Review: AverTV USB HD DVR

With millions of gamers around the world and access to the Internet they can be famous for the things that they do inside the game. In 2005, when the video sharing service YouTube launched it was unclear to see how much potential it had, now today millions of videos each day are uploaded to YouTube a as gamers around the world show off their skills, techniques, and humor.
As technologyadvances being able to capture video from their cable box, game consoles, PC, or just streaming live content to the Internet; everyone has the ability to share their unique experience, point of views, and savor the moments of their glorious victory over their enemies to relive them over and over.

 

We at StickSkills.com were recently given the opportunity to review a new product from AVerMedia. The AVerTV USB HD DVR is something I have personally been waiting for for quite some time, because there is always moments in gaming where I wanted to have a capture card, but I just didn’t have one. Not only are the capture devices getting cheaper, but they are also becoming easier to learn how to use with user interface, software, and instructional videos. With the device I was able to capture high definition audio and video up to 1080i by connecting a game console (either the Xbox 360, or PS3) and my PC with just a USB connection.

 

 

So now with a capture device in my hand I was able to play some games like Halo Reach, Call of Duty Black Ops, and the recently released Ms. Splosion Man and review what I did right, what I did wrong, or what was just funny to me and my friends. Game developers are also taking advantage of the easy ability to upload videos to the Internet by creating different theater modes within the game. With the ability to go back and watch what you did before in the game and also have it recorded on a computer it will help you learn from your mistakes, remember an outstanding performance from the game, or for really creative they can create an in game miniseries based on the actions of the characters in the game (see Machinima).

 

After I unboxed the system and gathered all the cables together I was able to look at the manual to determine how my cables would have to be set up. Looking over the instruction manual and trying to set up for the Xbox 360 the diagram was a little confusing at first, but was ready to capture in about twenty minutes. To set up AVermedia capture device takes the component cables from your Xbox 360 and then connect them to the bottom of a media box. Included in the box or a large set of component cables that are used for output, you will place one set of cables at the top portion of the media box and then the other set of cables will connect to record to your HDTV. Connect a power adapter and the included USB cable with one end going into the media box and the other end going into your PC, you will be ready to capture video. The best thing I can suggest is getting an extension USB cable if your PC or laptop is not conveniently placed right next to your system of choice.

 

 Click Setup picture for larger version
The AVermedia box provides an HDMI output for display options, but it also has S-video and component inputs for more connection options. The majority of my time that I spent with it I wasn’t using it for capturing Xbox 360 footage from games. After all my connections were made to the box and to the PC I installed the software and was able to run a capture program and adjust the settings all be able to do a semi-live view of what was being shown on television and on my PC. The software that is bundled with the AVermedia capture device was easy-to-use, simple to understand, and had some basic functions of changing settings. When the settings in the software I really appreciated was the ability to capture a determined amount of time, which allowed me to focus on the game instead of worrying about pressing the capture or stop button.

 

 AVermedia capture software program (Click for larger version)

 

The software provided with the AVermedia capture device is an all-in-one package for first-time capture users making it an easy transition to learning how to capture video and edit. So for beginning users of capturing media this will be a great stepping stone into video production especially for those people who want to make backups of their media such as DVDs, converting VHS tapes, and capturing video game footage from all major systems to be placed online.

Full 2v2 match of Halo Reach 720p

 

I have been using the captured Arius for about two weeks and I can say that it’s one of the easiest setups I’ve had a use for capture device also providing HD content.The capture device captures in a compressed format so when making long videos the file size will not consume much space on your drive as it uses a built in H.264 encoder and also a decoder. For an average 15 minute video I believe it was around a few hundred megabytes, which is convenient for those who just wanted a quick edits and uploads to YouTube, Facebook, twitter, or any other social network. Also available is the media converter that will allow taking the captured videos and converting them to play on Xbox 360, PS3, PSP, Ipod, and more.

 

Sample video captured from Xbox 360 at 720p.

Final thoughts is that for the price that you are putting into the capture device, the software that comes with the package, the ease-of-use, and ability to use it against multiple systems makes the AVermedia USB HD capture device something that I can provide a strong recommendation. If you’re looking to start out using capture devices and capturing video for editing or just posting to the Internet for your friends this is a great way to start. Depending on how much you want to capture video, the amount of capturing, and if quality is a concern the device only goes to 1080i, which is very good quality, but for a true 1080p HD capture there are other options on the market that can be found. The majority of capture that I would provide would be in 720p and I still find that setting to be very flexible in the quality and file size for producing great HD content. The jump from 1080i to 1080p isn’t a big one, but there are a few people out there that find it to be a concern and wanting that full 1080p experience with their video capture, but for the middle user or someone who wants to capture video for putting online, 720 or 1080i is just fine.
You can purchase the AVerTV USB HD DVR at online retailers for around $200 such as Amazon. For more information about the product please visit www.avermedia-usa.com/avertv/product/ProductDetail.aspx.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about how the product works leave them here in the comments below or in the forum and I will answer to the best of my abilities.
When not writing about games or playing them, you can find me enjoying my second passion, which is photography. For more information you can find me on Twitter @MDK2002.