Video Capture Hardware Review: Elgato Game Capture HD

Updated on October 16, 2018
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Natalie is a writer who also has a YouTube channel. She enjoys writing reviews, watching anime and TV shows, and playing videogames.

The Elgato Game Capture HD.
The Elgato Game Capture HD. | Source

What Is the Elgato Game Capture HD?

Capture Device: Elgato Game Capture HD

Videogame Capture Card Elgato Game Capture HD gives you the ability to record gameplay footage from the PlayStation 3/Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Wii, and Nintendo Switch Recorder for Mac and PC up to 1080P.

Elgato Game Capture HD is a videogame capture card that works with your PlayStation 3 and 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One/One S, Wii, WiiU, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

Requirements to Use the Elgato

One requirement of the Elgato is that you have to have an HDTV with an HDMI port to plug the Elgato into the TV. If you don’t you can’t use the Elgato.

The Elgato comes with an HDMI cord to connect to your TV, along with various cords to connect your PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii to the capture card.

You can easily download the software to use with the Elgato through their official website and here are the system requirements for your computer.

  • Mac: Mac OS X 10.7, 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo CPU.
  • PC: Windows 7, 2.0 GHz dual-core CPU.
  • Sound card | 4 GB RAM | Built-in USB 2.0 port

It’s Easy to Set up and Use!

Set up for Elgato is pretty easy, I have had weird issues with the PlayStation 3, but I have got it to work, but that’s because of things on my end. I haven’t had any problems recording gameplay for my YouTube channel, ReVIewMeMedia, and I use default settings, but you can change the video quality to whatever you like. The Elgato software outputs to .mp4 format and you may need video conversion software to change it to a format that you can edit if you prefer to edit your videos before uploading them to YouTube or other video sharing sites.

The Elgato also has the ability to record audio commentary using the capture software and you can change the settings for that. You can also stream games through YouTube, Ustream, and Twitch. They update their software often, adding new features. The only thing I ever had a problem with is forgetting to turn on the audio commentary recording, but that was my mistake, I’ve never had problems with the software.

Unboxing the Elgato and Setup:

You Can Only Record Using A Computer

The one flaw of the Elgato is that you have to record using a computer, there are other capture cards that let you record to an external hard drive but Elgato Game Capture HD won’t let you do that.

A YouTuber's setup of the Elgato Game Capture HD.
A YouTuber's setup of the Elgato Game Capture HD. | Source

It Does Have Good Video Quality

The video quality of the footage recorded turned out to be pretty good, not the best video quality, but it did look good for my gameplay recordings. I do feel the Avermedia Live Gamer Portable has better quality, but the Elgato video quality isn’t bad at all.

I liked how my videos turned out and they look good, I didn’t capture in 1080p video quality but my videos still looked fantastic at 720p. It’s great quality but I don’t think that the Game Capture HD can handle 4K and only the newer models of the capture cards can do 4K.

The Mini USB Connectors Break Easily

Another flaw of the Elgato is that the mini USB connector can become loose and break, rendering it completely unusable because it won’t connect to your computer. Unfortunately, this happened to me and I had to find myself a different capture card because it broke even though I didn’t use it a lot.

Reader Poll:

Will you buy the Elgato Game Capture HD?

See results
The Elgato Game Capture HD software being used to capture games.
The Elgato Game Capture HD software being used to capture games. | Source

It’s a Good Capture Card If You Want to Star Recording or Streaming Your Games

The Elgato Game Capture HD is a great capture device. It worked pretty well for me, despite the fact that mine broke. I am disappointed that it broke because it was a product that I really liked using.

I wish that the connector hadn’t broken or I would be using the capture card.

It was expensive, but it did work very well until it broke, I was long past warranty so I couldn’t get it replaced.

It doesn’t handle 4K resolution like the newer models so that is a drawback of the machine, but you can use it on most of your older video game systems to record footage.

Quick Summary:

What Works:
What Doesn't Work:
Easy to set up and use
Mini-USB is flimsy
Great video quality
 
Inexpensive compared to other capture cards
 

My Grade: A-

It’s a nice device when it’s actually working properly. I would still be using it if the connector hadn’t broken, but other than the flimsy connector for the mini-USB cord, the Elegato Game Capture HD worked very well.

If the physical product had been constructed better where the mini USB connector hadn’t wobbled and become loose where it couldn’t connect to the PC anymore I would give this a full recommendation. But despite the fact that mine broke, most people don’t have this problem with the Elgato. What’s even more frustrating is that I didn’t even use it that often. I would only record once in awhile so I didn’t use it a lot that I could wear it out, but it ended up breaking anyway.

The Elgato Game capture is one of the cheaper capture cards you can buy, so it is worth looking at if you don’t want to spend a lot of money, but you want to start recording games. The newer model doesn’t connect to component but this is the only version that has, it has been discontinued by the manufacturer, but you can probably find it on eBay.

I highly recommend this video capture card. It has worked for me flawlessly, except for the physical flaw in mine that caused it to break. Unfortunately I was out of warranty so I couldn’t get it fixed, and even though it’s expensive, it’s totally worth it. It’s something that you should get if you want to start making gaming videos for YouTube (if you’re intending to make money through placing ads on your videos, you’ll have to deal with YouTube’s Content ID) then pick this up, it’s worth spending your money on because it’s a fantastic game capture device.

My Rating:

5 stars for Video Capture Card: Elgato Game Capture HD

Questions & Answers

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