The online gaming community is expanding at an immense rate these days. What seems a like grass roots, underground community just a few short years ago has exploded into a massive community through various forms of social media outlets. From Youtube to Twitch and Twitter, the online gaming community has become a staple in how players communicate, and even more recently, how developers promote their new products.
One of core reason for this explosion is the ease of access to video capture devices. There have been many newcomers to the scene, and some returning to the party. AVerMedia is one of those returnees with their new Portable Capture HD Unit.
Known for their built-in PC capture cards, the AVerMedia Live Gamer HD is a step away from the company’s normal approach, and offers a stand-alone device with some fantastic features, unmatched video quality and new ideas you simply can’t find in any other capture device.
For starters, let’s talk about the most important aspect of a capture device; the video quality. With the ability to capture up to a 60mb/s video feed, the video quality available through the unit’s HDMI pass through is far above the competition, offering a bit rate capture that is twice that of the leading capture devices. In a side-by-side comparison the color representation through the AVerMedia Live Gamer HD is richer and a more true representation of the actual graphics than any other leading capture card when using the standard settings.
This capture rate translates into the unit’s streaming ability, where the upload bit-rate can be pegged all the way up to 20mb/s. Now, clearly most internet connections cannot handle such an upload speed, and to be honest, even if it could, if you’re not partnered on any major streaming network chances are you viewers internet can’t, either. It is a great option to have though, and shows the true nature of how serious AVerMedia is taking the features and abilities of this device.
It’s also important to note that this device offers full component/analog video and audio support. This allows you to capture both PlayStation 3 footage as well as older console’s that simply don’t offer HDMI output. The 3.5mm input and output jack is a very nice option as well, making PC audio capture easy and pain free (splitting HDMI audio is a pain through your PC output). This is also a nice option for you Wii U players who like to run a headset, as plugging one in will cancel audio through the Wii U’s HDMI out. The process of capturing Wii U footage with solid audio used to give me a nightmare, forcing me to listen to audio lag through my PC headset; this is a clean, easy fix.
Speaking of audio and video lag through the capture software on the PC side of things, this brings me to another positive point; the input lag on the PC side is incredibly low at .3 seconds. This may seem like a mute point, but it really does make syncing audio and the like much easier. It’s also important to note that this unit gives you the option to split audio and video into two separate files. A much welcome feature thats saves time in the back end of editing things outside of raw gameplay.
One feature that is truly the AVerMedia’s “own” is the option to capture video directly to an on-board SD card with the click of a button located on the unit itself. That’s right, the unit is not bending its branding terms when they called it “portable,” you can really capture video on the fly, anywhere with just this device and some wires. Now, admittedly this feature is a very “nitch” in the sense that if you’re in a situation where you need to capture something chances are you prepared for it, but its still a fantastic option to have, and is truly remarkable that they pulled it off.
It may seem like a ‘n00b’ type thing to say, but you can really see AVerMedias roots in the “built-in” capture device showing here. It looks pretty, it offers a great deal of customization, but there are competitors that do it much better while offering similar options in customization.
In the end, the AVerMedia Live Gamer HD unit is arguably one of, if not the best stand alone capture device on the market. Between its incredible capture quality and audio options to the ability to capture gameplay directly onto the device itself, the AVerMedia Live Gamer HD device redefines the possibilities and features in what is a quickly expanding and competitive field. I have faith that with more development time and consumer feedback the software’s ease of use will catch up to it’s feature laden nature and ability.
I plan on doing a full on comparison shortly with what is the AVerMedia’s biggest competitor; The Elgato Game Capture HD. Let me know your thoughts, questions and suggestions, as I’m always interested in hearing them. Subscribe to me here, on Youtube/pitmonkey or follow me on twitter @NicholasGigante.
The AVerMedia Live Gamer HD retails for $169.99 and can be purchased at various retail outlets.