t remove the HUD and it certainly doesn’t leave any logos. And, even if you don’t remember where you saved your videos and pictures, you can open the gallery and it will show you the paths and let you open those folders from there.

    I don’t know what’s the difference between the vanilla GeForce Experience and the Shadowplay variant/add-on, which someone complains about up there, but I never had any issue like that. Microsoft Game Bar can go eat a bag of dicks, though. And Steam’s screenshit feature leaves the picture in horrible quality (there is an option for saving an uncompressed copy, but I’ve never been able to make it work).

    Edit: that’s supposed to be “Steam’s screenshot feature”, but it’s such a perfect typo I refuse to change it.

    1. boz says:

      Because that program is a privacy nightmare and forces you to login before giving you any usable functions.

    2. Legendary Teeth says:

      The thing that the GeForce stuff gives you that bandicam doesn’t seem to is the option of an automatic buffer. So it will just always have the last 10 min (configurable) of any game you play recorded. If you forget to record something but remember before the buffer is overwritten you can just push a button and save it out.

      This is super useful for casual recording. Ie, you are just playing for fun and see something super cool, you just hit save and get whatever just happened and the stuff leading up to it.

      There are other parts of the software that you may like less than bandicam (you have to have an account and login and such) but it does seem like it might solve one of your issues, while still covering most of your other bases.

    3. tmtvl says:

      Hang on, aren’t Geforce those overpriced garbage GPUs? Does that application work for all setups?

      1. Duoae says:

        I think you can level the charge that geforce cards are overpriced (though it seems the market will bear it) but i think it’s impossible for anyone to say that the 10, 16 or 20 series of nvidia cards are garbage…. the performance numbers just don’t support that.

  6. tmtvl says:

    Clearly the best way to do it is to stream it to Twitch, download the VOD, convert it to .avi, and then edit it with Windows Movie Maker.

    Oh, and happy holidays.

    1. Duoae says:

      Oh how i miss movie maker… i lost access to that when i upgraded OS. :(

  7. Wiseman says:

    I try using the in-app recording features, but some of them save to quite odd folders. eDuke32 for example. Why would anyone ever look there?

  8. Asdasd says:

    Every game bar and recording software has its own defaults for storing things. Some put them in with the save files. Some will stick them in something like /photos or whatever. Others have their own special-snowflake places to put things.

    Related to this, I miss the old paradigm where any data a program was allowed to store, that wasn’t determined by the users themselves, went into the installation directory and nowhere else. If you needed to look for something your search was already narrowed down to Program Files (or the coin-flip of Program Files vs Program Files (x86), but that’s a separate complaint…)

    I hate that now save games, log files, configs and everything else under the sun now gets confetti-ejected across my harddrive in a data diaspora. It could be in My Documents! Or the User folder! Or – worst case scenario – it could be in AppData, buried deep under any of the completely inscrutable trifecta of Local (ok..) LocaLow (??) or Roaming (??? am I taking my PC outside?)

    Maddening. The only thing that guaranteed is that it’s in the last place you look. And that you’ll swear at Explorer repeatedly as you try to remember how to revert the address bar into something you can copy/paste to.

    1. tmtvl says:

      I know, so often saves get put in XDG config home when they should logically be put in XDG data home.

    2. Richard says:

      One of the best things MS ever did was to explicitly block writing to Program Files because it has so many unwanted side effects.
      BTW, it was blocked in Windows Vista, so it happened before Program Files (x86) existed *.
      – The Windows 7/8/10 program files virtual store** are a very neat piece of backwards compatibility, though it’s apparent you haven’t actually realised that’s happening.

      It was not permitted in Windows XP, but because it wasn’t blocked…

      The reason is simple: Security, multi-user, backup and roaming profiles.

      If the game application (run as the logged-on user) can write into its installation directory then all applications can also write there. And do who-knows-what.

      If the game stores all its progress data in a single global location, then multiple users cannot have their own games – I log on as me and accidentally nuke your progress because I’d like to play from the beginning.
      Sorry, did I just delete your last six months of gameplay?

      Then there’s backup. Do you really want to back up the entirety of Program Files (>100GB) just to store 100MB of game progress data?

      So all that needs to be in a per-user folder – My Documents or AppData – that can be treated appropriately.

      My Documents can be pointed at a central server, moved to some other hard disk with more space, and be backed up regularly.

      AppData is for per-user data, settings and cache that the user shouldn’t be touching (eg if they edit the file or backup-restore some files it is likely to cause unwanted behaviour). That makes it a good place for game progress data, but a terrible place for screenshots.
      The three folders have different purposes.

      “AppData/Local”
      – Per-user, per-machine settings and cache. Data that would either be meaningless on any other PC or can be safely erased because it can be regenerated. This is where “Temp” is now located.

      “AppData/LocalLow”
      – Per-user-per-machine cache that can be safely erased. Usually things like crash dumps, compiled shaders & scripting, and the like. Starting the application will re-create them, but keeping them helps with startup time.

