We’ve looked at game capture devices previously, and what’s evident even more so now is that there are a number of manufacturers who are discreetly targeting gamers. Whether or not their products are successful remains to be another story, but one such device I tested this week was the AVerMedia Live Gamer Portable, a pocket-sized capture device that can capture videogame footage without the need for a PC.
Build Quality & Design
The Live Gamer Portable is certainly a small device, roughly the size of my HTC One, thought about two and a half times as thick. On one side there are a number of ports, namely HDMI In and Out, Audio In and Out, and a AV In port for additional connectivity options. On the smaller end of the device there’s a mini-USB connector to power the device or connect it to a PC for more advanced recording. On the opposite side is an SD card slot , which is what allows the Live Gamer Portable to record footage without the need of a PC. Simple side in a class 10 or higher SD card, and you’re good to go. Finally there’s a switch for selecting whether you want footage to be recorded directly onto the SD card or if you want to stream it to a connected PC.
Setup & Connectivity
The box includes everything you need to get setup, including the necessary HDMI cables and connectors. The device will record from any non-HDCP protected HDMI signal, so if you want to connect your PlayStation system, you’ll need to use the included component cable. What’s great is that the cable connects directly into your PlayStation, rather than having to deal with the traditional 5-cable component connection that comes with other game capture devices.
Software & Capture quality
When in PC-free mode, the Live Gamer Portable is ridiculously easy to use. Simply connect a USB cable to power it up (either from your console or a mains socket) and connect your HDMI cables. You’re then on your way to recording video directly onto an SD card. The Live Gamer Portable will record 1080p video at 30fps, or 720p video at 60fps. It’s important to note that in PC-free mode, you can only record 720p video. Overall the video quality at 720p is more than enough for average users, and for a solution that can be setup in a matter of minutes without any extra software, it’s a done deal. Below is a clip from the game Titanfall recorded in PC-free mode – the audio was not recorded because it was being routed through a USB headset, so make sure that you’ve got audio going in via HDMI or a 3.5mm jack.
If you flip the switch over to PC mode, you’ll need to install AVerMedia’s RECentral software. It offers a variety of setup modes depending on how confident you are with video settings and streaming. It’s not as full-fledged of a software as some other devices I’ve reviewed, but it pretty much gets the job done. You also get a free 3-month subscription to XSplit, which is a more advanced streaming and recording software for enthusiasts.
The AVerMedia Live Gamer Portable does exactly what it’s supposed to – provide recording facilities without the hassle of extra software in a truly portable solution. The included RECentral software can be quite basic, so you’ll have to edit your captured footage in other programs. You also have to keep in mind the additional cost of a fast-enough SD card, but other than that the Live Gamer Portable is a great product to check out.
+ Lightweight and portable recording device
+ Easy to setup
- Bundled software will not appeal to advanced users
- 1080p requires connected PC or laptop