When you begin streaming games live or recording console game videos for YouTube, you need a capture card that works. The Diamond HD Game Capture GC500 device does its job, but not as well as I would have hoped.
Although the Diamond HD GC500 does allow me to record my play from some game systems, it lacks some of the smooth performance I was looking for in order to appear professional. However, the price is right for those that need a solution while on a budget.
Why Should You Have a Diamond GC500?
The Diamond HD GC500 allows you to connect consoles using A/V or S-Video cables. It doesn’t have a VGA, DVI or HDMI port, but does support five-port composite connections. Using the available software, you can play and record your game systems directly onto the computer monitor.
The software also allows you to stream directly to Twitch, but doesn’t support microphone or camera additions.
One of the most prominent features for the GC500 is the price. This unit costs roughly half of more sophisticated devices. If you don’t have a lot of money and would like to begin streaming on Twitch or YouTube, this may work until you get something that delivers a higher quality.
In essence, this is the “poor-man’s” equivalent of a console streaming device. It’s a cheap alternative for those who don’t want to shell out several hundred dollars. The system itself works well, but Diamond should have spent more time developing the software for it.
This unit was very easy to set up. After installing the drivers from the disk, I plugged in the USB 2.0 connection and it was ready to stream. However, the rendering from monitor to XSplit Broadcaster was very jumpy.
It seemed as though the frame rate was greatly reduced while streaming – but that could have been from my own personal settings on Broadcaster.
The GC500 allows you to connect a TV while using it on a computer system. This throughput can be useful if you’d rather play a game on a larger display than your monitor. Personally, I don’t use this aspect since the device is connected in my office and away from the television.
However, I can see how this feature would be useful if you just want to stream a game directly to Twitch from your living room. A decent laptop should be able to utilize this device quite effectively while plugging the A/V cables into the GC500.
Overall Quality While Being Used
The display window on the monitor is quite touchy. I don’t know if this is because I use a 64-bit system or not. When I click anywhere in the screen, it moves with the mouse. I have to right-click somewhere in order to get the software to stop following the pointer as if I am dragging the screen around.
Aside from the transition into Broadcaster, this unit works decent for what we paid for it. We picked it up at Microcenter for around $60. I only use the video commands on the software to change the volume as it seems to be very touchy in regards to the mouse.
I’ll have to try it on a 32-bit system to see if the same problems persist. Anything I find out will be put on this page as an update.
Overall, the Diamond GC500 is really impractical for what I personally am trying to accomplish. Because the video software is so buggy, I have to resort to using third-party video applications…which often have issues of their own.
To be honest, I’m probably going to spring for a professional video application. I don’t really have the money for it, but it’s better than letting the GC500 sit next to my desk collecting dust. It’s a usable device, I just need software that will run it better.
- Low cost compared to larger units
- Broadcast software finds the video easily as a “record window” option
- Easy to use and install
- Uses the system’s USB power – no power plug required
- Directly streams to Twitch from the provided software
- Mediocre quality when rendering to XSplit
- Not supported by automated systems for game capture devices
- Doesn’t support HDMI, VGA or DVI inputs
- Doesn’t support microphones or cameras in provided streaming software
Price Comparison to Similar Devices
The biggest reason why I purchased this unit is because of the price. I was initially looking at A/V to USB adapters and wasn’t sure if those would work for what I was trying to do. As it was cheaper than many of the more popular brands, I had no choice but to buy it.
Fortunately, the quality isn’t terrible and it works with almost every game system I have. That’s because I have a lot of older systems that I would love to put out there in a live stream. However, it does handle HD video through A/V composite connections, which is decent.
Instead of forking out more than $200 for a unit, this bad-boy was more than a third of the cost.
Looking back, though, I am reminded of the old saying, “You get what you pay for.” In this case, it’s absolutely correct. While I had great luck with Diamond video cards back in the day, this unit simply missed the mark a bit. Mostly, it’s because of the software that came with it.
Would I Recommend it to Friends and Family?
If you don’t have the money to buy one of the more popular game capture devices, the Diamond GC500 does an OK job of allowing you to stream or record game play videos to be uploaded. If you’re new to streaming or uploading console gaming, this may be the perfect device for you.
This way, you can work your way up to a more sophisticated unit should you find that you enjoy streaming. If you don’t want to continue with the activity, then you’re not out a lot of money.