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AverMedia EZRecorder Plus HD Review

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Since the home video game era emerged, gamers have searched far and wide for the ability to share their gaming conquests with others. Now, back in my day, I used to route my PlayStation through a VCR, plug a blank tape into the ‘ol four-head Hi-FI and dazzle my family and friends with moments of video game excellence. Nowadays, however, with your fancy-dancy technology, you want to edit your experiences and post ’em on that interweb thing. For that, a VCR won’t cut it, but the AverMedia EZRecorder Plus HD might. That “might,” though, is a pretty big “might.”

The AverMedia EZRecorder Plus HD has its strong suits. For one thing, it plays back beautiful HD footage with stunning audio, which is exactly what it’s supposed to do. That said, setting up the device to produce said gorgeous video and audio is a bit tricky. Check out the video below to see what I’m talking about.

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I’ll mention now that this device is usually used to record TV shows. With the typical setup–a setup in the same manner as a TiVo or DVR–the process is rather simple. Plug the outputs from your cable box into the EZRecorder and plug the EZRecorder into your TV. This method uses component cables, which practically all HD cable boxes have. Therein lies the problem with recording some video games–PlayStation 3 consoles don’t have component output–only supporting HDMI. The EZRecorder, on the other hand, does *not* support HDMI, and those who’d like to record the PS3 moments must purchase an extra set of turnaround cables in order to do so (I found a set at WalMart for about $20).

One downside of the EZRecorder as a whole is that it doesn’t come with a hard drive. The device, in the box, is merely a shell, with the built-in software to record shows and set times to do so, but without anything to store them on. As an owner, you’ll either have to install an internal hard drive into the device, or use an external hard drive through the device’s USB port.

With the typical TV setup, EZRecorder owners are happy to record their TV shows and play them back later. With video games, however, the general reason to record gameplay is to share it online in some capacity. It’s easy enough to transfer footage from the device’s hard drive to a computer, but if you’re a Mac user (as many video editors are), you’re going to have some trouble editing and publishing your video. The EZRecorder captures video in .AVI format–a filetype Macs don’t play well with. WIthin the device’s manual, AverMedia lists a downloadable conversion software from its website, but I was unable to find said converter. Instead, I tried out a bunch of free (or free-trial) converters and eventually settled on one I liked. Even then, the conversions were limited to certain filetypes that were less than ideal.

As I said before, the device works once it’s set up, and its video and audio are hard to argue with. That said, it’s not as “EZ” as might be ideal, and the peripheral costs do jack the price up a bit. If you’ve got the funds and patience for this device, and are confident you can navigate through its somewhat-strange hoops, the final product is worth the effort. If you’re the type of person who gets frustrated when things don’t work exactly as expected, though, you may want to find something a little EZ-er.

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