The Hauppauge PVR 2: Gaming Edition promises to offer HD recording for your PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 games at a reasonable price. With YouTube being the main catalyst for gamers wanting to capture their games and put them online for everybody to see, will this PVR satisfying your recording needs?
Aesthetically the PVR is okay to look at with a light strip running around the edge that changes colour depending on the PVR’s status. All the relevant leads will come with the package and all at a good quality. Our only worry was the component adapter and socket feeling a little fragile.
Setting up is pretty simple you just plug the PVR box to your console, TV and PC, and then install the drivers and software straight off the disk. Next, you’re ready to go and start recording! With your Xbox 360 you can plug into the PVR using the HDMI and record in 1080p. The PS3 won’t allow you to record through HDMI due to Sony restricting it, so you have to use the component lead with the fragile adapter to record footage in 1080i or 720p.
The recording software that comes on the disk with the PVR can be frustrating to use sometimes but still offers a solid experience. The main problem is that it can be a little slow and chopping and changing video clips can take longer than expected. There aren’t any simple options like manipulating the time of the clips or removing the audio from a clip and use the audio as a stand-alone audio file. Another negative about the software is no option to talk over the clips while you are recording, instead you can record audio to the clips after the recording is applied to your timeline.
The software does offer most basic functions like video transitions and a variety of effects that you apply to your videos. There’s also a range of funky text styles to use to overlay your clips. You’ll get a live video stream on your laptop that is a few seconds behind the actual game so hooking it up to a TV to play games while recording is a must. The format setting can be adjusted to get the right balance of quality and storage size that suits you. You can adjust the frame and bitrate amongst other more complex options. Once you’ve edited your video to how you want it, you can then save in what file type and quality you like or even upload it straight to your YouTube account.
Overall, the hardware is good quality which is only slightly let down by the bundled software. The software will produce some decent looking videos but don’t expect it to be overwhelmed with editing options. This could be easily remedied by using a more sophisticated editing programme but that could mean forking out for it. The problem with the Hauppauge PVR 2 is that other similar hardware is available for a cheaper price and comes packaged with better software. If you see one for cheap it would be worth picking up, other than that, check out what Roxio have to offer.