The Roxio Game Capture HD Pro is now available, read our review here.
Ever had that great kill in a game and nobody was around to witness it? While some games have built-in Theatre modes they are few and far between and can be tricky to edit and view afterwards. Capture cards can record anything on screen and later be edited, the Roxio Game Capture is the latest ‘all in one’ capture and editing bundle.
The Roxio Game Capture is a USB powered device which connects between your PC and console such as a Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 or Wii. It requires a component connection so you will need a display that supports this input type. The Roxio Game Capture acts as a passthrough device, capturing footage in 480p resolution while displaying a 720p or 1080i resolution on your television. Unlike lower end capture cards that only record and display in SD, you continue playing in HD on your television though your recorded footage will not be HD quality. It is a fair trade between the two, 480p results in clear quality video compared to SD but lacks the definition and higher resolution found in HD.
In the box you get the Roxio Game Capture device which measures around half the size of a standard DVD case. The small size is ideal and it doesn’t take up too much space. Once set up it requires no further interaction so you could if you wanted to, store it out the way behind the television or inside a cabinet. Component and RCA stereo audio cables are provided which connect the television to the device, you will need your own console component/audio cables as these are not supplied. A six foot USB 2.0 cable is provided which connects between your PC and the device. Finally a Quick Start manual and software CD are included, the Quick Start manual only covers setting up the PlayStation 3 so Xbox 360 and Wii owners will have to work it out for themselves though it is not too hard.
The Roxio Game Capture is designed with newcomers in mind. The supplied software is a straightforward install with a minimal number of prompts such as for the install location. Connecting the device is also as straightforward, simply connect the consoles component and audio leads to the inputs on one side, the television video and audio leads on the opposite side and finally the USB cable to your PC. All connections are clearly labelled and colour coded, the process will take a few minutes from start to finish.
The supplied software comes in two parts, Capture and Edit & Share. You are prompted to choose between the two via a simple starting menu which will then run the appropriate software. The capture software is extremely easy to use, you can start or stop the capture by clicking on the large button below the video or by pressing F6/F7 on your keyboard, ideal if you are concentrating on playing a game and do not wish to use a mouse. There is also a screen shot option though it sadly lacks a keyboard short cut.
You have three choices of video format to capture to. AVI is the best format which gives uncompressed quality, useful if you want to later edit the footage and then encode it. WMV and DIVX are compressed formats, perfect if you simply want to upload straight away to Youtube for example. Screen shots are saved to JPEG format, while the quality is good I would have liked to have seen uncompressed formats such as BMP for the more savvy user to work with. The capture software works very well and is straightforward to use, even without looking at your PC monitor thanks to the keyboard short cuts.
The video editing software is comprehensive and manages to pack in a lot of features found in other video editing software such as Cyberlink Power Director. If you are familiar with video editing software you will right at home with a familiar timeline and layers of content for video footage, music, special effects, overlays and text. You build up your video by dragging and dropping your content on to the layers. Once on the timeline, you can edit your content for example trimming footage to start and stop at a particular kill in a game. By adding multiple video clips to the timeline you can build up montages adding in transitions between clips, adding text or even record a voice over to describe the event.
Once your video is complete you can export it to a variety of video formats including AVC, DIVX, MP4 and WMV. You can also specify the compression level and resolution to give smaller file sizes or larger with better quality video, even upscaling to 720p. You can also choose to export the video directly to your Youtube, Facebook and WeGame accounts.
I was very impressed with the end video footage. I had previously used a SD capture card which gave poor quality video with blurry graphics and colour clashing. As the Roxio Game Capture captures in 480p it gives a cleaner look at an improved quality and while not HD resolution, the end results are more than satisfactory. After this review I have included some example videos showing captured footage, the video below shows highlights from a race on Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit. Update: The videos are shown in 720p to show better quality. The video editing software allows you to do this.
Both the hardware and software work very well with a minimum of fuss. The capture software is effortless and the editing software is feature packed allowing novices to easily create videos and for experienced editors some great looking montages. While I did not experience any issues, I did have one problem which may be specific to my set up or a bug in the drivers. My PAL Xbox 360 will only work if I change the video format settings to NTSC, choosing PAL will give me corrupted video. While this makes no difference to the end result, I can still capture video absolutely fine, it may cause confusion when people are configuring the software. Roxio support mentions this is due to the Xbox 360 always outputting a 60Hz signal regardless of it being US or UK and will be made clearer in an update.
If you are a newcomer to capture devices or can not afford a HD capture solution then the Roxio Game Capture is ideal. The RRP of US $99 is great, though the RRP of £80 in UK feels a little high when compared. You should remember that a fully featured video editor is included, which if you have to purchase separately could set you back an additional $50/£30 so this should be factored in the price. You get a great piece of kit which does exactly what it sets out to do, it captures and edits video games footage quickly and easily!
You can read more about the Roxio Game Capture at http://www.roxio.com/.
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