A few months ago, Hauppauge announced a new PCI Express card called the Colossus which enables you to record HD content, including from games consoles, directly to your computer – here is our review.
Colossus is a High Definition video recorder for making real-time H.264 compressed recordings at resolutions up to 1080i. HD PVR records component video (YCrCb) from video game consoles and cable TV and satellite set top boxes, with a built-in IR blaster to automatically change TV channels for scheduled recordings.
Colossus also has an HDMI input port, so you can record HD video at up to 1080i from a un-encrypted HDMI source.
Audio is recorded using two channel stereo or optical audio with five channel Dolby Digital.
The recording format is AVCHD, which can be used to burn Blu-ray DVD disks. Two hours of HD recordings, recorded at 5 Mbits/sec, can be burnt onto a standard 4.7 GByte DVD-R or DVD-RW disk for playback on a Blu-ray DVD player.
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.
- Record high definition video using H.264 video encoding with digital audio. Colossus is an internal PCI Express board, full height, and runs with Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP.
- Includes a built-in high quality hardware H.264 high definition encoder, for high performance, high quality video recordings
- Record high definition video at up to 1080i resolution. Also records standard definition video. Record at datarates from 1Mbs to 20Mbs.
- Record your game play in HD (up to 1080i) with component video and digital audio (optical) from Xbox360 or PS3 game consoles.
- Record your favorite TV programs from HD cable TV and satellite set top boxes. Colossus connects to most HD cable TV and satellite TV receivers with component video and optical digital audio. Stereo audio inputs are supported, too.
- Burn your video game play or your favorite TV programs onto AVCHD disks in high definition using standard DVD media. These AVCHD disks can be played back on a blu-ray DVD player. Up to 2 hours of HD AVCHD video can be recorded on standard DVD-R disks at 5MBits/sec.
- Create HD recordings which can be played back on the Xbox 360 and PS3
- Includes Hauppauge’s WinTV v7 TV application for automatic recording of TV programs from cable or satellite set top boxes
- Includes Arcsoft ShowBiz to record video game play. Burn HD disks or upload video game play in HD to YouTube
- Colossus has component video plus stereo and digital audio pass through, to allow HD recording and viewing at the same time.
- NTSC and PAL support
- HDMI input port included. If you have an un-encrypted HDMI video source, such as a digital SLR, you can record directly from this source.
Note: most cable and satellite TV receivers do not support un-encrypted HDMI video.
- Includes IR blaster and IR receiver/learn cable. Colossus can “learn” your cable TV or satellite remote control and can automatically change the channel on your set top box.
- H.264 AVCHD video encoder
- AC-3 recording from AC-3 source
- AAC audio encoding from PCM source
- Recording datarate: from 1 to 20 Mbits/sec (user selectable in the ArcSoft ShowBiz application)
- Recording format:
- up to 1080i from component video (YCrCb or YPrPb)
- NTSC: 720p60, 1080i60, 480i60, 480p60
- PAL: 720p50, 1080i50, 576p50, 576i50, 480p50, 480i50
Note: the video input format determines the recorded format. For example, 1080i input records at 1080i, 720P records at 720P, etc. Any other format conversions needs to be done with the MediaConvert program (supplied).
- NTSC or PAL supported
Note: when playing back video recordings made with the Colossus, a fast CPU and at least 256MB of graphics memory are needed.
- Processor Requirements (minimum for HD playback): Dual core CPU 2.0GHz or faster
- Windows 7 (32 and 64-bit), Windows Vista or Windows XP service pack 2 (32-bit)
- Graphics with 256MB memory (or greater)
- PCI Express x1 slot
- Sound card for audio playback
- CD-ROM drive for installing the Colossus software
Bundled software applications
- ArcSoft “ShowBiz” for video recording and authoring and burning of your TV recordings onto a Blu-ray DVD compatible disc
- Hauppauge WinTV v7 application, with support for the Hauppauge remote control and IR blaster
Input and outputs
Note: video input on Component and HDMI sources is limited to 1080i
- A/V cable input adapter with:
- Component video input
- Left/ Right RCA audio input
- A/V cable output adapter with loop through audio and video:
- Component video output
- Left/ Right RCA audio output
- Optical audio input and loop through output
- HDMI input (Note: for use with un-encrypted HDMI video sources)
- IR Blaster output