I use a game capture device for streaming only. Specifically if I want to stream a game off my Nintendo Switch and, sometimes, my Playstation 4. That’s it. When I review hardware I like to do very real world stuff. I’m not the hardcore techie – instead I treat the device exactly as I would if I purchased it. When the AverMedia Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus arrived I was interested to see if it could perform. But the one thing that annoys me somewhat is software bloats. I don’t want to have to add your streaming software to my set up or change how I stream to use the device. I want it to work with how I do things already.
When the AverMedia 2 Plus arrived I decided to give it the hardest test. I took it out the box, connected my Switch and went in to OBS to use it as my game capture device. OBS picked it up immediately. It pulled the game straight away. No software needed. It also didn’t have the few second lag I’d experienced in the past. Colour me impressed. The only problem? OBS wasn’t picking up sound at all. When plugging my headphones into the capture’s dedicated headphone jack I could easily hear game sound but the usual sound settings on OBS weren’t picking it up.
Turns out you need to run another media capture on OBS for the AverMedia. I added an Audio Input channel, selected the AverMedia device and game sound was there. No problem. I’ve not had to run two input feeds with other capture devices and usually can pull gameplay and sound from one so that was possibly my “negative” against the AverMedia. But the entire first experience was fantastic. It truly was plug and play. I do plan to download the software for the device so it is easier to update drivers and the like but, for a first start, I was impressed.
I also like the look of the device. Out the box it is a simple pyramid type shape that isn’t too big and sits comfortably on my desk behind the console. I like the rubberised bottom and options to switch between PC and PC free mode. There is a light that turns blue when streaming and flashes when something is wrong. It is big and pretty obvious which I dig as well.
PC free mode
This is a nifty feature if you want to record gameplay to edit for YouTube and I’ll definitely use it if I travel to launches and the like. By adding a microSD card to the device you’ll be able to capture game play without having to connect the device to a computer.
What about lag?
I tested the device while playing Diablo III on the Nintendo Switch and experienced no obvious lag. However, I’ll pull something off the Playstation soon to compare. The device offers a 1080p60 capture so works well with the Switch. There is also an option for a 4K pass through. This means it lets a 4K signal pass through from the source to the TV. Not something I’d likely use but glad the option is available.
I still need to play around with this baby a bit more. Unfortunately I have an overseas work trip to plan for so my time constraints meant I had to throw it into the deep end and hope it could swim. It did so just fine. I also liked this method of testing because for many of us we want something that we can pull straight out of the box and get going with. The AverMedia Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus is definitely that device. It is going to set you back around R3499 but comes with a 1 year warranty.
Disclosure: I was sent an AverMedia Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus to review.