Forums  /  Speedrunning  /  VHS capture with timer

This is an odd question and i know it varies per game but i just really wanted to post this thread just to get an opinion from some of you if this is viable?

I don't have a capture card as such so when ive recorded runs from old consoles in the past the way i always do it is plug the console into a HDMI splitter then to an upscaler then HDMI out from that into my XBOX ONE and then using the XBOX streaming feature on Windows capture the footage there and whilst it does work fairly well, it can cause a bit of Lag its really bad for twitch obviously but just recording runs it can be ok.

However i always worry this may put me at a slight disadvantage at times so my new idea is to record the runs direct to VHS then capture the footage from the tape to my PC.

Now i know historically VHS recorded runs are acceptable but what i intend to do is add a timer on top of the recording once its captured this is easy enough to do but would it still count and would it cause any issues? Essentially id play back the file and start the split and end it at the same point as i was playing live and then overlay that on the recording.

The only thing i would say is it would give me a more precise split.

Like i said i just wanted to leave this here and see what others thought about the idea i haven't even tested it yet.


Having a timer present on your speedrun footage should not be necessary. Some games do require it, but they're dumbies. Part of the mod's job is verifying the time. An onscreen timer certainly helps that, but it is by no means the only way of doing it. I would say don't worry about this, just take whatever steps you need to get your footage uploaded to YouTube or twitch or whatever and just submit it. Unless your game does require the onscreen timer, which, I dunno.

Osmosis_Jones and Dislexsicknik like this. 

Yeah well its like i said at the start of the post i know every game varies, but was more concerned about any technical issues it could cause but off the top of my head i cant think of any real issues and it just seems like the cleanest way to do it.

In general my main speed games i run currently are run directly on the PC so i don't really have to worry but i have some old console games i want to have a crack at and prefer to use original hardware than Emu since i have the games and the consoles may as well use them. 🙂


Tbh you’re better of buying a gv-usb2 for $30-$40 to capture older consoles instead of going through this hassle. I’m not saying you can’t do it, since as already pointed out a timer doesn’t matter, but it just seems a little round about for me.

theripper999 and ShikenNuggets like this. 

With a composite/s-video to usb device you are going to want a splitter, extra cables, and possibly a usb extension cable. If you use OBS you should be able to add a Window Capture and then add in LiveSplit. So you should be able to record the video/audio input from the USB and then the Livesplit. This can then output to mp4.

The device seems good but the instructions are in Japanese, and if you don't speak the lingo you might want this. It goes through setting it up with Amarec though it should be similar for other like programs.

For OBS this guy is saying how you need to have it in a "custom resolution at 720x480" for that gv-usb2.

I think years ago I was using the VirtualDub to record, a fairly ancient program now. Back then I was using the EZCAP, a discontinued device. That one came with English instructions. That gv-usb2 looks very similar.

Or you could use emulation...

Timmiluvs likes this. 

The gv-usb2 does composite and s-video, not component. And yeah, it’s a Japanese product but is basically the gold standard for capturing older consoles in good quality for that price so there’s tons of tutorials in English. It’s also only 2 button clicks to install the drivers so even if you click the wrong button you just install some extra stuff that’s not required.


@Timmiluvs Composite thank you, fixed my post. That sounds dead simple to install. Nice.