Review – Elgato Game Capture HD

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Review – Elgato Game Capture HD

While checking out the latest from Elgato, I came across the Game Capture HD, which promised an easy, streamlined way to record you video game footage in HD.  No more component cables, simply plug in and play HDMI and you are ready to record the greatest moments in gaming. How does the system compare with the already popular Eye TV?

Device

I’ve used the Eye TV HD for quite some time, and I figured I had the Game Capture HD pegged. All I was expecting was a device just a little smaller then the Eye TV HD. Let’s just say I was in for a surprise.

Immediately after opening the box, I noticed two things. First: the unit’s refinement, a simplified version of the Eye TV that didn’t require any explaining about how to set it up. Being trained in the fine arts of “Read The ****ing Manual”, I quickly sought out the instructions in the box and pulled out a single 3 x 5″ card. That was the second thing:  instructions so simple your mother could set this up properly.

The Game Capture HD is a smaller unit about the size of an iPhone and just a little thicker. It features a slick glossy black look to it with very minimal branding. What I was most impressed with was how simplified the unit was. The previous Eye TV HD featured a Component In and RCA Stereo In. The Game Capture HD itself has only 4 ports: HDMI in, A/V in, HDMI out, USB out. It was nice to see that the smaller unit could easily be stored without adding any additional clutter to your entertainment system.

Setup

If it hasn’t been clear yet, it’s super simple to hook up the Game Capture HD. Before you start, I would recommend downloading the software to your computer. One of the major selling points for the Game Capture HD is the cross platform compatibility. This works on both Macs and PCs. I run a rather older Mac Book Pro, and it ran the software just fine. To set up the device, simply plug in your Console (X-Box 360) to the HDMI in, then plug the HDMI out to your TV. This gives you a live version of the footage so there is no delay in gameplay. Then, take the USB out and plug that into your computer. In a couple of seconds, your computer will recognize the device and show you the video feed. The PS3 has a very similar setup, but you have to use the A/V in instead of the HDMI in.

Program

Before you start recording your game footage, be sure to check out the Game Capture HD website and download the program. Being a cross platform device, there is support for both Mac and PC. The program itself is pretty easy to use, it has some default settings that make things as easy as pressing the big red button. The footage is recorded from your screen along with sound. You have options to change the video quality, though I found using just the default makes the picture quality look great. The only thing to note is that this is processor intensive. I would recommend closing any unnecessary programs when running this program. After the video is finessed, recording it saves the video as an MP4. While the Game Capture HD Program has a built in editor and a way to share across social networks, I took the footage to my favorite Video Editors.

Quality

In terms of quality, the Game Capture HD delivers and then some. With a simple out of the box default setting, the videos you record look stunning. There is also a setting to match the frame rates so the action never looks jumbled. Be sure to play with the video quality and find what works for you and your project. As for the sound quality, it is also top notch, recording a solid example of what’s being played. It offers gamers the ability to really showcase their talents.

Overall

The Game Capture HD is a solid device that fits any gaming enthusiast’s needs. Not only does it record Video and Sound really well, it does so in a very simplified way. This is something that most individuals could open and setup. It works great for both the entry level users and pro-consumers, and supports both PC and Mac.