on September 20, 2012
Let me say on the record I am very experienced with Hauppauge's line of HD PVRs, having owned the original HD PVR for years. When I heard about the HD PVR 2, I was ecstatic. On to the product.
The unit comes in a slightly smaller, stout box than the HD PVR1. It came with the main unit, power adapter, 2 HDMI cables (cheap, generic kind), AV connector, PS3 Component Cable, USB cable, Install CD, and various booklets.
I plugged the unit in immediately to my Windows 7 PC hoping the advertised pass-through would work out of the box. Nope. The unit requires being on and the driver installed. So, I installed the latest drivers from the website. I eventually reverted to the on-disc drivers because of audio being flipped on the website drivers and problems with the component recording side. I also installed the Arcsoft Showbiz application included easily.
I'll say right now I'm not a fan of the bundled software, as I was not a fan of the TotalMediaExtreme software from the HD PVR1. This software does the job, but it is sluggish to record. Before you could disable the picture of whatever you were recording, but that option is now out. Initially, the button on the top would work and simply launch the application and begin recording. However, now it no longer works and I have to manually open the application, which isn't that big of a problem since I don't use it. To get to the capture software, you have to open Showbiz which to me is a bunch of bloatware. It would be much better if the actual recording program was separate from ShowBiz, if it was, I might actually stick with their software. I actually use a command line interface which doesn't use CPU or memory at all compared to the ShowBiz software. Google rcTVCap for more information.
Tweaking the encoder overall works fine. You can adjust the bitrate and recording scaling just fine through the encoder settings. The only problem I have is that when feeding a 480p signal (HDMI or component), it doesn't come out through the recording as 16:9, but correctly through the pass-through. I've tried this with both on disc and website drivers. If for some reason you were to feed a 16:9 480p, it'll be 720x480 which isn't 16:9 (854x480 is 16:9). Oddly enough, there is aspect ratio control in the encoder settings, but they'r grayed out, most likely because it's getting the wrong source resolution. But for 720p and 1080p the unit takes 16:9 ratios just fine.
Build Quality: 4/5
The unit looks much better than the original HD PVR. It's also much smaller, I'd estimate about 30% smaller. The unit doesn't get hot, even running or recording for extended periods. The cables included were of course bare minimum. But I think it was a bonus that they included a component cable for the PS3 and 2 HDMI cables to boot. Really, as long as the HDMI cable works, it's just as good as those "high-end" and high priced HDMI calbes (looking at you Monster). As for sturdiness, it's pretty light and I would guess that if you dropped something heavy like a brick, it would break. However, it should be common sense to not load anything heavy on top of the unit. It's sturdy enough for just placing on a table for extended periods.
-Cheaper than other HDMI capture solutions.
-HDMI Capture 1080p30 and 720p60
-"Pass-through" for lag free gameplay (i have a couple thoughts about this).
-Doesn't have very specific requirements (i.e. Blackmagic Shuttle) at least for Windows Platform.
-Comes with HDMI and Component cables
-External, no need for PCI-E slot or high-end computer for that matter.
-Installation can be a headache for some people
-PS3 can only be recorded via component (not Hauppauge's fault, due to HDCP on PS3)
-Website support and drivers can be iffy
-Component capture doesn't work half the time (have to restart computer to correct).
-Pass-through requires unit to be on and switched to appropriate channel (hdmi or av/component)
As for the pass through. I'll just say I don't exactly believe in it providing lagless gameplay. I compared a straight connection from source to monitor to having the unit connected. The pictures differ. The picture out of the HD PVR2 is ever so slightly fuzzier or less sharp. The colors also seem slightly washed out. I also play fighting games with a passion and I can most often tell if there is some sort of input delay. Unfortunately, I haven't tested through the hdmi connection, but from just playing on the PS3 hooked up via component, it felt like there was some sort of input delay. From my understanding, when converting analog to digital, which I assume is what happens when recording through component, there is definitely delay introduced. To not worry about all this, I use a powered HDMI splitter.
