Real-Time Screen capturing/recording easily done with VirtualDub and VHScrCap

Video EditingI’ve been looking for a way to capture my screen (not screen-shot it, but real-time capture) while on my OS (WinXP). I’ve found a lot solutions, but all of them involved shelling out money one way or another. Now why would I do that, when in the age of Open Source and Freeware there are free solutions for almost everything?

So I set out to look for an Open Source/Freeware solution, and I’ve found one! VirtualDub coupled with VH Screen Capture Driver works like a charm!

First you need to download and install VH Screen Capture Driver, then you start up VirtualDub.

In VirtualDub you do the following: Step 1:  Switch to Capture Mode

Switch to Capture Mode

Step 2:  Select Capture Device

This is why you need to install VH Screen Capture Driver, before VirtualDub, otherwise you won’t have the Screen Capture “Driver”. Select Capture Device

Step 3: Set your capture file

Choose its name and its location.

Set capture file Name the capture file

Step 4: Configure the capture devide / filter

You need to config VH Screen Capture Driver in order for it to run correctly. Configure the capture device

Press “select” then put in your current desktop resolution in Width / Height. I’m running my PC in 1920 x 1200 resolution. Configure the capture device Configure the capture device

And that’s pretty much it. Didn’t cost a cent! You can record uncompressed audio/video and transcode it later:

Uncompressed Audio and Video Uncompressed Audio and Video Uncompressed Audio and Video Uncompressed Audio and Video

or you can choose to expirement with those setting to your best liking! I personally record uncompressed and transcode it afterwards. Enjoy!

Edit: According to some users, this method does not work with Windows 7 and Windows Vista.  

Addendum 18.08.2010: If you are a Windows 7 user, I suggest you use Fraps to record your desktop. Fraps has the ability to record your Aero desktop, which is awesome. No more hassle. Start Fraps, and start recording.

21 thoughts on “Real-Time Screen capturing/recording easily done with VirtualDub and VHScrCap

  1. Hey! nice tut… But I have some sort of problem… I’m having a water print of at the bottom rigth corner… is it suppoused to be like that?


  2. Works great in win xp. Thanks for this. I’ve been using something called amarecco. That one works well (high quality) but the files were huge. With this method i can experiment with the settings and come up with a much better size.

  3. Works fine with Windows 7 Pro x64, just run in Windows XP (Service Pack 3) compatibility. Also need to check “Hide display on capture” under the capture tab or it won’t capture right.

    Now is there a way to get rid of the xplit watermark? (Other than extending the video and cropping later.)

    1. Haven’t got a clue about the watermark. I’m no longer using this method since Win7. Because Fraps has the option to record the AERO desktop, meaning the whole screen.

    2. To get rid of the watermark, find an older installer of VHScrCap before it was taken over by the XSplit people, who added the watermark. Look for installer version 1.0.46 which appears to be the last free, no-watermark suite by Hmelyoff, the original developer. Might try here:

      Uninstall the watermark version and install the older no-watermark version. Only trouble is, it might not be Windows 7 compatible. I have Win XP SP2, and it works a treat on that.

  4. This page was great and the Virtual Dub and VHScrCap worked perfectly fine on my XP system as promised. Thank you so much for the awesomely simple tutorial; this open source solution was just what I was seeking.

  5. There's an easy solution for Win7 tho, if you're willing to dish out some cash, get FRAPS. It allows you to capture your desktop.

    I don't have Windows Vista, so I can't test it on that. But I've got Win7 so I'll test in this weekend and try to come up with a solution.

    Besides that, FRAPS is either way a great tool to have in my opinion.

  6. Doesn't work in Windows Vista either, got the "capture couldn't start" error… hope there is a solution soon! Thanks for the post aswell

  7. didnt work in windows 7, got error that capture couldnt start 😐

  8. Wow, thanks Don Salva. Great freeware (deserves donation)! Works perfectly.
    Thanks again for finding/sharing your craptastic world. 🙂 *bookmarked*

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