How to Stream PS3 and Xbox from a Mac

LockerGnome reader Joyn asks:

“I own a new Mac mini, and I know you stream your videos with one. Do you know how I can stream video from my PS3 and Xbox 360 from the Mac?”

Because the Mac Mini doesn’t come with a video in, you’ll need to purchase a video input device that converts your Xbox or PS3 component out to USB or FireWire.

One device that I’ve used is called a Dazzle. This is a simple input that allows you to feed your video from one device directly in to a system with USB 2.0. Once connected, it allows you to stream the video from your console to services such as Ustream or Livestream in much the same way a webcam is. I recommend using the Dazzle Pro HD if you’re wanting to capture HD content and stream it out in quality. One important note here for Mac users is if the audio doesn’t work through the Dazzle, you may want to try connecting it directly from your console to the Mac Mini using the line in port on the back of your Mac. This will provide clear, direct sound.

If you want to monitor it and stream separately, a program like Manycam can come in handy, allowing you to use a single video source with multiple programs simultaneously. Also, you might want to consider using CamTwist as it enables you to add lower thirds, basic overlays, and switch video sources on the fly should you decide to do some on-camera commentary after the game.

Another solution can be found in a piece of hardware called the HD PVR. This device allows you to capture and archive your HD video in addition to feeding you a clean monitor feed through VLC. Here, what you’ll need to do is couple it with CamTwist. This way, your live monitor window can be used as the video source through CamTwist’s Desktop+ option.

No matter how you decide to do your live stream, remember that streaming video from your home is bandwidth intensive and unless you have a significant amount of bandwidth, you may find that it can cause lag during game play. Some ISPs also impose bandwidth caps which are quickly met and exceeded by folks that stream video out of their home.

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