Elgato HD60 Game Capture Review
Over the last few years, gaming videos and streams on YouTube and Twitch have continued to blow up. With that in mind we as gamers are often looking for better ways to record/stream our epic gameplay so I am happy to introduce the Elgato HD60 game capture card. It’s a sleek piece of technology that not only gives you an easy solution to pursuing your career as the next best YouTuber/streamer but it also allows you to do so by recording in full 1080p HD at 60 frames per second! This superb piece of kit let’s you capture your favourite games in the glory of Full HD! Fantastic!
The Game Capture HD60 measures 4.4 by 3 by 0.75 inches and weighs only 3.7 ounces, making it easy to pop in your pocket and take anywhere with ease. It has a pleasantly soft and smooth surface with rounded edges, making it unassuming when it’s set up or when you carry it around. The device has a HDMI input, a HDMI output, an audio line in port which can be used for microphone narration recording, and a mini USB port for the required computer connection.
The HD60 directly captures video through your console’s HDMI output and transfers it to your computer through a USB connection and the Elgato official software. The setup is very simple: Just connect the HD60 to your computer through the micro USB port and the included cable. Then connect your game console through the HDMI input port and included cable, and to your HDTV through the HDMI output port and a second HDMI cable (not included, but you can use the cable that was already connecting your console to your HDTV). The set up is easy as it took me about 5 minutes from unboxing to ready!
The latest version of the game capture software can be downloaded from Elgato’s official site. It works with both Windows and Macs, and is a quick and user friendly way to capture or stream video from the HD60. With the program open, you get a large gameplay screen (picture above) that takes up a majority of the desktop on your computer; it’s surrounded with buttons to capture video, stream it to an online service, change settings, and navigate your recorded clips. You can overlay a webcam feed on your video for narrated gameplay, and record narration as optionally separate audio tracks by enabling it in the program. Also, stereo line in audio can be used in place of HDMI audio. The HD60 can be set to automatically soften gameplay audio when players do live commentary so that the background noise isn’t too distracting when they cast or record.
The easy set up with the HD60 software is brilliant! If you go into the settings at the top right you can toggle your frame rate between 30fps and 60fps so depending on the game your recording you can determine yourself what you want! Along with that you can also set the video output so if you want to record in 720p 30fps by all means go for it! The audio settings are also easy to use. You can set the in game audio level to a wide range of volumes as well as your commentary volume giving you the ability to again control your capture with ease.
The software has a useful feature called Flashback Recording (I like to call it Ghost recording), which lets you retroactively record any awesome headshots or a game-winning jump shot that you may have missed because you didn’t manually tell the program to capture it. The program buffers video fed through the HD60 even if you don’t tell it to record, letting you grab anything you might have missed by sliding back the time in the window and clicking the Record button. Elgato does not specify how long the software automatically captures footage before dropping off, but I found it can handle at least an hour of buffered video which is fantastic!
The HD60 is compatible with all major video streaming platforms: Twitch, Ustream, and (My favourite) YouTube. Just type in your account details and press the stream button for your preferred service and you’re good to go, our very own Twitch Manager Martin “Greggo” Gregson uses the HD60 for his streams on our Twitch channel: “The Elgato HD60 offers simple set up and extraordinary quality at an affordable price. The supporting software with Stream Command offers a fast and flexible streaming experience. The Elgato HD60 also works perfectly well with third party software for full customisation.”
The software can also output video files formatted specifically for YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Email, Apple TV, iPad, and iPhone. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have many editing features. You’re mostly limited to cutting out frames and zooming in or out. After that you can pop the video into Windows Movie Maker or a commercial editing program to do any of the jazzy bits you want to add to your video. To be honest, I don’t see this as a draw back because the HD60 is not primarily an editing software but a capture software and it does what it needs to do with ease!
I tested the HD60, check out the video below: