Review: Does the low price make the Roxio worthwhile or is it just a red herring?
In the interest of taking my blog to the next step I've been looking at purchasing video game capture cards to... well, capture video game footage. I do this knowing that I'm only going to add to the already well populated sea of youtuber's and Twitch.tv users presently showing hours of uninterrupted gameplay.
However, whilst I was researching the different devices available with my mate I found some of the information wasn't always clear or informative regarding what you do or don't get with the devices. So I added in to my review of the Roxio how set up the device to your console (specifically PS3) and TV.
In the long run I'm planning to add gameplay footage to future reviews and will update older posts with some as well.
[Below is my video review and below that is a written review]
- Unboxing: - 00:23 sec
- Pricing: - 01:03 mins
- PS3 Setup 1: - 04:05 mins
- PS3 Setup 2: - 04:46 mins
- PS3 Setup 3: - 06:35 mins
- User Experience: - 07:33 mins
The Roxio Game Capture HD Pro is cheap. Not necessarily low quality "cheap"- although it's not far from it. At its lowest price of £99 and in the grand scheme of video game capture cards, it's your entry level device with no thrills. None whatsoever.
The box kind of says it all; basic and with no special thought to its design. It's purely for the purposes of containing the device. And I know this seems like a bizarre remark to make but when you compare the Roxio's box to, say, the El Gato you can see how the lower price is made up through cost cutting methods.
It's the difference between Sainsbury's and Lidl - one is nicer to look at and practical, the other is just practical.
Getting into the box you'll find the capture card device, a USB cable (which acts as the power cable), installation software CD, and the instruction manual. Using the Roxio should be simple and easy, and indeed this is one of the proclaimed benefits for this particular capture card, which should be a great relief to any prospering gaming capture-er (yep that’s not a word) who fears the capture card waters are too deep to start with.
You should be able to link up, install, and record relatively quickly seeing as the hardware and software have been designed to be almost idiot proof. The hardware clearly details the input and output ports, the software stream lines the interface with easy to follow layouts and by removing some of the more complicate video controls. It’s virtually plug in and play.
In spite of this the entry capture card doesn’t come with any of the necessary cables needed for either the Xbox 360 or Playstation 3, which is just another reflection of its cheap-no thrills price bracket. This means you’ll need to buy them separately and, preferably, at the same time that you buy the actual device. Having said that Xbox owners will be more fortunate than PS3 counter parts since the cables needed should already be in your possession.
In contrast to the Xbox, Sony has incorporated HDCP technology that prevents the HDMI cable from being compatible with the Roxio HD Pro (as well as other capture devices), but don’t fret because all you need is 1 or 2 A/V Component cables and you’ll be set.
The next big problem is the new PS3 Slim and Super Slim do not come with component cables, only composite, so you will need to get some. But beyond that you should be just peachy.
Once you've set up the device and have all the cables going in and out of the necessary ports, you’ll need to install the video capture program and editing software. It’s all very simple – or so I thought.
Unfortunately at this point I stopped believing the bravado of other users’ proclamations and found the low price really shone!
The software was unstable and regularly caused my laptop to freeze or took an eternity to comply with the changes I made within the settings. So I used a new laptop and this just resulted in the blue screen of death.
After much cursing and disbelief I ended up reinstalling the software and found it to be more reasonable. The next problem was getting the hardware to be recognised by the software and then getting it to actually pick up some signal from the console and TV.
This required a lot of fiddling around with cables and trying different combinations: ‘A/V-ROXIO-HDMI’, ‘A/V+HDMI-ROXIO-A/V+HDMI’, ‘A/V-ROXIO-A/V’. It felt like a mini-game, a crap one granted- but once I had found the correct combination I knew I would unlock a new costume that would enhance my life.
Needless to say when the puzzle was resolved life was still pretty much the same. By this point it had taken such a long time to setup that both my girlfriend (who was waiting patiently to work on her laptop!) and I were sufficiently exasperated. Eventually I was able to capture some gameplay but as soon as I started working with the editing software I had just about enough of this absurd dance, and pulled the plug on the Roxio.
Upon reflection there’s a lot of promise from this entry video game capture card; its overall design is geared towards simplicity and ease of use, whilst the price is a reasonable amount for consumers who don’t want to break the bank on unknown territory. Yet, just because it’s cost efficient doesn't mean it shouldn't work. In fact £99 is still a lot of money for something not to work. Additionally it wasn't quick and it certainly wasn't hassle free, but hey- I might be that one idiot who broke (bypassed) the proofing.