We’ve all heard them: “big fish” tales about exploits that are possible, but perhaps too good to be true. “I no-scoped four guys from across the map while jumping!” Yeah, and I’m Master Chief. “I completed Ecco the Dolphin in one sitting (or at all)!” Okay, tell me more, Flipper. “I found the cake in Portal!” Must be where you found that lie too, buddy! Whether you care to admit it or not, you’ve told your own tall tale. It used to be exorbitantly expensive to acquire the PVR hardware you needed to prove your tales true in stunning HD. Roxio has made a direct move to make HD capture affordable and functional with their Roxio Game Capture HD Pro, a follow-up to last year’s non-HD Roxio Game Capture Device.
The Roxio Game Capture HD Pro retains a very similar physical appearance to its predecessor, along with a visually similar software suite. Closer inspection, however, reveals some major differences. First and foremost, HDMI is now an option for the Xbox 360 and for HDMI supporting PC devices, allowing capture up to 1080i/60 or 1080p/30. Unfortunately, due to Sony’s HDCP protected video output, the PlayStation 3 is relegated to AV/Component and is unable to utilize HDMI to the Roxio Game Capture HD Pro. The balance to this is the ability to capture HDMI from PCs, with all of the processing handled on the capture device rather than the PC itself. This allows the PC to focus its resources on the game being played (or application being run) without being weighed down by sharing resouces with PC capture software. Unfortunately, without a power source of its own, you are unable to run audio/video through the device from anything without the device plugged in to an active and powered USB port. Fortunately, this works by plugging in to your streaming device, so you can just switch your USB from (in my case) the Xbox 360 to the laptop whenever you want to record, and back when you’re done.
I mentioned recording, but the Roxio Game Capture HD Pro’s impressively packed software suite allows you to do far more than just recording. The biggest feature that people are going to appreciate is livestreaming. This can be a hassle with certain recording products, but the Roxio Game Capture HD Pro was developed in partnership with Twitch to support seamless livestreaming from within the same software as recording. Aside from one-click streaming, real-time voiceovers can be added to gameplay being streamed.
The real strength of the Roxio Game Capture HD Pro comes in the aforementioned software suite. The device itself is compact and functional, but it’s the software that allows you to really get creative with your captured content. All of the suite’s features are self-contained with a single executable file, removing the need for multiple installations or programs. Voiceovers are only the tip. How about the ability to change your voice as you do a voiceover? I see the opportunity for a one-man-band style commentary track with one person performing multiple commentator parts! On to some real fun stuff, the suite allows you to change the speed of your gameplay within the context of the capture. You can have your capture running at 1x speed, and then slow down or speed up sections that you want to highlight or breeze through. Create picture-in-picture recordings by embedding a scaled down recording onto a full scale recording, and more. It’s a powerful suite that allows for a lot of flexibility and creativity.
The Roxio Game Capture HD Pro is now available for $149.99 from Roxio directly and from retailers that sell Corel products. At the $149.99 price point, the Roxio Game Capture HD Pro provides at-times greater functionality than more expensive PVRs for a lower, more budget-friendly price. Of course, you have to factor in the cost of an additional HDMI cable if you want one, since it doesn’t come packaged with a spare, but the combination of hardware and software that Roxio has provided with this device is incredibly solid. I have other devices for HD recording, but I find myself favoring this one because of its hardware/software integration and ease of use. So go ahead and tell your tales, secure in the fact that with this device, you can back them up with evidence.
[learn_more caption="Review Results"][one_half]Pros:
- Native Twitch.tv Livestreaming
- Full featured capture and editing suite
- Software allows for picture-in-picture creation, narration, effects, etc.
- Up to 1080 30p capture
- Competitive price of $149.99
- Simple functionality for users of any experience[/custom_list][/one_half]
- Does not come packaged with extra HDMI cable
- Must be plugged in to a USB port even when not capturing to provide power to device
I have a strong connection and powerful laptop, but suffered poor livestream quality– edit: seems to be a problem on my end
- No HDMI out from PS3 (not held against the device because it is a PS3 fault)
To see where this review score falls in our scoring range, please read our review scale guidelines.[/learn_more]