Overall, the HD PVR has its share of plus-es and minus-es. Normally, I would think about returning a product like this. However, it gets the job done. Right now, it's the only way I can effectively record from HDMI (1080p) without need of PCI-E slots, or ridiculous specific requirements. Plus, I'm able to record via command line which makes the unit even better. I mostly use the unit for recording PC gameplay and so far without a hitch. I won't be using this to record anything from the PS3.
Intel i7 3.4GhZ
Nvidia GTX 670
16 GB RAM
2x 2TB RAID 0
I will try to update this review as I get more experience with the unit and tack on more hours of recording.
Update: Apparently, the delay introduced when hooking up component through the unit is 60 microseconds, which is no where near one frame delay (60fps setting). So my gut feeling about input delay is most likely wrong. Again, I don't have equipment to scientifically test input delay and can only go off conjecture.
on September 28, 2012
Look & Feel:
The device looks pretty slick and has a slim profile to it. It is very light and does not take up much room at all. This is a major improvement over the previous version of the Hauppauge.
Comes with easy to follow directions and all the cables you need which is aweosme that I didnt have to buy the HDMI cables separately. Everything went smoothly for me, I followed the directions, hooked up the cables in the order directed, and put in the installation CD to install the driver and software. Everything went great, there was only one hiccup where I was directed to the company website to install a newer version of the driver. Nothing failed, I recieved no error messages.
FYI here is my setup:
PC - Sager customized laptop
i7 3610M CPU
Intel 520 SSD, 120GB
Nvidia 680M GPU
Windows 7 Home Premium
I even have the HDPVR routed through a 4x4 HDMI matrix (allows me to hook up multiple input/output devices to the matrix and easily switch among them with a remote rather than switching cables around)....and it still works great!
I experience zero lag while playing video games through the HD PVR 2.
There are lots and lots of configurations you can change to fit your needs. I am still exploring the menus but so far I see everything I need to capture HD video. I have done a few test videos and it looks great so it doesn't even seem like I will have to change much. This may be overwhelming to some folks, but if you just call tech support and let them know what you are trying to do, they will tell you exactly what configurations to choose!
Reaction to other ratings:
Hauppague is a great company with great products. There is pretty much a 50/50 split right now for 5 star and 1 star ratings. This seemed a little fishy to me when I ordered the product, I was worried there were goign to be issues. After my experience it is clear to me that the people giving it one star either A) dont know what they are doing and can't follow directions B) get frustrated very easily and run to their computers to write a negative review before trying to call tech support (who are very helpful by the way, CALL THEM! it is amazing how many people are reporting issues here but do not mention calling tech support...craziness...) C) have a unique computer setup or personal computer issue (which can be determined and fixed if you CALL TECH SUPPORT)
Great price, great functionality, great support, excellent device
If you are having any kind of difficulty, just call tech support, they are great. They have people dedicating their time to go through reviews of the product and address issues through comments...if they are that helpful in a comment section without being contacted directly, imagine if you just call them yourselves!
on November 7, 2013
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#NOTE: This review is for the 'Gaming Edition Plus Edition', for some reason Amazon are crossing reviews on other models, although there is difference between them.
When I first became interested into game capturing, I was initially looking into getting a PVR, a bit of a turn of events when I got this chance to test out the Elgato Game Capture HD which is indeed a great device. When I had the chance to review the PVR2GE+ I was more than eager to get my hands on it, as Hauppauge are one of the leading brands in game capture I was very interested in seeing how it compares to it's competitor on the game capture market.
The PVR2GE+ comes in a fairly big box, you do have to stretch your hands a bit to grasp it, but it is nicely packaged and has all the important information ranging from features, computer requirements and a diagram of all the ports on the PVR.
♦ What's in the box?: HD PVR 2 unit | Power Supply | Component Cable (PS3) | Hauppauge AV Adapter | HDMI Cable x2 | USB Cable | Software (Disk) | Manual.
The manual states that 1 HDMI cable is included, however after contacting Hauppauge, it seems like they are now including the extra HDMI cable which is fantastic!
♦ Optional Extras: Optical Cable; Only needed if you want to capture 5.1 audio.
