Hauppauge HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition Plus

Editor: Tim Harmer  Date: 03-07-13   1 Comment(s) - Join the discussion here
Introduction


Product on Review: HD PVR2 Gaming Edition Plus
Manufacturer: Hauppauge
Street Price: £139.99 (inc. V.A.T.)

If you’ve investigated the idea of watching TV through your PC in any real capacity in the last twenty years you would undoubtedly have come across the name Hauppauge. Specialising in TV solutions for the PC since 1992, eventually also incorporating external tuning devices with the advent of USB and other similar standards, Hauppauge are perhaps best known for the WinTV range of PCI, PCI-Express and USB TV Tuners. Over time the capabilities of the hardware and software have also greatly increased, incorporating new Digital TV standards and Personal Video Recording (PVR) capability. It’s no exaggeration to say that they’re pretty much the go-to brand for these sorts of solutions.

With the advent of the High Definition video era demand for dedicated PVR solutions, necessary for recording Cable TV, skyrocketed. Around that time a curious thing also occurred: recording gameplay footage almost overnight become in-demand functionality. And not just PC gameplay, but also for games consoles including the XBOX and Playstation 3. It’s in that burgeoning market that Hauppauge released the HD PVR designed specifically as an external interface between a source device (i.e. console etc.) and the PC for hardware-accelerated video capture. Rather than containing on-board storage it simply encoded HD video in an appropriate format and streamed to the PC over USB for recording to a HDD. Later Hauppauge released the HD PVR Gaming Edition which we reviewed in November 2011, a variant with the appropriate cabling and I/O options for connecting XBOX 360 and Playstation 3 consoles straight out of the box.



Since that time console and panel technology has evolved, with the HDMI connection becoming ubiquitous and 1080p a standard resolution for both video output and LCD TV resolution. This necessitated an update to the HD PVR, at which time they could also implement hardware advancements to the device to allow zero-delay passthrough of video and audio. At the same time the chassis was redesigned for clearer indicator LEDs and less extraneous features. The resulting product for gamers is the HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition Plus.

About the HD PVR2 GE+

Record PC or console game play in high definition on your laptop or desktop PC

HD PVR 2 GE Plus records HD video from a gaming PC or Sony® PlayStation®3 or Microsoft® Xbox® 360 onto your Windows laptop or desktop PC. Make video recordings of your best game play in HD in a high quality H.264 format. Upload your games to YouTube and share them with other gamers online. Or make a high definition movie of your game play to share with your friends or use it to discuss tactics with your clan members!


Compared to the original HD PVR Gaming Edition the HD PVR2 GE+ most prominently adds HDMI input, output and 1080p recording capabilities, with this update from the non-Plus model also enabling capture of 5.1 audio over S/PDIF and Optical inputs. Unlike the non-gaming edition HD PVR2 it comes equipped with component capture cables for the XBOX360 and PS3 as well as a single HDMI cable, making it a good self-contained package for getting set up with HD recording.

At close to £140 it's priced in line with the competition rather than posing a budget alternative. Gamers who routinely spend £45 the latest games may not baulk at this price, but it has a lot to prove to be taken seriously as an exploitable asset for self-promotion on the Internet.


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