CHARLESTON, W.Va. - If you've ever searched for your favorite video game on YouTube, chances are, scattered amongst the official trailers and developer diaries, you've likely encountered hundreds, if not thousands, of user-created videos and gameplay clips.
While modern technology has given gamers the power to share video reviews, highlight reels, walkthroughs, helpful tips and even montages of glitches and bugs with their like-minded peers, the process of crafting the perfect video remained a labor of love. Capturing and editing raw footage used to require a lot of time and annoying setup as early methods required users to connect their console to their PC and monitor in order to grab video. And since it was the PC that was doing the heavy lifting of encoding the video, a high-end computer and equally high-end capture card were a necessity.
More recent capture devices, capable of encoding video on their own, have eliminated the need for a powerful PC, but the ability to play and enjoy high-definition video games on your TV while you captured footage has remained elusive.
Until now, that is.
The HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition Plus by Hauppauge Computer Works unchains your console from your PC and monitor, allowing the capture of full HD-quality video while your Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 remains connected to your high-def television thanks to the unit's HDMI input and outputs real-time pass through.
Setting up the HD PVR 2 GE Plus takes only a few minutes and all of the cables you need for both the Xbox 360 and PS3 - two HDMI cables, a USB cable and PS3 component cables -- are included in the box. To get started, simply connect your console to the device via one of the HDMI cables (or the PS3 component cables), use the other HDMI cable to connect the device to your TV and then use the 9-foot USB cable to connect the device to your laptop or PC and you're ready to go. Once connected, capturing video is as simple as pushing a button on top of the device.
For ease of use, no capture device I've tried can match the HD PVR 2 GE Plus. But it's the quality of the recordings that sets the Hauppauge unit apart.
The HD PVR 2 GE Plus records video in H.264 compression, the same format used in Blu-ray discs, and captures full digital surround sound thanks to a new optical audio input. Not only is the quality of the recordings outstanding, but the files are significantly smaller than a typical MPEG-2 media file, allowing you to capture and save even more footage.
Once that footage is on your PC, the bundled ArcSoft Showbiz software makes it easy to edit your video. You can trim away unwanted scenes, combine multiple scenes using some nifty transitions and even burn a personal logo into your recordings. Once your creation is complete, one click is all you need to upload your video to YouTube for the world so see. Users can also stream live gameplay to Twitch or Ustream using Hauppauge's StreamEez software.
Retailing for a suggested $179 on the Hauppauge website, the HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition Plus is an outstanding tool both for gamers looking to enter the world of user-created video for the first time and experienced users looking to take their creations to the next level.
HD-PVR 2 Gaming Edition Plus
From: Hauppauge Computer Works ($179.00)
Reach Jeff Rider at 304-348-5122 or jri...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/gazette_gamer.