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Elgato Game Capture HD

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Dec 11, 2013 in PS3, PS4, Tech, XBOX 360, Xbox One

Elgato Game Capture HD

 

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve become quite addicted to watching and capturing videos using the features on the PS4 and the Xbox One. There is something strangely voyeuristic about being able to sit and watch somebody play through a game, and I’ve found myself spending many evenings doing so.

Last year, I picked up a AverMedia Game Capture HD C281 for recording my Xbox and PS3 footage and have had mixed results with it. When it works, it’s great, simply record footage to the internal hard drive, then either pop out the drive or copy to a USB stick, move to PC/Mac, edit, then upload. Over the last couple of months I’ve had some issues with the Xbox recognising the cable properly, which has lead to the captures being in 480p only. I’ve run through all the tests I can, new cable, resetting the Xbox, bypassing the device and going straight to the TV, even a different Xbox, but to no avail, so I’ve decided to replace it with a different model.

The Elgato Game Capture HD offers a few benefits over the AverMedia Game Capture HD, notably the HDMI passthrough, instead of having to use the component cables. The device doesn’t have it’s own internal storage, instead it records directly to a PC/Mac, which will eliminate the need to move files between devices. This isn’t really an issue for me, as the Xbox 360 I record from is sat next to my iMac

Some of the additional features allow live streamings to Twitch, UStream and YouTube,  as well as one-click sharing to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and many other services. I guess one of the main features for me is the Flashback Recording feature that constantly records your footage, but will only commit to a file if you ask it to, kind of like the ‘Xbox…..Record That’ feature on the Xbox One, but this will potentially record hours.

As you can see from the below images, the device is very small and compact and takes up a lot less room than the AverMedia Game Capture HD. Setup was simple, I connected two HDMI cables, one to the Xbox and one to the TV, the USB cable to my Mac and installed the software.

The software is probably the best feature. In the middle of the screen you have your live feed (with a second or two delay), and on the right you have your controls, allowing you to easily start recording or streaming. Once you have your video recorded, you can use the built in editor to simply trim down the video. Once trimmed, you can either upload as it is or if you want to add your own touch to it, you can simply sent it to iMovie to add the polishing touches.

I’ll be primarily using this with the Xbox 360, however the cables included will allow recording from any HDMI device. The included cables allow connection to the PS3 (as the HDMI is encrypted) and component cables so I could use this with the Wii as well. Looking on the forums, this device will also be compatible with the Xbox One, and once the PS4 has received a firmware update to remove the HDCP protection, this should work flawlessly too.

So far, I’ve been really impressed with this device, very simply to use and plan to flesh out my YouTube channel in the coming months.

Unboxing photos below.

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Xbox 360 Gears of War Edition

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Jan 28, 2012 in Tech, XBOX 360

While playing Call of Duty: MW3 on my old Xbox 360 Elite, I noticed some strange black lines appearing in the background. I switched around cables, ports etc as I assumed it was a cable issue, but the problem stayed.

So ‘google is your friend’, and I found a handful of forum posts suggesting that the Xbox was on it’s way out, and these black lines were early signed of the Red Ring of Death, and I could soon expect to see the E74 error message.

Now Microsoft have given an additional 2 years warranty to cover the RROD, but unfortunately the Elite is nearly 3 and a half years old…..so time to buy a new shiny one !

I spent the evening looking at online deals, and finally decided that I wanted one of the special edition Xbox’s. I currently own the Halo Reach special edition Xbox and know there are currently 2 others on the market, the MW3 edition and the Gears of War 3 edition…..so decided to go with the Gears of War 3 edition.

Same as the Halo Reach special edition Xbox, it comes with a custom paint job, custom sounds and 2 custom controllers, and obviously a copy of Gears of War 3. The guy who served me at Game also threw in a copy of Crisis 2 (via download code), so all in all quite a bargain at considering it has the 320Gb hard drive.

One final thought, the controllers are the new type with the transforming D pad, it’s still early days with it, but WOW what a difference !

As always, the unboxing pics are below.

