How do I get started on YouTube?


[12] Conqueror
I'm thinking about making some YouTube videos eventually (let's plays and showing SoulCalibur V creations). I'm not going for lots of views or anything like that. I Just want to know how to record and upload decent quality videos. I've looked at videos a lot, but I haven't uploaded anything before.
What do think I'll need the most to get started?
Do you have any general advice about uploading to YouTube?
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[09] Warrior
If your lets plays are on a game console, you will need some type of capture card for your computer. You will also need software to record stuff from the capture card. I have recorded videos from my ps3 with Easy Cap. But it is a usb capture card so at times it is not in sync with the actual game play. If you plan to record PC games then all you need is screen capture software. (Such as Fraps.) Of course you could always use a camera to record your gameplays but they're not as clear.


[13] Hero
There are a number of devices you can use.

I own an Elgato Game Capture HD, it's small and the set up is easy.

Make sure the specs on your computer can handle this, it cost me about 180 usd from best buy.

Theres also aver media and hauppage


[12] Conqueror

I mostly play old and modern consoles.

If you do lets plays or commentary, what do you usually do for sound?

I heard YouTube's been too hard on copyright lately with content ID and tag tracking. Does that only affect people who are trying to earn money from YouTube?


[13] Hero
I know nothing about sound, since I don't own a microphone yet.

As for the issue with Youtube, I would try to avoid that completely.

Project Bokuho

[14] Master
There are a number of devices you can use.

I own an Elgato Game Capture HD, it's small and the set up is easy.

Make sure the specs on your computer can handle this, it cost me about 180 usd from best buy.

Theres also aver media and hauppage
What capture device would you prefer between Elgato, Aver media and Hauppage?


[09] Warrior
This is a video I recorded about a month ago for my channel. You can compare it to CFW's capture card and see the difference between a $180 capture card vs a $10 usb capture device.


[12] Conqueror
I'd probably start with a usb capture card around $60 and then eventually upgrade if I enjoy making gameplay videos enough.

I'm mostly concerned about if I can still see what's happening soon enough to still play well.


The factors you need to consider are:

- Budget $, €, £, ¥
- How often you will be making videos
- Content you will be capturing (just for gaming? or other stuff?)
- Connection sources and their interfaces (Digital HDMI (i.e. Xbox360/One - PS3/PS4 - WiiU) and does it have copy protection like HDCP (PS3)? Analog Component or Composite cables: (Xbox, PS2, Wii, Gamecube, etc..)
- Content source formats (High Definition 720p/1080i/p and/or Standard Definition 480i/p NTSC-U/J PAL, etc)
- Computer specs (is it enough to make videos or do you have the minimum requirements to support your capture device and/or editing equipment)?
- Editing software (usually bundled with capture device but you may need your own depending on what you want to do)
- Encoding formats and knowing how to use them. - the video formats (and their conversion) from capture -> computer -> Youtube (or elsewhere i.e. DVD, Blueray, media broadcast, etc).

First off starting with video capture, there are numerous solutions, depends on what you really want to do.

If you just want to casually throw things up and don't care so much about quality per say and only doing a few videos primarily for sites like Youtube then you could spend just a little and go for some consumer grade capture device like devices made by Hauppauge, Elgato, Roxio, Avermedia, etc. Usually these will be bundled with some software to help you get started. These can cost relatively cheap $70 bucks or less to a hundred dollars or more. The higher end devices in this category can give you some decent captures but still not as good as some dedicated gear designed for professional/semi-professional video captures. However, ease of use, setup, hardware/computer requirements with these devices is great for beginners and will do most of the stuff you need to do out of the box.

If on the other hand, you plan to get serious or semi-serious (not only making videos for Youtube but plan to do other things in videography as well) then what I would consider and highly recommend is to look into getting a device from Blackmagic Design - their Intensity line of cards and external devices.