      “AppData/Roaming” – Per-user settings and data that is automatically cloned onto your Windows domain (usually corporate) PC when you log on. This is incredibly useful as it means programs can magically retain your settings when you are “hot-desking”, or if your work PC dies you can easily switch to another.
      – Yes, not really applicable in home computing, but essential for corporate.

      And yes, there are many games and applications which break the rules or made poor choices.

      Just because you don’t understand why, doesn’t mean there isn’t a good reason.

      * I’m assuming you never used Windows XP 64bit.
      ** Writing to Program Files actually creates a folder in “AppData/Local/VirtualStore” and stores the data there as an overlay. This allows legacy programs that expect to write to Program Files to continue working.

      Note: I have used the default English folder names throughout. Never, ever do this, always use the proper API as they may be localised or redirected.

      1. Asdasd says:

        Thanks. It’s good to know that there’s actually some logic behind it, in in principle at least. But the inconsistent application of that logic thwarts many of the purported benefits, especially for a single user system. And it doesn’t make it any less aggravating when you have to hunt everywhere because developers haven’t bothered to coalesce around proper standards – it’s not so much that there are games and applications that break the rules, I’m not sure any two pieces of software I have installed behave in the same way.

        1. Richard says:

          Yes, sadly games (and gaming-related applications) are among the worst for ignoring the rules.
          Cross-platform things also tend to get it wrong because they tend to try to apply their ‘native’ rules on all platforms – Linux, Mac, and Windows all have slightly different rules.

          Eg gimp uses $HOME\.gimp-X.X for config data on all platforms – this is the Linux per-user hidden config folder.
          But on Windows $HOME is actually C:\Users\MyUserName and is only intended to act as a base path for new ‘special folders’ (My Documents, Pictures etc)

          One of the worst offenders I’ve encountered at work is the Vectorworks CAD package, which stores everything in Appdata/Roaming. It makes roaming profiles absolutely huge and can add several minutes to log-on time.
          (This is a Mac-first cross-platform, which is probably why as Mac doesn’t have the concept of roaming profiles at all.)

      2. Ultrapotassium says:

        The “my documents” redirection is a terrible experience in windows.
        There’s several separate places (I assume registry keys, but there might be some more esoteric things in the Windows API as well) that programs try to read your “documents” folder from, and they don’t all change when you try to change where your documents folder is. Also, once you change it, it’s difficult to change it back, as some parts of windows think that you already have documents there. Some programs really don’t like your documents not being on the C: drive and will put it there anyways.

        The only way to actually redirect your documents folder without trouble is to say “you know what? yeah, C:/USERNAME/Documents is my documents folder.” and then open a command line and replace C:/USERNAME/Documents with an NTFS junction pointing to wherever you actually want your documents to go. Since this involves opening up a command line, it’s not exactly user friendly, though.

        1. Richard says:

          There is a proper API and GUI for moving My Documents which works well and moves everything properly.

          Sadly, until Win 10 v$GodOnlyKnows it was only available in the corporate version (Professional or whatever they call it now) as a Policy option.

          And if you used any of the methods available prior (to 1903? I dunno) then it could magically break by trying to figure out what you meant and randomly deleting one of them…

      3. tmtvl says:

        Maybe the main problem is Windows making C:/ so important, on *nix people expect most things to be located in their $HOME. It’s also where you start off when you open a file manager, so maybe MS should start people off in their Users/User.

      4. Decius says:

        Now… which drive those directories are in can change wildly, if you don’t want them on their default drive.

  9. Richard says:

    Gah, the Game Bar drives me totally potty.

    There is no way to opt in or out.

    If I write a game and want the Game Bar to work with it, I cannot do so.
    I have to ask Microsoft if they would be so kind as to add my game to the Microsoft Magic List of Games.

    If I write a normal desktop application and do NOT want the Game Bar to appear, I cannot do so!

    The way it seems to work (it is not documented) is that if your executable filename happens to contain some words (eg Simulator) then it’s a “game” and the Game Bar will appear. The list of magic names is not documented.

    Even worse, if the Game Bar is not yet installed – for example, a corporate PC – the user is given an inscrutable error dialog that implies the application is not properly installed.

  10. evileeyore says:

    Shamus, where is the BandiCam affiliate link? I’m looking but you’re making it awfully hard for me to buy the program after that excellent blogvertisement for it…

    I’m only half-assed joking. If you had an affiliate link I’d have smashed it. BandiCam sounds like it’ll solve all the problems I have with these programs quite nicely so I’m now off to go acquire it.

  11. Rosseloh says:

    I use OBS (Streamlabs OBS to be exact but it does the same thing here) for my recording. Works great, but I can respect not changing when you’re already used to something. It does mean that it’s basically useless for “quick clips” because I have to have my system set up for recording before I even start playing.

    As for screenshots….Hoo boy, I wonder if Bandicam would do what I want. I tried ShareX, but for whatever reason the keyboard shortcuts just wouldn’t work and it would never record/screenshot when I actually wanted it to. The game or something is intercepting the keypress and it’s not getting to the actual program.

