I'm a professional game developer from Wakefield, England, working as a senior programmer for Rebellion North.
I'm a married father of five and I a also sometimes do Retroburn stuff.
Martin 'Bytrix' Caine
Father. C++ Games Programmer. Cyclist. Guitarist.
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Thursday, April 29th 2010 / Blog

Got my Blackmagic Intensity Pro today

Over the last few weeks I've been looking around at what options are available when wanting to record video from the Xbox 360. I came to the same conclusion as many other Indie developers I know. The two most reasonable options (cost-wise) are the Matrox MXO2 and the Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro.

Now, which option you decide to go with depends on a few factors, here's my list:

Matrox MX02
Costs about £300.
Is an external unit which connects to your PC.
Can encode the incoming signal into MPEG before passing to the PC.
Matrox have a good history with this type of device.

Blackmagic Design intensity Pro
Costs about £150.
Is a PCI-E card.
Records uncompressed video only.
Unknown brand (to me at least).

The MXO2 is compatible with more PCs due to it's ability to encode the signal. This means that less powerful PCs can still capture and save the signal to disk easily. The Intensity Pro however records only uncompressed signals (but with a few options you can choose for decreased bandwidth at the cost of some colour clarity). That means you need a fairly fast PC (or atleast hard drive / RAID array) on which to save the large video files.

After reading numerous reviews of both units I decided to go with the Intensity Pro and also bought an extra Western Digital Caviar Black drive on to which I will be recorded my captured videos (this should also be factored into the costs mentioned as the drive was nearly £50, but the same cost would also apply to the MXO2 if you wanted to record uncompressed video).

I am only intending to record a maximum resolution of 720p (1280x720) at 30fps for my videos so I'm hoping a single WD Black drive is fast enough for that. If not I will be buying another and putting it in RAID0 with the other drive.

I've only just installed the Intensity Pro into my PC, I'll be playing with it over the weekend and will post some more updates.

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