Prices have dropped considerably since the years have gone by but still the quality you get is unmatched against any of these consumer-grade capture solutions. I have been using Intensity Pro capture card at home for several years now and it's still by far the best capture device around for HD content. It costs just a little bit more than the Elgato device and less than some of the more expensive Haupauge devices but the quality will be leagues ahead in terms of video pictures/stills. Computer requirements will be higher like fast CPU (i.e. Intel i5 or i7) dedicated fast hard drive, SSD or RAID setup. You will be able to capture across several formats both digital and analog. There's an old thread I posted a while back with screenshots comparing captures from the Blackmagic card vs the Elgato HD device that another member (MetisConnetis) had put up to share for comparison.

But it looks like all his picture sources are missing in that thread (using Photobucket which has a limit). I still have all the screenshots up and even a raw video clip of what the captures from the Blackmagic device looks like. The video stream is exactly like what you see in those screenshots for every frame. It's like the same 1:1 video image directly coming out of the console in terms of picture quality. If anyone has an Elgato or similar device and wants to compare, I be happy to share matching screenshots so you can determine the difference.

Anyways, I won't go into the long detail explaining the reasons why as you can just read through it on that thread. To summarize, it has to do with sampling color depth capabilities for pixel space which none of those consumer grade devices can do versus what you would get with professional solutions.

Regardless, it really doesn't matter if it all goes to Youtube anyhow. A mid-high range consumer capture solutions will be perfectly fine since Youtube re-encodes the format again for streaming.

To make videos look good on Youtube, you need to upload to them the best possible video format which means it's usually gonna be a much larger file (from the capture source) than what you're usually accustom to when you download videos off the web. From their end, they re-encode that video to several different formats using different settings (bitrate, resolution, frame rate, video codec format, etc.) to best optimize for streaming across the web (smartphone, tablet, notebook, desktop, TV, etc).

In my opinion though, it all looks like crap on Youtube. Even their best streams that are now 4K resolution in 3D is still crap - lol. This is of course when you compare it to the original captures your getting at home regardless of the quality of the device. But Youtube continues to evolve so hopefully someday, they'll be able to stream uncompressed or offer better video fidelity as technology and bandwidth capabilities improves.

Feel free if you have any more questions, I be happy to help out.
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[12] Conqueror
These are my laptop's specs according to Windows.
Component Details Subscore Base score
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i3-2350M CPU @ 2.30GHz 6.7
Determined by lowest subscore
Memory (RAM) 4.00 GB 5.9
Graphics Intel(R) HD Graphics 3000 4.6
Gaming graphics 1664 MB Total available graphics memory 6.1
Primary hard disk 419GB Free (457GB Total) 5.9
Windows 8
Manufacturer Dell Inc.
Model Inspiron 3520
Total amount of system memory 4.00 GB RAM
System type 64-bit operating system
Number of processor cores 2
Total size of hard disk(s) 457 GB
Disk partition (C:) 419 GB Free (457 GB Total)
Media drive (D:) CD/DVD
Display adapter type Intel(R) HD Graphics 3000
Total available graphics memory 1664 MB
Dedicated graphics memory 32 MB
Dedicated system memory 0 MB
Shared system memory 1632 MB
Display adapter driver version
Primary monitor resolution 1366x768
DirectX version DirectX 10.1
Network Adapter Realtek PCIe FE Family Controller
Network Adapter Dell Wireless 1703 802.11b/g/n (2.4GHz)
Network Adapter Bluetooth Device (Personal Area Network)
Network Adapter Microsoft Wi-Fi Direct Virtual Adapter


Those system specs are really more for mainstream computing and not for any dedicated video editing work.

An i3 is really minimum for real HD but can be done nonetheless. Your chip has hyperthreading so it has 4 threads (2 cores + 2 virtual cores) essentially making it 4 CPUs. It's probably better to get a system with dedicated quad core or more. Still its better than what I used to use back in the day. I use to edit videos on a system using two single cores (multicore CPU's weren't available then) and then on a dual core Core 2 processor and even then at certain times it was a struggle.

