5 Great HDMI To USB Converters For Streaming Video

How Do I Hook Up My Camcorder To My Computer?

That was the question I was faced with when I was trying to set up our live stream system for our church. Our camcorder had a HDMI output but our computer only had USB inputs. I didn't know we needed a HDMI to USB converter.

After scouring the internet I finally stumbled upon what is called a HDMI capture card or device. Some people refer to it as a dongle. Unless you have a HDMI input on your computer, you have to have one of these in order to live stream. 

The USB port on your camcorder only works after you finish recording, not while you are recording. That is why I made sure to tell you in my church live streaming guide to make sure you purchased a camera with a clean HDMI output. 

How To Know Which HDMI To USB Converter For Live Streaming To Buy?

HDMI to USB converters advice

It all depends on your computer equipment and the quality of the live stream that you want. The prices range from just over $100.00 to as much as $500.00 or more. 

You can find HDMI to USB converters that will capture 4k streams all the way down to 1080p. You don't want to go any lower than that because you will start defeating the purpose of producing a decent quality live stream for your church or video streaming project.

You can also choose whether or not you want to use the USB 2 input or the USB 3 input on your computer. Using the USB 3 input is better but you can get by with using the USB 2.

5 HDMI To USB Converters To Use When Live Streaming

HDMI To USB Converter Reviews

I have reviewed two of these HDMI to USB converters for live streaming. I hope they help you make the right decision for your church.​

Magewell XI100DUSB Review

Use the Magewell XI100DUSB-HDMI USB capture HDMI 3.0 HD video capture dongle to record or stream HDMI signals, with resolutions up to 1920 X 1200 at 60p.

It offers plug and play capabilities, supports UVC protocol, and there is a firmware upgrade. You get to enjoy total control over images, as well as a variety of output color spaces.

This video capture dongle is compatible with Windows, Linus, and Mac operating systems. If you need to record or stream at a specific resolution, this dongle will set the resolution automatically.

Here is a little more about the Magewell XI100DUSB.

Features

One of the cool things we like about this dongle is that it will give you frame-rate conversion, as well as de-interlacing in real-time, using the hardware that it already has without needing anything else. This means that your computer isn’t going to have to work as hard, so it isn’t going to slow down while you are recording or streaming. Some of the features we like most about the Magewell XI100DUSB-HDMI include:

  • Video Format – This device will automatically determine the input video format. It will then convert the input video format to the required output size, and frame rate. This is great for beginners in streaming and recording who are unsure about how to do conversions themselves.
  • Audio Formats – This dongle will automatically determine the input video format being used, and then convert it into the required frame rate and output size. You don’t need to worry about making these adjustments yourself. Input audio formats are automatically converted to 48 KHz PCM stereo audio.
  • Memory – This device has 64MB of DDR2 onboard memory. This allows you to have complete control over the frame buffering, and you don’t have to worry about any dropped frames, interruptions in audio or video, etc. when the USB bandwidth is full.
  • HDMI Signal – You can record or stream an HDMI signal using the USB 3.0 with this dongle. It will take resolutions up to 1920 X 1200 at 60p, and you can also be sure that the resolution will be correct for any streaming or recording.
  • No Drivers Needed – One of the best features this dongle offers is the fact that you don’t need to worry about installing any different drivers. It will work with the drivers that are already in your computer.

Pros and Cons

Now we need to take a look at the things that users don’t like about this video capture dongle. Yes, it does have some pretty great features, but we would be remiss if we didn’t tell you about the negative things that some users are saying. Here are the pros and cons to consider before purchasing this dongle.

Pros

  • Compatibility – We love that this device is going to work with any software that supports the drivers that are already on your computer. In fact, you can use a USB 2.0 port if your computer doesn’t have a USB 3.0 port. The only problem is the resolution and frame rates are going to be lower, but you have to expect this if you are using the 2.0 port.
  • Video Processing – Users like the easy and great video processing. It will support video input up to 1920 X 1200 at 60p, video output up to 1920 X 1200 in 60p in YUY2, video output support up to 1920 X 1200 in 60p in RGB 24, and all is done by the dongle so it won’t take up room in your computer.
  • Easy to Use – We, and most users, love that this dongle is easy to use, and that there is no need to install any additional drivers. It is simply plug and play. It will automatically determine video and audio format, and convert it to the right size for output.

