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Hawick

PS4 Built-in recorder better than Shadowplay?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Here is a video: (will be referred to as "the PS4 video")

^ -- It was captured using "PS4 Share". I know this because I asked the person that made the video and he said he had recorded the video on his PS4 Slim device. He simply pressed the "Share" button, saved it and uploaded the raw file to his YouTube channel. After a bit of research I found that the Ps4 built-in recording feature records videos in 720P max at 30 fps and about ~8000kbs bit rate, if not lower. Audio bit rate is about 192kb/s or so, pretty standard. These are the key values when it comes to recording video games. Please, correct me if I'm wrong. Now, here's the problem: I use ShadowPlay (on PC obviously) and as you may or may not know ShadowPlay has a wide range of options to choose from. You can customize resolution, bit rate and fps. The maximum available resolution is 1440P (on my PC in particular), the highest bit rate is 50Mbps (pretty huge I might add) and as for the FPS it's either 30 or 60. Now, does this sound better than the PS4's built-in recorder? Of course it does...in theory. My problem is that the gameplay videos that I record with ShadowPlay actually look worse than the PS4 built-in recorder's 720P videos. Don't believe me? Check this out:

-- I used the highest possible ShadowPlay settings, except for the FPS (it's set to 30). It's 1440P @ 50Mbps bit rate. It should look so much better than the Ps4 video that I linked above. But it looks worse. There's more pixelation and as a matter of fact the vehicle I used has a lower speed than what you saw on the Ps4 video. That person used a sports car and he was driving a lot faster; and in spite of all that he still had less pixelation his 720P video. Okay, here's another video I made:

 

-- This one should look somewhat identical to the PS4 video due to the similar settings: it's 720p, 30 fps, 20 Mbps bit rate - it's like twice as much but still...look at how extremely awful it looks. Jesus Holy Christ. This pixelation makes me wanna bounce. This is unwatchable. Terrible. Cr*p, garbage, sh*t. Oh and I also know about this YouTube conversion thingy: YouTube has some sort of 'superior' codec called "VP09" and it generally makes the uploaded video look better...but it is not the case here. Check my 720P 20Mbps video, (right click the YouTube video player and then click "Stats for nerds" to view the codec that's being used) it's AVC1 codec and so is the PS4 video. THIS IS FRUSTRATING. 

 

Here's another shadowplay video that I recorded:

 

-- See? Maximum bit rate used. Still much more pixelated during motion than the PS4 video.

 

ShadowPlay is that bad? What's up with this?

 

(All the videos I uploaded were unedited. Those were the raw ShadowPlay files. No additional rendering was made.)

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

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Which graphics card do you have? 

Also I dont use ShadowPlay so I dont know all the settings you can set there besides FPS, Resolution and Bitrate but if you decide to use NVENC in OBS Studio, you have few more options to set that will affect the quality quite a bit.

 

Older generation of NVIDIA cards use older NVENC chips and they capture in lower quality.

The new Turing cards do have a very nice quality with their NVENC capture and are comparable to some of the more demanding CPU x264 settings.

 

IDK what the PS4 uses for capture but as is mentioned under me, its likely some other chip that is dedicated for capture. I dont think PS4 uses CPU x264 as that would limit game performance and the AMD x264 encoder is of lower quality than NVENC so it would not explain the quality difference.

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Shadowplay uses NVENC, which I believe is fixed function so you're stuck with what it offers. This is as opposed to x264, which is purely software and allows for more flexibility.

 

I don't know what Sony uses on the PS4, but it's likely offloaded to the secondary processor as I presume the requirement would be to allow for recording without degrading in-game performance.

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Probably using VCE which AMD has used for years to grab the encoding. I expect it to be similar quality to old Nvenc.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
22 minutes ago, WereCat said:

Which graphics card do you have? 

Also I dont use ShadowPlay so I dont know all the settings you can set there besides FPS, Resolution and Bitrate but if you decide to use NVENC in OBS Studio, you have few more options to set that will affect the quality quite a bit.

 

Older generation of NVIDIA cards use older NVENC chips and they capture in lower quality.

The new Turing cards do have a very nice quality with their NVENC capture and are comparable to some of the more demanding CPU x264 settings.

