Recording Screen Casts from Android devices can sometimes be a bit tricky. A unique and simple solution is using Epiphan Systems’ DVI2USB 3.0.
There are two ways in which you can begin recording your screen cast from your android device. The first is to own a phone with an HDMI-out port. Such devices include:
Sony Xperia S
LG Optimus 2x
LG Optimus 3D P920
Motorola RAZR HD XT925
This is only a sample list, there are more devices that are frequently hitting the market so check to see if your Android device has an HDMI-out port. You will also need a HDMI cable with a standard Type A connector at one end and the Type D connector at the other (note that although it is visually similar, this is not compatible with micro-USB).
If you don’t own any of these devices, don’t worry. You can also purchase a converter that for a low price will convert signals from the micro-USB connector to the HDMI cable to record your output.
Connect the HDMI connector to Epipahn Systems’ DVI2USB3.0, which is connected to your computer you are recording to, and use the free Epiphan Software to begin recording your Screen Cast from your Android Device.
The new iPad by Apple, a supersized version of the iPod/iPhone, is a tablet computer that features a 9.7″ display with multitouch touch screen technology, running at a resolution of 1024×768.
Recording the entire screen would come in very handy for development, troubleshooting, training videos, demos, podcasts, and even direct broadcasts from the iPad screen.
While a native software solution to iPad screen capture is either weak or nonexistent, there is an ideal and low-cost hardware capture solution that will allow you to capture the entire contents of the screen without slowing down or otherwise altering the functionality of the Apple iPad.
This solution consists of two things: the Apple iPad dock connector to VGA adapter (pictured below), available from the Apple store ($29) and the Epiphan Systems VGA2USB ($299).
The iPad to VGA dock connector currently allows you to add a VGA port to the Apple iPad and mirror the image on the iPad’s screen on the output. In the future, Apple will add support for applications to use this external output.
In order to record video from Apple’s iPad, we must begin by connecting the iPad to VGA adapter to the iPad, and connecting the Epiphan Systems VGA2USB to the VGA side of the adapter. A more detailed diagram is shown below:
The captured video from the iPad can be recorded on the computer using free software provided by Epiphan Systems, or any other video capture software that supports external devices, such as Adobe Premiere or VirtualDub.
Furthermore, the images and video from the iPad can also be broadcast using software such as Windows Media Encoder or QuickTime Broadcaster.
More information on the VGA2USB can be obtained directly from Epiphan’s website here: http://www.epiphan.com/products/frame-grabbers/vga2usb/
As the Windows 7 Release Candidate was made for free public downloading this week, manufacturers of hardware and software developers were able to test their software and hardware compatibility with Microsoft’s new operating system, slated to hit retail stores in October 2009.
Epiphan Systems, the manufacturer of external frame grabbers, recording, and broadcasting solutions for VGA and DVI has announced that all of its’ devices run smoothly under a Windows 7 environment and that the latest version of their software includes full support for this new operating system.
However, users may encounter some difficulties upon upgrading to this new OS, so it is still recommended that you reinstall the software when upgrading from XP or Windows Vista, as the drivers might not remain after the update.
ScreenCaptureNews will keep you updated as more software and hardware developers announce their products’ compatibility with Windows 7.
While some portable game systems like the Sony PSP have built-in screen capture, the DS from Nintendo is disadvataged in this respect. There is no simple way of capturing the screen by recording to a file, and the DS does not have a TV-out. This article will review and discuss several ways of recording videos from a Nintendo DS or DS Lite, as well as replicating the DS’ screen on a TV.
The first way to output your DS’ screen to a monitor or TV is by using a third party TV-out device made specifically for the Nintendo DS. Initially, there were two different models available, but only one is being produced now.
The now discontinued DS to TV adapter was made in Taiwan by Q-Mark. This is the best TV-out device available for the DS, letting you see the output of both LCD screens on a TV. The downside to the Q-Mark device is that the DS has to be modified in order to accomodate the TV adapter, making it bulky and less portable. The Q-Mark device is shown below.
Another screen capture device for the Nintendo DS is the camera-based “Video Game Controller Adapter,” also made by Q-Mark. It can be purchased here and consits of a small device the slips over the upper screen of the DS, pictured below.
The latter device consists basically of a camera that is pointed at your screen, and, because of the way it is attached to the DS, only one screen is visible. Of course, quality is compromised as the camera optics are not of extremely high quality and lighting conditions severely impact this device’s operation.
