Hauppauge HD DVR Gaming Edition
Website: Official Site
Gamers looking for an inexpensive alternative to showing off their skills online now have a new choice with as Hauppauge introduces their latest machine, the HD PVR Gaming Edition capturing device. With this simple piece of equipment you have the option to record your Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 in HD. Easily share your gameplay footage online with your friends on YouTube or burn it onto DVD to show how good you really are. While it does have some small flaws, the overall product is a must buy for those who want to get into recording their gameplay sessions.
Bigger on the Inside
The first thing you will notice when taking out the capturing device is the size of it - 7.77 inches wide; 6.80 inches deep; and 2.75 inches high, which is quite small. I would say the HD PVR Gaming Edition is about the size of a Nintendo Wii. The capturing device we use at G4tv.com is a huge and heavy device that makes it quite difficulty to move and place in tight spaces.
Right out of the box, you get a 5v 2 amp power supply; USB cable for PC capture; a component video and audio cable for pass through; installation CD-ROM with ArcSoft Showbiz; quick install guide; and component video and stereo audio cable set for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii. The only thing your really need is a gaming console and the computer to capture your videos. Gamers with multiple gaming systems will appreciate not having to switch back and forth between all the consoles with all the extra cords you get right out of the box.
Making It Look Good
One of the great things about the HD PVR Gaming Edition is its ability to encode your gameplay in H.264. Long play sessions will now only eat up your time, not your hard drive space. When I set the bitrate around 8MBps, 1 hour of 720p footage only took up around 4GB of my hard drive space. The device gives you the option to increase the bitrate from 1MBps to 13.5MBps. Even though that's not really a high bitrate range for a more professional quality, having it between 8MBps to 13.5MBps makes the video and audio quality look great for YouTube or most other online video websites. You can also record in 1080i, if you like, but I would recommend sticking to 720p since the lack of interlacing outweighs the gain in resolution
Worries on the Set
I don’t recommend budding directors trying to play off of your computer screen while capturing footage. The input lag will make any pro look like an amateur. Use the video and audio output cable to link the deck to your local HD TV without any of that annoying lag. I do, however, wish that the box also had a HDMI output to eliminate one more messy cord snaking around my room.
The software that comes with the HD PVR Gaming Edition allows you to capture as well as perform a little basic editing. The system allows you to capture in three formats - .TS, which is a 'transport stream' for many media player; .M2TS, which is compatible with the PS3; and .MP4, which works with the Xbox 360. You can edit all these files using the software in the box, but you can only record PS3 gameplay in .M2TS format. If you want to bring your PS3 gameplay into other editing applications, you're going to have trouble since it's not a common codec in editing software. You’ll need to shell out a few more dollars if you want to make your Resistance 3 machinima extra special.
Big Muscle in a Little Box
The HD PVR is great for recording footage from Hi-Def consoles like the Xbox 360 and PS3. It's easy to use, doesn't require an insanely powerful PC, and produces quality video in a manageable format. For gamers looking to get into the world of machinama or just want to show off their awesome shooters skills, you’ll be hard pressed to find a recorder that can do as much at such a low price. Even with the short amount of time we’ve spent with the product, I can tell you already that the G4TV.com offices are already looking into get their own as a way to capture great video without breaking the bank.