Rating: 4.0 stars
The Avermedia Live Gamer Portable allows gamers to stream and record Xbox, PlayStation, and WiiU gameplay. This device is unique in that it allows gamers to record without a PC, directly to an SD card. It is capable of recording in full HD 1080p, and uses TimeShift to record retroactively, up to an hour after the clip actually happened in game. With a PC, gamers can also stream directly to Twitch, Youtube, and other services with built-in commentary and RECentral software.
Included in the box with the device is an HDMI cable, USB cord, and Component cable adapters. For a truly PC free experience, you will need an AC adapter to record to an SD card, and will also need an SD card with enough storage space.
The RECentral software supports voice commentary, and allows it to be saved as a separate audio track for any post production a gamer might choose to add to their videos. The integrated Stream Engine makes it a breeze to use streaming applications like Open Broadcaster Software and Wirecast, so many gamer can begin streaming right out of the box.
The Avermedia Live Gamer Portable is compatible with both Mac and Windows. It can be used to record virtually any console you might want, including retro consoles.
The Avermedia Live Gamer Portable sells for $147.99 on Amazon
This device can be plugged into a Mac or PC with USB 2.0 for streaming or recording to the hard drive. The Avermedia Live Gamer Portable is also able to record on its own, directly to an SD card. It can use either Component cables or HDMI cables for passthrough and recording.
Ease of Use
The direct-to-SD method is incredibly simple, and reduces the setup time dramatically. Simply attach your console via HDMI or Component cables to the input port, and then attach your TV via HDMI in the output port, and press the large “hot button” to record directly the the SD card. Using it with a PC requires just one additional cord, and takes no time at all to get going. Generally, this is one of the easier recording devices at this price point.
The Avermedia Live Gamer Portable can receive AV or HDMI for inputs, and uses HDMI for output. There is also a port for audio in, and another for audio out, using standard 3.5mm jacks. USB 2.0 is used to connect the device to a PC or Mac.
Size and Weight
This device is pocket-sized. It weighs only 3.36 ounces and is 7” x 10” x 3”.
How to Setup
Setup for the Avermedia Live Gamer Portable is very simple. Just do the following:
- Set the device to the correct capture mode. Choose between PC-Free or with PC using the switch on the side of the device.
- Plug your console into the device. If you are using a PlayStation 3 or 4, or retro gaming systems, use the AV adapter. If you are using an Xbox 360 or One, use the HDMI cord. You will want to plug this cord into the “AV IN” or the “HDMI IN” port.
- Connect the device to your TV using the “HDMI OUT” port.
- If you are recording “PC Free” plug your SD card into the device. Also, plug the device into either the wall or your PC to get power to the device. Once ready to record, hit the “hot button,” on top.
- If you are recording with your PC, plug the device into your PC.
- Open the ReCentral software and begin recording or streaming.
To play in HD on the PS3, you will need to take a few extra steps:
- Complete steps 1-4 above.
- In “Display settings” go to “Video output settings.”
- Choose “Component/D-Terminal”
- Check whichever resolutions are supported by your television (at least 720p for HD)
- After saving this, it will prompt you to set audio output settings. Do this.
- Select “Audio Input Connector”
- Save settings.
Avermedia offers several other video capture devices: Live Gamer Portable 2, Live Gamer Extreme, LGP Lite, Live Gamer HD, and Game Capture HD II. The Live Gamer Portable 2 is an all-purpose plug and play device that uses USB 2.0, can record 1080p with 60 frames per second, can be used PC free, and operates with RECentral 3. The Live Gamer Extreme offers top speed and quality. It is not PC-free, and is only compatible with Windows. This device uses USB 3.0, and offers uncompressed video capture, which is not offered in any of the other products. This device, however, does not have a build in H.264 encoder, but still records 1080p with 60 fps.
The Live Gamer Portable, which we just reviewed, is the best option for a portable recording device. As you know, it offers PC-free recording, uses USB 2.0 to interface with your PC or Mac, and offers video pass-through. This device comes with RECentral, as opposed to the newer RECentral 3. The LGP Lite is a less expensive model, and can record 1080p video, but only at 30fps. It does not have the PC-free option, but is compatible with both Mac and Windows. The Live Gamer HD is built for desktop streaming; it uses PCIe to interface with your computer. This device is also limited to 30fps at 1080p, and for obvious reasons does not have the option for PC-free recording. It is only compatible with Windows, and uses the older RECentral for software. The Game Capture HD II is a stand-alone recording device, so it is obviously capable of PC free recording. It comes with GameMate software for editing and post-production. This device is also limited to 30fps at 1080p.