What's gonna be a bottle neck here is the hard drive, RAM and possibly the graphics component. There's only one hard drive which is being usesd as a primary drive having your system OS and programs on it. Its best to at least have a system drive + one dedicated drive for video editing capture/editing at minimum, 7200rpm or better. That's of course minimum, to get even faster speeds, a RAID setup is a must (striping two or more hard drives of the same size together) [i.e. system drive + dedicated RAID 0 {drive 2+drive3}] [Usually people will do system drive + dedicated striped RAID + cache drive + optional backup for storage].

A single SSD can work but the expensive cost per capacity will be the compromise. Capturing uncompressed HD requires huge amounts of space typical file for 720p footage @ 59.94fps is about 105MB/sec = 370GB/hour. At these rates, you definitely need a RAID or SSD to do any real work. However, due to this, a lot of people offset these large space requirements by using a real time conversion encoding method in what's called "intermediate codec". These are usually packaged with your capture software or can be bought separately as a plugin for your system or software if supported. But this will further require the need for a stronger system, because it will require more CPU and system resources to perform the encoding on the fly while capturing to disk.

Video editing applications are usually memory hungry and having 4 gigs of RAM shared on your system with onboard graphics will leave little to work with. Having more will always be better. These days, a lot of modern graphics cards have an added ability to run complex calculations so can act like a CPU alongside your main CPUs (for Nvidia using CUDA and AMD video graphics using OpenCL). They have the added benefit of not only driving video on your screen but doing some of the hard math run in the background that may be useful for video applications such as rendering effects or allowing smooth editing, scrub and playback if supported.

If you don't plan to upgrade the system or get a better one, then its probably best to get a consumer capture solution. As stated earlier, many of those solutions should be fine for general Youtube uploads. But your system as it is will probably not be best for professional grade video applications.

Project Bokuho

[14] Master
How about mine?

Operating System: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit (6.1, Build 7601) Service Pack 1 (7601.win7sp1_gdr.130828-1532)
System Manufacturer: Hewlett-Packard
System Model: HP ProBook 4540s
BIOS: Default System BIOS
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3230M CPU @ 2.60GHz (4 CPUs), ~2.6GHz
Memory: 8192MB RAM
DirectX Version: DirectX 11
Card name: Intel(R) HD Graphics 4000


That fares better having a 3rd generation core i5 Intel processor. It's still a dual core processor but has hyperthreading so basically 4 processors. BTW, you can look up any Intel CPU specs at

You didn't list what kind of storage you have but seeing that its a laptop, I'm assuming you have one system drive. Again, this can be used but it's not gonna be ideal for real dedicated video editing since all the resources will be shared across the system, reading and writing simultaneously to disk. For professional work, you want a dedicated drive just for captures and editing content. On mobile computers, you maybe limited in options since everything is internal and not as user friendly to swap out drives. There are external solutions, even external RAID arrays and such but you'll need to be able to interface with them on a fast line using either USB 3.0 or something better like Thunderbolt depending on whether or not your laptop has those connection ports available.

You can check how many CPU threads and their activity by going into your task manager on Windows (Cntrl+Alt+Del, start task manger or right click on task bar, start Task Manager).

The screen on Win8 will look different but I don't use that operating system. Same method to get to the task manager but it simplifies the screen showing a graph with overall CPU processs. It'll list things like # logical processors/virtualization, cache as well.

Those boxes on top indicates the number of CPU threads. On this screenshot above, you see 12 threads on mine - it's a hex-core i7 - 6 CPUs with hyperthreading, essentially 12 CPU's or 12 threads. When something is running you'll see a graph generated showing your computer and any activity across each one of those cores. Usually only a few of these will have any activity but it depends on the software you're running if it supports multithreading.

