What is the Hardware Level? This is the number designation that Plays is detecting based on your GPU and Drivers. Usually it will indicate what the manufacturer's technology is, and thus how it will encode the video.
There are quite a few ways to find the info, but here is one of the easier methods:
1. Hit Windows Key + R to open the Run Command in Windows
2. Type in the following and then hit OK: %appdata%\plays
3. Open the file "config.json" in Notepad
4. Search for the following line: encoderSupportedLevel
Here you will typically see a number between 1 and 5. This indicates your Hardware Level. Here is what they mean:
Hardware Level 1: This typically shows if you have an AMD Radeon Graphics card and that you're able to record using AMD VCE encoding.
Hardware Level 2: There is nothing listed for Hardware Level 2
Hardware Level 3: If you have an Nvidia Geforce Graphics card, this shows you're able to record using NVENC hardware encoding
Hardware Level 4: This denotes Software Encoding. In this level, no hardware encoder such as VCE or NVENC could be found. As a fallback measure, we use the CPU to encode the video. This process is more CPU intensive, and as a result, some frames may not be recorded depending on the available CPU processing power. This results in a laggy, stuttering video. This lag in videos is an expected outcome of Software encoding. However, if you are receiving Hardware Level 4 despite having a GPU that meets Hardware Encoding System Requirements, you may need to reinstall or update your video drivers.
Hardware Level 5: This level means that a CPU that can use Intel Quicksync is present and passes test for recording. Even though it uses the CPU, it's able to grab frames with similar performance to Hardware Encoding.
If you believe you're having an issue where your Hardware Level is not matching with what your machine is using, and you're having an issue such as being unable to record, then we recommend making a Support Ticket explaining your symptoms and letting us know what Hardware Level you're seeing.