Hauppauge! HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition|
Youíve probably thought about setting up your video camera to record your ultra-kill Call of Duty rampage. Most of us haveÖ but digging out the tripod, recording it, transferring it to a laptop and editing, compressing and uploading the resulting file just wasnít worth the effort. But the times they are a changiní! Hauppauge has finally come out with a pain-free device to help record your best gaming moments from Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.
Hauppauge has a history of being on the bleeding edge of video capture technology. They have devices with TV tuners, streaming capabilities, and DVR style recording. When the original HD PVR came out it was a noble effort, but it was also plagued with technical issues like screen delays while recording. It was nearly impossible to play a game with any accuracy Ė especially when facing online players. But a few weeks ago, Hauppauge changed everything. The Hauppauge HD PVR 2 gaming edition is the solution for every serious gamerís recording needs. It has improved most every aspect of the previous version right down to the price! The new box is smaller, comes with all the needed cables, and records 1080p/60 video through HDMIÖ without delayÖ and all at the affordable MSRP of $169.
The process of setting up the Hauppauge is fairly straightforward. As with all wiring, just follow the path of the signal and itís easy to figure things out. Basically anything you can feed through the Hauppauge via an HDMI cable can be recorded Ė provided the source device allows recording via HDMI. The Xbox 360 is the easiest console to hook up. Run your current HDMI cable from your TV to the Hauppauge, and the included HDMI cable from the Hauppauge to the Xbox 360. Then hook up the included USB cable from the Hauppauge to your computer. The Hauppauge comes with its own 6V 1.6 amps power supply too. Once everything is hooked up itís time to install the software.
The included disc installs a device driver and ArcSoft ShowBiz software. The http://www.hauppauge.com/ website has a free software update that fixes a few issues and adds some new features. The latest update at press time included 1080p recording on the PS3 and a new logo overlay function for your videos. A letter included in the Hauppauge box promises more exciting new feature updates in the future.
ArcSoft ShowBiz lets you record to MTS, TS, and H.264 MP4 files. Most people will probably use the .MP4 option since it provides the best compression/quality ratio. I must say, it is a pleasure to see a company provide so many technical options for users. The software includes a lot of video resolution and framerate downscaling options or you can just record at the source setting. Audio encoding also has many options to fit your needs.
Once you pick your file type, itís time to record. Click on Capture and a window comes up with your game console screen. Just hit record when you are ready. Once you are done recording you can edit your clips in ArcSoft ShowBiz and upload them to YouTube. Keep in mind, ShowBiz is a fairly basic video editor. You wonít have all the fancy capabilities of Adobe Premiere or Apple Final Cut Pro. But it does what most will want.
For PS3 users a different cable setup is required. Sony does not allow recording through the HDMI output on the PS3 (the HDCP is always on) so the Hauppauge only works with component cables. I ,like many of you, use my PS3 to watch Blu-Ray movies so naturally I use the HDMI capabilities. So it goes without saying that I know I have my PS3 component cable someplace but have no idea where. Thankfully Hauppauge did us all a favor and included the needed cables.
All you have to do is connect the included component adapter cable to the Hauppauge, then hook up the included PS3 component cables to the adapter, and hook up your HDMI cable from the Hauppauge to the TV. Once the software is installed on your computer you should be good to go. Well sort of. Getting the Hauppauge to record from a PS3 is a little frustrating. You cannot have an HDMI cable plugged in to the PS3 while doing this. You have to use the included component cable harness only. Getting my PS3 to recognize that I wanted it to output to component cables took some time to figure out. Plus having to get behind my stereo rack to even access the back of the PS3 isnít fun. Once you are done recording, youíll have to change the PS3 settings back again and swap out the cables. It shouldnít be this difficult but it is. Itís not really Hauppaugeís fault, itís more of an annoyance with Sonyís XMB and hardware. But once you get it working, it works as advertised.
Recording non-game video content is a touchy subject. The TV and movie studios donít want people recording their content, so every new cable technology gets some type of copy protection scheme thrown in, including HDMI. Itís supposed to keep copyrighted movies off the internet and sway people to buy digital, streaming or disc based products. Well, if Iím paying for ESPN or Netflix, I want to record shows to view when itís convenient for me. But with digital signals there is HDCP to tell devices if it is allowed to record. The Hauppauge HD PVR 2 has to adhere to these specs so if you try to record Netflix, your Xbox will come up with a copy protection notice. Itís a hassle, but itís not Hauppagueís fault.
The good news is the Hauppauge will record any non-protected source via HDMI including your PC monitor. If that doesnít work, other sources will have to be hooked up via component cables and standard red/white audio cables. There are endless possibilities for this capability including creating software training, Skype calls, and even online corporate video conferences. As long as the HDCP isnít present from the source device, the Hauppauge will record video in all its HDMI 1080p glory. Other devices will still get 1080i but only through component. Regardless, you will have the .MP4 video files you need to accomplish your task.
The Hauppauge HD PVR 2 gaming edition is the capture device Iíve been waiting for to start producing full 1080p video reviews for Game Chronicles. Itís easy, has excellent capture quality, and creates files ready to upload to YouTube, and all with Hauppaugeís constant commitment to excellence for their customers.
The Hauppauge HD PVR 2 gaming edition is exactly what Iíve been waiting for all these years!