The graph on the bottom shows your memory RAM usage including how much you have installed in your system. On mine, its about 24GB which is enough but when doing some heavy post editing activity like FX work on Adobe After Effects, I can definitely use more. In the screenshot above, it appears 4GB is already being used by applications loaded at the moment {OS general system resources, a few web browsers open, anti-virus software, other apps running in the background, mp3 player, etc.} leaving only 20GB free in this state. As you can see, having more is always better in any system regardless if its for a dedicated gaming rig or digital content creation.

Having a fast CPU and lots of available RAM is a general rule of thumb. Most systems these days are capable to greater or lesser extent. Higher speeds of a processor is always a plus as it will allow faster renders. But this can also be offset or improved dramatically by multithreading by having extra CPU cores do some of the horsework in parallel (if your software supports it).

The bottleneck is always the storage system in your computer. Hard drives are mechanical so take time to read and write data off its platters, with optical disc like DVD/Blueray, its even slower. That's why more people are opting for solid state drives like SSD because it's more like RAM in its reading/writing which is almost instantaneous because of its much higher speeds. Someday I think mechanical hard drives will be obsolete and disappear all together but right now are still more cost effective given the size you get per Gigabyte/Terrabyte.

Blackmagic has an excellent disk speedtest program that can determine how fast your hard drive is and what kind of uncompressed video you'll be able to capture. The standalone program unfortunately is only for Mac. For Windows, it's included in their bundled software that comes with the Intensity. You can still download it for free, but it will install all the drivers and such. If you're curious you can try it, test the speed of your disk then uninstall it afterwards.

There's other programs out there that do speedtests so you can google them as well and check against the requirements for video storage space for uncompressed video here.

Remember this for uncompressed video capture which is raw but as I stated earlier, you may opt for some kind of "intermediate codec" which will encode on the fly requiring less storage space. That caveat however, it'll use up more CPU/Memory resources in order to do that so you'll need an overall robust system to handle that depending on what kind of video codec you're using.
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[08] Mercenary
Depends if you plan to upload a game from a computer or a console.

If Console: Then you need a mic while playing and recording, so i would suggest to "press record capture card and record mic from Audacity" at the same time when it comes to console LP.

Computer: If you plan to record from your computer screen, then "Bandicam" is a good software. It doesn't make your computer lag, its unlikely atleast.

Ishimaru Jinrai

[12] Conqueror
I mostly play on a few old consoles I collected.

1) Make sure you do commentary over just raw gameplay rips, I noticed people enjoy listening to someone play or their reactions to the things going on in the video over just spectating it.

2) People on Youtube have VERY low attention spans, don't make videos over 5 minutes long, other wise they probably won't bother watching it (usually).

3) Getting Youtube views and lots of subscribers takes times, but usually comes down to random search or bigger channel promotions... For instance: I could triple my subscriber base over night if I were advertised on Pewdipie's channel for 1 day... And upload popular video game soundtracks of new games will reap LOTS of views, but if you wait 6 months you'll hardly get any views for it..

4) Youtube is big about fads! What's popular today and will get you 2 million views probably won't even get you 30K views next week.

5) Don't be too concerned with your subscriber base, getting big on Youtube takes a long time and is very circumstantial, the best you can do is make your videos as high quality as possible, funny as possible, and be active on it... The views and sub counts will come naturally.

Good luck btw... >:] And also I commentate with my Skype mic that I plug into my laptop while I'm recording gameplay usually with my PVR, or unless I use my Xbox mic.

Party Wolf

Yeah a lot of what ishimaru said is true. Sharing videos on different websites will also increase your exposure. An example would be if you made your first youtube video ever and it was about Soulcalibur, posting it here would get a lot more views than if you left it alone on youtube.


[12] Conqueror
As far as audience size, I would probably be happy with about 5 to 10 fun comments per video.

I'm still deciding some things and I might give let's plays a try later this year if I can. I'm thinking about starting with the Crash Bandicoot series (in order) and SoulCalibur 5. I mostly like to play around doing funny things with character creation in SoulCalibur 5, but I also might try getting more competitive too. What do you think will be a fun way to let's play SoulCalibur 5 or other fighting games?