Your complete lack of knowledge about game capture devices on the market now is astounding.
If you want to talk about older capture devices like the original Hauppauge HDPVR, then, yes, that only did 1080i. Because it only had component inputs. Component inputs can only do 1080i, max.
Please don't insult me.
As I said, these devices are an inferior means of capturing video. I could really care less about what kind of awful video players put up, but cheap devices aren't for capturing video, just streaming.
You specifically said the devices can capture 1080i, max. This is false. The ones now on the market do capture 1080p video. It isn't completely lossless, but the quality is actually very good. They also only capture 1080p at 30 fps, though.
a) If you are capturing video from a game console, you need to capture it losslessly 1080p in RGB and do the editing on that. The average person's computer will fall over, especially a laptop at that rate.
Yes, however, the cost of getting equipment that can do the true lossless capture is quite substantial, even to the bigger game sites that have corporate backing (Escapist, IGN, GameSpot, GiantBomb, etc.).
b) Capturing from YPbPr is Analog. Although you can in theory capture analog video, it's extremely noisy compared to HDMI, and results in inefficient capture. You also can't split analog sources as you lose half the signal strength.
Correct. However, the HDPVR2, Game Capture HD and the Live Gamer Portable all have HDMI as their main input sources. There is an adapter to capture component video that comes with each; but the main cpture method is designed to be HDMI.
c) PVR's and cheapo capture devices that can't capture raw video, compress to sub-12Mbps h264 in YUV420 colorspace. They may even be compressing to less than 1Mbps if they are being tuned for Justin.tv
The HDPVR2 captures at the lowest Mb/s of all of the major consumer capture devices. It captures raw footage at a max of 13.5 Mb/s AVCHD TS and M2TS formats, which can then be exported to .mp4 as one wishes. If the person has Sony Vegas, it can edit the raw TS/M2TS format. The Elgato Game Capture HD captures at a max bitrate of 30 Mb/s, though that appears to be capturing as h.264 native; but at that high of a bitrate, the loss in quality is minimal. The AverMedia Live Gamer Portable can record at 60 Mb/s, also appearing to be h.264 native recording; again at that high of a bitrate, the loss is even less than the Game Capture HD's minimal loss.
d) The PS3 requires HDCP, even on games. The Xbox360 does not. The Wii U does not. So again, these devices were only designed for the Xbox360. Nintendo's consoles don't play DVD's or Bluerays so they don't need HDCP.
Sony is removing HDCP on gameplay on the PS4. though they have yet to announce when this is happening. http://www.expertreviews.co.uk/games/1302556/ps4-hdmi-recording-wont-be-ready-at-launch-sony-admits http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2013/09/sony-ps4-will-support-gameplay-capture-over-hdmi/ and others. They have yet, to my knowledge, actually gone and put out the patch to do so, however. As for the PS3, like the PS4, a firmware patch could be implemented to remove the HDCP on games on that system; but if they will ever do it is unknown.
The Xbox 360 and the Xbox One also have HDCP, just not on games. Playing DVDs (360/One), BluRays (Xbox One), or using apps like Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, etc. that stream video (360/One) all have HDCP enabled. If a capture device is even hooked up in between them through HDMI and not capturing, the HDCP stops the video and audio from going through to the TV when trying to use those apps. On the Xbox One, it even gives a system error message saying it can't display the requested content. I don't own a Wii U, so I have no idea if the Netflix app (or any other streaming app, if any) has HDCP on it; but it seems likely.
HDCP is not an all or nothing system wide thing. It can be selectively used, as the Xbox 360 and Xbox One (and eventually the PS4) show.
It's not like HDCP is even remotely useful anyway, since its master keys were cracked and distributed years ago, anyway. Sony's insistence on using it for everything under the sun probably has more to do with Sony Pictures influence over anything else.
When you are doing a serious documentary, you must acquire the best-possible footage possible, because you are going to lose quality during the mastering process (which is why you do -not- use Youtube as a source) and you will lose two generations of quality if you upload it to a streaming site (Your initial mastering -> file you upload to youtube -> youtube), so if you use youtube as a source and put the video back on youtube, congrats you just lost 6 generations of video quality. Do you know what YUV420 is? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chroma_subsampling#4:2:0 Repeat this loss step every time, and you'll notice colors getting muddier, and edges disappearing with every generation.
If one is doing a serious documentary, I would hope that the filmmaker would have very professional equipment; wouldn't you? It's not like we want people making documentaries using hand held VHS cameras from when I was a kid; right? And I mean from the 80s, here.
Oh, but Anita did use YouTube as a source, multiple times. Whoops.
As for the YUV420, no, I did not know what it was. Seems especially PAL oriented, though, not as much with NTSC.
I've uploaded 4GB lossless gameplay files to youtube that it turned into 80MB 1080p h264 video. That doesn't mean that video is any good. Yet video that is output from PC games (ala fraps or quicksync-based like OSB) puts out really terrible quality video that is effectively unusable to master with.
