Not too much has changed from Charles' original review but if you're still looking for a way to prove your video game mastery via video, the HD PVR 2 1512 is a solid choice for cost-conscience customers. With minimal installation time, you'll soon have dozens of neat video packages to show off on YouTube or even burned to disc.
The whole package comes with everything you need- the PVR box, HDMI and component cables, and editing software. Set up isn't too tricky with clear visual guides for even the thickest of heads, as most of the work comes from figuring out which cord goes where and then installing the latest capturing software patches to your PC. The one downside is that there isn't first party software for you Mac users out there. However, if you go to Hauppauge's site there's a list of 3rd party solutions at a reasonable cost. Fortunately, I have a PC so I can't vouch for the effectiveness of these apps but I hear they work well enough.
One other problem rears its ugly head once again; Sony's software DRM still does not support HDMI passthough. Hauppauge provides a work around with component cables which captures PS3 videos pretty good. You won't have the clearest signal that HDMI provides and you'll have to limit capturing to 1080i. It's not a huge problem, but can be a bummer for Sony enthusiasts. That said, for this review I recorded from my Xbox 360.
Once you've got everything installed, recording is relatively painless; just boot up ArcSoft (the capturing executable), wait for the picture to come on, and then click on record. Alternately, you can also tap the handy button on the top of the physical device. As a bonus, the box has light that glows green when recording to let you know that everything is good to go. After that just play the game and tap the button again or move back to the PC and click stop. The video below was a short multiplayer session I grabbed last night. I'm no Speilberg, as I've just cut from black to black, but the editing software features a few bells and whistles if you wish to create a more theatrical production.
Dead Space 3
Here's another video I grabbed from "Call of Duty: Black Ops 2;" just ignore my terrible, spasmatic gameplay. As you can see, the PVR does a pretty decent job rendering the twitchy game, though one thing to keep in mind is that you'll have to limit capture to 30fps.
At least the editing software included is robust with several options for video output and audio that pretty soon you will have your own YouTube montage of trickshots set to Linkin Park or Drowning Pool. For example, you can add in extra audio tracks for commentary or just jazz things up with your choice of music. Anyone familiar with something like iMovie should be right at home here. It's kind of a shame as capturing gets a little frame-y when dealing with fast paced games; but the PVR 2 is the closest you'll come to pro-quality productions for under 200 dollary-doos.
All things said, Hauppauge's little black box is definitely worth looking into if you're ready to go to the next level in your gaming career. With easy to install hardware and simple, intuitive editing tools while only tallying a few troublesome issues, the Hauppauge HD PVR 1512 is a great choice for gamers wanting so show off their skills without breaking the bank.