Posts tagged "Capture Card"

Elgato Game Capture HD60S Review


Elgato’s latest game device, the HD60S can record any signal up to 1080p at 60 frames per second, letting you record it to your computer or stream it to the internet. It’s designed for gamers who want to live stream gameplay to Facebook, twitch or YouTube, its fast USB 3.0 connection and video processing are fast enough to allow you play games via software’s live preview.

It’s small, portable and fulfills all the requirements of a game capture device.

Muaaz

Why you need a capture device?

The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One both have built-in gameplay recording functionality but the recorded clip size is limited and quality is not up to current standards. You can record gameplay at higher bit rate using your game capture card and you don’t have to worry about the size of the clips as long as your hard drive has space.

Design

The HD60 S $149.95 at Amazon is a tiny, rectangular pod, about the size of a SSD and nearly identical to its USB 2.0 predecessor, the HD60. The curved, matte black plastic shell measures 0.7 by 3.0 by 4.4 inches (HWD), with a glossy black stripe running down the length. An HDMI input, a USB-C port, and a 3.5mm audio input sit on one end of the device, and an HDMI output sits on the other end. That’s all you get for any physical interaction with the HD60 S itself; the glossy strip lights up to indicate it’s properly connected and recording, but besides plugging all of the necessary cables in, everything is managed through your connected PC.

Setting up the HD60 S goes through the same process as nearly any other PC-tethered capture device. Plug the HDMI input into your game console, plug the HDMI output into your TV, and plug the USB-C port into your PC. An HDMI cable and a USB-C-to-USB-A cable are included so you can hook the HD60 S into your current game setup without needing to pick up any additional cables. If you want to provide audio commentary over whatever you’re capturing, you can plug a microphone or headset into the 3.5mm port. You can also use your microphone that is plugged in to your PC for commentary.

Software

Elgato offers its own Game Capture HD software for use with the HD60 S as a free download for windows and macOS, and it allows you to both record and stream gameplays. You can record video locally or stream to Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, Ustream, Dailymotion, or any rtmp-based streaming video service. Video capture is based around a single screen for recording, streaming, managing overlays, and adding audio commentary. The software places the video feed prominently in the upper-left corner of the window, with the direct recording and streaming controls arranged below and various capture settings sitting to the right. It lets you follow your current recording/streaming status, audio levels, overlays, and capture settings at a glance.

You can create custom scenes and overlays, or use one of 10 included in the software. The customization options are fairly powerful, letting you add your own graphics, text, webcam feeds, web pages, or even animations. It isn’t quite as robust as XSplit’s extensive scene, transition, and source options, but it’s still very functional for free software, and much easier to set up and use than Open Broadcasting Software (OBS).

Capture and Streaming Performance

While you’ll get the best gaming experience through the HDMI pass-through to your TV, the live capture feed in Elgato’s software is surprisingly responsive. I played Red dead redemption 2 and Fortnite on my PS4 Pro through the live feed on the connected PC. Both games were very playable, with only a negligible lag compared with the HD60 S’s HDMI output to a Monitor.

This is the biggest advantage over the HD60 and previous devices—those 1080p60-capable capture devices can record video just fine, but the capture feed lags far too long to comfortably play through it. With the HD60S you can actually play through your monitor while you record or stream.

Gameplay capture looks excellent. I recorded FIFA 19 and Rise of Tomb Raider off of an Xbox One S. Recordings were captured at a steady 1080p60, with quality settings ranging from Medium to Best.

The lowest 1080p video quality setting produced some minor compression artifacts compared with the highest quality setting. Fine details like the grass, ropes, and string on Lara’s bow in “Rise of the Tomb Raider” were significantly sharper using the higher bitrate preset. I genrally recommend these preset for fine details. Compression artifacts are less noticeable in retro-style games, but anything with modern graphics really demands the Best setting.

Streaming performance is also very strong. I’ve been using the HD60 S for live game streams on my facebook page, and the captured video quality has remained consistently high. The outgoing stream occasionally suffers from screen tearing, but this has been due to the processing of the video as it streams out more than the capture device itself, and vertical sync settings can help alleviate this problem.

Conclusions

The Elgato Game Capture HD60 S is a small, capable game capture device that’s simple to set up and use to both stream and record your games. It can record 1080p60 video with ease, and both its pass-through video to your TV and live video on your PC are responsive enough to comfortably play through. Its only real weakness is a lack of legacy or analog video options. But that’s become a fairly standard aspect of HDMI capture devices. HD60S is a pretty decent useful device if you’re looking to record your console gameplay at higher quality with more power. It’s a valuable streaming and recording tool for gamers.