Hauppauge HD PVR Gaming Edition Review

Back when I was younger, I use to take my little digital camera and point it to my screen when I wanted to show off my Star Fox 64 speedruns. Alas, those days have long gone past. Now, there are more people uploading videos to the YouTube showcasing their sweet Street Fighter comebacks or that absurdly lucky (some may call skill) Hail Mary knife throw in Call of Duty. With more companies coming out with console capture solutions, there are a vast number of options one can pick from. Today, we will look at the Hauppauge HD PVR Gaming Edition.

Front View

Back View

Out of the Box, the Gaming Edition includes a component cable that allows one to connect the PVR straight into their console. There are several configurations you can use, one being the “Pass Through” and the normal capture configuration. For Xbox users, the component should pose no problem to set-up quickly. However, the PS3 is a little bit more tricky because you must reset the PS3’s resolution if you originally had plugged through an HDMI at 1080p. (The PVR can only record up to 1080i). Other than that, set up was a very painless affair. Once all the wires are hooked into place, simply install the software (ArcSoft Biz) included on the CD and it’ll be prime to go. What I really like about the PVR is the connection to the PC is via a USB port. In older days, a video card with an input slot was required to capture footage and was often than not a hassle to set up correctly. This makes capturing very portable without having to lug around a desktop.

In order to actually capture or record the footage, you must use the included ArcSoft Biz which will detect the PVR and allow you to capture. To test the footage, I recorded footage from SEGA’s Vanquish, which consist of a lot of action, motion blur, and particle effects.

I was impressed that the PVR was able to keep up with the games without any noticeable drop in frame rate. The sound was also very clean and crisp after processing. If there were anything that I did not really like was ArcSoft Biz itself. While it is simple program, it simply does not have enough robust options for power users to get the most out of their footage. Even exporting the video at its highest quality settings will see a noticeable decrease in video quality. Aside from a couple transitions, there are few tools that video editors will having to go around in order to edit the clips themselves.

For those looking to stream with HD PVR, it is possible though you need additional components such as an HDMI splitter and audio mixer. Again, in order to capture the footage you must use the capture window in ArcSoft Biz. In terms of delay, there is a slight lag (about 1 second) between the actual game and the capture window so adjust the delay on your streaming software as needed. Otherwise, the quality should not be much of a problem as it is raw capture data.

Get use to this screen, it will be your new friend.

The HD PVR Gaming Edition is a great solution for those who do want to go the capture card route and provides great quality for such a small package. The “Gaming Edition” provides all the cables needed to start capturing right out of the box. While the input lag may be a turn off to those who want speedy response, it did not prove to be much of a hindrance as I though. While 1080i is nice, I do wish Hauppauge makes a out of the box HDMI solution in the future as it begins to become the standard in connecting consoles. (Hauppauge’s colossus PC card does have HDMI.) Nonetheless, it is a great product for anyone wanting to get into recording their own gameplay footage without all the hassle of installing PC cards.

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