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You also need to be aware you have the appropriate system specs to run this product:
* Laptop or desktop PC with 3.0 GHz single core or 2.0 GHz multi-core processor.
* Microsoft Windows 7 (32 or 64-bit), Windows Vista or Windows XP Service Pack 3.
* TV set with HDMI input.
* 512 MB RAM (1 GB recommended).
* Graphics card with 256 MB memory.
* Sound card.
* 220 MB free hard disk space (& 10GB+ for recordings).
* CD-ROM drive for software disk, otherwise download the software online from Hauppauge.
For Mac users, you will need a minimum OSX requirement of 10.7.4 or higher, and will need to follow the web-address located on the packaging.
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The PVR itself is quite square measuring with a width and length of 15cm each, though I was really impressed by the very sleek style look (it looks even better when recording as it gives off a lovely green glow through the middle.
As for connecting the PVR to your console, it's very simple:
PS3: PS3 to PVR (via component and AV adapter) - PVR to TV (Via HDMI) - PVR to Computer (Via USB) - Power-supply to be connected to the PVR.
*PS3 has to use this method to capture gaming, this is because the HDMI port is copyright protected. Make sure when using this device there is no HDMI cable connected to the PS3, and if your using the component cable for the first time, hold down the power button for about 8 seconds, by this time you should have heard a 'bleep' for the second time, on that secondly bleep, let go of the power button so the PS3 can auto-detect the connection. Once the software is set-up, you will need to go to the display settings and adjust the resolution to 720p, 1080i & 1080p.
Xbox 360: Xbox to PVR (via HDMI) - PVR to TV (Via HDMI) - PVR to Computer (Via USB) - Power-supply to be connected to the PVR.
You should be able to connect other devices to the PVR using the AV Adapter cable.
It's the next step which takes the longest, that is installing the software.
On the software disk there are three steps:
Step 1) 'Check Cable Connections'; this will show you a diagram of how everything should be connected (just use this to double check).
Step 2) 'Install HD PVR 2 Drivers'.
Step 3) 'Install HD PVR 2 Software'.
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There are two software's included:
♦ Hauppauge Capture:
This is the main recording software, from here you can choose from 5 different tabs:
1) Capture: Select video/audio inputs, change advance options such as video scaler and video/audio encoder, adjust quality level, take snap shots, adjust the game volume and of course record gameplay.
It also has a microphone input feature, you can select to input audio from your microphone/headset which allows you to do commentary whilst you're playing.
You have two volume sliders, one for game and one for audio so you can adjust the balance.
I would have liked to see a test button which allows your to hear yourself and gameplay audio so you can adjust them before recording, but it doesn't, so you may have to do a few takes to get the right balance.
Oh and one thing I noticed is that the audio from the microphone to the gameplay is ever so slightly out of sync.
As for recording, you can either press 'Record' in the software, or use the button located on the PVR.
2) Edit: Basic editor that allows you to cut and split your video files and export them into an MP4 file.
3) YouTube: From here you can view your recordings and upload them straight to YouTube.
4) StreamEez: If you have a Ustream or Twitch account, you can use this tab to stream directly to either site. You can also adjust the stream quality & audio/mic volumes.
5) Settings: Choose where you want your recordings and snapshots to be saved, add a personal logo onto your video (you can adjust position and transparency), as well as choosing the PVR button to automatically record or stream when pressed.
This software overall is really easy to navigate around, for the main recording purposes you only really need to use the 'Capture' & 'Settings' tab.
I've only had two crashes which happened in the space of 30 seconds of each other, but haven't had another issue since.
♦ ArcSoft ShowBiz (Video Editor):
This I would class as a more advanced version of Windows Movie maker, but a very basic version of software's such as Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11.
I think this is a great edition to be included with the package as it gives those who don't have the more advanced software's available, to spruce up their videos and make the final edit look good.
It has tools ranging from video trimming, special effects, transitions and text, it has a time-line with different layers where you can drop things on where you want, and it also has it's own feature that will allow you to record from the PVR.
