Category: Tech Written by Anthony Ta
The saying goes that a picture is worth a thousand words. In the world of motion picture, that saying would lead to up to 60,000 words per second. That may sound ridiculous, but the ability for video to almost completely describe a moment in mere minutes and seconds is extremely powerful. This is very helpful when sharing gaming experiences. User-created gaming media is very prevalent in gaming culture. Companies that normally offer DVR-like devices are now offering “gaming edition” capture devices to satisfy the need for crisply recorded media. The latest is from Roxio with their recently released Game Capture Pro HD. How well does it handle gaming media needs? Read more to find out.
The Roxio Game Capture Pro HD is an external capture device. It features component and HDMI input/output ports. There is no composite yellow plug, so those hoping to record retro games will need to do it on the modern systems. A USB cable is used to connect to a computer for video capture. The device is also powered by the cable, eliminating the need for a power adapter. Resolutions supported by the device are 480i/p, 720p, and 1080i/p. Recorded video runs at thirty frames per second.
Sample Capture Footage from Roxio Game Capture Pro HD
Video pass-through of the device with HDMI output is flawless. It works very well regardless if HDMI or component cables are used for input. Image quality to the TV is preserved with no perceivable lag or quality issues, making this device ideal for action games. There are two problems. The first is pass-through audio volume is lowered by default but can be adjusted through the capture software. The other is the audio bass gets put down some levels. When doing pass-through with component output cables plugged in, the image gets dimmed on both component and HDMI. It even dims the recorded video. It is undetermined if this is a software or hardware issue. HDMI-to-component pass-though is not possible.
The included capture software is simple, but very effective and easy to use. You can record at or below the input resolution. Output files are in the M2TS format, which may not be supported by other video editing software. Bitrate is user determined, but it would help if there were “default” values for certain resolutions. Recording at 1080p with a bit rate of 10 mbps, the output video almost matches the input. There is just a slight degrade in quality. The same goes with 480p recording. An important feature of the software is support for 720p streaming to TwitchTV, with no change to the hardware setup.
The other piece of important software is the “Videowave” editing program. It provides for moderate levels of editing for a variety of video formats, not just captured video. There are some features of note, including a narration audio track, voice changer, video-on-video overlays, and various flashy text and video effects. There are three major problems. The first problem is the program is sluggish with control inputs. Second, there is a lack of ability to make “title videos”. The last problem is usability issues, even with simple tasks such as trying to adjust the length of the video from the “head” marker. If you have patience and can tolerate some usability issues, this somewhat satisfies typical gaming media editing needs. Do not attempt to edit a fan trailer with this software. It will be frustrating. Exporting runs rather well, with quality maintained and a choice of formats such as H.264 or Windows Media. The program also supports connections to YouTube and Facebook for sharing.
The last notable feature of the Roxio Game Capture Pro HD is it is ready for the future. It can support recording for 1080i/p, allowing it to capture the latest when the next-generation of gaming arrives. Roxio says the device and software is Windows 8 compatible. With the capture quality this great, the Game Capture should be able to remain competitive for the next few years.
The Roxio Game Capture Pro HD is somewhat expensive. The package costs $149.99, which includes the device, USB cable, and capture and editing software. This seems a little pricey considering the problems of the component-out pass-through dimming issue and editing software usability frustrations. What you do get for the price is a mostly dependable gaming capture device. Pass-throughs on HDMI out are pretty much flawless, with the exception of some audio bass missing. Recording quality is great on every resolution. Even the editing software provides for kind of decent basic gaming editing when patience is exercised. If you do at least a fair amount of video capture, the Game Capture Pro HD and its software will do a superb job capturing and a somewhat decent job editing your media for the next few years.
Final Score: 8.5/10