A quick look at Xbox streaming to YouTube Gaming with Elgato's Game Capture HD cards

Capture cards

Capture cards

Twitch is integrated into the Xbox One, allowing you to stream your games as easily as you can say "Xbox, broadcast." However, as of the time of writing, YouTube Gaming doesn't have integration with either the PS4 (officially) or Xbox One. Thankfully, there's a whole range of affordable and easy to use accessories for your home consoles to enable this functionality.

Today, we're looking at the Elgato HD and Elgato HD60 for streaming Xbox One and PS4 titles.

Streaming with Elgato Game Capture HD / HD60

First, let's look at our tools. The Elgato cards here are designed to work with both the Xbox One and PS4, but will work with other consoles that support their inputs. The primary differences between the cards are that the newer HD60 features support for 60 frames per second capturing, and the regular HD has an A/V port for older consoles.

Elgato Game Capture HD

  • Price: RRP £119.95
  • Interface: USB 2.0
  • Input: PlayStation 4, Xbox One & Xbox 360 , Wii U (unencrypted HDMI), PlayStation 3 (A/V In)
  • Output: HDMI (pass-through)
  • Supported resolutions: 1080p (simultaneous 60 fps pass-through and 30 fps capture), 1080i, 720p (60 or 30 fps capture), 576p, 576i, 480p, 480i, 288p, 240p
  • Dimensions: 73 x 24 x 109 mm / 2.9 x 1.0 x 4.3 in
  • Weight: 142 g / 5 oz
  • Comes with: Elgato Game Capture HD, Quick Start Guide, USB cable, HDMI cable, PlayStation 3 cable, Component adapter

Elgato Game Capture HD60

  • Price: RRP £139.95
  • Interface: USB 2.0
  • Input: PlayStation 4, Xbox One & Xbox 360, Wii U (unencrypted HDMI)
  • Output: HDMI (pass-through)
  • Supported resolutions: 1080p60, 1080p30, 1080i, 720p60, 720p30, 576p, 576i, 480p
  • Dimensions: 112 x 75 x 19 mm / 4.4 x 3 x 0.75 in
  • Weight: 106 g / 3.7 oz
  • Comes with: Elgato Game Capture HD60, USB cable, HDMI cable

Both devices are very similar purely in terms of how they look and work, but the newer HD60 is superior on Xbox One and PS4 for a number of reasons. It's simply faster than the regular HD when rendering clips. Coupled with the Elgato HD60's ability to capture and stream games that output at 60 frames per second, for current gen consoles it becomes a no brainer. The regular HD, with its A/V In port, might provide versatility for those wanting to stream retro games. But for the Xbox One and PS4 you're going to want the HD60.

To capture raw video and stream with the HD and HD60, you'll use Elgato's "Game Capture HD" app that works on both PC and Mac. You can download the Game Capture HD app from here.

If you're capturing game footage to edit yourself, the Game Capture HD app provides some rudimentary tools for snipping, screen-shotting frames and organising your videos. You'll want more powerful video editing software for splicing the clips together, though.

On the live streaming side of things, Elgato have made it an incredibly straight forward procedure. On the right-hand side, you're given full control over the capture process. You can adjust the levels of audio, live commentary and drill down even further by accessing the settings menus.

Clicking on the + sign will allow you to add an account. The Elgato cards support UStream, Twitch, YouTube, RMTP and even Daily Motion. Naturally, you'll need an account on these sites to stream. Once you've signed in and selected your chosen service, you can hit the tools button next to the naming box to tweak even more service specific settings. When you're all set, hitting the green button at the bottom will kick off your stream.

For YouTube Gaming, you can view your stream at YouTube.com/live_dashboard (once signed in). YouTube's streaming system will over-ride the name you've given the stream in Game Capture HD however, so be sure to set your stream's information on the dashboard page. On there you can also access analytics, chat, moderator tools and view your stream as seen by your viewers.

Using the Elgato Game Capture HD app, you can exercise more power over your stream by enabling Stream Command in the settings. It allows you to overlay logos and even webcam footage into your streams, though using this functionality is pretty hardware intensive. It took my Surface Pro 3 to its limits.

The cards are powered and managed via a USB 2.0 cable. Streaming and capturing HD video is a pretty intensive process. As such, Elgato requires an i5 processor and 4GB of RAM to run the HD60, and a 2 GHz dual-core to run the regular HD. I've looked at them both using my Surface Pro 3, which has proved adequate, but its integrated graphics hardware isn't up to scratch when it comes to overlaying images and webcam feeds into streams.

