The Christmas shopping season always brings on a slew of new games. Halo4 is out an you’ll be sure to see many more games hitting the shelf to be put under Christmas trees. Of course every game has tips and tricks that go with it but how to publish these videos on YouTube?
Hauppauge’s answer to this problem is their HD PVR2. Notice this is an HD device. Most of the videos you’ll find online are not HD which both affects the video quality but also the audio quality. Of course this may seem like overkill but if you bother to setup your game play in HD why not record your play in HD too?
The HD PVR2 records in 1080p30 (1080p!) with an HDMI source and 1080i from a component source. If your device has an HDMI out like an Xbox 360 then you can plug directly into the device and then send the signal from the device to the TV with an HDMI cable. Hauppauge includes two HDMI cables to facilitate this. Priced HDMI cables recently? You get quite a value with all the bundled hardware.
On top of the HDMI cables there is a component video cable for connecting a PS3. Sony uses HDCP copy protection so direct HDMI into the HD PVR2 will get you a nice scrambled video. The component video cable provided in the kit circumvents this – so if you are a PS3 gamer then you will be limited to 1080i resolution (as if that was inferior – its still HD folks).
Also included with the device, its cables, and an install CD is ArcSoft ShowBiz. This software allows you to edit and then post your videos to YouTube. ShowBiz also lets you watch your videos that have been transferred to the computer at a later time.
Why Record Game Play
Believe it or not there are cheaters out in the world. I heard a collective gasp but seriously, there are gamers who make a living playing games. This device allows for no delay recording while the game play is going on. You can record your advancement in tournaments or even make sure no one is cheating during a tournament. No one wants to have a video of them cheating posted to YouTube.
My favorite use for game play video is to watch someone showing Easter eggs in games or showing tips and tricks that you can easily miss while you blast through a level. Once you’ve completed a campaign in a game you usually play again to fill in all the achievements from a game – but what if you don’t have any idea how to find those hidden items? Lego video games are notorious for their hidden items and watching videos on YouTube to find those items makes getting those achievements a lot easier. One problem is that many of the videos have poor quality. The HD PVR2 provides true HD video and sound to these uploaded videos which should increase views substantially.
I handed the box to my 16 year old son. He had the unit hooked up quickly, installed the provided software, and was off and running recording his game play in about 20 minutes. The device supports USB 2.0 for fast transfer of the recordings to the computer. The particular computer we used at first has hiccups with its drivers (actually – I’ve never been able to find the right driver after my OEM OS crashed and I had to do a clean install). This led to problems with video transfer. We switched to a different computer and lo and behold we had beautiful recordings of the game play. These videos can become huge files so use the editing software to trim down to the highlights and you can upload them to YouTube easily. The software does all the work so the entire process is that easy and the output H.264 video is compliant with BlueRay standards with MP4 audio. There is only one button on the top of the unit to start and stop video recording. Can’t get easier than that.
Avid gamers love to post videos of their game play. With the ability to record in up to 1080p (1080i for PS3) these make awesome videos you can upload to YouTube. Hauppauge has made the process about as easy as you can get. As future game consoles get more sophisticated the HDMI connectors on this device will keep it useful for a long time to come. If you like to record your game play you really need to look into this device.