Elgato Game Capture HD60 Pro Review

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Small, but powerful…

Elgato have, somewhat deservedly, been the leaders in game capture cards for quite some time. With their Game Capture HD range, they’ve brought the ability to capture footage at a high quality into the hands of many users at a reasonable price. We recently got our hands on one of their high-end Game Capture HD60 Pro units to review, and I think it’s safe to say that their status as market leaders isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

Product: Game Capture HD60 Pro
Manufacturer: Elgato
Price: £159.99

I’ve had an original Game Capture HD for the past few years in my setup. An unobtrusive little device, sitting in the middle of my TV and consoles, I’ve never really had any issues with it other than the lack of passive HDMI Pass-through, meaning it needs to be connected with USB to work. (I’ve gotten round this by plugging it into my TV for power until captures are required, when I switch to my laptop). It’s been a trusty companion for video reviews, and in all honesty, I’d still recommend it to anyone looking for a relatively cheap way to get into capturing video at a higher quality than the built in software.

However, times change, things move on and ultimately, tech gets better. Elgato’s range has expanded to include the Game Capture HD60, a similarly sized USB device that captures at 1080p in 60 frames a second, which produces some stunning results. The only downside to the USB solutions is that there is a noticeable (up to 2 seconds) delay when you’re capturing the footage. The HDMI Pass through works perfectly, and there’s no delay on the TV, but when using the software, the image appears a good 2 seconds after it does on the TV, which isn’t ideal, particularly if you’re live streaming, as the commentary and camera both come in with no delay, meaning you’re often reacting to things before they hit the screen.

With the HD60Pro, Elgato have decided enough is enough. The HD60 Pro has a new feature that Elgato call “Instant Gameview”, and they’re not wrong. At most, there’s probably a frame or 2 delay between TV and software, but it’s so slight it’s imperceptible. A small PCIe card, the HD60 Pro sits neatly on your PC Motherboard, and simply has 2 ports on the back. HDMI in, and HDMI out. Nothing more, nothing less. However, once you’ve installed the drivers, its diminutive stature is forgotten, as it opens up a huge amount of potential for your PC.

Opening up the Game Capture HD software for the first time might seem a little overwhelming. However, it’s relatively straightforward. Hit the big red button to record, hit it again to stop. There are plenty of customisation options that will allow you to record at different bit rates within the 1080p60 framework, but even at the lower end the footage looks fantastic. Put your details into the software and you’ll be able to stream on Twitch within minutes, with options to import overlays and webcam feeds, you’ll be pretty much ready to go within minutes, it’s all very intuitive. There’s also a built in edit mode, which allows you to chop and change your footage as you see fit, and export to any number of places, including YouTube, Facebook, and direct file outputs. It doesn’t matter if you forget to hit record either, as you can simply slide back on the software’s timeline, and you’re able to capture from quite a way back in your session! Very handy indeed.

Onto the streaming side of things, and the lack of delay has made the HD60 Pro an indispensable tool for live streamers. Being able to hook your console up, turn it on and use your PC’s webcam without having to mess about with adjusting delays using third party software? It’s the dream. I don’t know what magic Elgato have crammed into it, but it’s made it a fantastic piece of kit. The vast majority of capture cards on the market will have a delay on them, unless you’re prepared to spend a lot of money on pro grade equipment, which is why the HD60 Pro really should be on your radar if you’re looking to get into this area.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/xPrr-OSmzEk[/youtube]

It’s not without its flaws though. I was all set and ready to go with our Quantum Break livestream the other day, and unfortunately the software just didn’t want to play ball. Every time I hit “Stream”, it crashed out and wouldn’t have any of it. After doing a little digging, I found that this is likely caused by my graphics card. I’ve got an Nvidia GTX780, which has the latest drivers installed, yet I couldn’t use the card to encode the video footage for a livestream. In the end I had to make some emergency adjustments and use a different method of encoding to get the stream to work. One thing that has helped get round this though is that the HD60 Pro is available to use in other programs, meaning those who prefer to use the likes of OBS will be able to without any issues or delay. I’ve spoken with Elgato support and they’re looking to assist me with the problem I have going forward with it.

VERDICT

From a hardware standpoint, it’s really difficult to fault the Elgato Game Capture HD60 Pro. I’ve captured hours and hours of footage using it so far, and the results are simply brilliant, even at the lowest settings. It’s unobtrusive enough to fit into any motherboard with ease, and comes with both a full and half-height bracket, to fit any PC. I’ve had some issues with the software, but that is something that can be resolved down the line, and I’m happy that third party solutions such as OBS can utilise the hardware and that Elgato haven’t made the choice to arbitrarily lock it down. If they can lock down the software problems then it would be perfect. Quite simply, the Elgato Game Capture HD60 Pro is the best capture device on the market at the moment, and we’ve tried a few!

9.5/10

Editor-In-Chief - NGB. Started writing for NGB in 2013, 3 years later I was running the show. I love what we do here, if you want to get involved, get in touch! PSN/Xbox LIVE/Steam - Winstano

@winstano

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