  12. Paul Spooner says:

    I’m kind of baffled at the state of video capture and streaming software these days. I went to do a live stream the other night, but apparently YouTube won’t let you stream direct any more? It used to, but now you need a third party streaming program or some nonsense. Hangouts can access my camera. Why can’t I give Youtube the same permissions?
    So, fine, I brought up the Windows Game Bar. It can record video (sometimes) but it can’t stream for whatever reason?
    VLC? Only streams inbound, not outbound.
    My suspicion is that there’s some sort of IP liability because people might stream copyright infringing movies. Still seems like the software for doing this has been getting worse over the years.

  13. Nick Powell says:

    A technical and needlessly hostile rant on usability is perhaps not the best pre-Christmas greeting.

    You clearly don’t know your audience

  14. If you want another hilarious overlay tale, I’ve got one for you.

    A while back I decided I wanted to play through Dragon Age: Inquisition again. I like to import a world setting for that game, but for some reason the damn thing WOULD NOT LET ME ACCESS THE STUPID IMPORT. I tried everything I could think of to get it to access my saved world state on the server, and nothing, nope, zip, zero.

    Then, in a fit of fury I logged in to Origin and started changing settings at random in the hopes that something, somewhere, was screwing with my ability to access the freakin world state import.

    When I turned on the Origin Overlay bullshit, suddenly it worked and I could access my saved data.

    So, yeah, turning off that Origin Overlay can screw with your ability to “log in” to Origin through a game if you have any DLC or any other crap that ties to your Origin account.

    1. I’ve actually found that OBS studio works well for all my streaming and recording needs, and it does pretty much everything that BandiCam does from what you say here. You can set up hotkeys for LITERALLY EVERYTHING. You can add your own overlay info, like if you want to overlay a camera view for footage or a video title or whatever. It has lots of options like letting you control the resolution and stuff. It’s extremely versatile, and I haven’t found a game yet that I couldn’t get it working for, although some games I have to do a different type of capture–a “window” capture instead of a “game” capture.

      Oh, and it auto-labels videos by date just the way you mention here.

      The only thing it *doesn’t* have is that little frame indicator thing.

  15. Christopher Wolf says:

    Your reasoning makes sense and I agree with it. Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

  16. Nimrandir says:

    I wish I had something to contribute to the conversation, but my console predominance and lack of capture equipment leaves me free from worries about this. Sounds like it’s for the best, though, as dealing with these problems would make me a very grouchy person.

    Anyhoo, merry Christmas to you and your family!

    1. Richard says:

      Console video capture is even more nuts.

      The HDMI standard was explicitly designed to make it impossible to capture, because Hollywood (et al) said that if it could be captured then video piracy would suddenly spiral out of control and the world would end.

      Except that professional video (eg, Hollywod et al) cannot be created without HD video capture (add CGI to live action), and a lot of professional entertainment and corporate events require sending the HD video 100M or more (eg get the live video feed onto the massive LED screens at a pop concert)

      Thus, two HDMI technical requirements were born:
      1) The video stream could never be captured or converted.
      2) The video stream could be easily captured and converted.

      For a long time this made HDMI video capture kit really expensive. This obviously had very nearly zero effect on video piracy, because the $10,000 capture suite is a tiny part of a mass-duplicator’s costs.

      There’s now kit to do HDMI conversion and capture for under $100, finally making it feasible to do YouTube “let’s play” of console games.
      So yay, I guess?

      1. Duoae says:

        Yeah, it was literally years before things like the avermedia range came out with HDMI capture. I remember bemoaning this for a long time.

        To be honest, there are still issues. I don’t know what it’s like on xbox, but the PS4 still has “HDCP enabled” scenes. This means that you need to use an HDMI splitter that can remove the HDCP signal otherwise you can lose important bits of the game you want to record.

        Also, my avermedia device loses the sync between the video and audio quite often. Now, i don’t know if it’s related to that aforementioned splitter or if it’s the software to convert the recorded files to mp4….

        1. Richard says:

          AFAIK, audio/video sync is a problem caused by HDMI itself, as it doesn’t support the concept of timestamping the streams. The destination has no way of knowing if HDCP (or the other follies of HDMI) have caused one or other stream to get momentarily delayed.

          So once it gets out of sync, it will only get worse…

          And yep, there are many other technical and legal idiocies of HDMI.

      2. Nimrandir says:

        For the record, when I said ‘for the best,’ I meant it in the sense that I wouldn’t even bother with trying. The expense of the capture equipment was just more confirmation.

      3. tmtvl says:

        Well, there’s more wrong with the HDMI standard than only that.

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You can enclose spoilers in <strike> tags like so:
<strike>Darth Vader is Luke's father!</strike>

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Can you imagine having Darth Vader as your <i>father</i>?

You can make things bold like this:
I'm <b>very</b> glad Darth Vader isn't my father.

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I'm reading about <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darth_Vader">Darth Vader</a> on Wikipedia!

You can quote someone like this:
Darth Vader said <blockquote>Luke, I am your father.</blockquote>

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