If you’re looking to quickly get a stream or YouTube channel set up with footage of your gameplay, getting the Elgato Game Capture HD is one of the easiest ways to accomplish that. This is fully compatible — plug-and-play — with all consoles aside from the PS4 (until Sony gets around to that promised patch). This being said, there is even a workaround for the PS4 which is a Google away. If any of this sounds interesting to you, read on, our detailed Elgato Game Capture HD Review covers all the bases.
- List Price: $179.95, Amazon sells for $135
- Size: 2.9 x 1.0 x 4.3 in; Weight: 5oz
- Format: H.264 encoding for full HD capture
- Requirements: OS X 10.7 or later/Windows 7 or later. 2.0GHz Intel Core Duo CPU, sound card, 4 GB RAM, USB 2.0 Port
- Package includes: Elgato Game Capture HD unit, Quick Start Guide, 1 USB/1 HDMI/1 AV cable, Component Adapter
- Supported Resolutions: 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 576p, 576i, 480p, 480i, 288p, 240p
The Elgato Way
Too easy. That’s what you’ll be chuckling to yourself after the 2 minute setup time.
Featured here is the HD60, one of Elgato’s best selling units of all time. The HD60 is able to record in 1080p at 60fps.
We like gaming. What we don’t like is time sinks taking up our precious gaming time. Elgato’s straight forward device is right up our alley. There is no complicated set up, difficult to use software, or extra 20 features that are rarely used that only serve to clutter the usability of the device.
The Elgato Game Capture HD is like a FPS game, you spawn, you kill people, you die, rinse and repeat. What it is not like is one of those puzzle games where your eyes glaze over as your mind trails off thinking why the hell you bought the game in the first place. Oh yeah you didn’t buy it, it was a birthday present from your Aunt Milly.
This works great with a laptop, and decent with a desktop. As we broke down early in shorter terms, all you need to do is run an HDMI cable from your game console to the game capture HD’s input. Then, plug in the USB cable from the device into the USB port in your laptop (ideally) or desktop. It’s nice to be able to use this device in conjunction with a laptop because then you will essentially have your own mobile capture, recording, and streaming station.
Lastly, run a HDMI cable from the unit to your computer. This process can be slightly modified for a PS3 by using the included AV cable instead (no worries it still records in 1080i HD) or the included component adapter for older consoles.
The game capture unit itself is a shiny, sleek black block with rounded edges. Kinda looks like something you would expect to get from Apple. Elgato managed to pack all the functionality we mentioned before into this compact and portable 5 ounce unit. Since its powered by the computer you plug it into via USB, there is no additional bulky power source.
The Elgato Game Capture HD Review: Software
Alright we lied, there’s one more step, and its only a one time deal then you never have to do it again. You need to download the software from their website.
We really like this software over a lot of other game capture software for one main reason: the unique Flashback Recording feature. This is great if you forgot to initiate recording or aren’t recording and something really cool happens (you eject from a jet and get 3 pistol head shots on the way down). Slide back in time with the flashback recording and retroactively record this moment. No other capture card on the market can do this. Score one for the Gato. Even without the flashback feature aside, the software is one of the best applications we have seen that comes with a video capture device.
The Game Capture HD Software is intuitive and gets the important jobs done. The extra large buttons and black/blue U.I. is easy on the eyes. You can take screen shots or capture footage with this device.
Once you capture the raw footage, you have the option of keeping it uncompressed or have the program automatically compress the video into a codec of your choosing. Live commentary is supported, and there is a setting to lower the game’s audio when talking, so if you’re doing walk-throughs or something like that it isn’t hard to get going. Editing the length of the saved gameplay footage can quickly be done with the software as well (though heavy duty editing and such will need to be done with more advanced editing software… Sony Vegas, etc).
If you’re doing streaming it is possible with this device, you can stream to Twitch with live commentary and the software is fully compatible with XSplit. The software makes sharing game footage a snap with one-click buttons to share on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, or even email.
“Your skills. Immortalized.”
That is Elgato’s promise to you. WARNING: Not everyone’s skills should be immortalized. To a large extent the Elgato Game Capture HD delivers. Whether your goal is to start a prominent YouTube channel, share your talents with the world on Twitch and gain an adoring viewership, or just relive hilarious moments with your best buds this nifty piece of hardware will help you do that. It will capture it all in pristine, HD quality too. So what are you waiting for? Get to work on creating the next big thing.
High Ground View
One of the easiest to use, portable game capture cards out there. Get your Twitch stream up and running in no time and/or record your gameplay and share it with the world. Plug in an HDMI or AV cable from your console into the “in” part of the unit and plug an HDMI cable into the “out” into your computer via USB. Simple. Compatible with PS4/PS3, XBOXONE/XBOX360, and WiiU. Not much do dislike about this unit aside from the whopping price tag. It does, however, require a laptop or computer to function (it will store your footage on the computer’s hard drive).
Software - 8/10
Set Up Time - 8/10
Recording Quality - 8/10
Extra Features - 7/10
Price - 7/10
Elgato’s HD60 is one of the best external capture cards that does not require you to pull apart your system and install via a PCIe port. The only downside is that you need to upgrade to the HD60 S if you want USB 3.0.
- Easy to setup
- Intuitive Software
- Flashback Recording Feature
- Lacks USB 3.0
- 30 fps
- Uses your PC/Laptops hard drive