AVerMedia Live Gamer HD Review
There’s been many attempts with Gaming Capture devices in the market over the past few years. I have long struggled to find one that supports my needs . The problem with most game capture devices is the software bundled or the card’s lack of proper connections. AVerMeda have recently burst onto the scene with their stellar capture suite of products, from the Game Broadcaster to the Game Capture HD external unit but most of these lack the specific feature that many wanted HDMI capability. This is where AverMedia’s newly minted Live Gamer HD comes in, it looks at what gamers want and need to create the ultimate game capture device HDMI support.The card requires a PCI-E slot to operate so make sure to double check your motherboard compability first. The card does not require much system resources to function well. AVerMedia requirement list states your PC setup must consist of a dual core CPU with minimum 512MB memory and a dedicated graphics card. So I doubt that your system will not hold up.
The card main attraction is the HDMI support, the card as two HDMI ports in and out. It also boasts a 3.5mm connection to allow you to connect any external audio devices that you may have. In the box it also includes a DVI adaptor if you wish to use something like a Wii. Setting up capturing is extremely easy you just run from the HDMI port of your console to the HDMI in on the card, then HDMI out to your monitor. In the box also comes the Hot Button which eliminates any need to click anything to record, just make sure you have the recording software open to start with. The software has to be one of the most important thing in all capture cards on the market to make it successful. After going into this with an open mind, AverMedia’s RECentral is hands down one of the best software bundled in for game capture. The RECentral was designed for game capture with ease ensuring that it has all types of gamers covered from beginner to experienced. If you’re that person who does not have a clue about video rendering, types and settings – RECentral has a beginners option for one click capture without the hassles. Experienced? Well in the advance mode, you can tinker with bitrate/audio settings to get your optimal choice of capture. It is a program fully dedicated to recording and streaming, not playing media, which is exactly what we wanted. Another option in the RECentral software is the ability to live stream directly to a Twitch TV account. This is done from the software by entering your Twitch TV login details. With the integrated Twitch TV support, AverMedia again bypasses the annoyance of setting up a live stream – for someone impatient like me, this was a great feature. However when we did start streaming we found it to be extremely laggy and jump around, however this could be due to our internet connection. With the looming release of XSplit 1.1 which features hardware streaming support, we hope that this will be removed. Even if it is not it gives the opportunity to create transition screens.
For testing, we had the Live Gamer HD setup to record at 1080p running at 30fps – which is the maximum setting the card can handle. With the in-built H.264 encoder on the card, capturing at Full HD used barely any extra resources from the computer – great if you’re running a budget or older machine. In our first impressions video we have some footage captured with the Live Gamer HD – for optimal viewing press 1080p quality or 720p if your internet is not awesome.
Overall the card is almost flawless and it is now replaced any other solutions that may have previously existed. While it may be a bit pricey at $249 retail it is significantly cheaper then upgrading your computer to be able to run FRAPS or any other software recording options.