AVerMedia Game Capture HD Review
E-Sports are on the rise. YouTube is being flooded daily with gameplay videos and gamers are making good money off ads and sponsorships while doing what they enjoy. So if you’re a gamer looking to post his videos on YouTube until recently your options were fairly limited. It was standard for you to have a PVR that connected your console to your television and then to your computer to record. AVerMedia has a better way of doing this, they simply cutout your computer and instead have you hook up a 2.5” internal drive or external hard drive, problem solved. But how does this little device stack up against PVR’s in terms of quality and price? Continue reading to find out.
First Time Setup
The Game Capture HD comes ready to use straight out of the box, only thing you will need is either a decent size thumb drive, external hard drive or a 2.5” SATA drive (Commonly referred to as a laptop drive, also the same type of drive in your PS3) formatted to NTFS or FAT32. After you’ve ripped through the packaging and have all the materials out it’s a very easy setup. AVerMedia has combined all three proprietary connecters for the PS3, 360, and Wii into one cable that leads into HD Component inputs. Once you’ve plugged in the correct console connector and the component leads into the Input on the Game Capture, simply grab the second set of HD Components and go from the Game Capture HD output to your TV’s input. After you’ve got your video connections setup, plug in the RCA audio cables and the last thing you’ll need to do is connect the power and your hard drive. The initial setup is done, it’s as simple as turning on and off when you feel like recording and offloading your screenshots and movies is as simple as disconnecting your external or internal drive (while the device is off of course) and plugging it into your PC.
Hardware & Software
AVerMedia has built in their own UI for managing your Game Capture HD. After your console has been powered on the image will go black for a second as it orientates itself, once the image returns you’re ready to begin. Navigation is an absolute breeze with the included remote (batteries included) that has all the navigation and playback buttons necessary, while staying very small. If this is your first time setting up you’ll probably want to go in and make sure your hard drive is recognized and ready to record. Hopping into the UI with the menu key, you have three options Recordings and Snapshots, File Management, and Settings. The first item lets you browse and playback your recordings and snapshots. File Management allows you to go in and manage your internal and external drives, moving files, creating directories, and etc. Lastly are your Settings where you’ll be able to change the basic stuff like time and date, but also your recording and snapshot qualities, firmware updates, and more. There are two modes for the box, OSD Enabled and Gameplay. OSD Enabled will you give you full access to the menus but will cause a slight input lag while using the console, the input lag goes away when the box is either off or in Gameplay mode. Gameplay mode disables all the menus but enables very easy no interruption recording with no input lag whether recording or not. Switching between modes can get annoying at times because each time you’ll have to wait for the screen to go black and come back.
The quality from the Game Capture HD is great, plain and simple. Recordings are buttery smooth at 60 fps and very clear. We were able to find a very small couple of PVR’s that recorded at higher qualities but with the higher qualities came bundled a significant price bump and inconvenience of once again needing your computer. We took sample footage of us playing Gears of War 3 online and uploaded two versions. First one is a raw upload, no compression, no rendering, nothing. Second one was rendered using Adobe After Effects yet we think with slightly more optimal settings we can improve on the overall quality.
(Rendered & Compressed)
Size of the footage was run in the mill average, here is a table provided by AVerMedia.
It’s easy to see that AVerMedia has hit a home run with the Game Capture HD. It’s compact, easy to use, and produces excellent looking videos. It’s priced in the same bracket as more of the higher end PVR’s but out paces them in ease and most of the time quality. It does come with its limitations like not having the ability to stream videos or its lack of an HDMI connection, but unless the two most prominent cons are vital to your purchase, it’s clear that the Game Capture HD by AVerMedia is the best bang for your buck console recorder.