Computer Hardware

Video Capture Cards and Dongles from Magewell and Blackmagic

March 3, 2018 • 4 min read

What are capture cards and dongles?

Commonly known as ‘capture cards’, video capture cards are used for video capturing. The term ‘video capture’ is the process of converting analog video signals into a digital format to store the digital video in the computer’s memory.

Capture cards are mainly used to link video cameras to a PC to perform various functions such as video editing or uploading on the internet. These useful pieces of equipment can also be connected to gaming consoles like Xbox and PlayStation to record the gaming screen.


A dongle is a small piece of hardware connected to a system in order to provide extra functionality. These extra functions often include different forms of wireless connectivity such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support in PCs. Generally, dongles connect to systems via a USB port. In order to make the dongle work, however, the computer system needs to have compatible software installed.

We'll dive into a few dongles and capture cards from Magewell and Blackmagic and give you insights on their features/specs.

  • Easy plug and play device with existing software/driver.
  • The device supports resolutions up to 1900x1200 with an amazing 60 frame rate per second.
  • De-interlacing.
  • Hardware scaling.
  • Connects via USB 3.0 with USB 2.0 compatibility.

One of its many commonly used applications includes live streaming. Through its plug and play feature, you will not require extra software set up. Functions such as signal status extraction and configuration of the capture are provided by USB capture SDK. Because of the ease of use, many users prefer this card to live stream videos, especially on YouTube and similar platforms.

  • Allows 10 bit HD editing for computers having USB 3.0 compatibility.
  • Compact design improves portability.
  • Allows recording up to a 1920 x 1080 max resolution.

An important feature of the device is its advanced HDMI 1.3 technology, meaning that it will be able to function with any computer released in the future. It also does not require an external power source since it is powered by the USB 3.0 connection. Some have had a fair share of problems while installing the device as they found it hectic to install its supporting drivers and applications.

  • Meets the HDMI 1.3 standards.
  • Longest transmission distance which approximates to 30 meters.
  • Supports resolutions up to a maximum of 1920 x 1200 at 60 fps.

This small-sized device has quite extraordinary features. The amazing audio and video quality is proof of that. It is small, yet effective. Users prefer this device for its cost-effectiveness. The user gets the flexibility to select between the required uncompressed video formats from SD PAL/NTSC to real 1080HD.

  • It features analog breakout connections with HDMI.
  • Works with NTSC/ PAL, HD.
  • Supports HD videos both without and with compression.
  • Supported by almost all video, audio editing software.

The capture card records in 1080p with 60 fps. It has a PCI Express 4 lane input which is also compatible with 4, 8, and 16 lane PCIe slots. It supports both SD and HD formats. This extraordinary device offers 4k format support up to a resolution of 4096 x 2160p at 25 fps.

Which card is for you?

The capture cards are used to record the screen, mostly by gamers and users who live stream videos. The portability and setup of the device are two important factors when choosing a suitable capture card. The Magewell 32060 USB Capture HDMI Gen 2 is a great choice for gamers since it records in high resolution of 1920 x 1200 at 60fps.

On the other hand, the Magewell 11040 1080p HD Video Capture Card might be better for PC users who can use the capture card after a one-time installation. In the end, the appropriate capture card depends on the user’s requirements.


video capture



Related Content