Hauppauge HD PVR Gaming Edition Personal Video Recorder For PS3/Wii/Xbox 360

You might be a good gamer.  OK, you might be pretty darn good.  If so, you’re probably as vain about your skillz as you are deadly with an energy weapon.  Admit it: you’re a narcissist.  You like to watch yourself play.  Hey, it’s nothing to be ashamed of.   Pete Mitchell wasn’t afraid to lean in and tell other pilots that they stank.  People with problems end up on the other end of your boomstick, see?

Kidding aside, any Personal Video Recorder worth a dang is going to be pricey enough to require some justification – so you’d better be monumentally good, monumentally narcissistic, or prone to such spectacular failures that it will endanger internal organs laughing at your zany mishaps. Good enough that you want your children (OK, maybe you nieces and nephews, let’s not get ahead of ourselves) to see your replays and learn valuable life lessons from them. Or you might be one of those people who make the videos funny on the onlines. Your oeuvre must run up against the approximately $300 price tag at some point, in other words. However, if you’re indeed in the market for a box that will save all your glorious console-based adventures for posterity, the Hauppauge Gaming Edition has pretty much all the features you could desire.

The biggest plus is right in the title – this device records in 1080i HD.  Note that’s not 1080p (progressive scan, i.e. non-interlaced), so it’ll be up to your LCD monitor or TV to de-interlace if you’re not viewing on a CRT (and who is, these days?).  The “Gaming Edition” comes with cables for all three major consoles: PS3, Wii, and Xbox 360. It works via video pass-through, which means you hook it up between your TV and console, which allows for zero-delay recording and a seamless gaming experience throughout.

It’s also handy for editing your gameplay videos; the bundled Acrsoft Showbiz has a pretty friendly interface, is good on features, and supports a wide variety of audio and video formats.  For those of you who like to use your “own” software – come on, you don’t seriously expect me to believe you paid for that copy of Premiere, do you? – the files are saved in a compressed H.264 format, which keeps file sizes down to about a third of a typical MPEG layer 2.  You can burn directly to a CD, DVD, or Blu-Ray disc, or upload your files to your YouTube account in HD.

There are also plenty of playback options just using the device itself.  If you have invested in a nice speaker system, the device will support up to 5 audio channels, or you can send videos directly to your PS3 console for playback over the network.  The hardest part of owning this device is buying it; after that, provided you actually use it, it’d hard to imagine what options you’d be wanting for.

Rating: 9 / 10