It's a nice extra for those who need it.
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The PVR2GE+ is a great looking piece of kit which is simple to set-up and easy to use.
After recording gameplay from various games, I have to say that I am very impressed with the quality of both; video and audio.
I would like to see a few tweaks made to the software regarding the microphone to make it more in sync as well as easier to adjust audio properly, but apart from that it's a very decent game capture.
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Hauppauge HD PVR 2 GE+ -VS- Elgato Game Capture HD
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As previously stated, I also own the Elgato, so naturally I couldn't help to compare them both:
(+ Positive | / Neutral | - Negative).
+ PVR 2 In my opinion looks cooler, especially when the LED lights up.
+ Instant record button on the PVR 2.
+ 5.1 surround sound support via optical cable.
+ Comes with additional editing software where you can add text and effects.
+ Not too demanding on computer specs: Windows 7 (32 or 64-bit), Windows Vista or Windows XP Service Pack 3 | PC with 3.0 GHz single core or 2.0 GHz multi-core processor | 512 MB RAM (1 GB recommended) | Graphics card with 256 MB memory | Sound card | USB 2.0 Port.
/ Cables are long (This for me is EXTREMELY handy for my set-up, but some could see this as a nuisance).
- Requires the use of a power adapter.
+ Sleek looking, very lightweight and portable.
+ Simple and clean looking software.
+ Time-shift mode (allows you to go back in-time to record the footage you've missed).
+ Advanced microphone features (Game audio dimming when talking).
+ No power adapter needed.
/ Cables aren't too long (Great for people who love less clutter, not good for people who have the devices further away).
- Requires much higher computer specs to use on your computer:
Windows 7, Windows 8 or later | 2.0 Ghz (or higher) dual core CPU, or 2.0 Ghz (or higher) multi-core i3, i5 or i7 CPU | Sound card | 4GB Total Installed RAM (or higher) | Built-in USB 2.0 port.
+ They are both normally available with a similar price-tag.
+ Easy to set-up.
+ Software is simple to navigate.
+ Commentary features.
- Requires computer to be turned on to pass-through to TV.
Picking one over the other is a very hard choice because they both have their positives and both output top quality.
To date... I much prefer the Elgato software mainly down due to the advanced mic & time-shift features, but when it comes to practicality for my needs, the PVR2GE+ wins with it's longer cables, one-push record and is less resource heavy on my computer.
Both are very good contenders in the Game Capture market and both deserve 5 stars, I would recommend either one so it entirely depends on which suite your needs the most.
on September 20, 2014
Great Low quality pc-free recorder. This records using h264 baseline (up to L3.0) compression. Baseline is the lowest quality h264. If you want the h264 high profile settings, you should get the blackmagic h264 pro (needs a computer), which will be around $500 once you get the right audio adapter plugs, etc. The Elgato can do higher bitrates (30 mbps, 224 mbps AAC audio), but needs a computer. the avermedia can do nearly lossless (60mbps), but does not have composite input (Regular Nintendo). The rocket is the one to get if you need composite, component and hdmi input and a pc free option. The video bitrate can go up to 18 mbps variable bitrate after you set it up with the software. There is no constant bitrate option. This is a small error that the software is saying it is constant bitrate but it is really variable when you analyze the file specs. The audio bitrate can go up to 256 mbps (mp2? not sure) if connected to the computer and 192 AAC standalone. Make sure you get a usb drive that can use max usb 2.0 writing speeds such as the Lexar Jumpdrive P10, otherwise the video might stutter at high bitrates, as my pendrive does. It is important to remember that the usb flash drive port is usb 2.0, not 3.0.
I subtracted a star because they don't make it clear that it uses the baseline profile when encoding, though baseline is good enough for me. Make sure it is good enough for you by encoding some files on your computer with the x264 codec at the baseline profile BEFORE you buy this device. I used the program called SUPER. You might not like that the encoded file is noticeably darker than the original, because it tries to save bitrate in dark areas. But this is no problem for me.