Either way, if it becomes hard to find the DS to TV adapter and only the camera-based Q-Mark unit is available, it is still tolerable, as long as you intend on playing on one screen only.
Recording and broadcasting video from the Nintendo DS if using TV-out devices
If one of the devices mentioned above is used with the Nintendo DS, and the goal is to capture the video in order to record it, share it on a site like YouTube, or broadcast it, any capture card or video card with Video-in (RCA) will do the trick. YouTube even supports on-the-fly recording, so as long your capture card or video card is set as the webcam device in Windows, and your DS is connected to your capture card via one of the DS-to-TV adapters mentioned above, you’re ready for recording!
For live broadcasts, a variety of software can be used, but we recommend the free Windows Media Encoder. Details on how to use Windows Media Encoder in order to broadcast a video stream from an external device can be found here.
Using an Emulator to Record Gameplay
Using a software emulator on a computer is the cheapest and best way to record gameplay of the Nintendo DS, but is only really suited for short operations and not intended for lengthy game play. An emulator is a software program which replicates the functions of the Nintendo DS. In order to load games to it, you will need to find “ROMs” of each game. Downloading ROMs may be illegal depending on the laws of the country where you live.
Follow this link for a list of free emulators for the Nintendo DS. Once the emulator of your choice is up and running, you must simply capture your screen using either software for screen capture (we have reviewed lots of different programs in our Software as well as News sections) or by connecting a frame grabber to your computer monitor.
When an organization, company, or individual has an idea for a VGA capture-based product, such as a webcasting system, a recorder of VGA signals, or any other VGA-related hardware product, a separate frame grabber is purchased, mated with a PC with software, packaged, and sold.
Solutions for capturing, broadcasting and recording presentations and seminars are often rediculously expensive ($10 000+) due to the fact that the original cost of the hardware (frame grabber + capture card + PC + peripherals) runs at half the retail value of the actual product. Not only did this make VGA capture-based solutions unaffordable to some, it also meant that educational institutions such as school and colleges had to spend an arm and a leg if they were to outfit every single one of their classrooms with such devices.
In order to solve this problem, Epiphan Systems has announced and is now shipping a new product aimed at capturing the market of developers, power users, and integrators – the VGA2LAN Development Kit. With a fully open-source architecture, a custom Linux build environment, access to all drivers and ports, the VGA2LAN is poised to create a revolution in the industry.
What is it?
The VGA2LAN platform is based off of a Motorola PowerPC chipset and comes preinstalled with a custom build of Ubuntu. The basic specifications are as follows:
- 1 VGA input with integrated frame grabber
- 1 VGA output
- Integrated Gigabit Ethernet hub
- 5 USB 2.0 ports (4 external + 1 internal)
- No moving parts
In other words, the VGA2LAN is effectively a small PowerPC-based computer with an integrated frame grabber.
Of course, what interests us most is the quality of VGA capture that this device can achieve. Does it really make sense to develop products using the VGA2LAN platform or is it still better to use an internal or external frame grabber paired to a PC? The basic specs are listed below and a full list of specifications can be obtained at Epiphan Systems’ web page:
- 2048 x 2048 maximum resolution
- 120 frames per second maximum capture rate
- Lossless quality
- 270 Mpixels/s pixel rate, 532Mpixels/s if interlaced
The specifications of the integrated frame grabber are comparable to those found in high-end devices costing upwards of $2000. A detailed comparison of VGA frame grabbers can be found here. And, since the price of the VGA2LAN Development Kit is under $1000, it makes sense to use it instead of a computer + frame grabber combo often costing 5 times that amount.
A Platform for Next Generation Internet Appliances
The VGA2LAN does not come with any internal memory. However, USB 2.0 flash memory drives can be purchased for pennies on the dollar and are sold in all capacities up to 128GB, meaning that you have plenty of buffer space to work with. Furthermore, the 4 external USB ports can be used to connect external hard drives and other storage media, such as CD, DVD, or Blu-Ray burners, infinitely expanding the VGA2LAN’s storage capacity.
Since the VGA2LAN is an open source platform, devices such as USB Wi-Fi antennas can be connected in order to provide wireless communications, should the integrated Gigabit Ethernet network card not be sufficient for your application. Furthermore, the presence of USB 2.0 ports means that peripherals suchs as keyboards, mice, AMX/Crestron control units, and others can be interfaced with the VGA2LAN, making it perfect for virtually any application that involves the capture of VGA signals.
