The Official Elgato Game Capture HD60 Review

In the recent years, video gaming became a lot more social, as multiplayer, voice chat and game streaming started letting users share their gaming experiences with strangers and friends online. Live streaming game footages required a lot of power; in fact, it required so much power that consoles needed the assistance of a computer to let you stream videos online.

In 2012, Elgato launched the Elgato Game Capture HD which was intended to record footage from the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. A more powerful version is now available called the Game Capture HD60 that lets you record your gaming experience at a full HD resolution and with 60 frames per second. The 180$ new device also allows you to live stream via YouTube, Twitch and uStream. The Game Capture HD60 also works with iPods, iPhone and iPads thanks to the Lightning to Digital AV adapter from Apple, and with PlayStation 4 consoles, Wii U, Xbox 360 and Xbox One with the help of nothing more than a simple HDMI cable.

The EyeTV DVR from Elgato was one of the greatest devices that were able to record TV all while streaming the video to iDevices back in the day when Mac computers were nowhere near as powerful as they are nowadays. The Elgato Game Capture HD60 allows you to play games without any lag and stream the live footage online. The new device from Elgato also allows you to include a commentary that automatically balances the volume level.

Here is our Review for the Elgato Game Capture HD60

One of the greatest things about the new capture device is that it doesn’t require too much involvement from the user. Even though it was a little pricey when it was first released last year, now it costs around $150 to $180. Considering the quality of the video output, this is a good price.

The Game Capture HD60 is 0.6 inches thick, 2.9 inches wide and just 4.3 inches long. The HD60 is about as small as an iPhone 4 but it’s more similar in terms of design to the iPhone 3G, featuring a curvy case mostly made out of plastic. The mini-USB cable included in the package can be used to connect the device to the USB port to any Mac computer (second generation or newer) and the system requirements are OS X 10.7 or newer and at least 4GB of RAM. The included HDMI cable connects to a port on the HD60 and to your TV, and the second HDMI port connects to your gaming console.

The video and audio signals pass through the capture device to your TV without any lag and it records the signal through your computer. This is quite an achievement, as we all know that lag can ruin most games, especially action-packed ones.

While the process of recording footage from your iOS devices is simpler, it is pricier. You will have to connect the Lightning to Digital AV Adapter from Apple to your iPad, iPod touch or iPhone, connect the HDMI cable included to your adapter and then connect the USB cable to the computer. If you use the newer iPhone models in landscape, the output video will be in 16:9, much like the video captured from video consoles. iPads, however, will be recorded in 4:3, just like their displays.

You will have to use a free Game Capture HD app by Elgato to use the HD60. The app is available in a 2.1 beta version and a generally stable 2.0 version. The 2.0 app displays an almost live feed of the game you’re playing in a main section that includes options for adjusting the audio levels of the game and in a different section you will find the microphone level for the audio commentary.

The app also features settings that will let you modify audio gain, hue and saturation, contrast and video brightness. There is also a settings option for cropping and TV emulation that could be of good use if you record HDMI devices that are unsupported by the Game Capture HD60. There’s a good chance that you won’t have to use these settings but they are of great help if you play a game in which you encounter a very dark scene or if you’re sitting very far from the microphone. You could use these settings to adjust the brightness and the gain, but most of the times everything is displayed properly without having to adjust any of the settings.

The 2.1 beta version adds more functions and lets you add webcam footage on your videos. This is especially useful if you wish to add a video of you talking on the footage. You can start recording by simply pressing a button located at the bottom left, in the corner. You can select the resolution in which you want to record the footage and the bitrate, depending on your desires. HD60 buffers an hour of footage automatically to the hard drive, which means that you can easily use something that you didn’t record. The app has a very simple editor that will let you assemble and splice clips if you don’t need everything that has been recorded by it.

Recording footage at a 60 frames per second in 1080p is pretty impressive but the really cool function of the HD60 is that it lets you stream your video live on YouTube, Twitch and uStream. Until now, game companies and publications needed to use very expensive devices to stream videos online. For instance, Gameloft now uses the Game Capture HD60 to stream iOS games to Twitch. Sony built the PlayStation 4 with the ability to stream live game footage to Twitch but the HD60 is very useful for iPods, iPhones, iPads, Xboxes and Wii Us. On top of this, the new Elgato Game Capture gives you a lot more control over the quality of the video than the built in software by Sony.

You can use the HD60 to improve the fidelity and the smoothness of the video you’re streaming and the webcam feature is pretty great on the 2.1 beta version.

Until now, some of the easiest ways to share videos recorded from a Wii U gaming console were to iSight or FaceTime the footage. The new Elgato Game Capture offers far superior quality and you won’t have to hold a camera pointed at the screen to capture footage at an inferior quality. The ability to share great quality footage with little lag is impressive, to say the least.

The Game Capture software by Elgato was pretty reliable during testing and was very smooth. One of the features I loved the most about the software is that the HD60 is able to handle the audio input from a microphone very well during commentaries and the auto adjustment of the levels works incredibly well. Also, the application is extremely easy to use.

Elgato developed lots of great things for Macs for quite some time now and we’re happy to see that the company is supplying great USB-compatible devices other than its Thunderbolt accessories. The Game Capture HD60 uses very powerful hardware and software to make it extremely useful for users to record and stream their gaming experiences. It’s true that not everyone will need this kind of technology, but if you do need it however, it’s our advice to definitely consider purchasing the Game Capture HD60 from Elgato. You can check out more details about this device at the manufacturer’s website.

Price: $180

Compatibility: Core i5 (2nd Generation or newer) Mac (OS X 10.7 +)

Images source: 1, 2, 3, 4

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