I'll be recording some conference talks/tutorials in a couple of weeks and needed a way to capture the presenter screen without requiring them to install additional software on their machine. The presenter would typically output their laptop/device data to a projector. However, in addition to the projector I need to capture the output that is going to the projector to another machine for editing and creating the conference talk videos.

As I mentioned, installing software on the presentation laptop is not preferred. In the past I've just pointed a camera at the projector and recorded that, but that didn't end up being as good a quality that I needed.

Thanks in advance.

2 Answers 2


What I have done in the past is to use a DA on the output of the laptop. One output to the projector and another one to the recording device.

The problem I faced afterwords is that in the chain I had a video switcher and, since we recorded both audio and video, the audio was noticeable ahead. That's a problem if you also have a camera recording the presenter, but not so much if you are only recording the output of the laptop. Later I fixed it in a simple video editor, no big deal, but next time I am using an audio delay in line.

  • What's a DA? Could you link me to one that you used? On the recording device, what did you use to do the recording? I was looking at something like this - epiphan.com/products/frame-grabbers/vga2usb, but price is a bit steep for just screen capture I think.
    – A Salim
    Jan 11, 2012 at 21:36
  • DA: Distribution Amplifier. AKA VGA splitter. I am actually using this one:(monoprice.com/products/…). So far I have had no problems. Recommended! This next section embarrass me but I have to tell that I used a regular DVD burner. I can't remember though how I wired that thing. Probably I used a VGA/BNC fan (monoprice.com/products/…) to the component input of the device, or same fan to composite(using only the green signal)
    – Claudio
    Jan 12, 2012 at 3:39
  • Also think about all the connectors you need: specifically BNC to RCA and gender changers. Let me know if you have any more questions!!! Good luck.
    – Claudio
    Jan 12, 2012 at 3:42

In general: It depends on your signals and the signalchain. With your setup you will need at least a signalsplitter, a capture device, a capture machine and big harddiscs. But first you have to clarify whats the projector input? What components and wiring do you use? What's output of the presenter laptop? Etc. Then we can give you specific recommendations.

My general advice: I'm using hardware capturing. But I always install a fixed presenters machine. No personal laptops are allowed. It avoids changes in the setup and signalchain. It avoids troubleshooting while running a conference. It reduce your stresslevel and the error-proneness. And it prevents schedule delays. It makes the task a lot easier! And you could have a screen capture software running in the background.

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