The VGA2LAN Development Kit is a great way to build, use, and sell hardware products for a company or organization that doesn’t have the resources, finances, or expertise to manufacture their own capture hardware. And, at a price of $999 US, it is most definitely a bargain.
A while back, we had an article that featured a device made by IOGear that broadcasts a video signal over Wi-Fi to a VGA output. Now, Epiphan Systems has released a device, the VGA2WiFi, that does almost the exact opposite.
Imagine you are giving a presentation or a lecture and you would like to give your audience real-time instant access to what is being displayed on the conference screen. Normally, you’d have to either prepare slides ahead of time and hand them out ahead of the presentation or make them available later. This might be alright if you are using PowerPoint only, but imagine that you are demonstrating the image from a VGA device that is not a computer, such as an embedded machine, electronic microscope, or medical device.
The VGA2WiFi solves this problem by taking any VGA signal, converting it into a digital image, and broadcasting it over 802.11g Wi-Fi for your audience to view. As long as your viewers have access to any 802.11b/g-enabled device with a web browser, such as a smartphone, PDA, or notebook computer, they are able to view the presentation on their screens as it happens. No additional software needs to be installed.
What’s more, the VGA2WiFi works with signals of up to 1600 x 1200 and broadcasts a true lossless image, meaning that 100% of the source image quality is retained, which is important for environments where a high level of precision is required.
For a while now, Epiphan Systems has been making the popular VGA Recorder and VGA2WEB web-based collaboration and conferencing devices. This month, however, Epiphan has unveiled the VGA Recorder Lite and VGA2WEB Lite, both of which are “light” and portable version of the mentioned devices.
Both the VGA2WEB Lite and VGA Broadcaster Lite are budget-oriented devices which are able to broadcast a VGA signal with a resolution of up to 1600 x 1200 to an Internet audience. Using the Gigabit Ethernet interface to connect to a local area network (LAN) or the Internet, these devices are ideal for those that would like to collaborate, present, or broadcast a VGA signal but do not want to hassle with complicated software or hardware modifications.
Once the VGA2WEB Lite or VGA Broadcaster Lite devices are plugged in and running, the audience can simply access the broadcast using their web browser or media player, such as QuickTime or VLC.
While both devices work with signals of up to 1600 x 1200 and broadcast supplied image in 100% lossless diagnostic quality, the VGA2WEB Lite uses motion JPEG compression, meaning that its broadcast can be accessed via a simple web interface. The VGA Broadcaster Lite’s webcast, on the other hand, uses H.264 or MPEG4 video compression to relay the VGA signal to its viewers, meaning that a media player such as QuickTime is needed in order to view the broadcast that is created by it.
A comparison of both devices can be found by going to this page on Epiphan System’s offical website.
Gone are the days of WebEx and high-priced license-based collaboration solutions. Epiphan Systems has introduced a simple yet powerful VGA-based conferencing product for online collaboration and monitor synchronization.
The VGA Bridge, promises to “bridge” the distance gap between two monitors or projectors, whether they be in the rooms next to each-other or accross the world.
It works by digitizing the analog VGA signal into a compressed digital format that is suitable for web broadcast and then sending it to the receiving VGA Bridge for uncomression and reproduction. While this is not a new concept in the world of web-enabled streaming content, the fact that the VGA Bridge can handle resolutions up to 1600 x 1200 in 100% lossless quality is a first. Of course, you would need a fast and stable Internet or Gigabit LAN connection in order to achieve transfer rates of up to 60 frames per second, but that is to be expected from such as high-end and specialized product.
Here at ScreenCaptureNews, we like all things that are simple to use and don’t cost an arm and a leg. ScreenToaster is a completely free exciting new web-based Java applet similar to ScreenCast-O-Matic. You can read our full review of ScreenCast-O-Matic here. While ScreenCast-O-Matic was an easy applet to use, we did find some problems, notably the ultra-low capture rate (~2fps), that took away from the usefulness of this application.
ScreenToaster is basically an online applet that records your screen or an area of your screen and then instantly publishes the recording to the web in Flash YouTube-like format for you to share with your peers or co-workers. This can come in extremely useful in situations where you need to demonstrate to someone how to use a piece of software, create instructional videos, or upload a video of your screen for others to see for troubleshooting purposes.
