The HD PVR 2 is essentially the ultimate, "end all, be all" out-of-the-box video capture device. While the Gaming Edition is tailored to those of us who want to boast about high scores or simply record a Let's Play series, the real star in this new model is support for HDMI throughput.
Previous HD PVRs from Hauppauge relied on component inputs at less-than-optimum refresh rates. With HDMI support you can capture the absolute best quality possible from your Xbox 360.
I qualify that feature with just Microsoft's video game console because Sony's PlayStation 3 does not allow recording from the HDMI output source whatsoever. This is unfortunate for the capture device on hand because it effectively halves the value proposition for potential buyers. Obviously if you're primarily a PS3 gamer, you might as well move along. There are cheaper capture devices from Hauppauge that offer everything the PVR 2 has, without the added price.
That said I've had great results recording gameplay with my Xbox 360 to HDMI. The included software works just as it would if you were still using component inputs, but obviously the end result benefits from a heightened fidelity.
One thing the HD PVR 2 really scores points on is the way it includes everything you could possibly need right out of the box, whether you're a PS3 or 360 gamer. Yes, even cables for your PS3! This is why I continue to believe that Hauppauge is the best in this small sector of the video game industry. Their goal is to get out of the box and into use as fast as possible.
Even the driver installation process, a daunting step for those less technologically inclined, took only a few seconds. If you're a 360 gamer and want to show how many noobs you can p'wn in the best quality possible, the HD PVR 2 is without a doubt your best option, whether your considering the feature set or how much you want to spend.
The Hauppauge HD PVR 2 is available now and retails for $169.99. Amazon currently has a $10 discount.