Hauppauge HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition Review – Best Capture Cards for Xbox One

Happauge HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition - Review Unboxing Setup
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To help you find the best Xbox One capture card on the market, XboxDIY is diving headfirst into different game capture cards and screen recorders – starting off with the Hauppauge HD PVR 2 – Gaming Edition.

Whether you’re a hardcore streamer looking to showcase their skills, or a casual wanting to share with friends, a proper video card will help you more easily capture and share gameplay footage from your Xbox One.

Let’s dive into one of the more popular capture cards, the Hauppauge HD PVR 2, and find out what it’s all about.

Overview of the Hauppauge HD PVR 2

While it’s no longer a new device, the Hauppauge HD PVR 2 or HD PVR 2 – Gaming Edition is still a solid, dedicated screen capture card for your Xbox One that will satisfy the needs of most gamers.

The HD PVR 2 is set up much like other capture cards. It allows unlimited (depending on the size of your hard drive) 1080p/720p video and screen recording through HDMI or RBG Component cables, and also allows for the recording of game audio as well.

Note: The Hauppauge HD PVR 2 and HD PVR 2 – Gaming Edition do not support 4k video streaming – for that, you may want to look into the Elgato SD60 4k or the newer Hauppauge HD PVR Pro 60

The HD PVR 2 is paired with a feature-rich, Windows-based software interface that allows you to tweak capture settings, edit video, and even stream or broadcast directly from within the application.

While official support for the HD PVR 2 is limited to Windows-based devices, there are third-party options available for those who want to record or use a capture card with their Xbox One and Macbook or OS X device – you can read more about it below.

What Comes with the Hauppauge HD PVR 2?

Hauppauge HD PVR 2 Box Contents - Game Recorder, AC Power Adapter, HDMI Cable, and Component Cables

When opening the Hauppauge HD PVR 2, you can immediately tell that the product was created with quality in mind. The surface of the device itself is brushed aluminum, wrapped in a high gloss plastic finish. 

Surrounding the device is an indicator ring light that changes colors based on if the device is recording, in standby mode, or if the device is connected to your console and/or TV incorrectly.

While the capture device is the main focal point of the package, it also comes with the necessary cords and accessories:

  • 6 ft. USB Cord
  • HDMI Cord
  • Power Cord
  • Hauppauge HD PVR 2 Capture Software and Drivers [CD-ROM – Windows]
  • Instruction Manual
  • Warranty Manual

Along with an Xbox console and HDTV, the HD PVR 2 has everything you need to begin recording high-definition gameplay footage on your Xbox One.

How to Connect the Hauppauge HD PVR 2 to Your TV and PC

At first, setting up and connecting the Hauppauge HD PVR 2 to your TV and PC/Mac can seem complicated.

Unlike a game console connecting directly to a TV, the HD PVR 2 acts as a passthrough device that not only feeds video from your Xbox to the TV but also to your PC or Mac for recording.

How to Connect Hauppauge HD PVR 2 to your Xbox and PC

Pro Tip: Cable management is important, especially when you have multiple devices. Make sure you are using zip ties or sleeves to help keep your wires tangle-free.

To connect the Hauppauge HD PVR 2 to your Xbox and PC:

  • First, make sure all devices are powered off
  • Connect an HDMI cable from the ‘HDMI Out’ to your TV’s HDMI port
  • Connect an HDMI cable from the ‘HDMI In’ to your Xbox One ‘HDMI Out’ port
  • Connect the USB cable from the ‘USB’ port to a USB port on your PC or Mac
  • Connect the AC Power Adapter to the HD PVR 2
  • Turn on your Xbox
  • Turn on your TV

The HD PVR 2 status light will display a cool blue color if your connection is correct. If it’s not, it will be red or orange. While recording, the light should be green.

How to Record Gameplay Using Hauppauge HD PVR 2

Once you have everything set up, there are a couple of different ways you can begin recording on the Hauppauge HD PVR 2. 

Begin recording by pressing the mapped hardware button on top of the HD PVR 2, or by pressing ‘Record’ in the Hauppauge Capture application.

The HD PVR 2 will place files .MP4 files in the selected output directory, making manipulating files for YouTube or other video services quick and easy.

There are also multiple settings you can adjust, including resolution, FPS, where to save files, file type (MP4, TS, M2TS), and audio recording settings.

Although support is dwindling and new features won’t be expected moving forward, you can upload your video directly to YouTube, or stream live using the StreamEez tab (not available in the Mac version of the capture software).

What We Like About the Hauppauge HD PVR 2

Video Quality: 10/10

There were zero problems with video quality, capturing exactly what the user was seeing on the screen with precise detail. The videos looked just as rich and vibrant on an external monitor when editing, and viewing videos later.

Set-Up: 9/10

Set up was straight forward after referring to the Hauppauge diagram listed above. We docked it one point due to the number of wires required, along with your Xbox, laptop/desktop, etc. to capture gameplay.

Product Quality: 9/10

The Hauppauge HD PVR 2 is a well-crafted unit that is durable, yet portable, and convenient to set up and use no matter where you’re at. The unit itself and all accessories are top quality with years of use ahead.

What We Don’t Like About the Hauppauge HD PVR 2

Game Capture Software: 7/10

Along with the lack of official OS X/Mac support, the Hauppauge Game Capture Software itself could use a visual update.

It would also be nice to have an updated YouTube upload experience, with more options available than just what’s minimally required in order to upload your gameplay to YouTube.

Can I use Hauppauge HD PVR 2 with a Mac or OS X device?

If you’re a Mac user, there is an option.

While official support is limited to Windows-based machines,  HDPVRCapture is a software developed by a 3rd party for Mac OS X that will help you record and capture gameplay from your Xbox One while using your Macbook or OS X based device.

Final Thoughts on the Hauppauge HD PVR 2 – Gaming Edition

The Verdict:

The Hauppauge HD PVR 2 is great for someone who is looking to get in to gaming-related media production. In 2020, you might even be able to find an HD PVR 2 or HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition at a thrift store, or Game Stop’s used section.

However, if you’re looking for a more advanced unit, complete with a hard drive that records gameplay footage directly on to the unit [you must record on to an external PC or Mac with the HD PVR 2], then something along the lines of the Blackmagic Design HyperDeck Shuttle 2 SSD Video Recorder, 2.5″ SATA SSD Drives, HD-SDI Input & Output where you can record right to a SSD (Solid State Drive) instead of having to hook up your PC or Mac.

Hopefully, this article has made your search for the best capture card for your Xbox One, Xbox 360, or Playstation a little bit easier.

If you’re looking for more information, Amazon has a full selection of capture cards that are ready for you to purchase with Free 2 Day shipping when you sign up to be an Amazon Prime member. 

Other best capture cards besides the Hauppauge HD PVR 2 are the Elgato Game Capture HD60 ($129.95), Elgato 4k60 Pro ($241.99), and the AGPtEK HD Game Capture Card ($69.99).

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