Thursday, March 5, 2015

Initial thoughts and review on the Elgato HD60 Video Capture card

In December when I bought my PS4, I had already planned to start and grow a YouTube gaming channel. I was on the lookout for a capture card that would work well with my PS4. After some research my 2 choices were narrowed down to either the HD PVR or the Elgato HD 60. I ended up choosing the Elgato HD 60 mainly because of all the positive feedback and user reviews I had read about this device. Another important factor could have been that I knew someone personally who had one and they had nothing bad to say about it.

So my mind made up I began the hunt for deals like any sensible person would do and realized that I had JUST missed a big sale on the device at the big retailers BEST BUY and FUTURESHOP where the device was being sold for $159 instead of its regular price of $189. Unfortunately I found out about this sale too late (maybe like a day late) and most places were already sold out and out of stock.
Disheartened I decided to just wait it out for another sale and buy it then. A month goes by and absolutely nothing to be found. I decided to wait another month and still no sales on the Elgato HD 60 to be found anywhere. Finally with my growing impatience I reluctantly ordered the Elgato at its full price of $189 and had it shipped to my house. Let me tell you that while having a deal on this expensive toy would have been great, it is definitely worth even the full price.

I read the piece of paper that comes with the Elgato and it tells me to download the software from its site which I did. I then plugged in the device and I’m instantly in business. The device had no problems when first plugged in and I was able to record video from my PS4 right away. The software seems ok, nothing too great but not bad either, it is very intuitive and fairly easy to use in my opinion.

Recording a video is as simple as hitting a big red record button when you want to start recording and hitting the same big red button when you want to stop recording. The device has a feature that lets you record footage even if you accidently forgot to hit the big red button and it can go back a few hours apparently. I have personally not tried this feature yet but I am sure it’ll come in handy quite a few times down the road.

The only problem I have at the moment is when I get the video that I recorded in mp4 format and use my editing software (not the Elgato one) to edit the video and then render it, the quality of the final video seems to be lacking a bit. I am not sure what the source of the problem is at the moment, whether I need to tweak the settings on the Elgato or my editing software before I render the video. It just seems to me that the final video doesn’t look as good or as sharp as it did on my TV. I have a feeling this has more to do with the editing software because WHILE recording the playback screen on the software shows an almost identical quality to my TV. I am not 100% sure of this, which is why I will have to further investigate this issue.

To illustrate what I am talking about below are 2 Test videos I recorded with my Elgato HD 60.

This one is a cinematic from the game INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US

This one is FIFA 15 Gameplay

To me even though I set the Elgato settings to record in 1080p and 60fps with the “Best” quality setting, I feel for some reason that the video is somewhat lacking in overall quality and ‘sharpness’.

Other than this minor annoyance which I’m sure is more my fault than anything, the Elgato performed really well as I recorded over 20 videos already and had no problems with it so far.



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