YouTube and Twitch have revolutionised how an entire generation of gamers play their video games. Gamers now want to show the world their exploits in the latest game they are playing. Up until a couple of years ago this was generally difficult to do and required a degree in computer programming (slight exaggeration but you get my meaning). Both the Xbox One and PS4 offer the ability to share gameplay clips but the quality of the footage isn’t great and you are limited to the time the consoles give you. They also allow you to stream to Twitch directly from the console at the push of a button, however, again the quality isn’t fantastic but it is a great stepping stone into the world of online streaming.
So if you want to create you own YouTube channel or stream every night on Twitch to the highest quality then you will need to get yourself a Capture Card. These devices are created to capture external devices via video signals. Simply it records what is on your TV. A few years ago they were quite difficult to get your head around and for me personally that put me off. However thankfully in 2017, it is easier than ever to use these devices but there is a huge selection to choose from so which one should you invest in. Well, one name kept cropping up in the online forums on sites such as Reddit more than any other and that was the Elgato Game Capture HD60.
In the box, you will obviously get the HD60 itself along with an HDMI and miniUSB cable. One thing missing, however, is a set of instructions. Luckily the HD60 is extremely simple to set up and a quick trip to YouTube will show you exactly what to do but I don’t think it would have been too taxing for Elgato to include a simple one sheet pictogram on how to set the HD60 up. Before doing anything with the actual kit you will need to download capture software (this is stated on the inside of the box) from the Elgato website. Once that is downloaded and running its time to plug in the HD60, which is quick and hassle free. There are three ports, a miniUSB and an HDMI out and input. The miniUSB connects to your laptop/PC, the HDMI cable from your console connects to the input and obviously, the remaining HDMI cable connects from your TV to the HMDI output. If all is well in the world after a few seconds you’ll see what is displayed on your tv on the capture software on your computer. I did encounter one minor slip up, as I’m sure many of you will if the world of Capture Cards is new to you…
Everything was all set up correctly but oh no, flashing red lights on the HD60. Thankfully YouTube came to my rescue again and I was instructed by a 13-year-old on how to fix my issue, which was caused by enabling HDCP. High-Definition Content Protection is fundamentally anti-pirating software to stop naughty people recording Blu-Ray movies played over HDMI. Having this disabled does not affect gameplay at all, put if you want to watch a movie later on just remember to enable it again. So after that slight hiccup, everything was set and I was ready to capture some gameplay properly for the first time and I was amazed at how easy Elgato had made it, thanks to the incredible Capture programme they provide.
Creating a video or streaming to Twitch is easy as pushing a button, simply press record or stream and that is it my friends. If you want to add commentary over your recording then just press the blue commentary button and your sweet tones will be heard over the gameplay. You do not have to do anything else, just play the game and the HD60 and the capture programme will do the rest. While streaming you can also record your footage for editing later but this is limited to 720p, which is also the quality of the stream. If you’re not streaming then the default output size is defaulted at 60fps, 1080p. Streaming at this level will obviously mean that the video will be quite large so be prepared for a long wait once you upload it to YouTube, which you can do directly from the Capture Programme. Before uploading to YouTube, however, unless you are the up most professional, there may be some editing to be done. Now professionals will likely not use the editing tools provided by Elgato as they are quite simple but, beginners will be absolutely fine using the tools here. They allow you to cut footage out and either delete or move it around, start a new video from the cut selection, pick a screenshot and also cut out bits of audio so, while in the middle of recording you decide it will be a good idea to start singing, and upon hearing your voice back you decide the world isn’t ready for your amazing talent, then it is easy to cut it out. Once your masterpiece is edited then you can share directly from the capture programme to YouTube, Facebook, Email, Apple TV, iPad, iPhone, Windows Movie Maker or just simply save the video as an MP4.
Anyone wishing to capture any footage from their PS3 will, unfortunately, be out of luck here and it is from no fault of Elgato, it is just the way the PS3 outputs its video. Also if you are looking to capture some retro footage, then the HD60 cannot help you here either as it is solely HDMI. To capture PS3 and other older consoles, you’ll need to get yourself the older brother of the HD60, the Game Capture HD.
The image quality is truly incredible from the HD60. From someone who has just been using the PS4 and Xbox internal sharing software, watching something I have captured in HD is amazing. The video below shows just how good the quality is but you may have to set the video to 1080p as YouTube defaults its videos based on your internet speed. So, on a small screen 720p is absolutely fine but on a PC Monitor or TV, to truly appreciate the quality the HD60 provides then you will need to set it to 1080p. Even with numerous cars on fire and a half of the Police force of San Andreas after me, the recording did not once struggle and, well you can see for yourself there are no framerate drops or any other issues.