Monday, January 19, 2015

Elgato Game Capture HD Review

With the entire gaming community consumed by live streams, youtube series, and recorded gameplay, getting drawn into the allure of capture cards is all too easy. Recording and creating videos for friends and fans to enjoy is both exciting and invigorating. But actually using the capture cards can be a jumbled mess for even seasoned vets, not too mention the new kids on the chopping block. Many abandon their attempts due to how difficult things can become. That's where the Elgato Game Capture HD comes in.

The whole system uses a box smaller than a cell phone and requires very little to get started. With one of the most simplistic setups for any technology I've ever seen, I had this running within 5 minutes. Plug cord A into slot A, cord B into slot B, and cord C into your PC, quick download of the software, and you are up and running. The power is generated directly through the USB from your computer so there's no wasted space with a power box. The device captures your content with terrific picture and sound quality. Capturing from 240p to 1080p and anywhere in-between, you can use any range to get exactly the quality you want to present.

The real bonus to this product lies in the software. A large preview window allows you to monitor your gameplay as well as the generated sound volume. You also can control your voice volume over the games audio so if you want to do a Let's Play and prefer the game audio to not overpower your voice. Recording is extremely simple. See that big red button? Push the big red button. Voila, you are now recording. Press again to stop. How simple is that? Another added bonus is the program automatically stores the last 10 minutes of gameplay even if you aren't recording. Miss that epic headshot or crazy killstreak? Simply highlight it, press record, and it's automatically saved to your files.

In the editing section, the cutting and trimming work from other programs has all but been completed for you. There are no complicated steps anymore. Simply cut a section of video that you want to save and delete the rest. Accidentally make a mistake on the deletion? Just click restore the original video and it all comes right back. Shortening a selection is as easy as click and drag. Once you have your selection, sharing it to the world is as easy as clicking the youtube button and within minutes your video is out there for the world to see.

One of the most interesting features is the ability to stream right from your console through the cap card to programs like twitch.tv. The setup is extremely easy. Sign-in to your twitch account, click the twitch icon on the capture card interface, and you are immediately streaming live to all of your followers. You will need to fine-tune your settings on the twitch website but that part is relatively simple.

If you are interested in recording as a beginner or as a vet who wants a more streamlined system with amazing quality, this is most definitely the capture card for you.