Getting the highest quality screen recording

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I am sourcing screen recording capture for a marketing team. I have a 2560x1440 monitor and an NVIDIA graphics card. 

When I record my screen to send to them as a raw video asset, the highest quality Camtasia will let me send over is 20k MBPS. 

My questions: 

1) Would getting a 4k monitor allow me to bump up bit rate that I can export the screen capture to? 

2) Is the AVI quality from the TREC a higher quality than the MP4 at its highest-quality/most-uncompressed format? 

I realize this is an uncommon use case for Camtasia, and if I need to look at a higher quality screen recorder (if one exists), I will. 

Joe/Rick/et all, thoughts? 
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paulwilliamengle

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Posted 1 month ago

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Ed Covney

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Is  20k MBPS a typo?
Camtasia can create 4K videos (3840 x 2160) at 30 fps, maybe 60 with a great video card??? 
MKS is the highest compressed video quality currently available (a 2 hour blueray disk can approach 45-60 GB) but not a rendering choice for share. So if you looking for quality, don't compress the video rendering @ 100% quality in whatever format you want. If too large, you can always compress it, trial and error, until you reach a balance of quality and file size using handbrake. Again, IMO MKS is best, but many players don't have codecs for it. 

Yes, if you want to create a screen capture at 4K, then yes, you'll need a 4K monitor. 4K tvs are cheaper, but much grainier when connected to a good video card, not that it would affect the recording, only the playback - and you'd never know for sure if the video you created is garbage for everyone.

" Would getting a 4k monitor allow me to bump up bit rate that I can export the screen capture to? "
Bit rate? Maybe you meant refresh rate? Sound compression is rated by bit-rate. Even wav files are compressed but way beyond hearing range, at 176.4 kbs. 

Both your monitor and video card have to provide minimum specs to satisfy what you need. A video card that can only do 15 fps at UHD, will limit you to 15 fps even if the monitor is capable of 240 fps. So spend wisely, get a match you can afford, if that's a consideration.



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paulwilliamengle

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This is great info, Ed! 

I'm looking into getting a 4K monitor to raise the quality of my screen capture. 

You mentioned MKS as a highest-quality compressed video. AFAIK, Camtasia only offers AVI (in the .trec file) and mp4 for video output of screen capture.

Is MKS an option? 
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Ed Covney

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Typo alert (sorry) MKV, not MKS. I have but one 4K MKV file I downloaded from YouTube (30 fps) and Camtasia. I played it using VLC media player, and recorded the full 4K VCL video, rendered it to MP4 just for fun. if you test and AVI is better, go for it.
I prefer MP4 because it's an international standard, and can be played on any hand-held or notepad device, including readers like Nooks, etc.
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Joe Morgan

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It’s difficult to answer your question definitively.

For starters. You should be aware of the teams specific needs first.

There’s a standard rule of thumb for producing screen captures. You want to record, edit and produce using the same dimensions. If this team is going to be producing videos at 1920 by 1080. You should be recording at the same resolution. If you send them a 4K video and they produce at 1920 by 1080. The text and fine details will become soft and less detailed. To a lesser degree, the same thing would occur with your 2K monitor.

What software will they be using to produce their videos? If the answers Camtasia. You should be sending them the raw .trec files. .trec files are recorded to AVI and are of a very high quality.

However, if there using another program. .trec generally won’t work. .trec is a container format. You can extract an AVI file from a .trec. The cursor and its movements are recorded separately. This is for the soul purpose of applying effects in Camtasia. It is recorded to AVI using this codec... TechSmith screen codec 2.

This codec is required for viewing purposes. It doesn’t ship with Operating systems. Because the cursor missing from the recording. It’s usage is limited. Plus, I have several video editing programs. 1 of them can import a .trec "avi" file and produce an MP4 video. The others cannot. Various errors are associated with these programs.  Some display this pop-up warning. Letting you know it’s incompatible.


You could record directly to AVI using the Camtasia recorder. These have the cursor burned in and you can select different codecs. You can add cursor effects as well. Along with a few other things. All of these effects are burned into the recording and cannot be removed.

A high quality screen recording can be recorded at a variable bit rate. I’m sure there must be recorders that allow you to set a constant bit rate. I for one, wouldn’t go that route.

The bit rate required is dependent on color content, how much motion is being recorded and various factors. If you’re recording a video on your monitor that contained a lot of motion, people walking around on a beach, bright colors and camera motion. The bit rate of that recording would be very high. If you’re recording a Word document, with nothing more than a white page displayed and words being typed. The bit rate may seem quite low. But the recording is still high quality.

Typically, videos are rendered at a variable bit rate. So you cannot assess video quality based on it. To be fair, this is dependent on Content, Screen resolution, etc. so one could guesstimate if the rate reflected a high quality recording versus a low quality one.