 

IDK what the PS4 uses for capture but as is mentioned under me, its likely some other chip that is dedicated for capture. I dont think PS4 uses CPU x264 as that would limit game performance and the AMD x264 encoder is of lower quality than NVENC so it would not explain the quality difference.

I have GTX750TI. So you're basically saying the recorded videos quality also depends on my graphics card? 

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3 minutes ago, Hawick said:

I have GTX750TI. So you're basically saying the recorded videos quality also depends on my graphics card? 

Yes. And that does explain a lot actually... the NVENC progressed quite a bit since 600/700 series.

What CPU do you have? If it can handle at least 720p capture you may use that instead for much higher quality capture.

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4 minutes ago, Hawick said:

I have GTX750TI. So you're basically saying the recorded videos quality also depends on my graphics card? 

Depends on the encoder in the GPU. 

 

Nvenc has improved over the years. So has VCE. 

 

Microsoft and Sony probably set some requirements for AMD VCE to hit a certain quality mark. 

 

You might be able to see difference between the encoding for the One X and One. 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
3 hours ago, WereCat said:

Yes. And that does explain a lot actually... the NVENC progressed quite a bit since 600/700 series.

What CPU do you have? If it can handle at least 720p capture you may use that instead for much higher quality capture.

i5 4460 3.2ghz

 

So I should use x264 cpu? 

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5 hours ago, Hawick said:

i5 4460 3.2ghz

 

So I should use x264 cpu? 

Depends on what game you play. Your CPU may barely cut it.

You can also try to use IntelQuickSync with its iGPU but you may not see a higher quality.

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23 hours ago, Hawick said:

I have GTX750TI. So you're basically saying the recorded videos quality also depends on my graphics card? 

Dude, lol.  This somewhat explains your thread..  but seriously, NV shadow play looks 10x better than whatever Sony is producing on PS4,  PS4 is indeed a pixelated,  laggy "30fps" mess... 

 

Shadow Play isn't perfect, but at least image quality is good provided you use high bitrates . 

 

 


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Posted · Original PosterOP
13 hours ago, Mark Kaine said:

Dude, lol.  This somewhat explains your thread..  but seriously, NV shadow play looks 10x better than whatever Sony is producing on PS4,  PS4 is indeed a pixelated,  laggy "30fps" mess... 

 

Shadow Play isn't perfect, but at least image quality is good provided you use high bitrates . 

 

 

Did you even read the whole thread?

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3 minutes ago, Hawick said:

Did you even read the whole thread?

Yes. And I'm still trying to wrap my head around "PS4 recorded gameplay looks good" tbh 


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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 hour ago, Mark Kaine said:

Yes. And I'm still trying to wrap my head around "PS4 recorded gameplay looks good" tbh 

It certainly looks better than my shadowplay recording and yes I used the highest shadowplay settings.

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1 hour ago, Hawick said:

It certainly looks better than my shadowplay recording and yes I used the highest shadowplay settings.

First of all - ok, we have the PS4  baseline 720p 30fps 8000kbps 

 

So then we have the issue that neither your PC nor GPU specifically will be able to handle "highest" sp settings. 

 

Did you actually check at what bitrates sp actually recorded,  because it will usually downgrade a lot from your desired settings if it can't do the task.. 

 

 

And lastly, what you should probably do is record your gameplay with sp at 720p 30fps and let's say 12000 kbps - you can also do 8000 kbps for comparison of course,  because that is what actually will determine your image quality of recorded footage and if you find a good setting for sp - at least above 10000 kbps it should produce considerable better and crisper recordings than PS4 is capable of. 

 

If your system is up to snuff, I don't know,  but I still think it should be possible - just try to find a nice bitrate and check if your GPU / Shadowplay is actually using those bitrates of course. 

 

 


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Posted · Original PosterOP
11 minutes ago, Mark Kaine said:

First of all - ok, we have the PS4  baseline 720p 30fps 8000kbps 

 

So then we have the issue that neither your PC nor GPU specifically will be able to handle "highest" sp settings. 

 

Did you actually check at what bitrates sp actually recorded,  because it will usually downgrade a lot from your desired settings if it can't do the task.. 

