You are already aware of the power of an HDMI connection. It provides you with HD-quality video and audio with a single cable.
You may have heard that it is possible to capture HD video through an HDMI video recorder.
You may also have heard that these HDMI video recorders would require you to connect them to a computer.
You wonder if there’s an HDMI video recorder that can capture HD video without a PC.
Yes, there is. So, if you’re not computer savvy and don’t fancy setting up HDMI video capture with a software program on your computer, this is your solution.
Advantages of HDMI Video Recorder Without PC
The advantage is you can use it anywhere without a PC. You can record from any HDMI source provided the source content isn’t copy-protected.
As such, it would be useful to capture HD content from your video camera and play it back on your HDTV. You don’t need to have your camcorder with you to playback content with it.
Apart from HDMI capture, you can also perform analog video capture with it.
How Does an HDMI Video Recorder Work?
An HDMI recorder comes with HDMI inputs to receive video signals from various HDMI sources.
Once the video signal from the HDMI source is processed, you have two options.
- Send the encoded video signal to your PC, where you can edit it. Or you can live stream the signal to platforms like Facebook, Twitch or YouTube. You would need a video capture software like OBS to do this.
- You can save the captured video in your USB flash drive, external hard disk or memory card attached to the HDMI video recorder.
What HDMI Sources Can You Capture Video From With an HDMI Video Recorder?
You can capture digital video or analog video from the following sources. For HD video you can capture up to a resolution of 1080p.
If your DVR is full of video files, you can use the HDMI video recorder to transfer them to your USB flash or hard drive.
Other Notable HDMI Video Recorder Features
Remote Control. HDMI video recorders come with remote control. With it, you can instantly playback your captured videos.
Video Editing Software Included. You capture your video to your computer. Then you edit and convert it to the format you desire. For example, if you need a mobile device video you’ll need to compress the video to a smaller size. That’s when the software program will come in handy.
Microphone Input. Usually, a 3.5mm mic input is part of an HDMI video recorder. It allows you to record your voice. Useful when you’re streaming live to YouTube and want to add audio commentary.
Let’s take a look at some standalone HDMI video recorders that work without the need for a computer.
HDMI Recorders with a Pass-Through Feature
An HDMI recorder with a pass-through feature removes the need for a video/HDMI splitter when recording or streaming video or gameplay.
An HDMI recorder with a pass-through feature has both HDMI in and HDMI out.
You plug in the HDMI video source to the HDMI in of the recorder. Then use the HDMI out of the recorder to plug into the HDMI in of your display unit.
Best Standalone HDMI Video Recorders Without PC
HDML-Cloner Box Pro
HDML-Cloner Box Pro is a standalone HDMI video recorder without a PC from ClonerAlliance. You can capture digital video from HDMI sources (1080p/30fps) and analog video from AV sources.
When talking about AV sources, there’s no S-Video input supported. Only composite and component video. In most instances, component video isn’t of much help unless you’re capturing video from a DVD player.
But then VGA input is supported.
This standalone HDMI video recorder doesn’t support USB storage devices formatted in the exFAT format. Only FAT32 and NTFS formats are accepted.
With an NTFS formatted flash or external hard drive, you can capture up to 10 hours of video content in a single file.
It comes with the HDML-Cloner Pro Helper. With it, you can record video files of unlimited size. You have to do it through a PC, though. You can also edit your video and burn it to DVD if you wish.
Watch this video to get a closer look at the HDML-Cloner Box Pro.
Check out HDML-Cloner Box Pro.
ClearClick HD Capture Box
With the ClearClick HD Capture Box, you can capture 1080p and 720p video from HDMI video sources without the need for a computer.
All you have to do is plug in your flash or external hard drive. It is recommended that you use a USB 3.0 flash drive with a capacity below 128GB.
Need to edit your captured video footage? VideoPad editing software is bundled with the package. It will allow you to edit your videos and burn them to DVD.
Be reminded that this standalone HDMI video recorder will not record from copy-protected sources, namely HDCP-enabled devices. However, you can overcome this shortcoming with the use of an HDMI splitter.
You can’t also connect it to your computer or do live streaming with it.
View this video to take a closer look at this standalone HDMI video recorder.
Check out ClearClick HD Capture Box.
Hauppauge HD PVR Rocket
Hauppauge HD PVR Rocket is a reasonably-priced standalone HDMI video recorder. It scores high marks on portability.
HD PVR Rocket uses the H.264 video compression to record HD video up to 1080p/30fps.
Stream gameplay to Facebook or YouTube with this standalone HDMI video recorder. It comes with a 3.5mm mic input. Useful if you need to record audio commentary during game capture.
This unit doesn’t support video capture from HDCP-enabled HDMI sources.
HD PVR Rocket only captures HDMI video to pen drives. It doesn’t support an external hard disk.
With a FAT32 formatted flash drive, your recordings will be split into 4GB clips. To overcome this, you have to use an NTFS formatted flash drive.
Watch this video for more information on this standalone HDMI video recorder.
Check out HD PVR Rocket.
Best Standalone HDMI Video Recorder for PC
If you’re planning to capture HD video footage on your computer, check out the HDMI video capture devices below.
Elgato HD60 S External Video Recorder with HDMI
With Elgato HD60 S you can capture 1080p footage at 60fps without any lag.
This Elgato unit is an HDMI recorder with a pass-through feature. As mentioned above, it eliminates the need for a video splitter if you wish to stream a video source to your TV or another display unit.
It’s a sleek device that comes with a reversible USB-C connector.
The manufacturer has listed the operating system requirements as follows:
Mac – macOS Sierra
Windows 10 (64-bit)
Elgato HD60 S works with the popular OBS.
Also, this external video recorder with HDMI will only work if your computer has USB 3.0 ports.
If you try to capture video capture with a USB 2.0 port, you’ll receive no signal. If you have a newer computer you don’t have to worry. Most support USB 3.0.
Note that you can capture 4K gameplay and stream it at 1080p through your computer.
To get an idea of how to set up Elgato to capture HDMI video, take a look at the video below.
Check out the Elgato HD60 S HDMI video recorder.
Also, check out more HDMI video recorder ideas.