With streaming becoming synonymous with gaming, there is more demand than ever for high-quality streaming devices.
While Elgato, Razer, and Diamond are all fantastic choices, AverMedia with their new Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus may be worth a look. Having had time to test out this little streaming box, I have to say I am very impressed and plan to integrate it more into our day-to-day workflow.
The Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus is a simple, quality looking little device. The black and red aesthetic make it fit in with most modern gaming set-ups. There are few controls on the box that are simple and intuitive to use.
At the centre of the Portable 2 Plus you have a big button, this will glow blue when in standby and glow red while recording. Tap it when you are ready to record, and you are set to go. This button will also work while in PC mode, with you being able to start ReCentral 4 Recording with a simple tap of the button. The front of the device has the standard 3.5mm mic in and headset port. A volume rocker and mode switch round out the options on the front of the device, with the back offering users HDMI In-Out, Micro USB, and a slot for a Micro SD card for use in stand-alone mode, but more on that later.
Within the box, you will find your normal selection of cables such as an HDMI cable, a USB Cable for power and connection, an audio cord along with the standard quick start guide. The simplistic design of the Portable 2 Plus allows this to be all you really need, even while on the go, it takes a minute to get up and running with all you are given.
There are two ways to take advantage of the Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus. The one I found the most useful for on the go recording was the standalone mode. This allows the Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus to work without a PC. You simply plug the USB cable into power, connect the HDMI cable, throw in a sizable Micro SD card, and you are ready to record. It is really that easy. See the below footage taken using the device. It manages to capture 1080P 60 in H.264, free from stuttering, lag, or any other issues.
I was very impressed considering I went into this review quite sceptical. It would have been nice to allow for USB sticks, but that is a nit-pick and all in all I was very fond of how the Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus managed to capture footage. Users can even inject audio commentary over their gameplay utilizing the included 3.5mm ports and even can capture party chat should you wish to include that. It was a pleasure to use and overall I was pleased with how AverMedia planned out this device.
Of course, not everyone wants a standalone device, and luckily the Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus works flawlessly while utilizing a PC. Just plug it in using USB and you are ready to go. No messing with drivers, or settings, the device is completely plug and play. We tested the device using both the AverMedia ReCentral 4 software and OBS. While personally, I am more a fan of the OBS, ReCentral 4 has everything you need to get started, and it has a friendlier user interface. Both work as you would hope, and it is all a matter of preference, I am more used to OBS, so found myself falling back to that while using the Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus.
It should be noted, that while the Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus will pass through 4K video, the recording is capped off at 1080P 60. While there are few games that take advantage of 4K, it should be noted that this is a limitation of the device. Hopefully, we will see an updated version of the card that allows 4K in the future, which would be a fantastic addition to many streamers and video professional workflows.
Not much had changed between this instalment of the Live Gamer Portable 2 and the previous one, but AverMedia has put forth some effort into making sure the device is ready for the modern generation of consoles. While it is not the fabled 4K streaming box many are hoping for, anyone who gets capture footage on the go at events like PAX, E3, or GDC, the Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus is an invaluable tool in your arsenal. While it is not the most advanced device on the market, what it does, it manages very well. AverMedia Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus is a compelling device, one that anyone hunting for a new streaming device should look into.
Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out more stories from Brendan Frye, such as the Future of Xbox One – an interview with Xbox Head of Operations, Dave McCarthy, and his interview with Destiny 2 Art Director, Jesse Van Dyke!
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