Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Velocap U2 USB 2.0 HDMI Capture Card

UPDATE 28/06/17: THIS can now work if the Onboard Audio is disabled from the motherboard, this is not perfect as changing any settings or not closing OBS Classic after streaming can cause the error but also sound is working and syncing fine too. 

UPDATE 22/02/2016: There is currently a major problem with the u2 and OBS when using Windows 10 build 1511 (aka the "November" Update). A "out of memory when trying to allocate -xxxxxx bytes to xxxxxx" message appears just after the audio mixing program appears and then OBS crashes. OBS Studio/MP just has a blank Screen. I've contacted velocaps about it and they haven't got a fix for it. 




With the release of the HD72A which i've reviewed and done research on and since, it turns out the company behind them actually made a few USB versions, which some had more features and a price budget higher than an elgato. That was the U1 and U3 which were at the £200, but recently, there was a budget version, the U2.

If you want to buy one, the link is HERE.

The costs for this were (roughly converted in GBP)

  • £80 for the capture card itself
  • £20 for DHL Global delivery (aka DHL express)
  • £19 for DHL HMRC Customs fees

Technically that should make this cost around £120 which actually cheaper than the price of a Elgato GameCapture (HD60) on Amazon. Which actually for me it turned out cheaper since i've bought some HD72A to sell on ebay to do some tests. A funny fact is that it took 2 weeks since the rep didn't put my address in correctly then when it arrived a day earlier than expected, the rep walked into the garden and put it in with the bike, me and my dad laughed, but more so at the haircut

The video review for this is below:




The packaging

So the box is actually quite a nice concept of branding, sure there is ALOT of chinese language, it could be mandarin but i'm not sure. Which gives it a nice unique look and makes it stand out compared to the versions you might see from other suppliers (like the box of the HD72A i had, which had a intresting design but no recognition of the brand.  There was contact info as well which made it feel like a real product that could be off the shelf. 

The top of the box with a TV as well as Full HD and some english translations. Notice it supports from XP to Windows 8 (non are official support logos either) 

The front of the Box, with the Velocap and video capture card family text in english and chinese

The bottom of the box, showing the range of products Timeleak offer as well as some logos and contact details, notice the HD72A and HD72B are listed/shown. 

The sides of the box are pretty much this

Again, the same on the back of the box

The sides of the box look like this

The insides 

As the box opens from the front with very little hassle, we are greeted by the following: 
  • The capture box itself, in a seal which is a bit of thin foam protection
  • A Mains adapter which only has a Chinese Plug, so you might need a travel adapter, luckily chinavasion products sorted this out when i ordered from them ages ago. 
  • A Mini USB Cable
  • A A4 booklet as the manual (all in chinese so sadly this might put people off)
  • A driver disc (funnily enough, this was not imaged on, this was still showing the CD brand)
Which that was interesting to find it had no HDMI cable, not to worry since my work has some slim HDMI cables for £8 which look and feel nice. Also the manual was really showing that it might ONLY work with the software provided, that will be a pisstake if this is the case, but we shall hope and see if its not true. 

The CD was fun to see no printing on it, a interesting reason why that wasn't done, was it time or was it since the product is still very new, i'm not sure to be honest, 

Opening the box up and this is what shows

The charger and ARIES STOP BITING THE BAG



The mini usb cable (Mini B to Standard usb)

The foam packaging wrapped around the box


The driver disc which has no printing onside it

The front of the manual, which the contents part of the specs and more

A table of details and some info on HDMI ports

How to install the software, part 1

How to install the software, part 2

Introducing the software, part 1

Introducing the software, part 2

Configuring audio settings

This seems to be related to 3rd part apps but i'm not sure 

Well it was time to look at the actual capture box itself. Which was really light and quite clear where each of the connections were as well as a lit power button which was quite a good glow, the only downside is, it can be easy to fall out of place but since its a plastic mould to press on a actual button on the card, its not a major problem unless you have big fingers.
The box itself from a nice viewpoint

The bottom of the box

This was the top of the box, with only the power button and a power led

The back of the box, which has the hdmi, mic in, usb and power connectors
That was pretty much it, now it was getting to the point where it was testing time.

