Updated Review of the Hauppauge HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition capture device

More and more people want to capture their gameplay and post it to YouTube, we occasionally do this as part of our reviews or interviews, and do so you need a capture box. Hauppauge have released their HD PV2 Gaming Edition device and here is our updated review.

HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition records high definition video from a Sony PlayStation3 or Microsoft Xbox 360 onto your Windows laptop or desktop PC, in a high definition H.264 format. Make video recordings of your best game play in HD. Upload your favourite games to YouTube and share them with other gamers online. Or make a high definition movie of your game play to share with your friends or use it to discuss tactics with your clan members!

You can also play your game play recordings back onto your PC screen or transfer them over your home network for playback on a PS3 or Xbox 360.

Who are Hauppauge?

From their website:

Headquartered in Hauppauge, NY, about 40 miles east of New York City, Hauppauge Computer Works has been bringing TV to the PC since 1992. The Company is the worldwide leader in developing and manufacturing PC based TV tuners and data broadcast receiver products. Hauppauge’s products allow PC users to watch television on their PC screens, videoconference and create both still video images and digital TV recordings. Hauppauge’s flagship product, the WinTV, is the leading branded TV tuner card for PCs.

Hauppauge Computer Works is a division of Hauppauge Digital Inc. In December of 2008, Hauppauge Digital Inc. acquired the Pinnacle PCTV product line from Avid, and now runs PCTV tuner products as a separate division. PCTV has their research and development labs in Braunschweig, Germany.


  • Hardware encoder
    • H.264 AVCHD high definition video encoder, with record resolution to 1080p30
      Recording datarate: from 1 to 13.5 Mbits/sec
      Recording format:
      • AVCHD (.TS and .M2TS) plus .MP4

      Video down conversion: from 1080p to 720p

  • No delay HDMI passthrough:
    • HDMI in to HDMI out – up to 1080p
    • Component Video in to HDMI out – up to 1080i
  • Input/output connections
    • HDMI in, from HDMI sources without HDCP such as Xbox 360
    • Component video in, with stereo audio
    • S-Video and composite video in, with stereo audio
    • HDMI output
  • Size: 6 in wide x 6 in deep x 1.5 in high
  • Power: 6V at 1.6 amps
  • Weight: .75lb / .34 kg / 12 oz
Bundled software applications
  • ArcSoft ShowBiz, with these features
    • Video capture for recording video game play
    • Trim your videos
    • Upload videos to YouTube
System requirements
  • 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
  • CD-ROM drive (for software installation)

What’s in the Box?

  • HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition high definition H.264 personal video recorder, USB 2.0
  • 6V 1.6 amp power supply
  • USB cable – 9 ft.
  • HDMI input cable
  • HDMI output cable
  • PlayStation 3 component video gaming cable
  • Installation CD-ROM
  • Quick installation guide


A Closer Look


Installing the Software

The HD PVR 2 only works with Windows and the first thing you need to do is connect up the box to your PC and then install the drivers.


Then you have to install the capture software.


Then you are ready to go!

Using the HD PVR 2

Make sure you connect it up as per the diagram:

When you first start the software you have the option to Capture, Edit or Produce.

There are also a number of preferences and options you can set.


Make sure that you are connected to either the Xbox or PS3 and ensure you have selected the Hauppauge capture device as the source. You can then chose the format you want to capture in – for me I wanted to capture MP4 so I could use iMovie to edit my captures. Click Capture to start!

And when you are finished capturing just click Stop.

Final Thoughts

Once you have installed the software, configured it how you want and connected it up to your console, capturing footage is as easy as either clicking the Capture button in the software or pressing the capture button on the device itself.

The quality of the recordings were very good and came in very small, which made me happy!

You can edit your recordings in the software or move them somewhere else to edit them – which is what I would suggest.

One of the new software updates brings the ability to add your own logos to the gameplay footage. This is incredibly easy to do and saves a lot of time!

Something I was disappointed about was that the software only works on Windows. I do a lot of my videos on the Mac and so I really want my raw files on there. Yes, I can copy or move them, but my games consoles are in a different room to my PC and so I can’t easily use my desktop to capture the game footage.

You can buy third party software for use on the Mac but I really don’t see why I should pay for the device and then have to pay extra for software to run it on a Mac! Seriously Hauppauge you need to sort this out. Your competitors don’t do this and their products work out the box with a Mac.

UPDATE: Having spoken with Hauppauge, the developer of this third party software is actually one of the Hauppauge lead developers, so it’s written by someone who does know what they are doing. I still think it should be provided free out of the box though.

Another thing I didn’t like was the power supply. Its quite big and it’s yet another required socket wherever your console is located. Again, Elgato doesn’t have this problem with their device, it’s USB powered and a lot smaller!

One of the selling points is what Hauppauge refer to as “real-time passthrough”. Actually it isn’t real-time passthrough at all – it has a second or so delay, which may not seem like a big deal but it means you cannot use your PC monitor or laptop screen to actually play the game you are recording. Sorry, but that makes it unusable without using the original TV screen, which is fine with me, but Hauppauge really shouldn’t market it in a slightly misleading way.

UPDATE: Again, having spoken to Hauppauge it appears I may have had a faulty review unit, and I can confirm I have seen it working in action, as it is advertised.

Price wise, the HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition retails for around £165, so it’s not cheap.

UPDATE: Again, following on from a conversation with the VP Sales and Marketing, I can confirm that the price is dropping to around £140, which makes a real difference!

When we scored this review last week we gave it a 3 because of the various issues mentioned above. After various conversations with Hauppauge, and seeing a working unit, along with the price drop, we have increased our rating to a 4!

Learn more from the Hauppauge website