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Thursday December 27, 2012 11:31 pm

Elgato Game Capture HD review

Elgato Game Capture HD review

Elgato has stepped into the game capture card market with its Game Capture HD device. Connecting through HDMI, high-definition video can be captured at up to 1080p (after a recent update) on either your Windows or Mac computer. One of the biggest draws to this product is that it’s a self-powered, external capture card allowing use a laptop to capture from the comfort of your living room.

The Game Capture HD was designed to be used with all of your favorite gaming consoles and has even been updated to work directly with the newly released Wii U. As an avid Playstation gamer, the only “issue” with in in Sony’s HDCP protection with HDMI connections. Elgato has us covered though and provides a special AV cable that runs into the PS3’s multi-port to capture HD gameplay and audio. While the Game Capture HD was created with game consoles in mind, any non-HDCP protected devices with HDMI outs can be captured, including iOS devices and computers.

The hardware is only half the story as Elgtao has released a companion software that must be used with the Game Capture HD to get the video on your computer (version 1.2 as of this review). The software is surprisingly good, from the well-designed UI to the abundance of features. However, don’t expect to play your game through your computer’s screen using this setup as it is designed to have a slight delay, about five seconds for me. What this does though is give you a DVR-like experience and the ability to reach back and quickly record retroactively with their Flashback Recording feature.

You can do more than just record your play on the Game Capture HD as the software comes with a built-in video editor. Directly in the software, I can record my gameplay, edit the clips together quickly, add some graphics and share it instantly on my Facebook, Youtube or Twitter accounts to brag to all my friends about my gaming feats. For the more experienced video editors, you may find the built-in offering to be lacking, so you may want to still export the H.264 video for editing in your favorite post-production software.

ElGato Game Capture HD

Also for those wishing to stream their gameplay, that’s now possible through the added Twitch.tv connection. This isn’t just a tacked on feature though, it includes many options from the quality of your video (depending on your upload speed) and the ability commentate your gameplay through a computer connected mic. You also won’t needed to contend with the explosions and gunfire on your game because the software will automatically soften the game’s audio during commentary.

The Elgato Game Capture HD aims at being an easy to use solution for novices and experts alike. Between the USB-powered external hardware and the required but well-designed software, it is clear that Elgato wants to be a big player in the game capture market. At an affordable price with great quality videos, the Game Capture HD is a great choice for gamers looking to record and share their hobby with the world, or just capture those awesome moments for bragging rights later with friends.

The Elgato Game Capture HD sells for $179.95, but you can get it on Amazon for $159.

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