New AVerMedia C285 Game Capture HD II
Riding on the tails of a fairly recent release of the AVerMedia Live Gamer Portable (LGP), AVerMedia has announced their new product, the Game Capture HD II. This is pretty interesting timing, considering the LGP is one of the more recent releases into the game capture card space, coming out in April of this year. It’s also interesting, since the Xbox One and PS4 are launching just a couple of months from now with their own, baked-in game DVR feature that will allow recording and live-streaming of gameplay. AVerMedia is betting that this feature won’t obsolete capture cards, but spur greater demand.
- Recording without a PC on either USB stick or 2.5″ HDD storage
- Microphone in port for headset recording
- Pause recording
- Firmware for editing directly on your TV
- LAN port for direct Internet upload
- iPhone app for hardware status and remote control
- Supports: Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3 (PS4 support dependent on whether HDCP encryption is enforced; uncertain about ability to capture from older-gen consoles using component cables)
Cutting Out the PC
The AVerMedia Game Capture HD II does everything it’s older brother, the LGP does, but with a few upgrades and new features. Most capture cards require a direct connection to a PC, where the signal is siphoned off for recording by PC software. AVerMedia seems to like the idea of cutting out the PC. The LGP allowed recording directly onto a PC or straight onto an SD card. But the SD card capture was limited to 720p recording. The Game Capture HD II allows 1080p 30fps recording onto either a USB stick or 2.5″ HDD (not included).
Many gamers have found recording their commentary through their headsets to be a huge pain-point when capturing their gameplay. AVerMedia attempts to simplify the process by including a microphone-in jack right on the box. This presumably minimizes or eliminates syncing issues that some experience between the HDMI/component signal and separate microphone signal.
Editing and Sharing on the TV
AVerMedia has built some kind of front-end with editing tools directly into the box, which you can access straight on your TV. It’s still unclear how robust these editing capabilities will be, but it’s sure to include simple actions like trimming and watermarks. Though so far there doesn’t seem to be any recording buffer, like what’s available on the Elgato Game Capture HD, the Game Capture HD II does have a simple Pause feature. On the surface, this doesn’t sound like a big deal. However, pressing the Record/Stop Recording button on a capture card really signifies the beginning and end of a video file. A Pause button means you can keep adding to the same video file, but cut out the extra time you spent away on the toilet.
To officially seal the PC fate in this game capture solution, there’s a LAN port right on the Game Capture HD II unit, allowing quick upload to YouTube. At this point it’s unclear it this is the ONLY place to upload your video and also if there are any streaming capabilities. I’m particularly eager to hear if they have built in Wi-Fi support.
GameMate iOS App
This is a pretty unique and cool feature enhancement and one that I’m particularly excited about. The GameMate iOS app acts as a remote control for start/stop/pause of recording, screen capturing, and remaining recording time available based on hard drive space. On top of that, it provides video file management and remote posting of videos to YouTube and screenshots to Facebook. The app is currently available for download on the Apple App Store. While you can use it on iPad, it’s optimized for iPhone 5. AVerMedia has indicated that they are currently working on an Android version.
Release Date and Price
AVerMedia confirmed for me that the Game Capture HD II will be releasing in the US on September 24th. No clue yet on the price. I’m still really eager to get more information that will probably only come with the release. I’m particularly interested in seeing how robust the editing tools are.
UPDATE: I just found this short YouTube video that shows some of the editing capabilities. I don’t really understand what I’m seeing. Are they marking keyframes? But at least we can see what the UI looks like.
I’m super excited to try this sucker out. I’ve been planning on selling my current Hauppauge HD PVR 2 card and try out a new one. First up was the Elgato, but now I’m thinking I’ll be snatching up the AVerMedia Game Capture HD II first.
Clearly AVerMedia has taken the complete game capture solution to the next level. Even with the LGP, you had to stick your SD card into a PC for editing and upload. But the Game Capture HD II is really a standalone computer dedicated exclusively to recording video games. Can’t wait!
Check out the product page here: AVerMedia C285 Product Page