Recording a video with Camtasia. Then producing one to send out to others. Is redundant and less than ideal. For several reasons.

You mentioned you have a Nvidia graphics card. If your graphics card is a 600 series or higher. There’s a program called GeForce experience. It’s free and downloadable from Nvidia. You can record your screen directly to MP4 . The beauty of recording with the graphics card is that the graphics card does all the work. Most screen recorders suck the life out of the CPU while they’re recording. Your CPU is not hindered by this recorder.

You can choose the recording quality in GeForce experience. You can select 30 or 60 frames per second.

Here’s one drawback. If you want to record system audio and a microphone. You can do it, however. If you want to record the audio to separate tracks. This can create an obstacle. The audio is combined into four tracks, both audio streams are attached to the video.

This is not an issue for most video editors. As most support multiple tracks. Camtasia for one, does not. If you import one of these recordings into Camtasia. Only one audio stream is available.

You could combine the audio to one track in GeForce settings. Allowing you to use both of them in Camtasia. But merging 2 audio streams is wrong for multiple reasons.

If I set Nvidia to record at the highest resolution possible. Then record my screen. If the screen is static over all. Like browsing through a web browser. The file sizes are not that large. If I record a video game with a lot of action. File sizes can get very large, very fast.This applies to Camtasia's recorder as well.

I have a 3 hour gaming video I recorded strictly for testing purposes. I didn’t play the video for the entire three hours. I spent some of that time eating breakfast, making coffee and doing some other tasks. So the video was static for roughly 1 hour of that 3-hour timeframe. The video is 51.8 GB. With a bit rate of 40,463kbps. Had I played the entire time, the file size would have increased.

I’ve used Nvidia recordings in Camtasia. I use zooming and panning extensively. The quality of my Nvidia screen recordings at 300 percent zoom. Look just as good as the .trec’s do.

In the examples below I recorded my screen with both .trec and Nvidia. I’ve zoomed in to 300 percent at the exact same location in both recordings. I’ll let you judge for yourself if one looks better than the other. Be sure to click on the images to enlarge them to 100 percent. These recordings were recorded from a 2K monitor. Canvas zoom is set to 100 percent. So what you see is what you get.




Below they are at 100 percent zoom level. The Nvidia screen recording has a bit rate of 5,058kbps. The extracted Camtasia recording has a bit rate of 5,107kbps.




Camtasia records audio using the.wav format.

Nvidia uses AAC which is a lossy format. So there’s that to consider as well.

Mp4 is considered to be unfriendly for editing purposes. I’ve had my 51 GB recording in Camtasia. I’ve sliced and diced it and gave Camtasia a workout. For what its worth, It played back smoothly and worked well for me.

Bottom line, figure out exactly what the clients need. Then make some decisions.

Don’t forget, you’ve got free tech support available to you. My knowledge on this subject is limited. Support may have a fantastic suggestion for you? I’d rattle their cage and see what falls out of the trees.

Let us know what you come up with and feel free to ask further questions.

Regards, Joe

(Edited)
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paulwilliamengle

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You're a wealth of information. 

I'm currently working on getting an IT ticket to TS support. 

Unfortunately, my graphics card is a NVIDIA Quadro P4000 (see below if that info is helpful), so I don't think GeForce is an option to me, but it's great information to keep in mind. 

It also sounds like, to make sure I undersatnd, that what's happening on screen informs file size. I.e., a relatively static screen recording of scrolling through a few pages of text would yield small file size, whereas playing a modern computer game with graphics at full blast would yield an exponentially larger file size.  



------------------
System Information
------------------
      Time of this report: 9/30/2019, 08:13:50
             Machine name: DFW-TRN-WK121
               Machine Id: {A226F036-1081-4835-9DD3-3C0EB2D859E7}
         Operating System: Windows 10 Enterprise 64-bit (10.0, Build 16299) (16299.rs3_release_svc.180808-1748)
                 Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
      System Manufacturer: Dell Inc.
             System Model: Precision 3630 Tower
                     BIOS: 1.0.4
                Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-8700 CPU @ 3.20GHz (12 CPUs), ~3.2GHz
                   Memory: 8192MB RAM
      Available OS Memory: 8030MB RAM
                Page File: 9263MB used, 2861MB available
              Windows Dir: C:\WINDOWS
          DirectX Version: DirectX 12
      DX Setup Parameters: Not found
         User DPI Setting: 96 DPI (100 percent)
       System DPI Setting: 96 DPI (100 percent)
          DWM DPI Scaling: Disabled
                 Miracast: Available, with HDCP
Microsoft Graphics Hybrid: Not Supported
           DxDiag Version: 10.00.16299.0015 64bit Unicode


