Review: Roxio Game Capture
Always impressed with how Giant Bomb does their Quick Look segments on their site, I wanted to capture my gameplay to possibly do something with. Not having thousands of dollars to afford the equipment that professionals use, I needed something cheap but effective in learning how to capture and edit video game footage. This is where Roxio steps in with the Roxio Game Capture. Roxio was kind enough to send us a review unit to see if this will fill the needs that I am looking for. First off, this is not an HD capable device despite what you may have been claimed by some online. The most you are going to get recording wise is 480p. Cheap and HD does not go together quite yet so it's either one or the other for now.
Setup is easy for the Game Capture. Included is everything you will need to hook it up, minus the component cables for your console. Most of you should have these cables already but if not, you WILL need these cables since component is the only way to hook up your console to this device. Once the Roxio Game Capture was setup and the software/drivers were installed to my PC, I plugged the Game Capture in using the USB cable and I was off and running.
The software is very easy to use and navigate which is good for someone like me who has no idea what he is doing. Upon starting the software, you are given two options, capture or edit and share. Capture brings you to another interface where you will see all your options, settings and a preview window to see what you are recording. Having the option to select either 480i/576i or 480p/576p/720p/1080i didn't make sense to me at first. Then I realized that even though the box for the Roxio Game Capture says 360 and PS3 on it, the Wii, PS2 and if you were lucky to get one that had the outputs on it, Gamecube had component outputs so this could be used for those as well. I like that since I want to record some of my backlog play from older generations of games that I missed out on.
Although you can record in either AVI, DIVX or WMV formats, I found that WMV works the best for quality and file size. Now this is because I am using the included software to edit my captures so you could possibly get better quality out of the AVI format with higher end video editing software. To show a comparison, 15 minutes of AVI was around 3GB whereas 15 minutes of WMV ended up around 600MB.
I didn't toy around with the editing part of the software too much since I am still getting use to doing any basic editing when it comes to video. There seems to be enough features in the editing part of the software to help any beginner put together some montages of your latest Black Ops endeavors or some crazy part of a game that you just have to show people. A little tip that I found while scouring the internet for some info on the best settings to use for rendering video with the included software. When using WMV format, set the video file quality in the output option to "Windows Media Video 9, 1280x720 VBR." It will make your videos wide screen as well as show up on Youtube as 720P. Not sure if it really is 720P but it seems to look a little sharper than 480p to me eyes.
If you want to make a video review, Let's Play, Quick Look, or even stream your gameplay to Justin.tv or Ustream, the Roxio Game Capture is the right device for you to get started and on your way. It doesn't do HD but you can always spend the extra $100 to get that option. For me and plenty of others that just want something simple to hook up and get started with capturing video, Roxio Game Capture with its low barrier to entry price ($99) makes this a great place to start.