If you want to record a ps4, you should run the feed through an hdmi splitter first. Make sure that the customer reviews say that the splitter works with a ps4. Make sure to upgrade the firmware immediately after purchasing, hauppage has fixed most of the original problems reviewers were talking about. It will not record at optimal settings out of the box, you set it up on the software first and it will save the settings onto the rocket device. Then you are good to go. I love the device because I bought it for low quality pc free encoding. For that purpose, it is wonderful. I have no use for high quality encoding.
To summarize, If you want PC free and don't need composite inputs, the Avermedia is the best, If you need the composite (NES) inputs, this is the best. If you don't need the PC free option, the El Gato is the best (30 mbps). If you want h264 high profile encoding, then you have to jump to the $500 price range and get the blackmagic h264 pro. Great customer service by Amazon as well. I had originally ordered the easycap card for a time sensitive project with one day shipping, it did not arrive on time and they gave me a full refund no questions asked. That is a great company
As a sidenote, you can get a marginally higher video bitrate (18.6 mbps) by using a third party software called Capture4Me which is $20. I'm not sure if you will really see the bump, but when I analyzed a file encoded with that program, the total file bitrate did support the claim and was over 18 mbps and was a higher bitrate than the included software. But you cannot tell from just one file because it is all VBR
Almost forgot to mention if you record to usb, format to ntfs first. Then there is no problem recording large files as long as you have the latest firmware downloaded onto the device.
on January 26, 2014
First off, there is nothing wrong with my computer. I have a very high-end gaming pc, and am extremely careful to keep it in top running condition.
Now, this PVR2 box has given me trouble from day 1, but since I have to output at least one video a day, I have been unable to return it to try a different unit.
The very first issue I had with this box, was that the output HDMI port is so loose, that half the time I have to fairly firmly push the HDMI cord into it. I have tried multiple cords and multiple monitors, and the PVR2 is to blame.
Not only that but this thing heats up so much, it starts outputting green static, as is, a snowstorm of green across any screen it is connected to. I have 100% traced the issue back the to the PVR2, it is not my xbox, it is not my HDMI cables, it is not my monitors.
And then, on top of all that, half the time, the Happauge Capture application won't even start. It always gives me that annoying "please disconnect/reconnect blah blah blah". All the applications and drivers are up to date, there are no errors in my computer, I have plenty of HD space, plenty of RAM, no internet issues, and no issues of any kind, except with the capture box and program.
on June 30, 2013
I'm using this to copy shows that I've already recorded to my Time Warner Scientific Atlanta DVR. It's a bit of a cumbersome and time consuming process, but it works.
After I have something on the DVR I want to save I'll connect a laptop computer (older Gateway running Vista) to the 1512 unit and turn on the ArcSoft program that came with the Hauppauge 1512. This software will allow you to record whatever is being sent to it from the DVR (or set top box) and you can just set it to record for a specific amount of time (such as an hour for a typical show), start playing the DVR, and let the 1512 run unattended.
After the program has been recorded there'll be an MP4 file in the computer. I migrate these files to my more modern laptop computer and watch the shows when I'm traveling and/or on vacation. I use a free, downloadable program called "VLC Media Player" to watch the MP4 files. If your laptop has an HDMI out like mine then you can also connect it directly to your HDMI equipped TV and watch that way.
I use component cables (supplied with the 1512) between the Scientific Atlanta DVR and the 1512 for the best picture and an 'optical cable' to carry the sound. I believe that this will create a 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack within the MP4 file but I haven't been able to get the benefit of that. When I connect my new Lenovo HDMI equipped laptop to my home theater system it plays back in stereo - even though the original source material on the DVR was in Dolby Digital. I haven't figured this out and am open to suggestions if anyone out there has some ideas.
Regardless, since I'm mostly watching on the laptop the sound issue is a moot point since it's stereo only. Also, the image quality is quite good and although the component (analogue) connection may not be quite as good as a digital source the difference is undetectable on the laptop. I do occasionally notice some burring motion artifacts which could probably be reduced/eliminated if I were to go into the ArcSoft software and increase the bit rate of the recording encoder, but I'd rather avoid having super large files. As it is, the typical hour long TV show seems to create a file size of about 3.5 GB.