---------------
Display Devices
---------------
           Card name: NVIDIA Quadro P4000
        Manufacturer: NVIDIA
           Chip type: Quadro P4000
            DAC type: Integrated RAMDAC
         Device Type: Full Device
          Device Key: Enum\PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_1BB1&SUBSYS_11A31028&REV_A1
       Device Status: 0180200A [DN_DRIVER_LOADED|DN_STARTED|DN_DISABLEABLE|DN_NT_ENUMERATOR|DN_NT_DRIVER] 
 Device Problem Code: No Problem
 Driver Problem Code: Unknown
      Display Memory: 12104 MB
    Dedicated Memory: 8090 MB
       Shared Memory: 4014 MB
        Current Mode: 2560 x 1440 (32 bit) (59Hz)
         HDR Support: Not Supported
    Display Topology: Extend
 Display Color Space: DXGI_COLOR_SPACE_RGB_FULL_G22_NONE_P709
     Color Primaries: Red(0.640148,0.330578), Green(0.300305,0.600109), Blue(0.150891,0.060070), White Point(0.313977,0.329602)
   Display Luminance: Min Luminance = 0.500000, Max Luminance = 270.000000, MaxFullFrameLuminance = 270.000000
        Monitor Name: Generic PnP Monitor
       Monitor Model: DELL U2717D
          Monitor Id: DEL40EA
         Native Mode: 2560 x 1440(p) (59.951Hz)
         Output Type: Displayport External
Monitor Advanced Color Capabilities: None
Display Pixel Format: DISPLAYCONFIG_PIXELFORMAT_32BPP
         Driver Name: 
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Joe Morgan

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Nice specs }:>)

Unfortunately,
Quadro cards are a vastly different animal than Ge-force "GTX" cards.

You can find Nvidia’s take on this in the attached link.
The primary difference is that Quadro's are better equipped to render 3-D Cad  in a program like Solid Works. It's a workhorse, but not exactly designed for standard video.  https://nvidia.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/37/~/difference-between-geforce-and-quadro-gpus     

In a nut shell.........with regards to video capture.
When recording, the recorder has to capture every pixel on the screen. If 98% of the image is unchanged from frame to frame. The information captured can be applied to subsequent/like frames. Leading to smaller files.

When capturing a video, the majority of these pixels can change. Dependent upon content. This larger percentage of pixels that change color from frame to frame. Forces every frame captured to store 100's, 1,000's, 10,000’s, etc. more information.

Capturing directly to mp4 with a low quality setting. Discards a lot of that information from the get-go. A higher quality mp4 retains much more information. For example.............

Highly compressed videos are rendered by looking at all the pixels. Then discarding/combining as many pixels as possible.
All codecs are not alike. The codec used determines what pixel information will be reused from frame to frame & what will change. While still providing you with a high quality video at completion. There’s a lot of wizardry going on under the surface.You can research these different techniques/processes/codecs to exhaustion.

Bottom line, all of that re-interrupted information can create different problems. If you attempt to use this new video in another project. Things like Zooming in may make for a muddier appearance. Color correction and other effects have less original information to work with. Limiting what the filters can accomplish, as opposed to editing the original video.

Codecs are getting better and more proficient all the time. So there’s more wiggle room in this area than there was not long ago.

 The original unaltered recording. Is typically the best option by default.

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Joe Morgan

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P.S.
GeForce experience isn't available for Quadro cards.
The recorder, was intended for gamers.
Which would be Quadro's weak point. }:>(  Fantastic cards, but GTX cards are designed and work much better for video editing and game play.
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Ed Covney

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Paul, Just the fact that you have a "Pagefile" (and it's being used !!! see - C:\pagefile.sys - hidden) means your system ain't very good. You need more RAM. Then kill and re-install the pagefile, and if it ever gets used, you need more RAM. 
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Ed Covney

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Probably 32 GB, but its best if we know how many slots you have and what is currently occupying them.  Please run " Belarc Advisor " download here:
https://www.belarc.com/products_belarc_advisor

I just did mine (3 minute run). 

(Edited)
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paulwilliamengle

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Negative, Ghost Rider. Work has ultra-strict security protocols against downloading without IT Admin credentials.. 

Happy to supply the info if there's another way i can get to it. 

Can DXDIAG provide this info? 
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Ed Covney

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" without IT Admin credentials..  "
I don't get it. Every program you run on that computer has 100% access to any thing I asked for, yet they complain about a program that's NSA. RSA and  Ed approved?  They are who they are, quit while you can . . . 
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paulwilliamengle

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̄\_(ツ)_/ ̄ downloading programs has to go through an approval process. It's just an InfoSec thing. 

But I appreciate all your help and counsel! 
 
