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Elgato Game Capture HD60 review

Richard Easton
19 Sep 2014
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Elgato Game Capture HD60 front
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
120
inc VAT

The Game Capture HD60 is a handy gadget, and its time-rewind feature and plenty of live streaming options will win it many fans

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Specifications

Warranty: One-year RTB, Details: www.elgato.com, Part code: Game Capture HD60

Gaming has always been a pretty social pastime, and the advent of social media has allowed gamers to take their passion for games even further. Lots of gamers want to record their gaming exploits so that they can share them with friends, and gaming videos are some of the most-watched videos on YouTube.

The Elgato Game Capture HD60 is designed to simplify the process of recording and sharing your gaming videos. The Game Capture HD60 acts as a HDMI pass-through device, which means it connects to your games console and then forwards the signal on to your TV. This works well, and we certainly didn’t notice any lag.

The Game Capture HD60 is described as a “Next Generation Gameplay Sharing” device and this hints to one of its drawbacks. The Game Capture HD60 doesn’t support HDCP-protected video, so the PlayStation 3 is not supported. This problem affects other devices, such as the Hauppauge HD PVR Rocket, but the HD PVR Rocket provides you with a component cable to get around this problem. The PS4, Xbox One and Xbox 360 are all compatible, though.

The Game Capture HD60 is connected to your computer via a USB cable. The supplied cable was a generous 2.5m in length, which provides a bit more flexibility in the position of the laptop on which your video will be recorded. The Game Capture HD60 doesn’t need any extra power, either, as it draws all the power it needs via USB. The device itself is just a bit bigger than a credit card and, is about 15mm thick, making eminently portable.

THE CAPTURE GAMES

To capture video you must install the Game Capture HD software on your Windows PC or Mac and record video to your laptop through that software. The software lets you control how content is recorded, and it also lets you set up live streams via the Stream Command interface. Stream Commmand wasn’t available for Macs at the time of writing, but Elgato says it is coming soon. Stream Command provides live streaming through popular services such as Twitch, uStream and YouTube, three of the biggest sites for gaming videos. You can even overlay your webcam’s feed over the top, which is a nice touch.

It’s a shame that you can’t record directly to a USB flash drive, as you can with the HD PVR Rocket, as some users won’t have a laptop or PC handy on which to record, especially if they’ve taken the Game Capture HD60 to a mate’s house.

The Game Capture HD software is straightforward and easy to use. It’s broken down into two main sections, ‘Capture’ and ‘Edit’. The former, as you might expect, allows you to record the HDMI signal from whatever you have connected to the Game Capture.

You can also adjust volume levels for game audio, and if you have a microphone you can even add live commentary as you play. This will be particularly useful if you want to narrate during gameplay or provide instructions for a particularly tricky part of a game if you’re recording a walkthrough. Under the Live Streaming section you can set up a stream and adjust the bit rate.

You can also fill in details for the video title, the title of the game and provide a description and tag your video accordingly, making archiving lots of footage far simpler. Video capture or live streaming only requires one click to commence without anything else to worry about.

Triggering Record on the Game Capture HD60 isn’t as quick as on the HD PVR Rocket, as you just have to hit a big red button on the Rocket, but it’s still pain-free. One useful feature is Flashback Recording, which lets you rewind footage even if you haven’t pressed Record. This is because the Game Capture HD60’s software is constantly recording while it’s open.

Flashback Recording is particularly handy if you forget to start a recording and suddenly hit a big score, or do something particularly impressive that you want to record. You can’t rewind indefinitely, but in testing we could go back as far as 10 minutes in order to capture footage we had missed.

You can adjust the resolution and bit rate of your videos, and this will have an effect on the size of the end file, with lower quality videos being smaller and easier to upload, for example. You can adjust the quality settings from a resolution of 1,280x720 at 60fps and an economical bit rate of 7Mbit/s, for example, to a resolution of 1,920x1,080, 60fps and a higher bit rate of 40M/bit/s. You can also opt to record for smaller screen devices or in standard definition. We had no issues with the quality of recording, although we did see the occasional compression artefact.

EDIT WHERE EDITS DUE

The Edit interface is disappointingly barebones, although not too different from other capture software we have tested. There isn’t much on offer beyond cutting and deleting segments of video.As it stands, you can at least export your video to use a more fully featured video editing suite. You can also navigate your library by game title, or by tags you may have set when recording, which makes video management much easier if you have a large collection.

Once made, you can upload video to platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, and export to iPad-, iPhone- and Movie Maker-friendly formats within the Game Capture HD application.

The Elgato Game Capture HD60 is a little more expensive than the Hauppauge HD PVR Rocket, and it isn’t as easy to start recording on the Game Capture HD60 as it is on the HD PVR Rocket, but it is a good device. Flashback recording is a genuinely useful way to make sure you don’t miss your big gaming moments, and the integrated live streaming options make it easy to broadcast your gaming exploits to a massive internet audience. However, the Hauppauge HD PVR Rocket’s ability to record video directly to a USB flash drive and its new ability to stream video to Twitch and YouTube via the StreamEez utility means it has the edge.

Buying information
Price including VAT£140
WarrantyOne-year RTB
Supplierwww.maplin.co.uk
Detailswww.elgato.com
Part codeGame Capture HD60

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