Congratulations on discovering that YouTube re-encodes every single video uploaded to it? It doesn't preserve the source format for playback. It re-encodes everything uploaded to it. Even if the file uploaded is already h.264, f4v or any other supported format, it re-encodes it.
Have you discovered that YouTube's playback is also set to a max of 30 fps, yet? So, even when uploading 60 fps or higher footage (of any kind), it only plays back at a max of 30 fps.
YouTube is not the ideal site for uploading high quality content due to the re-encoding and 30 fps max playback. Other sites and streaming video player programs used on them do not have these issues. However, YouTube is the largest and most viewed of all the sites out there. Therefore many people upload their stuff to YouTube simply for the potential eyeballs. But I've never heard anyone talk about the quality of YouTube to be the best out there.
That said, going from a 4GB file and having it compressed down to an 80MB file is a bit of hyperbole on your part. I don't know of any compression technique that reduces the file size by ~99%.
As for FRAPS and other PC game capture programs... you have to remember that while these programs are working on the PC that is also being played on, that the CPU, RAM, GPU and hard drive are being worked by the same machine trying to play the game. If the PC is not exceptionally powerful, then, yes, the quality looks very bad. It is more ideal when using FRAPS to have the video coming into a second computer and capturing from there, if possible.
I'm not suggesting that everyone is doing it wrong, but most people don't care enough to produce documentary quality footage to begin with. The average gamer is going to stream low quality video for the purpose of showing an audience in semi-realtime. Like even if Anita had the resources to capture high quality video, she is unlikely to spend 30 hours per game, and keep 100's of TB's of external hard drives just to "maybe" use fragments of games later. Video editing just doesn't work that way. She's one person, not a studio.
Obviously, Anita doesn't care about producing documentary quality work, either, since she uses YouTube as a source and has said she has a capture card you seem to feel can't do anything but record Magnavox Odyssey games properly.
Also, I'm one person, not a studio. You know what? I play the games for as long as it takes, and I have TBs of video on external drives; not hundreds of TBs, but a lot. I know how video editing works, especially in regards to time. When I record hours of game footage to compress down into a smaller video for whatever reason, I spend hours upon hours looking for the right clip, cutting it, then starting over for the next clip. A single 10 minute video can take all day to get the clips for, then however long it takes to put them in an order that feels right-- plus the time to record my voice over.
So, seriously, if I can do it, if Joe "Angry Joe" Vargas can do it, if John "TotalBiscuit" Bain can do it, if hundreds if not thousands of others can do it... why can't she? Oh, it might cut into her speaking engagement time, and I guess she wouldn't want that. And I do it working 40+ hours a week at my normal job and don't get paid for it like some others do from ad revenue on YouTube (Angry Joe and TotalBiscuit, as examples). I don't have the luxury of making enough from ad revenue to support myself without a normal job, and I still make and put out videos; just not in the same time fashion or amount that others do. I do it in my spare time and buy everything out of my own pocket to do so (next up is a new video editing PC). I don't get free games to review like others (or like I used to when I worked for a small press site) nor do I get them early enough to have reviews and such out at 12:01 AM on release day like others do-- but I often get them out by the weekend after release.
If I can do it, working 40-80 hours a week, why is it so difficult for her? She has other people helping her, like her BF/FemFreq business partner. I don't.
Anita's 'job' seems to be her speaking engagement tour dates and nothing else, right now (haven't heard any more on her 'consulting' since DICE and Bungie). She uses the same script and slides for every single one, so it's not like she has to do tons of research in between them. Plus, she was already paid over $100,000 to make the videos; and she can't even get them out more than once every few months-- and certainly not on time, considering the promise date for the full series is over a year past, now.
Anyway this is a distraction from the argument that I'm expressing, and you seem to object about.
I don't care where Anita got the video from, but if I were doing said TvW project myself I'd have made the effort to acquire the video myself, because it takes just as long to watch a video as it does to play a game.
You should care where she got the video footage used from for a reason you mentioned earlier in the thread... you said it is for academic purposes (and she has said it would be academic for use in classrooms). In regards to the let's play footage she used without credit/citation, she gave the implication she recorded said videos herself. In academic terms, original research. In academics, if one simply uses another's work without citation, it is called plagiarism. As a student, it can be grounds for being kicked out of school. As a teacher/professor it can be grounds for termination and potentially the loss of a degree or doctorate. Anita has a master's degree. She should know all about citation.
Because it is highly unlikely her intended audience, which is not gamers, would notice she used videos that others made, she didn't bother to cite the sources of said videos. Why? Because her intended audience would just assume she did everything for the project, herself (or someone working with her did it). To her intended audience, it is her own original research. They have no idea whether some Let's Player did the actual game play and recording of the video and Anita is just using it without citation. Nor do they care.
If you would take the time and effort to record all the footage yourself and play the games, then good on you. Anita, however, has decided to take the easier way out and plagiarize other people's work and leave the inference that the work is her own.