If you're in the market for a video capture device, might I recommend you don't choose the Roxio Game Capture HD Pro? Or at least be very careful if you are considering it. Oh sure, if you read about it on the website it sounds wonderful - play and capture in high definition; live stream directly to Twitch TV; video editing software with new effects; works on practically any device with an HDMI port or composite connectors including the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Wii U and the PC. A real steal for only $129.99.

I bought this contraption for my son...for Christmas. Yes, I realize that was six months ago. Apparently he has tried off and on to rig it up and use it but couldn't get it to work. First he didn't have the right cables, then he couldn't find the installation CD, then we moved...and on and on and on. Oh yeah, a few times in there he asked me to help him with it. And I've tried a few times, with no joy. But here recently, I've had a little bit of free time and have made getting this thing to work a priority.

I think I'm a fairly level-headed gamer, capable of following simple instructions; capable of reading a company's support webpage including the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section; capable of troubleshooting fairly technical computer issues...and usually when I have a problem with somebody - whether it is an individual or a company - I'm able to resolve the issue while keeping the emotion out of it. If I'm not happy, I tend to keep that to myself. So, I'm not bashing Roxio or their product - but I am cautioning those who might be interested in purchasing some sort of video capture card from choosing this one.

First of all, it's a breeze to set up. There is basically an input, an output and a USB cable. On the input side you have an HDMI input, or the five component cable jacks; on the output side you have an HDMI output, or the five component cable jacks. I realize there are some who might struggle setting that up, but what I don't need is a support file telling me how to set up the product, and if it's not working, to check my setup. Please assume I set it up properly and tell me something else to try when it doesn't work. So many people have reported getting a "device failed" error, yet the support website has nothing on this specific error. Of course, I just so happen to be among those experiencing that error.

I've spent hours trying to get this thing to work on my son's computer and finally found someone in a random (and non-Roxio) forum who had been experiencing similar problems say it was an issue associated with Windows 7. The website says the product will work on Windows 7, but... hmm, well my son does have Windows 7, so let me try a different computer.

I go to install the software on my laptop - the software that is needed to make the device work. And of course one of the first things it asks for is...the product ID. No problem...I ask my son for the box or the CD sleeve...and of course he has neither.  Hmm, okay. Let me see what the website says about that.

Oh, if you didn't register your item online and you lost (or threw away) the box and/or CD sleeve, don't bother asking for a new product ID because we're not going to give you one.  It doesn't matter if you have the original CD in your possession...it doesn't matter if you have the actual device with the serial number in your hand. If you don't have the original product ID, they are unable to help. This is sort of common, so I couldn't get to upset over that. Thankfully my son registered the product online (something I tend to forget) and was able to finally retrieve the product ID.

Okay, so I install the software on my laptop. Ah, things seem to be working better than they did on his computer. Well, let's test this bad boy out.

First up, the Wii. Why the Wii? Heck, I don't know...maybe because the connectors were easier to get to. Actually I think my son wanted to make a video of some old school Nintendo games he has on the Wii for his YouTube channel. I connect the cables up - because it's the Wii I had to use the composite cables. It worked, but it was only in black and white. Sigh. Back to the support page, which was once again, not a lot of support. Okay, well maybe it has something to do with the composite cables, let's try the Wii U, something with an HDMI cable.


He's playing the game and seeing it on his TV, but I'm able to watch and listen to it on my laptop in the Roxio software associated with this capture card. Finally...it's in color...I have audio...and it looks like it's actually going to work.

So, I press the record button.

The software locks up, I get the (Not Responding) alert...I decide to give it a few minutes which turned into quite a few minutes, before I finally had to use the Task Manager to shut the program down. I tried restarting the program and now I get no video, no audio and nothing I do to fix it seems to solve the problem.

I finally grabbed a handful of cables, ripped them out in frustration...pieced everything back together in its original configuration...and laid the capture card back on my desk...a reminder my son still isn't able to use this "Christmas" present; a reminder that I'm losing the battle against technology; and a reminder there is practically nothing the company can (or will) do to help.

At this point I'm not really looking for advice how to make this one work (even though I'm going to keep trying), but am open to some suggestions for alternative products (but I am looking for something a little bit more robust than Camtasia). Also, I am warning those who might be looking at this item to at least know there are quite a few people who are struggling with getting this to work, including me. If you have it and it works, you're one of the lucky ones.

I haven't completely given up yet though...and who knows, maybe in a day or two...or perhaps a week, or maybe even for Christmas, I'll be able to share a video with you all. Until then...