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Friday, August 30, 2013

Best Ways To Game Capturing & Streaming!


Purchasing game capture hardware can require a decent investment, and there's a number of factors to consider before you take the plunge. Do you need portability? Are you planning to record to a Windows or Mac operating system? How about recording in-game chat? Here's a rundown of the best game capture hardware on the market.

Hauppauge HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition
For a number of years, Hauppage has manufactured a line of competent Personal Video Recorders. Currently, the HD PVR 2 is available in three different versions: the standard model (which is geared more toward television recording), the HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition, and the HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition Plus. The primary advantage of the Plus model boils down to Mac compatibility straight out of the box--the non-Plus version requires a $30 software download--and the ability to record 5.1 channel audio.
But while the HD PVR 2 is compatible with Macs, it's important to note capturing is the only option; the streaming, editing, and publishing tools are only available to Windows users. Unlike most of the other capture devices on our list, the HD PVR 2 also requires a power cord instead of drawing power via USB. And while power source may seem like a small concern, the comparatively low max video bit rate of the HD PVR 2 (14MBps) is something to consider. On the plus side, the HD PVR 2 is capable of recording not just through HDMI, but also composite cables--handy if you're capturing from older consoles. You can also record in-game chat with the use of a PC mic.
Pricing and Availability
The HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition Plus retails for $129.99 at Amazon.

Roxio Game Capture HD Pro
While it may not include all the bells and whistles of the HD PVR 2, Roxio's little capture box is a great option for anyone more inclined to stream gameplay over Twitch. The max video bit rate of 15Mbps leaves a bit to be desired, but the Game Capture HD Pro is still capable of recording nice HD footage in either 720p or 1080i, with easy output to a multitude of formats, including .avi, .mp4, and .wmv. And unlike the HD PVR 2, you can power the Game Capture HD Pro right through an included USB cable.
But the real advantage of the Game Capture HD Pro is for streaming live gameplay to Twitch. Roxio has marketed its device as a ridiculously simple way to get a stream up and running, with the added option of running your audio commentary through the same Game Capture HD Pro unit. And if you've already messed around with streaming to Twitch, you're aware that keeping tabs on bandwidth and connection speed is a big concern--the Game Capture HD Pro automatically tests both. And if you're in need of capturing from an older piece of hardware, Roxio's hardware also offers component cable hookups.
Pricing and Availability
The Roxio Game Capture HD Pro retails for $114.99 at Trinity Software Distribution and is only compatible with Windows.

Elgato Game Capture HD
Easily one of the most highly regarded units on our list, Elgato's Game Capture HD is a simple, yet powerful way to record game footage from your Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3. Hooking up the Elgato Game Capture HD is incredibly simple, as the little black box only requires an HDMI cable (included) and a USB cable (also included). Elgato boosts up the max video bit rate to 30Mbps in .mp4, and the Game Capture HD can output full 1080p HD video.
Elgato's hardware is compatible with either Windows or Mac, and its diminutive size is definitely an advantage if you're planning on taking the Game Capture HD over to a buddy's house to record or stream gameplay. Streaming to Twitch or YouTube simply requires a single button press, and Elgato's software is capable of automatically lowering game volume while you deliver commentary. Flashback Recording allows you to rewind your gameplay back an hour, and retroactively record that headshot, even when you forgot to hit the red button. But keep in mind, there's no SD option for older console capture.
Pricing and Availability
The Elgato Game Capture HD is available currently for $154.99 at Amazon.

AverMedia Live Gamer Portable
You may have noticed one consistent issue with all of the options on this list, so far: they all need a PC or Mac to record your gameplay footage. AverMedia addressed the problem this year with the release of the Live Gamer Portable. As the name would suggest, AverMedia has created a capture device specifically aimed at taking the show on the road. The Live Gamer Portable is still able to record to PC, but insert an SD card and you can take this unit anywhere (assuming you have a big enough SD card, of course).
Much like the other devices on this list, the Live Gamer Portable is capable of recording 1080p footage encoded in H.264 to keep file sizes smaller, with an impressive max video bit rate of 60Mbps. The unit includes inputs for both HDMI and component connections, and an LED-backed button on the top of the Live Gamer Portable is used for starting/stopping recording. The unit is also capable of easy streaming to Twitch, and publishing to YouTube.
NOTE: A Mr. Mike video Review will come soon for the Avermedia Live Gamer Portable soon! Stay tuned to JuJu2Cast.com!

Pricing and Availability
The AverMedia Live Gamer portable retails currently for $163.00

Blackmagic Intensity
Lastly, Blackmagic offers a line of high-end video input and editing hardware, but you're also going to pay a premium price. While the Intensity Shuttle and Intensity Extreme are really geared toward video editors, they offer a full set of features for anyone capturing game footage. Capable of inputting HD and SD footage in a number of formats and resolutions, the Intensity line is probably the most versatile hardware on the list. Both the Shuttle and the Extreme can even up-convert real time SD to 1080 or 720 HD, with a max video bit rate of 60Mbps.
The Shuttle is Windows only (although Blackmagic offers a Thunderbolt option) and requires USB 3.0. Meanwhile, the Intensity Extreme can work with either Windows or Mac, and includes Thunderbolt compatibility (and Thunderbolt equals tons of bandwidth for uncompressed video). But keep in mind, the Thunderbolt option isn't a passthrough--so you're just feeding directly into the Mac only.
Pricing and Availability
The Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle retails currently for $189.05 at Amazon, while the Intensity Extreme sells for $300.

 AverMedia C281 Game Capture HD


  • Record without a PC!
  • Easy One touch recording, after setup
  • Remote included
  • Up to 1080P (via latest firmware. 1080p 60 input, 1080p 30 fps recording)
 record in 1080p via latest firmware, can use with a 2.5inch hdd for PC free recording or connected via PC. Has connections via component cables or supplied PS2, PS3, Xbox360, & Wii. Will support New Next Gen consoles with proper cabling.
Currently sells at Amazon.com for $110.00 or $90 used!

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