USB Elgato Game Capture HD captures HDMI recordings from gameplay on your favorite gaming consoles

USB Elgato Game Capture HD captures HDMI recordings from gameplay on your favorite gaming consoles

With an MSRP of $200, the Elgato Game Capture HD allows you to connect an HDMI video source to record your gameplay interactions on the Xbox 360, PS3, or Nintendo Wii.

With the Game Capture HD, you can plug in any gaming console of your choosing with and HDMI cable and record anything you’d normally be viewing or interacting with on your HDTV. This is a direct recording device a whole lot easier than many of those complex methods described online.

Anyway, the video quality in itself is rather surprising – totally crisp/clear. You can also connect older devices using the appropriate adapters with the sacrifice of picture quality. We did find quite a bit of lag however. Like connections made through Elgato’s flagship product EyeTV, you’ll find that the video you’re watching is a second or two behind the real time. That’s just because the Elgato’s focus is on recording actions, not on mirroring it for direct interaction. In other words, use it to record, not as a mirroring device. But if you do crave the direct mirroring, use the Elgato’s HDMI output port, to play through to a TV rather than focusing attention on the software display. The device runs on USB power, so it will limit the number of cables you have to deal with.

What you’ll be getting from the Elgato Game Capture HD is a fantastic set of tools that include an editing suite, level controls, integrated social sharing and a whole lot more. Overall, Elgato has streamlined the Game Capture HD into an all in one device for everything you need to make your coveted game walkthroughs or multiplayer tournament videos.

The software focuses solely on capture, edit, and share and its interface is much simpler and more advanced than their more well known EyeTV tuner software system.

For serious game movie makers, the ability to capture onscreen live gameplay on an HD format is invaluable. In addition though, it is really convenient to be able to record and then edit your video on a single platform.

Also, the HDMI source is not limited only to game consoles. Computers, smartphones, and tablet interactions can be captured as well for making those detailed GUI how-tos or reviews. Unfortunately the Game Capture HD does not offer a workaround for re-recording HDCP content on account that cannot process any HDMI signal that utilizes HDCP protection.

The device itself is solidly built, and has a great aesthetic design compared to the blockier design of its predecessors. Not that anything is wrong with a blocky look, it’s just I think this design will appeal more to the gamer persona.

Elgato promises to ship an EyeTV update this June to support their new box. Until then, the Game Capture HD software they provide for the unit is the only way to view and record incoming signals. Unfortunately, I found this software was fairly unstable. That’s not so surprising for a brand new app, but was a bit of a let-down compared to the relative polish of the design.

Vincent Clarke

Vincent Clarke is the Universal Serial Bus (USB) Guru for USBtips.com. When he's not writing tutorials and catching up on the latest USB news, Vincent is busy preparing his next blog post and answering USB questions from his readers and subscribers.

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