Review: Kaiser Baas Boils Game Recording Direct From Consoles Down To A USB Stick

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$270 More info from brand

Written by Matthew Lentini     30/08/2011 | 06:59 | Category name i.e.GAMING

The Kaiser Baas Series 8 Game Recorder is a simple solution for the console gamer looking to nab screen-grabs and video montages of their gaming action without breaking the bank or getting bogged down in tech. There are more expensive and comprehensive options out there, but this is by far one of the simplest, though comes with very obvious, stark drawbacks.


The Game Recorder is essentially a USB that hooks a gaming console up to a computer via composite cables or S-Video. It connects via a small unit and an optional USB extension cable - but the cables are altogether short and restrictive, so unless you have an extra long component cable slinking out the back of your console, you're more than likely going to be pinned down to using a laptop rather than a desktop PC.

And a long HDMI cable isn't an option either since there's no HDMI connection - not that there's any HD video option anyway. When connecting the device to a computer, the highest resolution is either 720x480 or 720x576 at 60 or 50 frames per second (with the box touting 'play in full screen' as though that means something special).

It does present a neat little array of format and recording options for a simple program though. It videos at a medium quality that drops the frame rate down to 30/25fps, and a low quality that drops the resolution down to 360x240/360x288 at the same frame rate. It also videos in either 4:3 or 16:9, in a range of formats including NTSC or PAL. A de-interlacing function is also thrown in to improve image quality.

What you're left with is video that is adequate for YouTube uploading in terms of file size and quality. Editing is just as simple thanks to the bundled CyberLink PowerDirector video editing software that would normally retail for up to around US$80 (for the latest version, that is - a step-down version is bundled with the Game Recorder).

The biggest drawback is that the sole output for your console, whether it be an Xbox, PS3, Wii (or even older consoles like a PS2) becomes the computer you're recording on. In other words, you'll be playing your game on a smaller screen in a vastly reduced resolution to capture your video - a major downer if you're looking for HD graphics or pinpoint graphics needed in high-precision shooters and the like.

The major alternative is to buy a PC-specific video card that could set you back over well $100 to record your console games on PC, so the allure of a product like this starts to become apparent. It's not the most sophisticated bit of recording equipment, but it does work simply enough if you're willing to sacrifice graphics quality to record snippets of gaming for YouTube bragging rights. The unit goes for around $80 through EB Games.

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Pros & Cons

Pros:

Simple solution for console game recording; Bundled video editing software is simple yet very functional

Cons:

No HD function; No HDMI input; Restrictively short cable; Only plays back on computer/notebook screen