Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Almost There!!!

          Things finally feel like they are starting to fall into place, yet I have always found another step to take before I start recording. I ordered a green screen so I could insert whatever kind of backdrop I feel like inserting behind me, that was thankfully a much shorter wait than I expected as I already have it on hand and hanging. I researched for a while on how to get the best quality of recording accomplished and decided to play games on my laptop, however that ended up sparking research too. I studied the legalities and technicalities of emulation. Though I found out a great deal about what is and is not considered legal, I finally decided that the best way was hardware based as opposed to software. That again brought about more research and purchasing.

          The first idea was to find a cartridge reader that would play a game straight through the USB port on a laptop, but it seemed expensive, complicated, and difficult to find. Next idea was to find a ROM dumper that copied files straight from the cart, but I ran into the same legal gray areas that straight emulation brought to the table earlier. So I decided that the best idea was to find a gaming system that supported HD for a crisper image, and offered multi-system support. What I ended up purchasing was the Retron5. To save money I bought it used (surprisingly still on the expensive side even for a used model). The upside to buying a used model besides saving money is that the previous owner already installed the software updates so no SD card juggling will be needed in order to start up (However, the previous owner did not download the cheats, so if I feel like using codes to brush up on a game during a practice run before recording, I will have to buy an SD card and use my Laptop to download the cheat codes and then transfer them via SD card to the Retron5).

          Next was the option of how to hook it up to my laptop, I though that my laptop's HDMI was a combined input and output (Two way communication HDMI), found out the hard way, it wasn't. Two way HDMI's do exist, but it's fairly uncommon to find an input on a laptop unless you have two separate ports (one in, one out). To have a single port that runs two ways you'd have to either spend 4 times the price I did on my laptop, build one custom, or order one custom. So... money being an issue, that option was out, and since I had most of my software already tweaked to my taste, I didn't really want to have to start all over with a new laptop. Another option might have been an HDMI to USB device, but it seemed like most of the ones I found were outgoing only, which wouldn't help me cast Retron5 data to my laptop, and my laptop already had an outgoing HDMI so it wouldn't have been useful to me either way.

          This brings me to what is hopefully the final step before my next recorded session on my newly rebooted channel. In order to produce videos at the highest quality I can afford, I purchased a capture card. Long ago when I started my first generation of game recordings, I though a capture card wouldn't be needed as I was fine with the option of simply pointing a camera at my 4K UHDTV, it worked, but I needed to do a lot of color tweaking on my computer, my camera, my TV, my OBS software, and again in my editing software before it would come out right. I figured using a capture card to record the gameplay separately would only add to the mess, having to overlay the video capture in post to add it into a video of me Playing, having to sync my action and sounds, with the videogame actions and sound, But of course I finally found a better options.

          Newer models of capture cards not only recorded videos, but could also live stream it straight from the system to the laptop, this made me much happier. So I looked up the specs on what some of my favorite videogame webcasting celebrities used. What I came up with was much easier to find than I had imagined, as it turns out the most used capture card I found was the Elgato. But instead of jumping to an Elgato immediately... I did... You Guessed it... EVEN MORE RESEARCH!!! A lot of Webgaming YouTubers used the base model, and it turns out pretty well, but I found two better models, The Elgato HD60 and the ElgatoHD60s. After comparing it to other capture cards (Like the Razor Ripsaw), I finally decided from a quality vs price perspective that the ElgatoHD60s was going to be my go-to USB capture card. It was similar to, but two steps better than what most of the tubers I was watching were using, and it was a little cheaper than the Ripsaw.

          Now I'm just about ready to go... Whenever I'm finished with yet another round of the waiting game (Card is still in the mail).

          So... To Summarize, I decided to use a capture card with Streamability to connect a Retron 5 to my laptop, and should be able to finally start recording again once my capture card arrives in the mail.

          Also... To keep the channel Legit i will only use Physical Game CD's and Cartridges Where able (Obviously this doesn't apply to Fan-Made Games, ROM-Hacks, Browser Games, and PC games legally Downloaded Via Steam/Blizzard and other legit Online Sources).