Is there some kind of gadget that allows you to record your gameplay on a console? I have a friend asking me a bunch of questions on Final Fantasy 12 and it would be much easier for me to simply send a decent quality video of me playing the game to him (or burn it to DVD).

The best tactic for me would be if I could just record what's on the TV and not put the console itself into the equation.

Feel free to offer pricier suggestions.

  • Most modern camera equipment these days usually come with line-in inputs to allow you to record what's being played. You could do it old school and record this way. Then you'd probably be able to send it to your computer so you can burn it onto a DVD or whatever. Having a capture card would cut the middle man out and record directly onto your computer. There's plenty of options out there. Of course this assumes you aren't trying to record off of a protected media source (such as HDMI), but last time I checked, PS2 has component and composite connections (both unprotected). Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 23:59
  • Interesting points - is there maybe a way to just record what is on the TV screen rather than making use of the console itself in the process?
    – Marty
    Commented Jun 10, 2011 at 0:02
  • @Marty: Chances are, your TV will have a video output connection too. You could hook up a VCR (or other recording device) to record what comes out of there. If you really want to go old school, you could play the game like you normally would but point a video camera at your TV and record. Commented Jun 10, 2011 at 0:08
  • Dislike the latter suggestion - but your first line sounds good. How would I go about doing this? (I'm extremely non-technical with electronics).
    – Marty
    Commented Jun 10, 2011 at 0:11
  • @Marty: Aw I thought you would have been at least familiar with what I'm talking about. I suppose I'll have to put this up as an answer then (with pictures). :) Commented Jun 10, 2011 at 0:12

4 Answers 4


This is assuming you are using the composite video to play on your PS2. I'm also assuming that there aren't any other differences in equipment in different parts of the world (me being in the US and you apparently in Australia). Also note that I myself don't own a PS2 nor have I ever really used it much, but it should be the same for any console really. I'll also assume you don't have not-so-old equipment. So everything I mention here I'll assume your equipment has as these are fairly standard nowadays.

You'll need 2 things first, a "male-to-male" RCA-cable and a video recording device. Here, I'll use a VCR as an example.

To be able to play your PS2 on your TV, you will probably have one of many different setups for it to work. A common one is to just connect your PS2 directly to your TV using RCA video cables (the yellow/white/red set of cables).

PS2 cables

The cables will usually go to (one of) the "video in" connections in the back of the TV to your PS2 in the appropriate connector. It will probably look like this (other unrelated details left out):

current state

And this is how you can play your games. The signal comes out of your PS2 and goes into your TV. You can see the results on your TV.

Now to the recording. Your TV will probably have a "video out" connection too. This would allow the signals your TV receives to send it out to another device. We want these signals to go out into our recording device so it can record it. We could use a VCR to do this. Record it on tape and you're good to go. To connect it, connect the RCA cable from the TV's "video out" to your VCR's "video in" (it might be called "line in" instead). So it should look like this in the end:

final state

Once you have this all set, all you have to do is start playing, load a blank tape into the VCR and start recording. Then you can share the tape with your friend. Simple right?

  • 1
    Man, I feel totally retro typing this out. There are some basic details I intentionally left out, I hope you can fill in the gaps yourself. Otherwise I could always add more to it. Commented Jun 10, 2011 at 1:22
  • 1
    Wow at the effort here; can I do the same if I wanted to record the XBOX (using HDMI)? I can still use VGA with the Xbox just looks really, really bad on the 50" plasma TV in my room. Also, VCR is like tapes isn't it? Do these even exist anymore? Could I do the same with a DVD player somehow?
    – Marty
    Commented Jun 10, 2011 at 1:25
  • @Marty: When it comes to high quality, HDMI recording, I can't really tell you where to go there. As far as I know, it is possible, I just never tried it myself. There are DVD recording devices out there. Any one of these that has composite video can be used instead. Basically, you're limited to what kinds of inputs your recording device has. Commented Jun 10, 2011 at 1:41
  • 1
    Gotcha, thanks for your help mate. Funny how I can develop my own game yet I don't know how cables work.
    – Marty
    Commented Jun 10, 2011 at 1:45

I currently use a Hauppage HD PVR to record game play via component output from a PS3 set at 720p. The quality of the capture is very good, but I have had some reliability issues and the external box and cables are quite bulky.

I am about to purchase a Blackmagic Intensity Pro capture card as this seems to be the other popular choice and can be fitted inside a PC.

Bear in mind that you will need a reasonably high spec PC to process the input in any event. Here is an example of game footage I captured recently using the Hauppage HD PVR.

Don't waste your time and money on cheaper solutions if you want a decent result.

  • Does the Hauppage HD PVR have an app on the PC that needs to be fiddled with to start recording? I have a Blackmagic Intensity Pro capture card and I use it for recording high-quality footage for my own indie game studio's footage, however it is not great for continuous recording (hours upon hours of gameplay) as it records in raw or jpeg (1/5th raw size) formats. So I am looking for an HD PVR solution with minimal PC interface to start and stop. Any suggestions?
    – Xonatron
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 19:16

I think a capture card is what you need. I haven't used one myself (I play games on PC), so I can't really recommend you a particular product, although Hauppauge seems to be a popular brand for these kinds of things.


I use a SlingBox to record game play playing at HD. The basic process is run the console through the slingbox to the TV (Very similar to Jeff Mercado's answer). Then run Fraps on the PC to record the slingbox stream.

I believe some of the nicer versions of SlingBox also support HDMI, component and composite cables.

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