Game Capture HD: The Only Gaming PVR You’ll Need

Video games are fueled by competition, skills, fun, determination, and of course, bragging rights. In all fairness, competition always brings us to bragging rights. And why wouldn’t it? As long as you are not a cocky trash-talker, bragging rights can be given to those who humbly prove themselves to be at the top of the food chain.

But what is the best way to display your skills? What is the best way to exercise your bragging rights? Video, of course!

For years now, most gamers have depended on a popular personal video recorder to capture their gameplay. Recently however, the famous company that was responsible for EyeTV, Elgato, released a new product. Known as the Game Capture HD, this small device, bundled up with its rocking app, sets a new bar for video game recording.

The Hardware

Game Capture HD

Game Capture HD looking sexy, and working hard.

Weighting in at an amazing 142 grams and being shorter than an iPhone, Game Capture HD is an insect compared to other recorders out in the market today. Elgato did an amazing job constructing this bad boy. It isn’t bulky, it isn’t filled with useless design esthetics, and most importantly, it packs a huge punch.

The little giant supports resolutions of 576p, 720p, and 1080i. Since most of your recordings (and most games) will be at 720p, you’ll be set in terms of HD recording. This powerful pocket-sized titan is capable of a maximum bitrate of 30Mbps, .h264, video, and the audio is compress with the AAC codec at a bitrae of 224kbps. The device also features an HDMI pass-through. That way you will be able to watch the game on your TV and on your computer as it records.

Game Capture HD

The Game Capture HD close up.

Just in case you decide to record your games using a laptop, it is important to remember that Game Capture HD draws power from your computer through USB (which makes it even more efficient). Make sure your computer is fully charged or plugged in.

The Software

Game Capture HD

The Capture Tab in all its simplicity.

While hardware itself is incredibly compact and powerful, the software is just a few inches shy away from perfection. For starters, the app is tailored exclusively for gamers, this means that it isn’t as complex as other Elgato apps, and in all honesty, that is perfectly fine. Most gamers want to record their footage, cut a few bits and pieces, and upload that footage as it is. Game Capture HD does this with ease — not to mention that the app looks exceptionally sexy.

In the “capture” tab, you will be able to title, tag, and describe your video. Here you can also pause, rewind, fast forward, and mute your video. Since there is no learning curve, you’ll get use to recording your gameplay in no time — just be careful, though. One 15-minute match, can amount to quite a bit of gigabytes.

Sometimes when you’re booting up a game (PS3 in my case), the feed on the computer will go blank. Don’t panic, it is still recording, you just have to hit the “live” button again.

The Editor

The editor is where Elgato goes above and beyond the call. They could have given us an app that simply captures and saves your footage; however, in order to become the ultimate game capturing setup, Game Capture HD features an editor that gives gamers an extremely simple way of editing videos.

Game Capture HD

Slapping some tags before uploading it to YouTube.

No, the software isn’t as powerful and professional as something like Final Cut or Adobe Premiere, but for most gamers out there, the tools available in the editor make editing and publishing your videos a breeze — seriously, cutting, moving, deleting, and rearranging clips has never been easier. If you ever make a mistake, Game Capture HD has your back. The original file is never edited, instead, the original file is used as reference. (Again, lots of gigabytes will be used up.)

The editor in Game Capture HD isn’t without its let downs, however. Voice over recording is one them. Some players want to add narration or comments as they played the game, and sadly there is no way to do this in the editor. There is also no way to add an intro clip (if you happen to have one).

If you do happen to have an intro clip, you can play it on your console as you are recording. That way, you’ll have the clip ready to go.

The Bragging Rights

Game Capture HD

Uploading. Depending on your connection, this may take a while.

Now that you are done capturing and editing your video, you’re ready to share it with everyone. Game Capture HD lets you send your video to YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. You can also Email it, or save it for your Apple TV, iPad, iPhone, or Mac. Once the video has been uploaded to a social media, and icon with that social network will appear next to the video title indicating it has already been shared to that service.

The Verdict

Most gamers who use other recorders usually buy the recorder along with Elgato’s software. If you combine all of that, Game Capture HD is the best choice when it comes to price, but lets forget about price for a second. Game Capture HD isn’t a monstrosity, you can actually put it in your pocket, the software just works, the ease of use is phenomenal, and the power inside of this product destroys that of the competition. There is absolutely no reason to get another product over this one.


Summary

Video game capture device for high definition gaming.

9
  • Jeremy

    For $200 i can buy an HD PVR from Hauppauge and use EyeTV.

    • http://htrdesign.net Rodrigo Leon

      As mentioned in the article, The Hauppauge HD PVR is $200. Elgato’s EyeTV 3 software (which most gamers use in combination with HD PVR prior to Game Capture HD) is $80. That adds up to $280. Game Capture HD is made for Gaming, and the application is free.

      • Jeremy

        You can buy used HD PVR’s for less than $150 now, though.

  • Matthew

    Does it only work with Elgatos software? Can you record straight into QuickTime or FCP? They always make good software but I’m wondering what my options are for alternative uses. Also any idea about its ability to connect up to live streaming software like as a webcam for Skype?

    • http://htrdesign.net Rodrigo Leon

      You may be able to use it with EyeTV 3, but to my knowledge, the app or device don’t work with QT or FCP. As far as live streaming goes, it is not with this software, but if you have CamTwist that is a possibility.

  • http://twitter.com/ezg_team JayCei

    No voice over or intro video capability.. This is a big “No go” for gamers and youtube directors.. However, I would think that after editing the video and rendering it to whatever format I want, I could then add the video to Movie Maker or Pinnacle/Sony studios..some other editing software and add those two things?? So the only real downside left would be no live streaming?? Am I wrong? Honestly, I’m wondering!

  • http://www.yaseendadabhay.com Yaseen Dadabhay

    The new 1.2 version of their software now supports voice over and live streaming.

    You can download it at http://support.elgato.com/index.php?_m=knowledgebase&_a=viewarticle&kbarticleid=4612&nav=0,448&languageid=1&group=englishdefault

theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow