Hauppauge HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition review

Record and conquer with this neat gadget targeted at the joystick generation

For some hardcore gamers, winning isn’t enough; posting videos online for all to see is the only way to satisfy their egos. If this sounds like you, then the Hauppauge HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition, a standalone PS3/Xbox/Wii video recorder, is right up your FPS alley.

The small, shapely HD PVR 2 is equipped with an HDMI throughput, plus an ‘AV Input’ slot (which includes HD component video support). Xbox users can loop their console through the HDMI, but unfortunately the PS3's encrypted HDMI output limits you to 1080i or lower recordings via component versus the Xbox’s 1080p.

Introducing the HD PVR 2 between your console and screen brings no obvious lag, though video streams take a few seconds to appear in the supplied ArcSoft Showbiz software. This software can record in three different formats (and you can start recordings via a button on the device’s top) and allows easy editing and uploading.

Recording quality is good. Xbox recordings from Bioshock Infinite and Dishonoured look the best, with rich colours, HD detailing, excellent motion fluidity and reasonably few compression artefacts. PS3 videos look less rich and detailed, but you can always clearly see what’s happening.

The HD PVR 2 we tested only supports stereo audio, though a new Plus edition enables 5.1 channels.

The lack of PS3 HDMI support is unfortunate if hardly Hauppauge’s fault, and £120 seems slightly expensive for such a single-minded device. But the HD PVR 2 undeniably does what it says on the tin, and it does it slightly better than expected.


Hauppauge HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition

Overall: 4/5