I became a "Mac person" in 2010 and, over the past two years, I have learned that as much as I love my Mac and think it's better than a PC, I've had to get used to not being able to do things that PC users can do. Sometimes it can make me feel a little like a second class citizen, but generally I remain convinced that what I have is better. Until I encountered the Happauge HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition I had never, as a PlayStation 3 user, felt second class to a 360 user (keep your snide remarks to yourself 360 fans). And, my problems with the device are only exacerbated by being a Mac person.
Happauge's recently released their HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition is a little square box that you place in line between your HD gaming console and your TV. You then hook it up to your computer via USB and, voila, you can record an HD snippet of your game using the H.264 format. A blue light is emitted from the HD PVR 2 upon it going live, and a green light when it records.
Why would you want to do this? To show friends how awesome you are, because you're putting together a little how-to on going through a level, or because you're writing a review and it would help to have a clip showing what you're talking about.
If you run an XBox 360, it all works like magic – HDMI out to the HD PVR 2 and then out from the HD PVR 2 to your TV or surround sound system.
Things are more complicated on PS3. Due to copy protection on the PS3, an HDMI out to a recorder isn't the simplest of affairs and so the HD PVR 2 opts to use component video cables to make the connection. The loss, video-wise, really isn't anything to speak of if you're putting together web videos, but the problem comes in with the audio to your TV (and the recommended downgrade from 1080p to 1080i). The HD PVR 2 won't accept the audio portion of the HDMI PS3 feed nor will it take the PS3's optical out, so you're left having to run the stereo RCA jacks from the PS3 into the HD PVR 2. Happily, the HD PVR 2 will still run those signals out on an HDMI cable into your TV or surround sound system… but it won't be surround sound, it'll be stereo (a call to Happauge's tech support line confirmed this limitation).