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Gear Review: AverMedia Game Capture HD
Posted on December 10, 2011 by OG

A new kind of star is coming up in the internet world.  No, it’s not the game reviewers or the Let’s Play people; those guys have had their time in the spotlight.  Instead, it’s the awesome player that uploads videos of them kicking ass in a game like Black Ops or Halo Reach as part of the YouTube channel, namely those people on the Respawn Army Channel.  Trying to start the process of being a YouTube sensation with your mad skillz used to require you to purchase equipment for your PC to do the recording.  With the AverMedia Game Capture HD, you can now do all the recording without the use of a PC.


As Simple As It Gets - Having used other capture devices, the AverMedia Game Capture HD is the easiest of the bunch.  It works more like a DVR than a regular capture device since it doesn’t connect to a PC.   All you have to do is connect it to your console, go through a quick setup process via the on-screen menu, and hit record whenever you’re ready.  Once done, take the hard drive out (I would highly recommend using an external drive), connect it to your PC then drag over the files.  There’s no worry about issues like software compatibility, if you have enough RAM, or anything else that would commonly cause you a headache if you have a dated computer .  All the work is handled by the device making it less of a fuss to deal with.

Instant Replay! - Ever play a match in Call of Duty or Super Street Fighter 4 AE that was so amazing you wish you could watch it again right away?  Now you can, with the AverMedia Game Capture HD.  After you stop your recording, you can immediately playback what you recorded.  This is an ideal feature for players wanting to improve their game by watching recordings of their games right after you played it. 

Not a Hint of Lag - Capture devices that require you to pass-thru them tend to have noticeable input lag.  This means when you press a button on the controller it takes an extra fraction of a second for the action to happen on your TV.  It doesn’t sound like much, but it makes some games, particularly fighting games, unplayable.  I can say that the AverMedia Game Capture HD has hardly any lag.  When playing Street Fighter, I can pull off the same combos connected to it that I could without using it. 


Bring Your Own Memory - Since the AverMedia Game Capture HD doesn’t connect to your computer, all the recordings are done to a hard drive.  You can use an internal 2.5 hard drive or an external USB drive with the external being ideal since you can quickly disconnect the drive from the box to PC without having to open up the box.  The problem is that you have to supply the hard drive.  That means there is at least an extra $50 to add to the cost of this device unless you already have a spare hard drive.  I wouldn’t mind except that devices that do the same functions, for the same price, don’t usually need an additional hard drive.   If the price was slightly lower, say $130, I would say that the price is perfect for what you get, but at $150 without a hard drive, it’s a little on the pricey side for what you get. 

No Streaming - The AverMedia Game Capture HD is strictly a recording device.  You can use it to record your “Let’s Play” videos and gameplay footage, but forget about streaming.   Being that it doesn’t connect to your PC at all, that makes streaming pretty much impossible.  I’m bringing it up simply because other devices in the same price range can be used for streaming which can come into play for some when deciding on a capture device.

Don't Forget to Convert - All recordings use an uncompressed AVI format meaning that every hour of gameplay uses about 7GB of space on the optimal settings.  I noticed that when I tried to edit the footage, I was having a little trouble with it.  Similar to the Roxio Game Capture, the footage after editing was off with the audio wether speeding up or becoming out of sync.  It took me some time to realize that I needed to convert the AVI file to another format.  Once that was done, all editing issues were gone.  I contacted AverMedia about this and was advised that a AVI to MP4 tool was in the works, but for now, they suggested I use a MPEG encoder such as the ImTOO MPEG Encoder.



Being someone that’s been recording and streaming gameplay for a couple of years now, the AverMedia Game Capture HD is a real wonder.  There’s no worrying about the specs of your PC, software that hardly works, or having you PC be completely bogged down while recording.  Instead, it’s just a matter of plugging it in and start recording.  At a slightly lower price to offset the price of supplying your own hard drive, this device would be phenomenal.  However, for the gamer that wants to record gameplay with as little fuss as possible, the AverMedia Game Capture HD is the ideal device for the job.


Here's a sample of recording quality: 


OG - Editor-in-Chief / Original Gamer og (@) | all author's articles

Is crowd funding the way of the future?

Absolutely. It gives power to the gamers by letting them pay for the games they want to see.
Nope. Crowd sourcing will be fine for a year or two until too many developers do not follow through with their games and waste our money.
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Con talk, Mass Effect 3 talk, and Asshole talk

Gear Review: Roxio Game Capture

Gear Review: AverMedia Game Capture HD (Video)

Gear Review: Hauppauge 1445 HD-PVR Gaming Edition

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