AVerMedia have given gamers a new treat. A new unit to capture gameplay from their favorite current generation gaming console. YouTube is booming with everything known to man, gaming being one of those things. Ranging form Let's Plays to Video Reviews you will always find something gaming related on YouTube. Capture cards are still relatively expensive if you are on a small budget. The C285 model of AverMedia's game capture line is no exception at 164.00 USD. I got to use the Game Capture HD II C285 and I was both excited and confused. I had never used a capture card but always wanted one. Needless to say, I was impressed.
The Game Capture HD II C285 can record up to 1080p at 30fps and everything in between. The game is not hindered by the capture card running in anyway. Usually when things like this are running the fps drops in the game. Well not this capture card, and it is great. You can record with the Wii U, PS3, and Xbox 360 game consoles. Not only that, but you can even record your own audio while the game is running. There is a microphone jack so no need to run a separate program or even record separately in post production. As someone who hates video editing, this what a feature that made it easier to create videos.
The capture card is also remote controlled. You can change settings, start/stop recordings, take screenshots etc all with the included remote. The downside, is that you don't have any indication of how long your video is being recorded. You can however download an app for the iOS that lets you use your iPhone or iPad as a remote that displays that information for you. There is also an Android version. The App is called GameMate feel free to get it on the Google Play Store and Apple Store (or wherever you download apps on the iOS stuff).
The design of the Game Capture HD II C285 is sleek and “stylish”. It is black with red accents to match your black consoles. So it fits in nicely and doesn't overtly stand out as a gaming accessory. It is also well built and sturdy. No cheap plastic here. It has a nice weight to it once the hard drive is inserted so it won't awkwardly be floating because your HDMI chord is being finicky.
The downside to this capture card is that despite the price, it does not come with a memory unit. You will have to supply your own hard drive to record/store your screenshots and gameplay. If you are always going to be recording your gameplay at 1080p for more than half an hour and not transferring immediately I recommend getting a 1TB hard drive so you can get the most out of it. Sadly those run anywhere from 60-80 USD. So your total investment is upwards of 200 USD. When it comes to accessories like this, all inclusive packages are nice. I blame Sony and their memory cards for PSP and PS Vita for my hatred of separate memory units.
What is also peculiar is that the PS3 does not use the HDMI port on the capture card. It uses the HD component inputs. If you use a PS3 with an HDMI chord you must buy a PS3 HD component cable. If you do not own one, you can pick them up on Amazon. Obviously this is sort of an inconvenience since the Wii U and 360 both use the HDMI port. Apparently the PS3 is HDCP protected when it comes to that sort of thing. At least that is what the error message gave me.
The setup is also a tad difficult even when following the guide included. Sometimes it takes multiple tries to get the hard drive recognized by the system and you have to try to record multiple times before it actually starts. The only indication of it is recording is the red light on the unit. It is not exactly user friendly in the beginning.
The Game Capture HD II C285 works well despite is unfriendly user interface and the need for extra cables/memory unit to fully function. The quality it records in is great and the microphone jack is a nice touch. It is cheaper than most of the capture cards out there, you get a nice quality for what you pay for. It is also to be confirmed to work with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. So there will be no need to get a new capture card when the new generation of gaming releases. I give the Game Capture HD II C285 from AVerMedia a 4/5 stars. You can pick it up on both Amazong and Newegg.