Although it's also possible to rig up the 1512 to record shows live directly from my DVR, I've not done this because it looked like there could be complications I preferred to avoid. For example, first I'd have to set the the software on the 1512 with the exact channel line-up I'm getting from Time Warner. Then you need to hook up the infrared 'blaster' that will allow the 1512 to control what channel is being shown on the DVR (or set top cable box). Finally, in order for the auto-recording process to occur it's necessary to leave all the pieces connected (1512, computer and DVR/set top box) and they must all be left turned on. For me this was more involved than I wanted. It's funny that compared to an old fashioned VCR it can be so complicated to make a recording!
Anyway, the bottom line for me is that this Hauppauge 1512 can get the job done and produce a nice result - so I'm happy.
on October 29, 2014
First, this review is on the Hauppauge HD PVR Rocket (1540) Portable Stand Alone HD 1080p Video Game Recorder. Second, this will be a work in progress because I have owned this device for only a short time and I will be working on the review further as I figure out how to best deal with the limitations of the device.
My first impression is that the Hauppauge HD PVR Rocket (1540) is an incredible value that does a great job of capturing HD digital video without the needing a powerful and expensive computer. It is easy to use in stand-alone mode; I also had no difficulties getting it to record to a computer. I picked it over the AVerMedia - C875 Live Gamer Portable (LGP) because for me the ability to save directly to a USB hard drive while not connected to a computer is more convenient than using SD cards. Reviews indicated that the capture abilities were approximately the same. I currently have no experience with the AVerMedia - C875.
Negative reviews of the Hauppauge HD PVR Rocket(1540)seem to have been written by people who have not had a lot of experience using previous video capture devices. Because there is very little documentation included with the PVR Rocket getting started can apperantly be a frustrating experience for some. It has been a few years since I purchased my last Hauppauge device, a USB digital TV Tuner with analog inputs. I have also used Hauppauge internal capture cards in multimedia computers. Unlike some others here I have always had good experience with Hauppauge products. The HD PVR Rocket (1540) is a more capable capture device than the earlier devices that I have owned. I am very happy with the both the internal compression algorythm and the quality of the files that are output. I congratulate Hauppauge on their success with this device. It is not perfect, but is the most convenient device I have used so far.
I have been recording video into digital formats since affordable technologies first became available to consumers in the 1990s and have owned numerous devices. My primary tools in the late 1990s and early 2000s were the All-In-Wonder series of video capture cards from ATI and a Sony Digital 8mm Camcorder which could convert an analog source through its input jacks to DV (digital video) which could be recorded onto tape or sent directly to the computer through a firewire connection. Over the years I have purchased more advanced equipment, but ironically most of the core challenges remain the same.
One of the most challenging issues capturing digital video always seems to be keeping the audio in sync with the video. If you are recording only a few minutes this generally is not noticeable, but the longer the video the more difficult the challenge becomes. This is mostly because of small errors picked up during the capturing process, the errors are often introduced from the source and often from the limitations of the recording device. Various methods are used to correct for this, but it can be a time consuming and frustrating process. Some methods of DV recording have less difficulty with this issue, but it is an issue that is always ready to rear its ugly head. Unfortunately, in stand-alone mode out of the box the PVR Rocket seems to have some difficulties with this issue and also outputting corrupted files which will generally play in a media device or program but cause problems when trying to edit them later. I have been using this device almost exclusively in stand-alone mode so at this time I can't comment on whether this is an issue this when recording to a computer.
The problem does not go away with the "Firmware version 37" update currently available for the PVR Rocket on the Hauppauge website. The stand-alone capture settings can be altered by installing the Hauppauge capture software on your PC and altering the settings in the program then capturing video and then exiting the program. By tweaking these settings the problems with audio sync can be minimized but probably not completely eliminated. Basically if you lower the bitrate a little from the maximum possible and set your output device at a lower resolution or framerate audio-sync will most likely be less of an issue. In my experience... the more you push the envelope with this or any other capture device the more likely you are to have sync problems.