Time to set it up
 

This wasn't that complex, using the plug changer, i got it plugged into the mains, using a hdmi cable i purchased from work on my way back home, it plugged it into the vita tv and then the other hdmi into the tv, oh and the usb to the PC of course. I powered it up and the red light was flashing after it being soild. Which was odd at first, but i haven't switched the TV on. 
The setup on the box's end.

The vita TV plugged into the box and then another cable to the TV. 
This is also where i was nervous if it was even going to work, you know how some people feel. But i plugged it in and it did pick up the card, no luck from windows update, interesting, but since this was on 10 TP, MS could always nick the drivers from the feedback terms. 

The driver info for those that want to know: 

The Hardware IDs

Options on what to do

Code 28 status

Then it was time to load the disc. Literally the sice of the disc was 32mb. And there was only one setup file on it. which was the velocap recorder software, The drivers are not on velocaps site but since there is not much of these around or mentioned, i'll add them later if requested. 

Whats actually on the CD

Installing it was quite quick, the setup WAS in english as you see in the blurry part of the video. But after that, it installed the drivers, which interestingly enough, it only listed the audio part of the card in the "Audio, Video and Game controllers" section of device manager and the video part was in USB devices ?. But this made me worry obs wouldn't work. 
The video part of the drivers after

The digital signature

The same hardware IDs

The events with the inf install

The testing. 

Now this is where the moment of truth will or would of happened, will it work or have i bought crap. At first it was appearing with Device Connected, but the preview was turned off, then i clicked the preview button and YAY. A picture appeared on the screen, with little hassle and the sound was fine too. 

The vita TV working with Velocap Recorder
Which was exciting and it was working smoothly, the only problem i noticed was there was a delay between the tv and also what was on this. Which for most shouldn't bother or maybe it happened with elgato and i don't know much on them. Anyways, enjoy pics of the various settings, most of the icons are simple to explain here. Well the camcorder means record, the camera means screenshot, the mic means mic settings, the arrows for fullscreen etc.

The settings screen

The options for recording

This is interesting, there is an option for firmware for it
I've not tested recording with it but its good that it worked with no configuring.

Testing it with OBS


Now saying this didn't work with other software is luckily true and OBS did pick it up, however there was something bad with it not picking up the right resolution, This is a annoyance to ask why things don't work instantly. Eventually after manually forcing custom resolutions and all, it worked for the most part. 
Setting up OBS and it picks it up along with the face the audio is not dragged along with it as it is a separate device

The settings the card drivers provide OBS etc

I managed to get it to work nicely
 The capture quality was good, i think there was a black bar but i've not full tweaked OBS so i can't really say much else, maybe OBS was at 1600x900 and i was streaming 1280x720. But it was as smooth as the game which maybe its not up to 30fps after all. 

But this does NOT work in OBS Studio, even though OBS classic still works providing the onboard audio is disabled. Tested on Windows 10 with Gigabyte H110N with the HD Audio disabled on the board.

Testing The U2 with a PS4 Running Wipeout Omega collection

The Verdict

Now with everything i've said and experienced considered, i think this was quite a good value, sure theres flaws which are ok for me or i can put up with but others might get stroppy about. The software it comes with is actually better than the one they provide with the HD72A by a long shot. 

omracer's Rating: 6/10

The Good Points

  • Lightweight and easy to physically connect (unless you don't have a travel adaptor).
  • Cheaper than other branded cards (Elgato, Roxio etc)
  • HDMI pass through
  • HDCP support (Tested on Vita TV but unsure on Set top Boxs)
  • Works with OBS (If Xsplit supports Directshow devices then it will support it too)
  • Smooth frame rate (it seems like 60FPS worked)
  •  FIXED IF YOU BUY THIS CABLE OR THIS CABLE  for the Power Issues

 The Bad Points:

  • The manual is in Chinese
  • The power button on the device is plastic which can break (i'll post pictures of it if requested)
  • There is a choice between speed/controller selection delay from TV to PC with correct audio or audio delay if you decide not to have delay between TV and PC. This is more of a seeing things later, hiding the preview will erase this problem easily. 
Well that should show you how it looks and also if you need any help, contact me via the usual. Also you DON'T have to ADD me on FACEBOOK to MESSAGE me. Just to clear it up.

