Hauppauge HD PVR

So I got myself a Hauppauge HD PVR. It’s a curious little device quite popular among the YouTube game video crowd. In fact, our very own Monster Hunter Podcast is recorded with it. The little box records and compresses analogue HD video. It spits the result out using the USB port.

Hauppauge HD PVR

Lots of cables go in, magic happens, lots of cables go out.

It is not specifically a purchase I desperately needed. It was more that I had a couple ideas about things I could do with the device. They slowly accumulated until I decided to just give it a try.

I was skeptical at first since the box doesn’t accept HDMI input, only analogue HD. All my devices use exclusively HDMI cables. So in order to make this work, I had to buy a bunch of cables. On the other hand, I was surprised how many devices can be actually recorded with the PVR. Even the PSP has a nifty cable that provides component outputs. HDMI on the other hand, is a bit problematic as it turns out. Due to some shady copy protection bullshit, there is some encoding going on with the HDMI signal. So creating devices that capture images over HDMI is difficult. Luckily, the image quality over the analogue cable is better than I have expected. It’s more than enough for everything I want to do with it. The bottleneck of quality will be often YouTube anyway.

I really like how the device takes care of the compression. This finally eliminates the problem of bandwidth between the capturing the device and the PC. It doesn’t require a fast PC either. I have been capturing video on PC for a LOOOOONG time now. It’s nice to see the technology getting simpler and easier to use.

My plan is to use the box for the podcast, perhaps to record a video every now and then. The most important feature is that I will be able to make some high quality screen-shots for this blog. I have been doing photos of the screen so far. It was a difficult procedure that yielded poor results.

So without further ado, here is my first experiment.

Of course it’s not HD at all since it’s recorded off the PSP. I realized too late that I didn’t do the best job at upscaling either. There is also an experiment with Twixtor at the end(7:30). Twixtor is a plugin to create fake slow motion video. Again, quite popular for dramatic matrix effects in FPS gameplay replays. I like it a lot although it’s not the best result in this case. I realized too late that Peace Walker runs in the 3rd frame (20FPS). Ouch!

I’m looking forward to do more experiments. I already had a recording in the box with screen shots for an upcoming Game Design Review. Stay tuned!

Krystian Majewski

Krystian Majewski was born in Warsaw and studied design at Köln International School of Design. Before, he was working on a mid-size console project for NEON Studios in Frankfurt. He helped establish a Master course in Game Design and Research at the Cologne Game Lab. Today he teaches Game Design at various institutions and develops independent games.

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The Game Design Scrapbook is a second blog of group of three game designers from Germany. On our first blog, Game Design Reviews we describe some games we played and point out various interesting details. Unfortunately, we found out that we also need some place to collect quick and dirty ideas that pop into our minds. Hence, welcome to Game Design Scrapbook. You will encounter wild, random rantings. Many of then incoherent. Some of them maybe even in German. If you don't like it, you might enjoy Game Design Reviews more.


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