Fortunately, it is not all that difficult to correct most of the out of sync audio and video from the PVR Rocket using free software. I highly recommend Avidemux that can be found at videohelp dot com. It is not a complete video editing tool like Sony Vegas etc. but it does something more advanced editing tools typically do not do... it will allow you to combine mp4 files and correct audio sync without re-encoding the video. Not re-encoding will save untold hours of time and processing power. It is not really in the scope of this review to give full instruction on how Avidemux is used; I suggest going to the videohelp dot com forums or the developer's website. But I will give some hints to help get you started:
First, depending on where you download the program from... refuse to install any "toolbars" "download assistants" or whatever other malware might have been bundled with it... you want only Avidemux. Second... these suggestions apply mostly to files you have captured using the PVR Rocket using the same settings for each file not a collection of varied file types. In Avidemux open the first file in the series you want to "edit" with File Open and then add the other files in the order you want them by using File Append. After you have added all of your video files you can edit the start and end points. When you are ready to save the compilation make sure and change the Output Format to MP4v2 Muxer then hit the 2nd Icon from the left on the top under the menu which looks like a floppy disk to save the video. Leave the program open. Play the video you just saved in VLC Media Player (another free download), there is a pretty good chance that it will be slightly out of sync. You can then go to Tools / Track Synchronization in VLC Media Player and adjust the values until the video looks right to you. This may vary from the beginning to the end.
If your sync needs adjustment... put a check in the "shift" box in Avidemux and use the down arrow or type in the value you found in VLC Media Player to correct the audio sync. The amount needed may vary depending on the source, the settings and the storage device that that you are using with the PVR Rocket.
The files often come out corrupted enough that even though they will play in VLC Media Player... they will not load correctly in Avidemux or the file you create will be missing audio either partially or completely. In that case there is another free program that you can resave the files without re-encoding that I have found that it fixes them most of the time. It is called Free MP4 Splitter that can be found at Download dot com. You need to be especially careful when installing Free MP4 Splitter so that you refuse to install all of the toolbars and other crapware bundled with it. Just refuse everything other than the actual program. With Free MP4 Splitter you load up the corrupted MP4 file then just click on the "Add Current Selection" button and then hit the split button. It will resave the file and correct it so that you will probably be able to use it in Avidemux. The whole point of using these programs instead of other more powerful editing programs is to avoid re-encoding. Re-encoding will reduce the quality of your file and take a lot of processing power. Unfortunately some files output by the Rocket are corrupted enough that they will need to be re-encoded in a more advanced editor to turn out properly.
As mentioned previously... firmware update number 37 for the Rocket is available at Hauppauge's web site. There are suppose to be some minor improvements in recording quality. But the primary difference for most of us is that before the update the device would split captured video into 2GB files when using an a USB Drive formatted with the NTFS or FAT32 file system. After the update the device will still split captured video into 2GB files when using a drive formatted with FAT32, but drives with the NTFS file system do not have their files split. This was done because people were complaining about the files being split. If you capture for more than an hour or two... files tend to get corrupted... With smaller files this is generally easier to correct. The other advantage is if you leave the device recording an incoming video stream for a long period of time you can find just the section you wanted to use and import only the smaller file that contained it to your hard drive or video editing program which saves time. The disadvantage is that depending on your settings, splitting the files tends to add additional corruption. So the new firmware lets you choose whether you want your files to be split or not depending on whether you format your storage device using FAT32 or NTFS. You can try both to see what works the best for you.