omracer

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Acer G225HQL BbD 21.5" HD LED Monitor

This was a few months in decision making and i know there are many types of decent PC screens out there and i saw this on a special offer for £82 inc VAT and delivery from a supplier. So i purchased it last friday, before i found out heartfreezing news and when i came home on Monday 9th March it was on my bed waiting for me. The video review for this is below, this has been rush a tiny bit which i do apologise for. But this will cover any of the extras missed. The screen can be from Amazon if you wish it to BE





The packaging

Well the outside is pretty basic in colour, since its just printed on brown cardboard, which is why most monitors have in relations to design, but it does show clear-ish symbols of what is features. 

This is probably the most infomation about the monitor you will get on the outside,

The bottom of the box doesn't contain much

The side of the box which has only Acer, fragile logos and the url

The front of the box, i can tell since there are less symbols placed compared to others

The back of the box since it has more symbols to advertise its features.

Getting into the box is simple, slice open the top and the foam covers appear which other parts of the monitor can be picked up then the screen itself can be. There was the usual pieces to get going like:
  • The monitor itself
  • The connector to the stand
  • The stand
  • A Quick Start Guide
  • A CD with a digital copy of the manual and how to register it
  • Warranty and EMEA office leaflets
  • A HIPRO PSU
  • A US and UK Cloverleaf Mains cable
  • A VGA Cable 
The Stand

The charger for it

The US Cloverleaf mains cable

The UK Cloverleaf Mains Cable

The Stand Connector

The bag with the manual inside

The peek at some of the booklets

The CD of virtual documents

A warning when handling the screen

A seperate Specification sheet

The warranty notes

But it mentions a 2 Year Limited Warranty

A guide of setting the monitor up

More FCC notes and other important legal information

Then getting the screen out and it felt nice, not too light but not CRT heavy either, which means its got some good quality to it. Sure the connector is DVI-D, VGA and the Power jack, which is a bit week since there is no sound, luckily i have a old DAB radio which does this nicely. 

Getting the packaging off

Picking up the screen

The 3 connectors and the slot for the stand connector

Connecting the Screen

This was a simple task, (although i missed a recommendation but i'll get into that soon) which  was done nicely, with all the leads needed and connected, i was ready within a few short minutes and could get it booted up :).
OK, i did have to use a flathead screwdriver to make sure the screen was firmly in, which i did nicely

Connecting the VGA cable

TA-DA

Then i managed to get it to turn on, it booted fine, the settings were slightly hard to get to but my fingers are not as clumsy as most others, but the settings were plentiful, with colour effects, DDI, various display profiles using the E and the menu was not intrusive which is a bonus.


I managed to get it to but when looking at it, the screen looked off, which was the fact the Resolution was NOT 1080p but actually 1600x1200 and stretched, which confused me and confounded me, even in Yosemite, it was doing the same thing, which i tried things like checking the disk for drivers and then i thought about the cable. So, using the cable provided, i changed it and it worked fine in 1080p at 60Hz. So it made everything ready to use.
The screen working at 1080p and nice and clean


ff
Windows telling me what the Max refresh rate is

EDID Working

This is just a glimpse of many of the resolutions i could use

Then it was just one of those nice dreams to have a beast ass PC with a huge display, i felt like that. I watched some YT subscriptions and also set up OBS and it was nice to see it beautifully. 

With this in mind:

omracer's Rating: 8/10

The good points:

  • Good value for money
  • Very crystal clear quality, 
  • Sturdy packaging
  • Pretty compatible the almost any PC, can work on Mac's that use DVI-D
  • Slim GUI interface

The bad points

  • No drivers on disc
  • No Speakers
  • No HDMI
  • Requires you to replace cabling to ged EDID to work on VGA
  • Settings on monitor might be hard with big fingers

So this is a quick review which should show you what the monitor is like, if you want it, you can buy it HERE


See you for another review soon
omracer