Cons

  • Audio Syncing – Some users report that the audio doesn’t sync up properly with the video. They noted that there seems to be a two to three second delay, which isn’t a good thing when they are recording or streaming live.
  • Not Functioning – Some customers have reported that their product did not work at all, and that they either had to get replacements, or in some cases, refunds. Most said that they had no issues with technical support and customer service, and that their complaints were properly handled.
  • Level of Difficulty – Some users say that this is not a good unit for beginners. It can be complicated to use, and one needs to have some PC expertise in order to use it, despite manufacturer claims that it is simple to use.

Elgato Game Capture HD60 Review

When serious video producers want to blog and vlog, they need to have the right equipment for video capture. The Elgato Game Capture HD60 lets you capture your video stream in full HD, 1080p at60 frames per second. You will enjoy perfect image quality, as well as flashback recording so you can record retroactively. You also get to enjoy one-click sharing to social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Here is a little more about the Elgato Game Capture HD60.​

Features

The Elgato Game Capture HD60 lets you enjoy unlimited capture, directly to your PC or Mac. You can add webcam footage and overlays, and use the built-in live commentary feature to really bring your game capture to life. You will get everything you need for game capture, including the Elgato Game Captuer HD60, a USB cable, and an HDMI cable. Some of the awesome features of this game capture include:

  • Recording – You can easily record all of the footage you want, and it will be in flawless 1080p quality, recorded at 60 frames per second. You will be able to upload awesome content that shows just how great your church and our God really is.
  • Encoder – This game capture features a great H.264 encoder. This encoder is going to help take a lot of the load away from your computer processor, so you aren’t going to end up with a lot of lag or other issues. The USB 2.0 interface ensures that you can always count on this device to capture your video footage.
  • Small Profile – Just because this game capture is huge in features, it doesn’t mean that it is going to be big and bulky. In fact, this device isn’t a whole lot bigger than an average smartphone. It weighs just a few ounces, making it perfect if you are going to be doing any recording while you are on the move.
  • Multiple Tracks – You can record all of your video footage, webcam footage, audio, and overlays as separate tracks. Then, you can bring each one up as you need it. You can even capture footage retroactively in case you forgot to record something and want to get it later.
  • Editing – Because this device is portable, you can do your editing pretty much anywhere, even if you are on the go. Then it is easy to upload your work to all of the social networks you are using, or export clips using your preferred editing suite. You don’t have to wait until you get back to your computer to get the editing finished.

Pros and Cons

So, we have talked about some of the great features you will enjoy when using the Elgato Game Capture HD60. But, there are some things that a few users aren’t happy with, and we do need to tell you about them before you go out and spend any money. Here are the pros and cons to consider before buying this product.

Pros

  • Record Hours of Footage – Most streaming cameras only let you record and share clips of your what is being recorded. This device lets you record everything, and you get to enjoy total control over what you are recording. You can record for hours at a time, and then go in and do editing later when you are using this device.
  • Live Streaming – This device has a built-in live streaming feature that lets you stream your video for several hours. You can use it on YouTube, Ustream, and Twitch easily. The Stream Command lets you add overlays and a webcam, and you can change the layout of the stream with scenes, or even add your voice using the Live Commentary Feature.
  • Easy to Use – This is a great tool for beginners, because it is so easy to use. Setup is simple, and the interface is also easy. The software includes sharing and editing features, and is easy for even the least experienced user to get great footage.

Cons

  • System Requirements – You need to be using the latest version of Windows (Windows 10) or a MacOS Sierra in order to be able to use this game capture. If you don’t have the right GPU and CPU, you will have to go out and get a new system before you can use this.
  • Recording Glitches – Some users report that they cannot get this device to record anything at all, even after they have updated their drivers and reinstalled the software. Some have received defective items though, and this may be the case with these glitches.

Final note:

So there you have it. If you are looking to hook up your HDMI camcorder for video live streaming then any of these HDMI to USB converters will work for your church or live streaming project.

I chose the least expensive Startech converter and it still does a great job for us. If you do not need anything special, then it will do a great job for you too!

I will add reviews of the other HDMI to USB converters as I get more time.

Some of these HDMI to USB converters for live streaming are plug n play. Some require you to download and install software from the company website. Just pay attention to your instructions and you should be fine. 

The Startech capture device required that I download the software and then it worked like a charm.



Pastor Duke Taber

About the Author

Pastor Duke Taber

Pastor Duke Taber is the Senior Pastor at The Vineyard Church in San Carlos CA. He is an alumnus from Life Pacific College and Multnomah Biblical Seminary. He is a husband, father, and grandfather.

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