Hauppauge HD PVR Rocket / HD PVR60
We also tested two capture cards from Hauppauge, the smaller HD PVR Rocket and the larger HD PVR60. The smaller PVR Rocket is capable of recording independently to a USB stick or external hard drive, while the HD PVR60 is not capable of doing so. The Rocket also feature an AV input for the PS3, whereas the PVR60 does not. It also comes with an audio input, while the PVR60, just like the Startech devices featured in this test, does not.
The biggest disadvantage to the Rocket is that it's limited to streaming and recording at 30 fps, while the HD PVR60 can do these things at 60 fps. The latter also comes with the 'SkipBack' feature, a time-shift feature that automatically saves up to 1000 minutes of video, in case you need it later.
The devices come with the Hauppauge Capture software, which allows you to stream and record. In terms of features it doesn't differ too much from other included software packages: the software has all basic functionality you need, furthermore it also allows you to edit your videos, albeit with limited options.
Both capture cards are equipped with a hardware encoder and therefore are very light on the CPU. Less than 11% of the CPU is used during encoding. This small percentage is mainly caused by the preview of the video; if we switch to a different tab the extra CPU load is nearly 0 percent.
The image quality is also quite good, in fact it rivals video encoded by the CPU. We did notice a difference in quality between the two Hauppauge products, while we didn't find any noticeable differences in quality between other products of the same manufacturer. Video from the HD PVR60 has a slightly higher gamma, which is not the case on the HD PVR Rocket or any other capture cards. The rest of the image is fine however in terms of quality.
Both devices are available for around 145 pounds. Unfortunately they seem to be really hard to find these days.