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Hello. I have considered starting a retro gaming channel for a long time. I have always wanted to do shorter reviews of older games like NES, SNES, Atari, etc, but put my own spin on it and add comedic elements. I don't have a big budget for this for fancy-schmancy cameras and lighting equipment, so it'd be kind of low production. But I hope that my formula would be good enough that people would look past the cheap nature of it all. I have a camera and some editing software, both late 2000's. I don't have a capture device but I hope to get one soon. I do however have a VCR. 

I know a lot of you are Youtubers and some of you have had decent success. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to start out?

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I'm not a youtuber, but my advice is to put together some test footage with the equipment you have.  You don't have to make your channel public yet.  Put what you have on youtube and I'm sure we all on these forums would be happy to give you feedback.  Once you have those test videos out, you'll know pretty quickly if your equipment is going to cut the mustard or not. 

There's a lot of "how-to" videos.  I know "Weird Paul" has done a few, and he uses very old equipment. Do a search and find someone that speaks to you. 

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Here's my two cents:

Philosophical: Be ok with the sound of your voice ( a lot if people hate how their records voice sounds), allow yourself room to grow, don't be discouraged by slow growth, don't engage trolls, just block them & make videos how you want to make ( there's almost always someone who wants you to do things differently).

Capturing: I used to capture most of my gameplay using a DVD recorder. This can present challenges as the technology is getting old and a lot of DVD recorders are breaking down. Also some files are difficult to transfer to computer easily. When I have used to DVD recorder recently I've had to use an extra program to transfer files. Also when using DVDs sometimes when something is blinking on screen the DVD does not capture it just right. In the past I've had to transfer some games to a different file type because of this.

I have an Elgato video capture device. It's a white older one. I've used it for some live streams. It seemed to work okay, but I ended up getting an Elgato HD. I believe it's an older model and I made sure it came with an adapter for RCA style cables. It's currently what I'm using for most of my game capturing. On the upside it turns my gameplay into a computer file and saves me time transferring stuff. It also  doesn't lose flickering Sprites when recording. On the downside some scrolling games can get blurry at times. Also when I plug some older systems into it without using my DVD VCR combo as a bypass, it doesn't it doesn't send the signal to my TV for some reason unless I use splitters on the RCA cables. It's honestly a mess of a setup right now lol but it works. There's also a delay to what you see on the computer screen when recording. So you need to also have a TV near your computer to use this. The Elgato video capture did not have this delay if I recall correctly so I could play it looking on the computer screen but the window on the screen is much smaller.

If you're going to invest money into this I recommend putting some of it aside for a good microphone. They really can make a big difference. I have a Blue Yeti that I've used since the beginning it seems to do a good job.

That's just for starters. If you want some more advice or have any questions feel free to let me know.

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Thank you @nosweargamer and @RickR. I'm working on something and I'm thinking of posting it here and getting feedback like Rick said. Nosweargamer thank you so much for the advice. I think I'm ok with the way my voice sounds for the stuff I'm doing here. Not quite sure how I'm going to capture video as I currently have no way of getting VCR hooked up to my ancient computer. I might just have to record off the TV for this "pilot episode". I don't plan on the pilot being very game-centered as the 2600 title I'm covering is very self-explanatory and well known. It's going to be more of a skit than anything (for this episode). I never like having to watch TVs being filmed with cameras for too long so I hope to try do distract the viewers until I can get a capture device (hopefully December). I'm even considering incorporating Flipnote Studio animations into it. I have animated in the past and I think they have turned out okay. This will definitely be interesting. 

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Start out simple.  Don't go for the full monte the first time out.  Take your time, give your first few videos the time to help you discover yourself and how you best represent what you are after.  Do a few sample runs, repeatedly watch what you did, see if everything is kosher or if you need to make slight adjustments.  Sometimes unscripted things tend to work best for some YT creators.

14 hours ago, HDN said:

I have a camera and some editing software, both late 2000's. I don't have a capture device but I hope to get one soon. I do however have a VCR. 

Even if they are old they are going to be your best friends in this adventure.  When time and funds allow then work on getting upgrades.  If you use a modern PC you might find OBS Studio of value.  It's free open-source software that can capture just about anything you throw at it from capture devices connected to your computer to webcams to what ever the computer puts on your computer screen.  I've used it to capture games I play on Steam and on emulators for some of the score challenges here.  I like it and use it often.  I have yet to find a decent editor that is free so I stick with Windows' Video Editor.  

