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I'm trying to do some screen casts but no matter what application I try (Camtasia, FRAPS) the performance impact of the recording affects the quality of the animations I want to capture too much.

I use a top-end machine (i7, SSD etc.) so I doubt that I can do much about it and I have also tried several suggestions to tweak the performance (use different codecs etc.) but all to no avail.

Can anyone recommend a good hardware solution to capturing video? Ideally it would work with HDMI since my laptop only has a HDMI output.

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You can get capture cards which do that and don't affect your FPS in any way. This site will help you.

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+1 but unfortunately I am still not sure what I need to look for. there don't seem to be any USB/external capture devices which support HDMI input and the rest seem to be focused on capturing tv and don't seem to support high-quality capture of the screen itself. – Patrick Klug Sep 12 '11 at 1:03

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