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DarkCrystal HD Capture Station, real-time HD capture that could have been and wasn’t

AverMedia

The invention allows us to record in high definition the video source of any current video console including the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 or PSP as well as, supposedly, other devices such as the already mentioned iPhone or iPod (although in practice this is only possible with the help of a Cydia application such as TVOutTuner which makes the Jailbreak necessary).

DarkCrystal HD Capture Station, real-time HD capture that could have been and wasn’t
DarkCrystal HD Capture Station, real-time HD capture that could have been and wasn’t

DarkCrystal HD Capture Station is capable of real-time encoding of the video signal into H264 with a resolution between 720×575 and 1920×1080 pixels at a compression rate of 10 MBs while still playing games, watching TV or whatever we’re doing and has an HDMI output, composite and S-Video inputs and a component video input and output capable of recording videos at 1080i, which is quite unusual. And if games aren’t your thing, the Capturer can also be connected to a DTT or similar digital decoder to record the programs and manage or schedule the recordings, a more classic but perhaps less eye-catching utility.

So far so good. The tugging starts when we discover that none of the included applications are compatible with Mac OS X… not even the drivers! making it impossible for us to recommend this product to a Mac user no matter how much they might use it with virtualization applications or a Boot Camp partition. Let this happen in a company that has perfectly Mac compatible products and let it happen in a product that includes the icon of an iPod in the box in definitely unforgivable .

That said, the good news is that the videos are compatible with Apple TV, iPhone or the rest of the apple family by using the H264 codec, but the bad news is that if you want to export them to a PS3 or Xbox 360 compatible format you’ll have to use some external application (which there are and highly recommended, such as HandBrake) while playing frisbee with the ArcSoft TotalMedia Studio 3 disc.

In short, a product oriented to a small niche of users within another niche. That of players who may have an Apple product but have not yet made the leap to a Mac. Friends of AverMedia, how hard is it to make a driver in these times?

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