Review ClearClick HD Video Capture Box Ultimate 4k Records HDMI & Composite Without a PC

hey everybody it’s lon seidman and we’re taking a look today at the clear click video capture box ultimate today this is their 4k edition and this little box allows you to bring in video over hdmi and record it without the need for a computer and it’s got a few other features too including the ability to bring in standard definition composite video from a vcr or a game console or something like that and we’re going to be taking a deeper dive into this box and what it’s all about in just a second but i do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure that this came in free of charge from the amazon vine program however all the opinions you’re about to hear are my own no one is paying for this review nor has anyone reviewed or approve what you’re about to see before it was uploaded so let’s get into it now and see what this box is all about now the price point on this is about 250 this is not a perfect device by any stretch and if you are looking for a professional level recorder this is not going to be the device for you you’re going to want to spend about twice as much and get something from atomos or blackmagic or some of the other pro and prosumer brands that make these all-in-one recording devices that said i was surprised that there are some

redeeming qualities here and if you are on a budget and you can’t afford one of those five or six hundred dollar devices this might be worth considering provided you’re aware of some of the limitations and we’ll talk about all the nuances of this as we work our way through the review now as i mentioned this is the 4k edition of the recorder but it will only record video at a max of 30 frames per second at 4k it won’t do 60 but it will do 60 at 1080p and of course 30 frames per second at 1080p is supported as well you’ve got a display on here that’s kind of its biggest feature it is a little on the colder side i wouldn’t use this for white balancing but it does work as a decent little on-camera monitor you even have a little tripod mount here at the bottom if you wanted to attach it to a shoe adapter or something like that the display though will need to be shaded out in direct sunlight it’s not very bright there isn’t much latency you’re going to see some latency here just based on how i’m bringing video into it but i found that it is adequate enough for use as a monitor you also have the choice of connecting an external display to it through the other hdmi output here but note that this is not a pure pass-through so gamers may want to find some other alternatives because when you connect the larger displays we did a little earlier on a live stream you’re going to see this on-screen display here on top of the image and that will give you a little bit of latency for gaming

purposes you also see that it is blocking a portion of the image so i had a hard time for example seeing frame rates of some of the stuff i was recording because that was in the way and there’s no way to get that off the screen now the build quality on this is not spectacular it’s all plastic there’s no metal to be found anywhere like you might see on some of the other pro devices out there so just be careful with this when you’re out in the field because i don’t think it’s going to survive a lot of abuse that said there’s no moving parts in it but the plastic here does not give me a lot of confidence that this will hold up over the long term now for ports you saw that external output there by the way when you have an external display attached the internal display turns off you’ve got a usb port here for attaching storage for recording that’s one of your two options for storage my recommendation would be to get one of these solid state ssds like the sandisk one here that will allow you to connect up to four terabytes that the device can access it supports the exfat and ntfs formats but note it will only record a maximum of a 32 gigabyte file and how long that is will depend on what resolution you’re at and how much motion is going on in the scene but the big problem with this is that when it gets to the end of that 32 gigabytes it shuts down and doesn’t start a new file you have to make sure you push the button to start recording again that’s something i think they

could fix through firmware but just be aware of the fact that once it hits that 32 gigabytes it’s done now if you attach a device that’s formatted with the fat32 format it’s only going to record in four gigabyte file sizes which will be a lot shorter and again it’s going to shut down when it hits the end of that file limit now in addition to the usb port here you can also use an sd card i’ve got one of those sandisk extremes in here right now the max sd card it will take though is 128 gigabytes so if you wanted to have a lot more storage available to you a hard drive is going to be the way to go although i think it’ll probably drain the battery a little faster the battery life actually surprised me it looks like you could probably get about an hour to an hour and a half of recording on a charge initially it was kind of going down pretty quick when i first started getting going with it but i think it wasn’t totally charged when i got it in hand but it’s been holding its own here and when it’s just in monitor mode it’s pretty good about power management so that was a bit of a surprise to me there you have two other ports here one of these is for your analog video input it only supports composite input and there’s a catch to that which we’ll cover in a few minutes we look at the video formats but it does work you also have the ability to attach headphones for monitoring and it does support a microphone through that port as well and it will mix your hdmi audio with the mic audio and you do have some audio controls here on the front to adjust the volume level of the mic that is plugged into it so that was kind of a neat little surprise you could do a little play by play or something while you’re recording off of the hdmi now it charges on the right hand side there’s a micro usb connector for that

