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Here’s how to record screen video on Android

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Here’s how to record screen video on Android
Whether you want to shoot a tutorial or a video of you playing Angry Birds, you’d need to capture what happens on your screen in real time and up until now, this was a pretty daunting (read, almost impossible) inside Android. 

The reason was partly the lack of hardware to support enough frames of video recording, but with the jump to 28nm and quad-core Tegra 3 chips, Android has certainly grown to be able to record itself. Most recently, in ICS, Google added the Power and Volume Down key combination for grabbing a screenshot, but there’s no easy way to capture video, so how do we do it?


1. The easy way (does not work on Tegra 2, Tegra 3 devices and the Galaxy Nexus)

But where there’s no easy solution provided by Google, there’s an app that fixes the problem, of course. ScreenCast is an app that will cost you only $4 and allow you to shoot video of your Android screen in action as well as capture stills. It comes with a catch - it requires you to first root your device, but once you’re done you can easily capture video of up to 30fps.

Here’s how to record screen video on Android
Here’s how to record screen video on Android
The huge downside is that it doesn’t work with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, nor with Tegra 2 and Tegra 3 devices yet. Luckily, the developer seems to understand that people will often overlook that in the description and is offering a 24-hour return window.

For those of you who want to take it to the extreme and record long videos, be warned that this app taxes the chip hard, so you might want to cut the video recording in shorter clips you can then glue together. Otherwise, your phone could get hot and the app could force close in the middle of a recording.



2. The hard and expensive way (using an HDMI recorder)

ScreenCast requires a state-of-the-art smartphone in order to record videos at the full 30fps, but if you want to record from more than just the latest devices to boost your YouTube Android video blogging career, you might want to invest in an HDMI recorder like the Intensity Pro PCI Express card by Blackmagic. And that’s an investment your wallet will feel - the Intensity Pro card costs $199. Of course, you’d need to also have:

Here’s how to record screen video on Android
- an HDMI port on your device in order to record,
- a PC/notebook where you can install the PCI Express card.

So how does it work? First you’d need to go through the hackery of installing card itself in your PC/notebook (luckily, there’s support for Windows, Mac and Linux), and once you’re done you can hook up your phone to the card’s HDMI port. Then, you simply run the included capture software to record the high-quality video from the device.

The best thing about this method of Android video capture is that you get almost perfect quality videos, ready for YouTube and other social mediums.

So these are the two ways we know yielding Android screen capture videos with decent frame rates. Do you know of an easier, or just alternative way? Feel free to share your experience below.


12 Comments
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posted on 03 Apr 2012, 09:31 15

1. mozes316 (Posts: 142; Member since: 30 Sep 2011)


I clicked because of the cat... there, I said it.

posted on 03 Apr 2012, 09:41 6

2. GALAXY-S (Posts: 701; Member since: 07 Jun 2011)


lmao!! soo did i

posted on 03 Apr 2012, 19:13 2

9. rigorimpossible (Posts: 22; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


so do I

posted on 05 Apr 2012, 20:52

10. miles16852 (Posts: 189; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)


me too lol

posted on 03 Apr 2012, 09:48 4

3. zheking (Posts: 28; Member since: 02 Mar 2012)


I did not notice the cat b4 I clicked

posted on 03 Apr 2012, 09:50

4. Rotate (Posts: 26; Member since: 07 Dec 2010)


great ScreenCast ad...

posted on 03 Apr 2012, 10:29 3

5. GuiltyBystander (Posts: 199; Member since: 05 Mar 2012)


Cute Kitteh.

posted on 03 Apr 2012, 10:39 1

6. paynekiller (Posts: 139; Member since: 24 May 2010)


I've been doing this for years with ShootMe. It's not on the Market (Play Store) any more (the developer removed it) but a simple google search for the .apk file on your phone will bring you to it.
It also needed root access, unless you had a 2.2 EVO 4G or some other phone that had a bug that gave apps root access (long explanation). It's pretty old by now since the developer hasn't been updating it, so I don't know how it would work with those new phones/processors, but it works with my Sprint Galaxy S II just fine.

posted on 03 Apr 2012, 11:15

7. lukasound (Posts: 149; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)


Weird article...

First you say that those weak old processors (before tegra3) couldn't record an 800x480 video, then you continue that the only program we can use doesn't support those new chips and leave us with a 200$ capture card that has nothing to do with the latest chipset, just the hdmi out ability...

A pretty useless article, you could have found a smarter way to advertise ScreenCast.

posted on 03 Apr 2012, 12:04

8. downphoenix (Posts: 2232; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


I understand screen recording can be pretty intensive (I still have some issues when using fraps on my PC) but is there really no way besides HDMI or having a beast phone? I would have figured they could figure our a way using the standard micro USB, the data transfer on that is fast enough, right?

posted on 17 Apr 2013, 18:49

11. Comk4ver (Posts: 1; Member since: 17 Apr 2013)


@paynekiller, I know that this is an old article but it says screen video not screen shot...

posted on 24 Feb 2014, 00:57

12. Caleb (Posts: 2; Member since: 24 Feb 2014)


For me this on is the mos easy way and the more stable and the more beautiful sotf
if you want Capture/Record Android Screen Without Root

youtube.com/watch?v=4K2UDfP4lN8&feature=youtu.be

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