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Content Sourcing Options/Tips?

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 (Edited)

I am looking to increase my abilities and the quality of edit that I can produce and am curious about the best options for content sourcing.

Previously, my go-to option has been to use Mac’s default screen-capture software, a looped audio output>input cable, and the Firefox browser to record my own footage from streaming services that I subscribe to. I have found that this generally successful, but I’ve had recurring issues with skipped or stuttering frames (which I have had to re-record or trim), as well as pixel compression in dark scenes.

More problematic, I’ve increasingly found (late 2022) that several of the streaming services (Amazon, Paramount, maybe others) can now enforce the black-screen drm protection through Firefox, which previously got around it.

So I’m looking into other options. I’ve seen talk of buying an hdmi splitter, along with an hdmi capture device like elgato’s, and using those to take footage from a TV-based box like AppleTV or Roku and record it on a computer. Does that work or are there finicky things about that approach too? I’ve heard that some splitters work for this and others don’t?

Does the same splitter/capture method work for external physical media like BlueRay? Is it more reliable with physical or streaming?

Like I said, I’m still kind of a novice. I’ve done a lot of editing, but I’ve yet to use pro-level software or deal much in HD or 5.1 sound etc. I’d like to up my game, but I want to invest in the right tools.

Thank you.

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The simplest setup I’m seeing for an external capture system is to use the ClonerAlliance UHD Pro (or similar device), which allegedly can input HDMI and bypass HDCP to either record to USB or stream out via USB-C of HDMI. The units are pricy but seem to be generally well regarded.

Does anyone here use this or a similar device?

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(Nobody is responding here, but I’m going to keep posting updates on what I’ve used/explored, as it might help others in the future.)

I got the Cloneralliance UHD Pro for Christmas and have been trying it out in place of standard screen recording for my streaming-only content. So far, the resulting footage has been comparable, which is both acceptable and disappointing.

The good = Consistent volume, bitrate, etc. Also no stuttering so far in any tests that has to be corrected by manually trimming a few seconds out or re-recording those parts. Good resolution.

The meh = I still get color banding and compression artifacts, especially in dark scenes. The color also seems slightly more washed out than in the footage I used to get via screen recording.

The best = Using this type of recorder has placed me back outside the rat race of streaming copy protection software vs screen recording software. No more battle with the black screens for hopefully a long while. I can also use the device to more easily record from my DVDs and Blu Rays, so hooray for a consistent process and result.

My attention has now shifted into trying to reduce those color bands in the simplest way possible. For now I am fiddling with settings in Handbrake, but I suspect my best option is going to be a newer computer running Davinci Resolve or Final Cut Pro with their respective effects.