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Capturing Your Xbox/Xbox 360 Gameplay/Replays to High Quality Windows Media Video

This Guide will Present you with the Method I Currently Use for Recording Xbox/Xbox 360 Footage to High Quality Windows Media Video 9 Files,

This Guide is For Advanced Users, and Requires Multiple Steps

PART I : Preparation

PART II: Required Hardware And Software

PART III : Recording The RAW AVI File/Setting Up The Software.

Part IV : Adjusting/Exporting the RAW AVI Before Encoding to WMV

Part V : Setting Up and Encoding Your File to Windows Media Video Using WIndows Media Encoder 9

Part I:

Preparation:

a. In Order to Record Your Footage you must have your PC ready, This Includes File Space (at least 50 GB) On a Defragmented Hard disk,

b. Having All Necessary Cables to Run from your Xbox/Xbox 360 Unit (S-Video Cables Is the Optimal Cable for Non HD)

c. Having the Necessary Hardware/Software installed (Recommend a Tuner Device w/ MINIMAL 640x480 30 Frames/Sec Recording)

 

Part II

Hardware:

To Record Video you Must Have a WDM (Windows Default Media) Certified Tuning Device/Driver, A Device That Supports Full NTSC Format (640x480, 30 Fr/Sec), and A Device With an S-Video and Audio Inputs (External/Alternate Audio Inputs will Work via Sound card as well)

 

To Record High Quality Video, You must First Record the Footage to a Lossless or Fast Uncompressed AVI File, To Do so takes Alot Of RAM (1 GB or more is Recommended) However, 512 MB May Work, Depending on Your Hard disk's Write Speed/cache. ATA-100 Or Greater Hard disk is Recommended, with at least 50 GB Free Space (That's Counting what Windows wants too), and Defragmented.

 

Required Software For Part III:

Virtual Dub (Stable) - Virtual Dub Home Page

Pic Video MJPEG Codec (30 Day Demo, $30 or so To Buy)- Pegasus Imaging Home Page

Or Huffyman UV AVI Codec (Free, Uncompressed AVI) - Huffyman UV AVI Page

Windows Media Encoder 9 - Windows Media Encoder Homepage

Windows Media 9 Video (Comes Packaged In WMP11 Installation)

Windows Media 10 Audio - (Comes Packaged In WMP11 Installation)

Tsunami Mpeg Encoder - Tsunami Home Page

Cool Edit 2000 - Discontinued - Adobe Audition Home page

Or Adobe Audition (Replaced Cool Edit) -  Adobe Audition Home page

 

I Recommend the PICVideo MJPEG Codec (on 19//20 Setting), Its Fast and Slightly compresses the AVI File, and Uses less Ram/Cpu Resources than the Huffyman codec, $30 is well worth it if your gonna be using it Alot, if not, you can use the Huffyman AVI Codec, or endure Picvideo with no configurable options.

 

You can Also Use ANY WAV -> MP3 Converter/Encoder in place of Cool Edit/Adobe Audition.

(I Recommend Google search to find a trial of cool edit though)

 

Part III Ok, We're Ready to Record, 1st Boot Up Your Xbox/Xbox 360 (while its hooked to your PC Tuner),

Open Virtual Dub, Goto File, and Choose "Capture AVI" And you should see the window change and bring up a preview window.

Ok Before recording we must setup Virtual Dub Correctly (trust me), So, Some Stuff May not display correctly (blank window etc)

-Audio Menu, Compression, Change It to PCM Format, and 44.1 KHz / 48 KHz (48 KHz if your Using SPDIF Inputs Like Me)

-Audio Menu, Windows Mixer, Goto Options, Properties, Choose the Device Your Recording from (USB Tuner Device or Standard Audio Device), Tick the Recording Block and Select The Control That your Audio is Connected to (Usually Line - In, but in My Case, Optical In)

-Audio Menu, Volume Meter, Make Sure You are Receiving Audio from your Xbox/Xbox 360

-Video Menu, Choose "Overlay" Which is Supported by Most Tuners, if you receive an error message, choose "Preview"

-Video Menu, Format, Choose 640x480 (Yes Even If Your Recording 16:9, will fix Aspect Ratio Later), Under Color Format Choose UYVY or YUY2, If None of those Are Available, consult your tuner's manual

-Video Menu, Source, Capture Source Tab, Select Your Tuner Device, then Select The Method its Connected (Usually S-Video, Composite, Tuner Are the 3 Options), Apply the changes Hit Ok,