it does require a 2 amp usb power adapter it does come with that in the box but if you’re out in the field and bringing some batteries with you you’re going to want to make sure that those support a 2 amp output to give it all the power that it needs that usb port can power the device all on its own so if you want it to run continuously just leave it plugged in now additionally this will allow you to connect it to a pc and use this as a video capture device i tried that with obs and with vmix and even just the windows camera app on my windows computer and none of it worked right the video looked terrible and like very compressed and full of artifacts it just is not a captured device even though they say it is it just doesn’t work so i would look for this as a recorder device only not as something that can replace a captured device out in the field because that feature was completely missing from it it does have a remote control the remote basically does everything that the on device controls do but you get it all on something you can carry away from the device itself so if you wanted to start recording while you were in front of the camera you could point the remote at it and start doing that one thing though is that it is not very responsive so when you push a button here to start or stop recording it takes it a while to respond to that command it’s not something immediate that you would see on a more expensive device so just be aware of that i was surprised with the codec support here because in addition to supporting h.264 which most of these cheap recorders support this one does hevc which is a much more efficient codec that will give you much better visual quality at a lower bit rate and that’s going to be really important for the 4k recordings that you

do with this so i’ve got a 4k recording up right now of course this video is only at 1080p 30 but i found it was able to record without any noticeable drop frames it looks really good i’ll put some footage up on the extras channel so you can see it in its entirety here now 4k will record at 30 megabits per second irrespective of the codec that you choose you cannot adjust any of the recording settings at all it just locks it in at a certain bit rate based on the resolution so 30 megabits per second at 4k again in either codec if you’re going for 1080p 60 which is what we have up here right now that is going to run at about 18 megabits per second and if you have a 30 frames per second video going in that will record at around 10 megabits per second and i found the capture quality when it’s recording to be decent for what it is but i would have liked to have a little bit more customization of the settings to get things dialed in exactly where i wanted them to especially from a bit rate standpoint now audio is recorded at 44 kilohertz not 48 kilohertz like you might see on more professional gear so just make note of that now if you’re looking at buying this for analog video capture i would advise against that because it does not preserve the original square 4×3 aspect ratio of analog video sources we plugged in an old vhs vcr and a 3do game console and as you can see here everything is getting stretched out it is up converting to 1080p at 60 frames per second but the original aspect ratio here is not preserved and that’s a real deal breaker for me now there isn’t much to configure on the device you can get into your system settings by pushing that button there or using the remote what i found is that the remotes buttons will bring you right to each of these options without having to scroll through the menu so there might be some

convenience to using the remote one note though is that the schedule button here doesn’t work at all so i have no idea what that does but it doesn’t allow you to schedule any recordings at least on this edition of the device now as you scroll through here there’s a couple of things to look for the most important one out of the gate is the time watermark because on mine by default this was set to on and this was burning in the date and time with every video that i captured on it so you’ll probably want to turn that off immediately you can select the video source here right now it’s on hdmi but if you wanted to switch to analog video and have your videos get stretched out you would go over here to av and select that the recording codec can be set here by default it is h.265 that’s what i would leave it on for the best visual quality but you can go down to h.264 there again you cannot adjust the bit rate now the recording resolution is interesting because this seems to only make a difference when you’re in the hdmi mode so when you’re connecting up a game console for example you’re going to want to switch down to 1080p 60 to capture the full frame rate i also though found that if you’re connecting a 1080p 30 source to it if you’re in the 1080p 60 mode it will actually record at 1080p 30.

You can though up convert your 1080p video to 4k if you select the 4k option here for the recording resolution so there is some degree of 4k up conversion going on here doesn’t look all that great but it does do it so that’s something to consider if you wanted to try to improve whatever you’re putting into it you have a default storage option here for selecting whether or not it goes to the sd card or usb by default for recording it will not roll over though to another source if you fill one up so you’ll probably need to disconnect something or adjust that setting and lastly you have your usb mode here for selecting what happens with that usb port as we mentioned the pc streaming mode didn’t seem to work at all for me but if you wanted to try that out you can activate it there but you have to set this every time you want to go into that mode it’s really not all that intuitive and that’s pretty much it there isn’t much to configure on this device they’ve kept it really really simple which is why i don’t think it’s going to be something professionals will find a lot of utility with now one thing to note with this is that it does not record hdcp protected sources so if you’re trying to hook up an apple tv or an old playstation 3 or something you’re going to run into some trouble and they put warnings all over the place about its lack of protected content recording capability there’s a sticker

you got to pull off the screen when you first get it they’ve got a big bullet point on the amazon product listing and then the manual it’s got this big warning here like the thing’s going to explode if you try to hook up an hdcp source and then they point you at a couple of splitters that they say will remove the copy protection so they’re definitely enforcing it but then showing you how to break it but i would not use this for nefarious purposes i would use it for capturing video and if you’re looking to do just that capturing some hdmi video that’s not protected it’ll do a pretty good job of that i was surprised it did as well as it did especially at 4k 30 and the fact that it records hevc was a bit of a bonus for me too so those things were good i would love to have had more control over the video capture though especially adjusting the bit rate i was very disappointed with the analog video capture and of course the pc streaming capability here is completely broken so the product does not fully work as advertised but it is a passable recorder with a screen and if you’re looking for something that can do that for a price lower than some of the pro gear out there maybe it’s worth considering just be aware of some of its limitations that’s going to do it for now until next time this is lon simon thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by the london tv supporters including gold level supporters chris allegretta tom allrect mark bollinger sergio morales mark dell jim callagher and steven suh if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month head over to dot tv support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe

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