To recap... my first impressions of the PVR Rocket are that it does an amazing job capturing high quality video from HDMI and it is a very good value. I am very happy with it and highly recommend it. There are a few very minor glitches as I have mentioned with out of sync audio and corrupted files but overall it delivers what is promised. I have also been using it with an older high definition camcorder that has HDMI output and uses DV Tape. It gives good results and eliminates the hassle of working with tape and takes up only a small amount of additional space. The only disadvantage... MP4 files can be challenging to edit when they become corrupted or out of sync. I also have been able to use the Rocket with a cheap Chinese HDMI Splitter to record from sources such as cable boxes and Blu-Ray players. It is not hard to find out which splitters other people recommend for this purpose. For me it is a revolutionary device with just a couple of minor annoyances. I am certain that it works very well for its intended purpose as a game recorder as well. I have given it 5 Stars not because it is perfect, but because it is the best inexpensive and portable capture device I have used so far.
on February 13, 2014
I bought this because I have HD content (primarily basketball & football games) on the Cisco DVRs that were supplied by my cable company & I wanted to retain permanent copies in as high a quality as possible. Digital content protection issues mean that capturing HDMI output is next to impossible so, prior to my purchase of the PVR 2, I was recording by sending my DVR's composite video (yellow RCA plug) output through a digital convertor & then on to a MacBook Pro. Pretty terrible quality because the composite video is incapable of doing anything in HD, etc.
But component video (green/blue/red plugs, abbreviated as Y/Pb/Pr) is capable of carrying high quality signals up to 1080p. So that's what I'm doing now with the PVR 2 & the results are great. Hauppauge supplies a conversion cable setup that allows you to connect a set of male component video plugs + 2 male audio plugs to the PVR 2 unit. A USB cable for PVR2-PC connection is also included. I connected the DVR to the PVR2 via some 3' component video cables & RCA audio cables that I had on hand. My MacBook's OS isn't recent enough for use with the PVR2 so I'm going the Windows route. Installation was hassle free via the supplied CD & I was ready to start recording in about ten minutes.
I had an initial period of head scratching while I tried to figure out why I was not getting any signal from my DVR - that was eventually solved when I finally realized that my DVR, like most, won't output to both the HDMI & component lines at the same time. So I unplugged the HDMI cable & got started. (I suppose I could connect my TV to the HDMI output of the PVR2 so I could watch what I'm recording on the TV but I'm content with monitoring things on the PC).
It's essentially a one button operation to record content. You have your choice of 3 recording formats; I'm doing everything in mp4. You can also set the unit up to record for a given length of time - that's convenient when you don't want to wait around just to press a stop button.
The quality of the recordings is excellent - I only intend on watching my stuff on computer screens & the video is essentially identical to the original recordings I can see on the larger screen HDTV.
My only negative comment is with regards to the software, not the hardware. The video editing software is freeware called Arcsoft Show Biz & it's terrible. After about half an hour of struggling with it I gave up & simply downloaded Windows Movie Maker (it's free). That's doing the trick & the end result is that I am able to retrieve high quality recordings off of my DVR & save them (in edited form) as MP4 files. Problem solved...
I needed a new HD capable video capture device. I have used my dazzle for 5 years to do Wii reviews and it has been fantastic. In fact if Dazzle ever comes out with a capture device for HDMI I will be the first in line to buy it.
I needed it to do WiiU reviews. I plugged it in and it worked perfectly, for about a minute. Then it crashed my Wii U and I needed to unplug the WiiU to get it to work again. I thought maybe it was a fluke. Nope. Happen time after time. What I realized is that the input/output on Hauppauge HD PVR 2 while it does work, it over heats the thing REALLY FAST.
I didn't give up though! I figured if I took the load off the capture device it might work better. So I bought a 2 output HDMI splitter, and it worked like a charm. If you buy this...buy a HDMI splitter. Trust me you will need it!
The other problem I had was it's very limited recording options. It's only lets you record in m2ts, ts, or mp4. I would have preferred more options like .mpg or even .wmv.
The recording itself looks great. It looks just like what you see on the screen, and I had no problems with the sound not synced up.
Its worth a buy if you are willing to go the extra mile and get the HDMI splitter, and don't mind limited recording options.
It's been a couple months and I am still going to give it 4 stars. Another problem I found was it doesn't let you make a file name. It uses the date and time, and I find that annoying since I play lots of games in a day and it's hard for me to keep track of which game is in which file.
on February 12, 2015
i received the wrong cable for the unit and i can't do anything about it, and now its not working and its useless. very bad service for the first time in the last few years.