-Video Menu, Compression, Choose PICVideo MJPEG Codec, Click Configure, On the MJPEG Box, Click Advanced, Slide the Quality Slider to the Right (Max, Note: Demo Version of the Codec doesn't Allow Configuring), Check the Box that Reads "Two Fields If more than.." and Fill in 240 in the Box so it reads "Two Fields if more than 240 Lines" Click Ok on the MJPEG Screen, and OK on the Compression Screen

-Capture Menu, Capture Settings, Check "Capture Audio", Fill in Frame Rate to "29.9697", Set Abort/Stop Button to ESC and Left Mouse Click, Set Drop % Limit to "10", Set Max Index Entries to "324000", Video Buffer Limit to "10", Audio Buffer Limit "0", Audio Buffer Size "0", Make Sure "Lock Video Stream to Audio" Box is UNCHECKED. Click OK

-Capture Menu, Preferences, Set The Default Capture Driver to the Device Your Xbox/Xbox 360 is Hooked To., Default Capture File, Set to Whatever you want (click the "..." to set filename/folder), Check the "Save Current Capture, Video Format and Audio Format" Boxes, Under the Initial Display mode Setting Choose Overlay (or Preview if Overlay didn't work earlier)

-Capture Menu, Timing, Check the "Adjust Video Clock to dynamically match Audio clock" Box

-Capture Menu, Disk/IO, Set Chunk Size to 512K, and Set Number of Chunks to "2", Check the "Disable Windows Write Buffering" box.

-Under the Capture Menu, Make Sure "Show Information Panel" Is Checked

-Under File Menu, Choose "Set Capture File" Enter A Filename and Click ok (Note, You have to manually change the file name before recording again, or it will overwrite the original file)

-Ok, You've Set all the Settings, You Can Now Start Recording by Pressing "F6" on your Keyboard (or Capture, Capture Video), Record the Footage, and Press ESC to stop recording, remember to change the capture file name if your recording multiple files.

 

Part IV: Ok, You Have Your RAW AVI File, You Can Close Virtual Dub Now,

Open Tsunami MPEG Encoder, Click Cancel On the Wizard and Follow the instructions on configuring Below:

-On the Main Screen, Under Video/Audio Source, Browse for your Newly Recorded AVI. Dont Worry about Output Filename For we wont be using that box.

-Click Settings, Ok, Here we go, this part is alot of settings, so get ready.. we wont be using them all, but we have to configure them all or they'll inter fear with the settings we are using.

Under Video Tab, Stream type to "MPEG-2 Video" (Even though we wont be using MPEG-2), Change Size to 640x360, Aspect Ratio to "1:1 VGA" (Will Explain Later), FPS to "29.97", Rate Control Mode to "Constant Bit rate", Bit rate to "3000Kbits", Profile to "Main Profile - Main Level", Video Format to "NTSC", Encode Mode "Non Interlace", YUV Mode to "4:2:0", DC Component Precision to "10 Bits", Motion Search Precision to "Highest Quality"

Under Advanced Tab, Video Source Type To "Interlaced", Field Order "Top Field First", Source Aspect Ratio "16:9" (Again I'll Explain Later), Video Arrange Method to "Full Screen (Keep Aspect Ratio)", Ok, Check the "De-Interlace" Box, Double Click it, Choose "Even Field (Adaptation)" for the Method, Click OK, the Box should remained checked and list the method next to it,

Under GOP Structure Tab, Set I Picture to "1", P Picture to "5", B Picture to "2", Output Interval to "0" (Thats Zero), Check The "Detect Scene Change" Box, Make Sure "Output Bitstream" and "Force Picture Type" Box is unchecked.

Under Quantize Matrix Tab, Choose "MPEG Standard" from the Drop down menu, Check "Use Floating Point DCT" Box, Make Sure "output YUV", "No Motion Search for Still" and "Soften Block noise" boxes are Unchecked.

Under Audio Tab, Set Stream Type To "MPEG-1 Layer 2", Sample Freq. to "44100 KHz" (or 48000 KHz if using SPDIF), Channel Mode to "Stereo", Bitrate to "224 kb/sec", Uncheck All the Boxes below it, Set De-Emphasis to "None", Make Sure "Audio Edit' box is unchecked.

System Tab, Set Stream type To, "MPEG-2 Program (VBR)", Make sure "Inserts Comment" box is unchecked.

Ok, Click OK to get back to the main screen, click "SAVE" enter a file name (this will save your settings), though loading a new video will reset the image sizes again.

Ok, Option Menu, Preview Option, Put Checks next to "Show All Frames" and "Fix To optional Size" A Size Setting Box will pop up, enter "640x360" and press OK

Now, Time to Export the MJPEG (or Huffy) AVI to a UNCOMPRESSED AVI (warning file sizes will be upwards of 1 to 1.5 GB per Minute)

Goto FILE, Output File, "WAV FILE", enter a New File Name, Under Settings Make Sure Format is "PCM", and Frequency is 44.1 KHz (or 48 if you used SPDIF input), Click SAVE, and It will Save the AUDIO as a Separate WAV File, and We'll Convert this Later.

