Yuhnke Commentary: Capture video direct to a hard drive or USB drive

Designed for games but works for any video

PHOENIX - As any serious gamer will know, bragging is half the fun. There's no better way to show off your skills than to record your Xbox 360 or PS3 and upload it to the web.

If this seems like a weird concept, do a quick YouTube search of any popular 1st person shooter and you'll find hundreds of recorded clips.

A new product is designed to help you record your favorite gaming moments in HD. Best part is, it can be used for recording any HD content. I put the AVerMedia Game Capture HD to the test.

Hardware

The unit itself is a small box that sits next to your HDTV. It has a power button, record button and USB port on the front. On the back you'll find component HD inputs and outputs. I would like to see HDMI options too but component inputs offer great HD quality so in the end, it works just fine. You will have to attach a storage device to the box via USB or the internal 2.5" SATA drive bay. You can use a thumb drive or a USB hard drive. Make sure you have at least 16 GB, files stack up fast.  I would suggest a 160GB hard drive or larger if you plan to record a lot.

Recording Video

Once you've connected your game console (using the included cables for all 3 major consules) or any other HD video source, using the box is simple. Press record on the front of the box or with the included remote and it begins recording video. There are 3 levels of video, all of them looked great. The box records in an MPEG4 H.264 format. You can also grab a quick still frame of anything. This is great for grabbing high scores from games or "moments" that you want to brag about on social media.

Using the recorded clips

Once you record some videos, you can play them back directly on your TV. If you want to upload them somewhere else, simply unplug the drive and move it over to your PC or MAC. The files can be uploaded to YouTube, Facebook, etc or imported into your favorite video editor. AVerMedia offers a downloadable converter tool that should help you use the video files in editing software. Despite this, Adobe Premiere didn't seem too happy when I imported video clips. It worked but it was dog slow on my dual core machine. Perhaps you'll have better luck with other editing software or maybe my computer just didn't have enough horsepower.

Conclusion

Despite my editing hiccups, the AVerMedia Game Capture HD is a great, simple way to capture your favorite gaming moments on the fly. It can also be used to capture any HD video ( beware of copyright issues ) directly to a crystal clear MPEG4 file that can be used in a variety of ways. If you're looking for a full featured guide-based recording system, stick with a standard DVR. If you want a box that provides a one button path to recording great quality video games and video clips with the option to transfer the files to your PC, check out the Game Capture HD.

The AVerMedia Game Capture HD sells for under $150, check it out on Google Shopping  or on Amazon.com .

Want to see what the video quality looks like?   Click here to see a video clip that I recorded from ABC15 on medium quality with the AVerMedia Game Capture HD and uploaded directly to YouTube.

NOTE: If your focus is more about recording video and less video games, AVerMedia is planning to release a similar product that does not include the bundled video game cables.  It will include additional component cables instead.   The AverMedia HD EzRecorder would make more sense if video games aren't your thing.  

Catch me on ABC15 Mornings from 4:30 to 7 a.m. Monday through Friday. You can also follow me on  Twitter  and  Facebook .

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