Video capture has been something we at Chalgyr's Game Room have been interested in for quite some time; we have covered most of the devices by AverMedia (and loved them), and are always looking for more ways to capture video. Enter Epiphan Video, another capture card manufacturer that is a little less known here in the States. Hopefully we can change that.
The Av.io HD is a little different than the other capture cards we have covered, in that it is not gaming focused and that it is a small peripheral that simply displays your onscreen, if you have the software to read it. Most other capture cards, like the LiveGamer Extreme by AverMedia or the Elgato HD60, will have their own software to pick up and capture the device, whether that is a phone, a game console, or a digital video camera, it matters not. The Av.io HD is a little more picky (with it not able to record my PlayStation 4 nor my Xbox One, but it did record the PlayStaion 3 and Xbox 360, as well as picking up the stream from various devices I had laying throughout the house). In a gaming sense, the Av.io HD would be perfect for those PC gamers with action cameras or Android devices that have HDMI-out ports, as the Av.io HD has a glorious 60 FPS zero-latency pass-through. You would then use OBS or your other preferred streaming and recording software to capture the device and your gameplay.
This approach is actually far, far more friendly for users looking for capture cards for more than just gaming; in fact I can think of a dozen different ways it could be used in a professional manner rather than a more consumer level and that is where I believe the real bread-and-butter for the Av.io HD lies. Take, for example, any action camera (which I think we can all agree, look fantastic) with an HDMI output and plug it into this little beauty and then use a screen recorder to record a presentation and you have a stunningly easy and absolutely gorgeous Picture in Picture "talking head." However, that setup may not necessarily work for gamers, many of whom are looking for something a bit more inclusive, especially at this price point. Do not let that get you down though, as the quality is spectacular and any screen recorder / serious Let's Player will have a bevy of devices to use in order to get the high quality content that they are used to putting out. It would not be surprising if the Av.io HD is among them.
Though setup and use can be a bit tricky if you are more used to the plug-and-play nature of other capture cards, the nicest aspect of the Av.io HD by Epiphan is the physical makeup of the device. It is metal. Metal is good; metal is reliable. This unit feels built to not only travel (it is slightly larger than a credit card), but it feels like it was built to take a beating. This is especially handy if you are regularly traveling and putting on presentations (think conferences or work meetings) where you need to be able to capture the content you are presenting on.
While the Av.io HD ticks most of the right boxes, my biggest "want" for it is in-house software. It would far, far easier to manage and work with if Epiphan had software that was quick to download and initialize (similar to AverMedia's RECentral), especially given the portability of the hardware. Given how easy it is to travel with, it would be quite nice to be able to download a simple program from Epiphan for recording purposes, rather than downloading various apps to get up in running (in some cases, that might not be possible, especially if you are presenting on a computer that is public or one you do not have full access to). That said, the quality is quite high, and any avid streamer / screen recorder will have content on hand to record as needed.
For those running PS4 Pro or the Xbox One S, you might want to look into Epiphan's true 4K solution, the AV.io 4k. Unlike its competitors, the AV.io 4k does not scale down the resolution to 2k or FHD. Check it out at:
Audio / Video Capture
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Article by Robert