To stream 1080p footage with 60 frames per second, you'll need a pretty solid upload speed. I streamed the below sample from my Surface Pro 3 WiFi with a bitrate of 7 Mbps (which you can set in the app). 7 Mbps is the absolute minimum for achieving 60 frames per second streams. SpeedTest.net lists my upload at around 5-6 Mbps, which is probably why the stream struggles a bit with the rendering.

Elgato's Game Capture cards and software make streaming to both YouTube and Twitch an easy ride. I think it's safe to say YouTube has some significant advantages over Twitch, providing far more powerful analytics tools and a faster HTML5 player. Twitch undoubtedly has a head start on consoles, though, as both PS4 and Xbox One support streaming to Twitch natively.

There are other capture cards out there, but so far the Elgato range are the only ones I've used personally. What capture cards do you guys use? What do you think of YouTube gaming? Let us know in the comments!

Jez Corden
Managing Editor

Jez Corden is the Managing Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

  • Gr8
  • This reminds me, when is native Miracast support coming to the XB1?
  • It's already there dude! You have to download the app, I'm not sure if it's still a preview feature: http://xbox.uservoice.com/forums/253802-home-settings/suggestions/6028550-xbox-one-miracast-support
  • yeah it is. my guess is because of the timing of w10 it was held back
  • Why on earth would I buy extra equipment just to stream on YT? If Google wants Xbox One streamers they'll work with MS to implement streaming directly from the console. Until then Twitch works perfectly.
  • I agree they only release stuff when it benefits google they never supported Microsoft on apps or any other stuff
  • Possibly a good opportunity for Microsoft to get some leverage over Google for a change...
  • Agreed. Don't support them, if they don't support you. I hope PS4 user have that same mentality as well. If Google's getting into Game Streaming Services, there's something else afoot. Look out for an updated Chromecast or new console from them (maybe something along the OUYA lines).
  • Because choice is a fine thing. We don't know this won't get built into the Xbox One. Microsoft is involved there as much as Google.
  • google will never work with MS. Remember how they removed all of their apps from windows store because windows phone done everything better than them ? Google's biggest competetor is Microsoft and they will never work together since google is a big greedy company. They ruin everything they touch. No one can deny that.
  • I have an elgato. It's a great device.
  • Agreed!
  • My problem with these devices is that they are USB 2.0, hence when I am streaming there is a delay.  It isn't a problem, it's just a headache trying to set up microphone and webcam delays to get them synched up.  I moved to a blackmagic intensity, more expensive, but no delay, and I have actually moved away from outputting to a TV to playing and just going to a fullscreen viewport with OBS and playing the game from there and it looks fine.
  • I'll have to check that out. These cards are definitely in the budget arena.
  • As far as I know that's only when using these with Xsplit or OBS. That's where I have issue anyway. When using the Elgato software i find no issues with everything being in sync.
  • Hi what is this Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • If you are streaming with the built in software only and not interested in recording then just go for the regular Game Capture HD. The HD60 while it does record at 60fps the Elgato software only allows 30fps streaming up to 1080p. For the 60fps part you'll need to use something like Xsplit Gamecaster or OBS.
  • I've had the Game Capture HD for several months now. The only word of warning I can give anyone using these devices is to wait five seconds after hitting REC then begin your game play.
  • Its amazing people have time to waste watching other people play games.
  • Please, regale us with the exploits of your free time.
  • I'll probably go with a Hauppage, as I'm looking to also stream older consoles that only have component out (which Hauppauge has but Elgato does not). The Elgato is good though.
  • Lol. Google you complete losers. Haha. You want me to not use the intergrated 1080p twitch streaming instead buy other cluttered crap to use youtube gaming? Good luck with that. Lol
  • integrated YT streaming coming to ps in next update dont blame google...
  • tred out streaming for the fun of it on youtube alittle. i used the open broadcaster mostly just left it on while i was playing minecraft  
  • Hi, take a look at this one, live streaming app - https://yatko.com/goLive
  • YouTube Live streaming from mobile, GoPro, webcams and any CCTV, IP camera. The app is made to open limitless possibilities without the need for technical knowledge. https://yatko.com/goLive