Tuesday, March 25, 2014

New capture device for recording gameplay!

So, as you may or may not know, Sony currently has recording on an external device blocked through HDCP from the HDMI out. There are ways around it (using a component cable on the PS3 for example) but it hasn't been something I cared to bother with. Last week, they announced that they would be allowing for external capture in a future (seemingly soon) PS4 firmware update (official announcement link). So I figured "why not"?

I looked into external devices, and they all were "capture cards"...hardware that needed to be installed into a PC. This didn't work for me. Not only is my PC very far away from my consoles (up a flight of stairs and at the opposite end of the house!) I don't have much room for new hardware in it. I was looking for a standalone unit, and I found a really excellent one.

The AverMedia Game Capture HD II. I purchased it from Newegg for $139 after a $10 coupon. Actually, it looks like you can grab it for $129 with that coupon today, the price has dropped $10 since I bought it last Friday. (The coupon is AVM10 by the way, and it expires 3/31). 2 days later it was here (thanks Newegg!) and I have gotten to play with it a little.

It comes with a remote, batteries and an HDMI cable. You need to either install your own internal 2.5" drive, or you can opt to record on an external hard drive or USB stick via the USB port on the front. It has component in and HDMI in, and an HDMI out (no component out, it just swaps it to HDMI). It's probably the easiest thing you could possibly ask for. When you turn it on, it just works. You hit record on the remote and record. It has a built in video editor as well (although I'd much rather work on videos on my PC, this removes the requirement). There are a number of other options on the remote, and there is even an app for iOS and Android that allows you to use your phone as a stat keeper and second remote.

There is also an ethernet port on the back (no WiFi though) which allows you to directly upload to Youtube, provided you have it wired into your router. The only downside I've come across is that you cannot hook it up to your PC to get the video off directly - you need to copy the files over to an external drive first (not a big deal, especially if you're recording externally anyway). I was given a rough estimate of 7 minutes of video per GB, which seems a little inaccurate. I put a 250GB internal drive in, and the estimated record time up top was 38 hours. I do have the settings on "good" rather than "best", but I switched between the two and it was still over 30 hours.

I made my first video with it...unfortunately I didn't record anything HD haha. There are plenty of examples on the internet though. Most videos I upload from now on will be recorded with this device. This is a NES game I emulated on my Wii since I don't have component cables for my NES. I'll be doing a lot of these "godmode retro" run throughs just for fun, so please subscribe to my channel.

I really enjoy this device so far. It is absolutely perfect and 100% what I wanted. It's uncommon that I find something that fits my needs to a perfect T. It was the announcement from Sony that pushed me to take the plunge and get this, and I plan to get many many hours use out of it. I will be doing a lot of these retro videos, and a lot of PS4 stuff once Sony releases that patch. I'll probably do up some PS3 stuff as well, but I've more or less finished my entire library. I can emulate almost anything on my Wii up to PS1, so there will be much more to come.

If you have any questions about this device, please feel free to email me or make a youtube comment. I'll get back to you as quickly as possible! My new email address is 315retro@gmail.com Also, please feel free to leave game suggestions as a youtube comment as well! I'm aiming to do 1-2 per week, and I'll be posting mini-reviews here on the blog.

Thanks for reading.

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