While ScreenToaster is still in Beta, you will need an activation key to use it. The activation key can be requested by going to the registration page of the ScreenToaster website. Once you have registered your user account and logged in, ScreenToaster will bring you to your control panel. From here, you will need to press “Start Recording” to launch the recording proccess. You will also be prompted to install the ScreenToaster Java applet, which you must accept.
Once you have clicked on “Start Recording,” ScreenToaster will display a small info box which explains how the software works. It is rediculously easy to understand and use. First, you must bring forward the application which you would like to record. Then, pressing “ALT + S” begins a recording of your entire screen, whereas “ALT + SHIFT + S” allows you to select an area of your screen to record. Finally, once you are done recording, “ALT + S” must be pressed again in order to publish the video.
Once you have finished recording (after pressing ALT – S), you will be taken back to the ScreenToaster control panel where you’ll be able to see your recording.
Using the three options on the left side of the video preview, you can add subtitles, audio, or change the preview shot of the video.
You must now name and describe your video. When you are done, click on “Publish”
Unfortunately, we at ScreenCaptureNews were unable to publish any videos due to the fact that it gave us an error every time that we hit “Publish”. The developers of the software wrote to us and said that, because the software is still in beta, bugs do pop up from time to time.
What we saw in the preview, however, was fairly decent. The frame rate was pretty good and it even recorded a video off of YouTube at about 20fps, which is a ten-fold difference between ScreenCast-O-Matic. ScreenToaster was also exceptionally easy to use and overall is a promising web applet.
The developers of ScreenToaster claim that the application works with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. ScreenToaster will always be free and will most likely be ad-supported once it is released to the general public. Tentative release date, according to ScreenToaster staff, is “end of October”. We’ll keep you posted with a full review once ScreenToaster is out of beta.
The market is full of applications designed to share, webcast, or broadcast a user’s computer screen over the web. What separates this application apart from the competition is that it’s a web-based applet. Vyew (pronounced “view”) is compatible with all recent browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari etc) and platforms (Windows, Mac or Linux). All that the user needs in order to use this application is Java and Flash installed on their PC.
Vyew is a great altenative to programs like PCAnywhere, TightVNC, that require you to install software on the source and target computers. What’s more, the free version of Vyew does not require you to sign in to the website, allowing the user to initiate the entire desktop sharing proccess in a matter of seconds.
Operation of the Vyew applet is extremely simple. Start by going to Vyew.com. From there, click on “Start Sharing Desktop.”
Save the URL that is given to you and give it to all those that you would like to share your screen with. This is the address that your viewers will use in order to log into your Vyew session. Now click on “start sharing my desktop”.
You will get a warning for allowing the applet access to your computer. Press “Yes”.
Now when any of your viewers enter the URL that was supplied to you before the webcast was started, they will see everything that you are doing on your desktop in real time. The viewers can chat with the broadcaster by clicking on the little tab visible on the left side of their screen.
Vyew tracks the cursor of the source machine, and this is the reason why all cursor movements are very fast and accurate. The free version of Vyew is only able to perform screen capture at a rate of about 1-2 frames per second, thus everything on the screen of the viewer is visibly slow. The person sharing must always rembember this and avoid doing things so fast that the Vyew refresh rate cannot keep up.
The resolution, picture quality, and sharpness in Vyew is very good. Even fine print is perfectly readable and all images are still fairly sharp.
Here you can see a resolution chart that was broadcast to a remote user through Vyew. It is still sharp and retains most of its’ quality. This is great for not just general remote desktop sharing, but also showing presentations, spreadsheets, and Word documents.
Overall, Vyew is a pretty impressive web-based application. There are no intrusive advertisements on the Vyew website, which is another pleasant surprise for a free service like this. There is only a small banner ad in the top right corner. All of the free screen sharing sessions go through the Vyew servers over an unencrypted connection and do not offer the user any options to protect their content. Simulat, the company that makes this applet, hopes that some users will subscribe to their pay service, which offers features like encryption, voice and webcam broadcasting, advanced teleconferencing, and archiving.
While it is unfortunate that more advanced features like audio sharing were not included in the free version and that the refresh rate is so slow that only static pictures and text can be broadcast, the functionality and ease of use of Vyew is still pretty impressive for a completely free service. This applet is perfect for those that need to share their desktop only once in a while and without any hassles.