Everyone has had that moment playing games, be it a sweet triple kill from across the map or finally landing that sweet jump you’ve been attempting for the last two hours, that you wish you could show off to your friends to prove it actually happened. Games like Halo and Call of Duty, amongst others have incorporated theater modes allowing players to share their best moments with others; however these instances are limited in nature and generally relegated to in game viewing and sharing. Fortunately there are devices out there designed specifically for this task, the Roxio Game Capture HD PRO being the latest.
Earlier this year we reviewed the Roxio Game Capture and liked it quite a bit, so expectations were high for the Game Capture HD PRO. The Game Capture HD PRO promises some major upgrades over the standard device, including the ability to stream directly to sites like Twitch TV and of course the biggest upgrade, capture high definition game content. On paper it all seems like a huge step forward from the standard device, in reality things are not quite so cut and dry.
Out of the box the device requires a quick setup to your console of choice, the Xbox 360 and Wii U can be connected via HDMI input while the Playstation 3 can not, instead needing to be connected via component cables for HD capture. While not a fault of Roxio’s, this is somewhat disappointing, especially if one does not have the proprietary cables needed and failed to read all the fine print in regards to the device’s requirements. Additional to the hardware setup, a simple software installation needs to take place. This software contains both the capture program and the editing software, both of which pose some issues for users.
The capture/streaming process is pretty straight forward, with large indicators pointing users in the proper direction to stream or do a straight capture. There are a variety of sliders and options that can be changed but leaving things at the default produces nice quality videos that aren’t a resource hog for those unwilling to delve into the intricacies of the device and software. All of that though is assuming that it works as expected which in my case was less often than it should have.
My time with the Roxio Game Capture HD PRO produced a myriad of glitches and crashes that made using it less than reliable. The biggest issue the device produced was with streaming from a Playstation 3 which I was never able to get to work properly. Attempting to stream to Twitch via the device produced an intermittent skipping that affected not only the stream but also the final destination source, my television, making games virtually unplayable. Oddly though capturing from a PS3 seemed to work with little issues, aside from the random software freezes and crashes that plagued the software across the board.
One other thing plagued the device and its software and one I found to be particularly annoying was the inability for the device to feed to other streaming sites, like Tiny Chat or Google Hangouts. While it is possible to manipulate the software and feeds via third party means like X-Split, the locking of device to force you down one path is disheartening. After all the culture and community behind capturing and streaming is creative and pushes the boundaries as we know them to bring cool things to their viewers and stifling that creativity behind a software lock seems counter-intuitive.
Issues and restrictions aside though, the device does do what it’s supposed to, that being to capture game footage. And once captured that footage needs to be edited. The software that comes with the Roxio Game Capture HD PRO is quite robust and works perfectly for quick edits. Those familiar with editing software will have little issue utilizing what is included but first timers may struggle due to the lack of instructional documentation, a complaint levied against the standard device as well.
As a cheaper, external device that can easily capture in high definition it is serviceable but its downsides make it hard to recommend wholeheartedly. All in all the Roxio Game Capture HD PRO is a device that struggles to reach its full potential. When you are dealing with potentially great gaming moments being saved or squandered you want the best and the Roxio Game Capture HD PRO just isn’t that.