Since I was about fourteen, I’ve always wanted to capture my “l33t skillz” for the world to see. I was ground zero for Halo 2 and the start of online console gaming, I used to watch montages from pro gamers like StK and I loved watching Red vs Blue and other web series.
Every time I would do something epic I was always upset I couldn’t share it with people. Most capturing devices at the time were expensive and/or forced me to manually install something into my computer, two things I had no interest or ability to do. Luckily technology has come a long way since 2004 and because of that companies like Hauppauge is allowing gamers to stream/capture video with their HD-PVR Gaming Edition recorder.
I feel like one of the biggest hurdles for companies trying to sell capturing devices is the install. A lot of them force you to open up your computer and install a piece of hardware, I always get nervous messing around with things like that, and in this day and age I don’t feel like that should be a mandatory process. Hauppauge has taken note with their device and requires no such thing.
I opened up the box and was greeted with very basic instructions. The instructions told me what plugs into where and how to get everything running. After setting everything up you have to put the disc provided into your computer, install the driver, and the capturing software. You literally just plug a USB cord into the computer and fire up the software and you are ready to roll.
Setting everything up was a breeze and you can tweak all the settings around for video resolution, audio quality, and everything in-between. Capturing was super easy, once everything is set up you choose the correct console from the settings (360 or PS3) and hit RECORD. Included with the HD-PVR is a specialized component cable that allows you to connect both your PS3 and Xbox 360 to the device using a single cable. You then connect a normal component cable to your tv to view your gaming as you capture. There is also an optical audio port available. One connection that is missing is HDMI, but with the included cable you really don’t need it, and the PS3 doesn’t allow recording over HDMI anyway.
Streaming took a little more work but it was just because I find the right software to do so. I downloaded the Xsplit program for streaming and it allowed me to link our Twitch.TV account. After choosing the Hauppauge HD-PVR I was streaming immediately, all it took was choosing “Broadcast” and my games were on for the world to see. I highly recommend the Xsplit software as the other options suggested by Twitch.TV either cost money or didn’t run as smoothly with this device.
The streaming quality is a little harder to measure. Obviously connection speed and the resolution you play at will affect the choppiness of the stream, but if you keep it at 720p you will have the best results. That being said the overall quality of the video during the stream shows very little deterioration, even between the bouts of the connection lagging I had great quality throughout. Basically what I am trying to say is that people won’t send you death threats trying to watch your stream because they can actually see it in good quality.
When it comes to actual capturing, the device and software make it super easy. You literally click the “Capture” tab on the top and hit record when you are ready and stop when you are done, it then directs you to the editing part of their software. Even the most amateur video editors can piece together a montage in minutes or bring the files into Adobe Premiere or Final Cut, don’t take my word for it though check out the video I created to judge for yourself. Yes, the gameplay is a mixture of NHL 12 and Halo 3…I own the newest Halo but I couldn’t find it so I settled for this…shut up!
The Hauppauge HD-PVR Gaming Edition is a device that will interest a pretty big group of gamers. Whether they are trying to create walkthroughs, stream gameplay, make machinima, or even to show off your “sweet” Call of Duty kills, it is a perfect buy that doesn’t involve manual installation and streamlines almost every step of the process. The device itself is perfect, if they optimize it in the future to help with streaming i.e. no need to download other software, this will become a must-buy for everyone.
There is a $200 price tag attached and I admit it is a little steep, but it is offering HD 1080p quality video capturing and an easy method to implement the device. For the price you are getting a top of the line video capturing device and it will not disappoint. I was running on a gaming laptop and it ran so well that I didn’t even consider how well it would run on a desktop computer.
A device like this for hardcore gamers is a great thing to have handy. I can’t tell you how many awesome moments I’ve experiencing while gaming that I wished I could share, very few games allow you to do this, so to have a device that allows me to at will is something I see myself using for business and pleasure.
Of course, you can buy yours right now.