Remember that time you jumped out of the building you were hiding in, followed someone back into the building and yanked their dogtags in Battlefield 3? What about that time you were playing Madden and scored the game-winning touchdown with 2 seconds left on the clock? Sure, you can tell your friends all about it and they may or may not believe you. But why tell them about it when you can open up Youtube and simply show them?
Game capture devices are pretty common, and a quick Amazon search pulls up nearly a dozen variants. We received the Roxio Game Capture device a month or so back and have put it through its paces extensively and have done a fair share of editing with the software included.
The actual device is small in size, and fits nicely near the rest of my gaming equipment without taking up much room at all. The package does not include component cables, so if you are like me and only have HDMI cables, be prepared to run to the store and grab one. This is really the only fault to the Roxio Game Capture device; running through component cables instead of HDMI. It doesn’t actually affect the recording much, as the quality is fantastic, but actually watching what you are playing is a discernible difference. That said, I actually don’t even notice anymore, and since the recording turns out great, it’s hard to really fault the device much for that.
I tested Roxio Game Capture on two laptops. One was a decent laptop a year ago, though it wasn’t meant for gaming or anything. With the task manager open to monitor CPU and memory usage, the Roxio Game Capture device had the CPU maxed out. I say that because when I played the footage back, there was a very significant audio sync problem. The video turned out fine, but in order to show off the video, you would have to strip the audio and put music in the background.
On the second laptop, a new HP with a quad-core A10 processor and 6GB of RAM, everything ran flawlessly. In fact, the result was so impressive that I have fallen in love with video work. You simply plug the USB cable into your laptop, and you’re ready to go. Since (with the PS3 anyways) you can have both component and HDMI plugged into your system at the same time, i just switch back to HDMI when I’m done recording.
There are various options for output, though I always used DIVX. You can set a time limit for recording, too, but using a laptop, I just hit stop when I was done. The capture process is very easy and streamlined. An option is there to name your file, but it automatically adds an “_xx” number to the end so you don’t have to rename each file if you are playing the same game. One match of Ghost Recon: Future Soldier was “GRFS_00”, and after hitting stop the next video that I started was “GRFS_01”.
The easy part ends there, sadly. The first time dabbling in Videowave, I was confused and overwhelmed. I had no video editing experience, and the in-software help was just enough to get me through the basics of adding videos and music. When I wanted to get into more complicated things, I didn’t think the software could do them because searching the “help” was no.. well… help. Luckily, after a quick Google search for what I wanted to do, I found some advice and was able to do what I had in mind.
It’s still a problem having the in-software help not be much use, but the software more than makes up for it. It’s fully featured, and I haven’t found anything I can’t do. It’s loaded with transitions, effects, overlays and has options to add text over certain parts (as well as how long the text stayson the screen). You can go in and slow down dramatic scenes or speed up long hauls to an objective that may usually bore viewers.
The number of output options are daunting. You can export in HD (which will obviously be a large filesize), or other various presets for a variety of devices. I honestly use “iPad Good Quality”, and they look fantastic on Youtube no matter what I am watching it on. It basically comes down to “how big of a file do you really want to upload”, because a 30 minute video show was a little over 1GB on “iPad Good”.
Despite the software almost scaring me off, I can’t recommend this piece of hardware enough. Some of the alternatives can be $100 more than the $99 USD Roxio Game Capture device. The quality is still top-notch, but I can see the lightly-hazy TV screen putting some people off. Again, since it doesn’t affect the gameplay footage recorded, it’s hard to fault the piece of hardware. If you’re looking to show off that game-winning moment, you can’t go wrong with the Roxio Game Capture device.
- Small unit doesn’t take up much space
- Software that comes with it can do about anything you want
- Footage comes out in great quality
- Component instead of HDMI
- The software’s “help” isn’t very helpful
Note: The videos embeded were recorded and edited using the Roxio Game Capture software, exported as “iPad Good Quality”. One shows multiple videos put into one, while the other shows advanced time manipulation editing.