The Hauppauge HD PVR Rocket is a portable, pocket-sized video recorder which allows you to record your gaming on consoles or computers. These can then be edited with the bundled tools and uploaded to YouTube so you can build an audience and showcase the clips to your friends.
The device weighs in at just 130g meaning it’s ultra light and can be easily thrown into a bag and taken with you wherever you go. No external power source is needed as its self-powered via the bundled USB cable which can be plugged into one of the various USB ports on the Xbox 360, Xbox One and PlayStation 3/4.
On the rear of the device you’ll find a USB port which provides power to the device, AV in for use with the PlayStation 3, a HDMI input and a HDMI output. On the front you’ll find another USB port which is used for video storage as well as a microphone input. There is no built-in microphone and therefore you’ll have to plug in your own.
On the top of the device you’ll find a series of touch sensitive buttons. These include the audio boost settings, microphone mute and also a lock button which allows you to stop the settings being changed if you happen to accidentally touch the buttons. Also found on the top is the huge red button which when pressed will begin the recording.
Around the middle of the device you find an LED ring which will indicate the status of the device. The ring will light up different colours to indicate different things, but when recording the whole ring will glow a bright red. This makes it easy to see what the device is currently doing without taking your eyes of the screen.
The set-up of the device is relatively straight forward and all details of how to do this are included in a simple and easy to read manual. This includes connecting a HDMI cable from your console or PC into the HDMI in on the Rocket. From here you’ll then need to connect another HDMI cable from the Rocket’s output into your monitor/TV. Power is supplied via the USB cable which can be connected to your games console, PC or even a mains power supply via a USB adapter. The device will instantly come to life and the LED ring will begin flashing indicating its current status.
If however you own a PlayStation 3 then set-up is not quite as simple. The rocket cannot record HDCP protected video streams and therefore you’ll have to use in included AV Component cables, but due to the PS4 not having these, capture is unfortunately not yet possible.
Recording can then be carried out in two different ways. The first way is using a USB drive connected to the port on the front of the Rocket. Simply plug in the USB drive and hit record. All videos will then be saved straight onto the USB drive without the need of a computer. Formatting the drive is not needed so you don’t need to bother wiping the contents. This is great news and much more convenient.
The next method includes using a computer and the free capture software which can be downloaded from the Hauppauge website. Using the software you can see your gameplay on your computers screen and also edit the Rocket’s capture settings. Once a video has been captured the software has a built in edit feature, although this is incredibly basic and includes just splitting and cutting. Therefore if you need to add transitions etc. you’ll need to use an external program. You can also upload straight to YouTube from the software.
The Rocket will capture video up to 1080p at 30fps using H.264 compression format which helps to keep video files small. We found that 7/8 minutes of gameplay footage gave us a file of around 1GB. If you are recording straight to a USB drive then you’ll want to take this into account when choosing the drive size.
The Hauppauge HD PVR Rocket is a great game capture device. The built-in microphone port allows you to easily add voice overs to your games, while the array of touch sensitive button make its settings quick and easy to adjust. The free software available is a must in my opinion and allows you to instantly see what you’re recording, quickly edit the video and then upload to YouTube.
The RRP for the Rocket is £129.99 and you can check it out at the Hauppauge website below.