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Ed Covney

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OK then, can you open the case and figure out how many memory slots you have and what memory modules are in each? If you simply add chips, they won't match which is of course a cardinal sin at the DDR4 level. 
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Joe Morgan

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With regards to clearing the media bin periodically? You can only remove media that doesn’t reside on the timeline. So clearing out what’s not in use, in most cases, won’t help much. I’ve resorted to using Camtasia 2018 to circumvent the problem. Camtasia 2018 has other incompatibility issues with Nvidia cards. So I’ll “Pick my Poison “so to speak. As to which version I use. Based on several factors.

 

Your Precision 3630 Tower should support up to to 64GB of installed memory. I looked up a model 3630 using your Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-8700 CPU @ 3.20GHz (12 CPUs), ~3.2GHz then configured a custom build with a 8GB Quadro 4000 and 64GB of memory. It required the addition of a 460W transformer to power the Quadro. But that was the only hardware upgrade. That suggests you’re 64GB compatible. You could contact Dell to confirm this.

I’m upgrading from 16 to 32GB’s myself. That’s all my system can accommodate. I’ve never encountered serious performance bottlenecks. The bulk of my editing work is 1080p. It’s i7-4770  3.40 GHz (8M Cache, up to 3.9 GHz)  Kicks tail by today’s standards. This upgrade will be welcome; I’ve got some 4K projects coming down the pipe.

If I could upgrade to 64GB. I probably would. It's much cheaper these days.

I like running Crucial Memory myself. They have a good reputation for providing stable RAM. https://www.crucial.com/


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paulwilliamengle

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Joe, thanks for coming through with the information. 

I wonder to what extent the NVIDIA Quadro P4000 not be optimized for video is working against me. 

Also, I'm connecting with a member of my video team, I'm kinda hoping we can get to a happy place. 

But given the number of people complaining about Camtasia's slow performance, I wonder how much of this is software-related. 
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Ed Covney

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" I wonder to what extent the NVIDIA Quadro P4000 " - Check it out for yourself!
[Task Manager], [Performance Tab], [GPU block] (bottom left). Put that on one screen, then work with Camtasia normally.  Moonitoring your GPU activity takes less than 1% of your systems resources so don't worry about a marginal load it produces.

Your P4000 uses DDR3, your computer DDR4, which is bass ackwards. You should be hunting down a video card with at least DDR5, although DDR6 is available with some high-end cards. You want Camtasia to work for you? Don't hold it back with sub-standard equipment. Sorry.
(Edited)
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paulwilliamengle

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There's no need to be sorry about broadening my perspective. 

Video editing/screen recording wasn't the primary function of my role, and so the computer setup they put together I think was more to be able to run InDesign/Illustrator and Articulate Storyline with a lot of InfoSec stuff running in the background. 

So when you and Joe point out concrete, tangible suggestions on things I should consider when talking to my leadership, the video team and IT, that only better prepares me. 

Cheers, my good man. I'll definitely take a look at the task manager when I have a chance. 
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Joe Morgan

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I’ve been going through some specs for Quadro 4000 cards. My GTX 660 has 1152 Cuda Cores. It’s a low end/high performance card. Better than a Quadro K4000, with only 756 Cuda cores. This is the card I had my mind. I thought about getting one on sale long ago. Until I saw the poor specs.

 Your P4000 with 8GB Ram has 1792 .So that’s pretty good actually.

 I was mistaken in telling you it wasn’t a good fit for video editing. Sorry about that. }:>(

 Truth be told. You could spend less money on an RTX 2080 and get 3072 Cuda cores. This is a big difference with regards to bang for your buck and video editing.When using effects designed for graphics card acceleration. It's a very good thing.

Generally speaking. The Quadro’s are better for Cad and design software. Outshining the GeForce line in that department.


Hey Ed,

The P4000 in a Dell 3630 seems to use DDR4.

I’m not sure what makes you think his specs are conflicting? The Screen shot above I posted the other day,shows a brand new 3630 Workstation with 4DDR memory and a P4000 8GB with the same 4DDR.

My guess is his tower was purchased and configured 100% through Dell.

I checked the Dell website. They have P4000’s with 5DDR memory as well. It’s not compatible with a Precision 3630 workstation. It’s for other Precision workstations. See image. My OEM GTX card was designed specifically for Dell. It’s much better than a GeForce GTX 660. It’s almost as good as a GTX 660i.Nvidia builds a lot of custom cards for Dell.


(Edited)
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Ed Covney

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Joe - I don't know for sure. But I looked it up a few days ago, "Dell Precision 3630, 8 GB Ram, nVidia P4000" and Dell said the 8 GB model came with DDR3. So I think its an older 3630, as of today they come with 16 or more GB or RAM DDR4 or DDR5.
Paul will half to pop-the-top and tell us! (If he needs help distinguishing DDRn's, its a new question, no?