Here's a list of everything I've used to record my game playthroughs.
Dazzle DVD Recorder
The Dazzle DVD Recorder is my most used capture card, and is used to record anything that wasn't a PC, Playstation 3 or Xbox 360 game. The quality is good but it has a couple of drawbacks: first, it has to save videos in chunks, roughly 15 minutes per part. This is why, if you watch my videos, you might notice a quick stagger that lasts for less than a second. It's annoying but there's not really anything I can do about it. The other problem is that it also limits to how long it can record for -on the "best" quality option, you can only record for up to 110 minutes.
But it's served me really well over the years. The Dazzle I have is a white one -I've also seen red and black ones. I think the red version was the first one they released, and the black version allegedly lets you record in HD, although reviews on that seem to say that that isn't actually the case.
Happauge HD PVR
Since everything was going HD and standard definition wasn't really going to cut the mustard any more, I decided that instead of using my Dazzle to record Xbox 360 games, something else was needed. That something else arrived in the form of the Happauge HD PVR, which lets you record footage at 720p quality via using component cables. Now I have to admit that I didn't do enough research on this thing before purchasing it as I thought it was going to work via HDMI, only to find that that wasn't the case. So I had this thing for several months without using it, until I purchased a new TV which, luckily for me, would work with component cables.
I never got to use this as much as I would have liked, as by the time I'd started using it, 1080p quality was all the rage and Happauge was just released a new model. So at the moment the only videos I've made with this are the Call of Duty and Left 4 Dead playthroughs for the Xbox 360. I also used to record a bunch of Sonic games for the Xbox 360, but those have since been removed and replaced. I'm not knocking it though -the device worked really well and it actually has editing software that lets you merge two videos into one -but if you want to be doing better quality videos, keep reading.
Happauge PVR 2 Gaming Edition
So when I saw Happauge's latest product -the PVR 2 Gaming Edition -it sounded perfect as you could record via HDMI and the recording quality had also been boosted, allowing you to record at 1080p. It also let you record videos up to 720 at 60 frames per second, but at the time this didn't matter as Youtube only let you do 30fps videos anyway.
Unfortunately this product was a major letdown to me for several reasons. The main one was that the software it comes with is incredibly unreliable, as it kept locking up on me whilst I was recording. Nothing was more frustrating than finishing a game, going to hit "stop record" on the software, only to realize it had stopped working (and recording) 15 minutes a go. Plus I had other problems, such as the video quality sometimes being poor -occasionally, when watching back a video I'd just made, things would get pixilated for a couple of seconds at certain parts, and I'd have to re-do the video.
Maybe that's just me though -whilst there are a lot of negative reviews on Amazon for this, there are many more which are positive, with some people seemingly not having any of the problems I've had. At the moment the only games I've recorded with this are the BlazBlue games for the Playstation 3.
My latest and and hopefully final (for a good while) capture device. After the disappointment of the HD PVR2, combined with the fact that it couldn't do 1080p at 60 frames per second (Youtube had recently announced they were going to start allowing 60fps videos) meant I had to look elsewhere, and this was what I ended up getting. And thankfully, it works really, really well, I've had no issues with it at all. This was used to do all of my PC videos and most of my Xbox 360 videos. The only downside I have is that it doesn't look like it lets you merge several videos into one, but other than that, I really recommend the Elgato HD60.