I have a Sargent USB capture dongle but it sort of sucks.  Anything below Dreamcast it doesn't seem to work with.  I haven't tried the N64 or Super NES yet but anything that doesn't do 480 resolution is pretty much not going to work.  Avoid it if you want to capture 2600 up to Sega Saturn stuff.  There is one similar to it I found at Wal-Mart once not too long ago that advertised itself as a way to transfer home VHS videos to digital formats and VHS tapes are way under 480 resolution (I think they are about 220 or something like that) so that one might work with your older game consoles.  And even if you find one that works but doesn't support those RF inputs your VCR will become your very best friend in no time.  

Simply connect your RF game consoles to your VCR, set the VCR to the game's channel, then use your VCR's A/V out feeds to your capture device's RCA inputs.  Old VCR's have always worked as a high-priced signal converter because anything that VCR sees or produces goes through both RF and RCA outputs.  So your cable channels, per say, when going through your VCR can be sent to a standard video input on a TV or any device that has that input.  It might be old tech but that VCR can have a lot of potential for your YT channel when you least expect it.  I still have a JVC Hi-Fi VCR I use regularly for movies but I have had to use it for a signal converter a time or two.

To give you an example, the video below has a Logitech HD (720p) webcam pointing at the TV to capture the video but the audio is from a 2600 connected to a VCR's RF IN so I could capture the 2600's sounds with a direct connection from the RCA Audio Out (white/red) to the recording computer. When I captured the video I was able to select the audio source as well so I captured both at once in a single shot.  The only editing was to add an opening title and end copyrights if present.

Maintain a positive spirit and attitude with what you are doing and take any "I don't like this" responses from your viewers as creative criticism.  It's going to take a while and you won't be able to make everyone happy.  You may also come across those that want to do nothing more than take you down but don't let them.  Most YouTubers with high subscribers have been doing those videos for many years and some of them still have not done everything right.  Just be yourself, let the world see you, you might even surprise yourself in the process.  

Any other tricks I can think of I'll pass along as I discover them otherwise I say go for it with what you have.  See what you can do with the equipment/software you have.  We all got to start somewhere sometime and you won't know until you try.  

13 hours ago, nosweargamer said:

Oh, and btw, DO NOT use copyrighted music in your videos

Avoid this and if you capture music from more modern game consoles mute the music or you might find a copyright flag on your videos.  I've got one video on my channel (Monster Truck Mayhem on Wii) that had one music track on one of the levels get flagged.  I can continue to show the video but if my video ever generates any ad revenue that revenue will go to the creator of the music track and not me.  I don't get ad revenue anyway so everything is what I either currently own, donated, or out of my own pocket to support the channel.  

Good luck with your channel.  I hope to see it soon.

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I have been working on the video today. It's more of a comedy sketch than anything. Lots of editing involved so far. I have a puny SD card, so I have to edit it in parts, delete the source videos, and then film some more. I'll have to stitch them all together when I'm done editing and filming. I use Windows Movie Maker on Windows Vista to edit! I've actually gotten pretty good at it. I hope video-making is considered a hobby in my mother's eyes. 

Like I said I have no way of capturing video at the moment. Like I said, I'm trying to distract the viewers from that! I even have lovable side characters such as Fernie Sanders in my video. Hopefully people enjoy this not so in-depth video. This "pilot" will be seen by your eyes here at Atari I/O and I am not planning on making it public. I will upload it on my existing channel and make it only accessible with the link. I would like to renovate my channel rather than creating a new one. It's not a gaming channel; it's more of a random channel.

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In the short term, I would consider shooting video using your camera pointing right at the TV screen. It may not be ideal for you, but I've seen others use it with good results and I myself have done something similar when doing my reviews of Lynx games and other portable games. Of course if you don't need the game footage for your video, that's another thing, but to start, it would be an option.

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7 minutes ago, nosweargamer said:

In the short term, I would consider shooting video using your camera pointing right at the TV screen. It may not be ideal for you, but I've seen others use it with good results and I myself have done something similar when doing my reviews of Lynx games and other portable games. Of course if you don't need the game footage for your video, that's another thing, but to start, it would be an option.

Probably what I'm going to do. I don't want to, but I really don't have much of a choice. I'll try to keep it there for only short periods of time. If you look at it for long enough, all of the flaws will show.

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