Hardware Test – Live Gamer Portable
Sure, you can share your games with a simple click of a button, but is it worth the price?
Reviewer was provided a review device from AVerMedia.
The Live Gamer Portable is a USB game capture device by digital video company AVerMedia. The device is capable of capturing up to 1080p on most current generation consoles (guaranteed to work on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii U by the manufacturer) and gaming PCs. Consoles with HDMI outputs encrypted with HDCP, such as the PlayStation 3, can only be recorded using the provided component pass-through. Capturing can either be done with or without the aid of a PC, but PC-free mode requires at least a Class 10 SD card to function correctly. I was unable to secure the proper SD card, so, for the sake of this review, impressions will be strictly on PC capturing. The Live Gamer Portable retails for $179.99
Games featured in video: Can Your Pet?, Taquito Tower, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, and Boson X.
Installation of the device is quick and easy…assuming you read the instructions as the writer’s intended. Though the instructions state that you need to update the device’s firmware before using the video capture software and driver, you must install both of these before attempting the firmware update in order for your computer to recognize the device. Once I figured that out, the device was incredibly easy to use. With the provided wires, I was able to connect the device to my PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC with ease (please note that the packaging only includes one HDMI cord, so a second HDMI cord will need to be purchased in order to receive the best quality).
The recordings above were done with both a fairly recent gaming PC and an older laptop with a dedicated graphics card that supports DirectX 10. With both systems, I was able to produce videos with about the same level of quality using the device’s default settings in both “Amateur” and “Pro” modes.
vs. Open Broadcaster Software (free)
This is where the results above get a little depressing. On the test laptop, the Live Gamer Portable was the clear winner. No amount of settings tweaking in Open Broadcaster Software could produce the level of results the simple click of a button on the Live Gamer Portable could do. However, the gaming PC was a completely different story. I was able to produce not only comparable, but in some cases better results with optimal tweaking using the free solution.
If you’re looking to breathe new life into your old computer, or your main recording focus is console gaming, then the AverMedia Live Gamer Portable might just be the device for you. However, if you’re strictly a PC gamer and you’re willing to put the configuration time in, there are cheaper (in some cases, free) software solutions that will produce comparable results.