Goto File Again, Output File, "AVI File", enter a new file name, Under Settings Make Sure Compression is set to "No Compression (RGB24), and Also Make Sure "Audio" Box is Unchecked (we only want to save the VIDEO Stream), Click ok, and this process make take a Few minutes, and the Video Preview windows will show your frame progress.

Ok, Now that You have a RAW AVI File, and a Raw WAV File, We Need to Convert the WAV to An MP3, (some reason Windows Media Encoder is touchy and dont like wavs, so, Use CoolEdit or Whatever conversion tool you have to convert to the WAV to a MP3. I know Cool Edit MP3's Work in WMEncoder, I'm not sure if other programs work though.

And If You want to know, yes Windows Media Encoder has troubles with Videos using Codecs, which is why we converted to "Uncompressed"

 

Part V: Ok, Now Open Windows Media Encoder.

Click Cancel On the "New Session Screen", We Must Once Again, Configure Everything ourselves"

Ok, Now, Click "Properties" Button on the Top Bar, which will open a window with 9 Tabs, ok Here we Go..

On the Sources Tab, Choose "Both Device and File", Check Both Audio/Video, On the Video Drop down Menu, choose "Browse For File" Choose Your RAW AVI File (the one you exported from Tsunami) Click OK, Now Under the Audio Drop down Menu, Choose "Browse For File" and Choose the MP3 Click Ok, Now, Hit APPLY, Windows Media Encoder MAY Crash here, because of how picky it is with the audio files. If you Didnt crash, go ahead and SAVE the Session Now before we move on to the next tab. (file, save)

On the Output Tab, Check "Output to File", Click "Browse" and Enter a Filename for the file, Check the "Index File" box, and Under "Warn on low disk space" enter "10 bytes" (may be already entered as default), Hit APPLY, and if WME doesnt Crash, Save the Session now before moving on to the next tab.

On the Compression Tab, , Under "General Tab", Choose "File Download" for Destination Type, "DVD Quality, 2 Mbps CBR" for Video, "High Definition Quality CBR" For Audio, Now, We are going to Change/Fine Tune these Settings So, Under/Next to Destination Drop down menu, Click the "EDIT" Button (which will open a new configuration window with 2 Tabs),  Enter a New Name and Description, Select "English (en-us)" as the Language, check both the Audio and Video Boxes, For Audio Mode Choose "CBR", For Audio Codec Choose "Windows Media Audio 10" (Or WMA 10 Professional if available), For Video Mode Choose "CBR", For Video Codec Choose "Windows Media Video 9 (Or WMV 9 Advanced Profile if available). Ok, Now to the 2nd Tab in this Window, Set Audio Format To "384 kb/sec, 44KHz, 2-channel, 24bit cbr" (or 48KHz if you used SPDIF), Set Video Size to 640x360, Set Key Frame Interval to "4", Set Video Frame Rate To "29.976", Set Video Bit Rate to "3000K", Set Buffer Size to "5", Set Video Smoothness to "100" (Sharpest), Set Decoder Complexity to "Auto" (note if you Used WMV 9 Advanced Profile, This option is not present), Once You've Entered All the Data, Click OK, and the Destination,Video and Audio Drop Down Menus should all change to "Custom" and the Details Should now be populated with your new settings, Now Make Sure "2-Pass Encoding" Box Is Checked, Hit Apply, and Save the Project before moving on to the next Tab

Under Video Size Tab, Make sure Crop Method is set to "No Cropping, and Make sure all resolutions read "640x360", Hit Apply if you made Any changes, Save Session.

Under Attributes Tab, Enter Your Own information for Title, Author, etc, Hit Apply, And Save Session.

Under Processing Tab, For Pixel Settings Choose "Default", Set Video Processing to "None", Hit Apply, Save Session

The Last 3 tabs Should be left Alone (Plugins, Security, Advanced),

Click the Properties Button Again to Close the 9 Tab Window.

Now You Should be Looking at a black screen with a grey input box, on the menu bar above it, Hit the "Start Encoding" button, and It will begin encoding, the 1st pass should go by pretty quick, the 2nd pass may take a few minutes to an hour depending on system settings, when its finished, it will pop up, choose done, save the session, close Windows Media Encoder, and then Open Windows Media Player and Open the new file you encoded to WMV, (note, closing WME first disengages the programs hold on the hardware overlay drivers, if you choose "Play Output file" from WME, WMP will play the video using SOFTWARE Drivers, which makes it look too bright etc).

 

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