 

 

And lastly, what you should probably do is record your gameplay with sp at 720p 30fps and let's say 12000 kbps - you can also do 8000 kbps for comparison of course,  because that is what actually will determine your image quality of recorded footage and if you find a good setting for sp - at least above 10000 kbps it should produce considerable better and crisper recordings than PS4 is capable of. 

 

If your system is up to snuff, I don't know,  but I still think it should be possible - just try to find a nice bitrate and check if your GPU / Shadowplay is actually using those bitrates of course. 

 

 

I checked it:

6pUCb3P.png

 

 

10Mbps is the lowest Shadowplay bit rate value. Looks much worse compared to PS4 8000Kbps.

 

 

my PC:

 

i5-4460 3.2ghz

32gb ram

gtx 750 ti 2gb video card

nvme pcie ssd

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Umm that says 1080 60

 

 

You're comparing apples with oranges. 

 

Read my post again please. 

 

(and no I have no idea how you can actually have 40mb/s recordings,  might be a bug or what because - especially if it looks worse than 8mb/s... something is obviously wrong) 


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Posted · Original PosterOP
6 hours ago, Mark Kaine said:

Umm that says 1080 60

 

 

You're comparing apples with oranges. 

 

Read my post again please. 

 

(and no I have no idea how you can actually have 40mb/s recordings,  might be a bug or what because - especially if it looks worse than 8mb/s... something is obviously wrong) 

 

I'm comparing apples to apples.

 

In that particular picture I just wanted to show you that it's indeed 40Mbps. That file was generated yesterday because I was testing 1080P 40Mbps. It's just an example, to show you that the bit rate is what it seems. 

The video in my previous post was also 10Mbps as seen in the title (I always check it). 

 

Yeah something's obviously wrong here and that's exactly what I'm trying to figure out.

 

Again, the problem is the heavy pixelation during motion, which should not be an issue with such a high bit rate (anything above 30Mbps). As seen in the PS4 video, it's low resolution (1280x720), low fps and low bit rate and on top of that there's a shit load of things on the screen (cars, trees, mountains, effects, etc and they're all moving crazy fast).

 

Pixelation occurs when:

- bit rate is too low or there's too much motion and not enough bit rate to handle it

- fps is low (a 60 fps video usually has less pixelation during motion)

- resolution is low

 

So yeah I don't know what the hell causes this. Bug? I tried so many different NVIDIA drivers and Geforce Experience versions... I'll probably ask someone to record the same thing on their PC and see how the pixelation is.

 

This is a goddamn mystery.

 

EDIT: And I'm not trying to fanboy the PS4, not at all. I like PS4 but I also like PC. I know that NVIDIA ShadowPlay is supposed to be much better.

 

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15 minutes ago, Hawick said:

I'm comparing apples to apples.

 

No you aren't  

 

1080 ≠ 720

 

You really need to get as close to the PS4 settings as possible to make a good comparison. 

 

If the SP recordings still look worse I can only guess it's your GPU / CPU 

 

 

Shadow Play does indeed downgrade the footage in order to keep a stable framerate,  there's really not much you can do about that,  except recording at 30fps (that basically doubles your performance right there)  relatively low bitrates and 720p (just like the PS4)


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PS: as an example what I'm talking about here's a picture of my shadow play recording at much too high bitrates for my system 

 

DSC_3143.thumb.JPG.9e2e83bbc763040ffe20abadf2b174b9.JPG

 

It simply doesn't work......

 

 

But if I lower bitrates it suddenly does! 

 

 

Edit:  basically I need about 20MB/s for it to look acceptable,  30 to look "good", more than 30 to look really brilliant - which is where I'm running into an issue because I can't use more than 30, my system isn't strong enough,  there will be issues,  lag, pixelated footage or no footage at all...

 

 

Maybe that's your issue,  you just can't do a high enough bitrates without running into issues. 

 

 

And yes I think if you compare the exact same bitrates PS4 may have the edge,  but the thing with shadow play is you can usually use much higher bitrates =  it looks better! 

 

 

I think just solved the mystery!  Haha.  😂 

 

It's really just a theory though...  


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