COLUMN: Aaron’s Backstage Pass: AVerMedia Game Capture HD Review

Updated: 01/28/2013 11:41 AM KSTP.com By: Aaron Chalich

Back in the late 1980’s I discovered something truly amazing. You could take your Nintendo Entertainment System and hook it up to your VCR to record your gameplay. It was one of the greatest things in the world in my mind. 

Who knew you could do such a thing. I would record hours of video of me trying to beat Mike Tyson in “Punch Out!” or trying to defeat Ganon in “The Legend of Zelda” for the hundredth time. I spent hours doing this and then the sad thing is that I would watch it. I actually found an old tape a while ago of some of the video that I had recorded and it was pretty amusing. 

A few weeks ago I came across a product that will let you record your Wii, PS3, or XBOX 360 gameplay without using a PC. It’s a device made by AVerMedia and it’s called the Game Capture HD. When you record your video it is recorded onto either a jump drive or another external hard drive. 

You plug the USB connector for the drive into the USB slot in the front of the machine. Not only can you record video, but you can also take photos from your game. I thought this was pretty cool.

As soon as I saw this product and read about it on the AVerMedia website, it brought back a lot of fond memories of my childhood. I contacted AVerMedia and they sent me a review system to try out for a little while.

After using and running the “Game Capture HD” system through a gauntlet of tests, I came to the conclusion that it’s awesome and I have to get one.

First of all it is extremely simple to set up. It literally took me less than five minutes to take it out of the box, hook my PS3 up to it and to start recording my gameplay.

All you do to hook up the “Game Capture HD” device is to hook your gaming system up with a universal component cable that is included. You just plug the green, blue, red video cables into the lower “game in” ports in the HD device and also the red and white audio cables in there as well. 

There are three other connectors that branch out on the other end of the component cable. One of the connector plugs into your PS3, another plugs into your XBOX 360 and the last one plugs into your Wii. You find which cable plugs into your system and you plug it in.

Then you take the other component cable and RCA audio cables which are also included and plug them into the upper “TV out” port in the back of the device and then plug them into the back of your TV. It’s really simple and takes about a minute to do and everything is colored so you can easily find which port you need to plug the cables into. Plus there is a really easy to follow quick start guide that is packaged with it.

Once you have everything set up, you can turn on the “Game Capture HD” device and also your gaming system. For the PS3, you need to go into the “Display settings” and set the output to “Component/D-terminal” and then check all of the resolutions except for the 1080p. Then you need to confirm the setting and then you need to set the audio setting to “Audio Input Connector/SCART/AV Multi,” and then click finish.

This is also very simple and takes seconds to set up. When you are done recording your game footage, you just go back into the display settings and change the settings back to HDMI and everything should go back to normal. Again I really liked how simple this was and the instructions in the manual are very detailed and show you step by step on how to configure your gaming system to start recording. The manual also has pictures of the menu screens that you need to go to for the XBOX 360 and PS3.

In order to record your video or take photos, you have to use an external drive. When I recorded my video I used an 8GB jump drive and I formatted it to the recommended NTFS format. It is also recommended that you use a drive that is 8GB or larger. You can also buy a hard drive that can be inserted in the “Game Capture HD” device. The bottom opens up and you can store it right inside.

The “Game Capture HD” comes with a remote and when you are ready to start recording you push record on the remote. It’s that simple. There is also a camera icon on the remote and when you want to take a photo, you just push that and it instantly takes a photo. You can also instantly play back the video and look at the photos whenever you want to with the remote. This was a nice option. 

You can record about 68 minutes of video on an 8GB card and take hundreds of photos. You can go into a menu on the “Game Capture HD” and set the quality of the video and photos. There are three settings and you can set the quality of the video and photos. The better the quality, the less video and pictures you can capture. I talked to one of the technicians at AVerMedia and he said that you can capture about 75-150 MB per minute of video and it depends on the quality you set it at. The videos are recorded into an MP4 format and the pictures are jpegs.

Okay, I know you have been dying to know what the quality of the video looks like. I think it looks very good.  The video is recorded in 1080i and looks very sharp.  I have loaded video that I took of the “Game Capture HD.” 

Just click the play button on the video viewer to watch the video. You be the judge. I think the video looks great and that the pictures also look very good in my opinion.

Once you recorded your video and taken your photos you can transfer them to your computer with the jump drive or removable hard drive. There you can edit and upload them to Facebook or YouTube. It’s very simple.

Another cool thing that you can do with the “Game Capture HD” and your PS3 is that you can use your photos as your wallpaper. You can take photos of your favorite scene or game accomplishment and upload them to your PS3.

Again this is very simple. You just remove the jump drive from the “Game Capture HD” and plug it into the USB port on your PS3. You just need to go into the photo menu on the PS3 controller and select “Display All.”  Then you choose your images. Then push “triangle” on the controller and select “Set as Wallpaper.” It’s that simple. 

I really think AVerMedia’s “Game Capture HD” is awesome. It’s simple to set up and use. I honestly didn’t find anything I did not like about it. I know that a lot of gamers are really going to enjoy this product a lot, because they can now easily record and show off their gaming skills to their friends and also to the whole world through Facebook and YouTube. 

For more information about AverMedia and the “Game Capture HD” go to http://www.avermedia.com/

Video Courtesy of CAPCOM or 3D Publisher.

Aaron Chalich is a columnist for KSTP.com blogging about the latest entertainment news.