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Gears of War Xbox Gears of War Xbox

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Xbox 360 Kinect

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Nov 10, 2010 in Microsoft, Tech, XBOX 360

I’ve been interested in the Kinect ever since it was announced at the 2009 E3 show, under the name of Project Natal.

I was able to pre-order back in September, so me being the early adopter I am, ordered it straight away.

Well todays the day, and it’s finally release day for the Kinect, and I have to say I’ve pleasantly surprised. I’ll be perfectly honest with you, I was extremely dubious of how good this would be, as y previous experience with any camera controlled titles, have been a bit rubbish to be honest. The most recent one I played was You’re In the Movies, and to be honest, it was utter rubbish.

First thing I have to say about it, is I didn’t realise just how big it is, it’s around the length of the next Xbox 360S.

Next thing I notices were all the cables in the box, there were loads. These however won’t be needed if you have one of the newer 360S console. If you don’t, don’t worry, you have a mass of cables to power the kinect, and extend the USB sockets of the standard 360.

So how was it…well let me tell you, pretty bloody good !

Once I’d updated the software for the Kinect, the Kinect Video and Kinect Adventures, we were good to go.

First of all you active the Kinect by waving at it, once acknowledged it fires up the kinect dashboard, which is different to the normal Xbox dashboard. I then started with setting up a Kinect ID, this essentially joins your Kinect ID with your profile. As part of the setup, the kinect has you standing in various poses, in different locations in your room. Once complete it has your height, build and face in stored against your profile. This is used later for jumping in and out of games.

The next step was the Kinect tuning. It ran through evening from lighting, to sending a test signal to each speaker to measure the background noise.

Next was the the voice control. I was shocked how good this was. Basically you say “Xbox….”, and a bar pops up at the bottom with all available controls, or you can say what you see on the screen. So basically if you want to watch the Sky Player, you simply say…”Xbox..Sky”. I tried this out with the Last.fm app, and was surprised it heard me over my Happy Hardcore station…but it heard the commands fine. I even tried a series of stupid accents, and it still understood me.

Finally I tried was the Kinect video. This is basically video calling on the Xbox, but with the added advantage of being able to video call your MSN contacts. Now this had to be one of the coolest features of the Kinect. If you start a video call, the Kinect tracks your face, so if you walk up and down the room, the motorised camera will follow and keep focused on you. I though this was cool, but not as cool as when I sat down on the sofa next to C, the camera panned out to focus on both of us !

So time for Kinect Adventures. As expected, this is essentially a tech demo, basically the Wii Sports for Kinect. There are only a 5 mini game, but they cover the full features of the controller.

First of all, Rallyball is a sort of handball on speed. You hit a ball at a target, while deflecting balls that are coming at you. You can use your hands, legs and head, so in that sense it truly utilizes the Kinect’s potential. But only in a limited way.

Reflex Ridge puts your avatar on a platform, where you need to react to avoid obstacles. You will duck, jump and dodge your way through a gauntlet to reach the finish line.

Space Pop is a gravity-defying game that puts you in a small room filled with bubbles that you need to hit to pop. The game uses depth in an interesting way.

River Rush is similar to Reflex Ridge, but you have more control. As you cruise down a series of rapids in a raft, you move left and right to steer, and jump to elevate your transportation while collecting stars along the way.

Finally, 20,000 Leaks is perhaps the simplest game of the bunch. Cracks appear in the glass wall that is holding back the ocean, and you need to plug them with your body.

Initially I played the games solo, but later C came to join me, the kinect automatically recognised her from the Kinect ID we had set up, and added her straight into the game.

Finally, there are a lot of discussions going on about space and lighting for the Kinect. I personally had about 1.5 – 2 metres of space in front of me, and the Kinect seemed very happy with this. As for the lighting, once I’d created my Kinect ID, I was able to switch off the main light, and just use my smaller side light. This picked up without issue.

All in all, a very good device, and can’t recommend one enough. At this moment in time, I’ll be more inclined to use the Kinect over the Playstation move, as I just think it works a little better, the only downside is I think the games will be limited to Wii type games.

As always, unboxing photos below.

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