Avermedia Live Gamer HD C985

29 Jan, 2016 Paul 0

Pluspunten

  • Bouwkwaliteit
  • Weinig passthrough delay
  • Prijs/kwaliteit verhouding
  • 720p op 60 fps erg goed

Minpunten

  • Geen 1080p60fps capture

Avermedia Live Gamer HD C985

Introduction
At GamersHub we use HDMI capture cards to capture the game and import this capture into our streaming software. In this review we will be taking a look at the Avermedia Live Gamer HD C985 - a PCI-E 2.x x1 capture card. We will review this card in two different use cases. The first is the stand-alone application, for usage such as direct recording and pass through, and on the other hand the use of the card in external streaming software.

Hardware specifications and other capabilities
The card has support for pass-through video. This means that you can place this device between your source and destination, and still record and stream the source. You could for example play fifa on a console, capture and stream it, and watch it live on the tv as well. The card is capable of 1080p60fps passthrough, but does not allow you to capture full hd on that frame rate. The maximum dimensions you record/stream 60fps on is 720p.

Through AverMedia’s software there are more gimmicks available. Thus it is possible to stream directly to Twitch, YouTube Live,UStream, NicoNico and also to a custom RTMP server for more advanced use.

Packaging and contents
The products are well packaged, although the cards themselves are not in anti-static bags. Further included are a usb button (more info later), a 3.5mm audio cable, a HDMI-DVI connector (both M-F as well as F-M!), a HDMI cable and finally an xsplit premium license for 3 months.

Installation and basic use
The installation is as easy as it can be. Just download the latest software package from the AverMedia website and you are good to go. The included button can be connected by USB.

If you have used fraps, or any other desktop recording application before, you will probably have encountered the situation where you pressed the record button and your pc started lagging for an instance, or that you thought it was not working and pressed the button multiple times. In this case, you never knew if your record was good or not. All these issues are not a problem at all with this device. You will have absolutely no slow downs while playing your favorite game. The button is very nice as it also provides an easy failproof way to start and stop your recordings. Feedback on the status is giving through the led’s included in the button.

To thoroughly test the device we have decided to test some less common scenario’s as other may be too trivial. In summary we will be testing the following: use a your own pc for both playing a game and recording/streaming, use an external pc to capture/stream and finally using the card with third party streaming software.


Results I
In the first scenario we used a PC both for playing the game and recording our game. In general one would connect the output of the video card to our capture device, and the capture device to the screen. We also wanted to test the delay of the passthrough (see next part) and thus we used screen duplication. To clarify: a screen A and screen B were used. From the videocard there was a link to screen A and to our capture card C, from our capture card C there was a link to screen B.

We have recorded some sample footage of both the 1080p30 and 720p60 capabilities. Below are two youtube links that link to this example footage. In both cases the results are excellent. The text and items are all very sharp in both cases. A drawback is the limitation on the frame rate with 1080p, which is noticeable less fluent during quick action.

(Speedrunners, 720p60)


(Speedrunners, 1080p30)


Results II
In scenario two an external pc was used as input device. On this PC a movie from NFS in-game was played. Below two examples can be found again. Note that the quality may not be very good as the source was already compressed video. It does however clearly shows the differences between 1080p30 and 720p60 again. In general this situation is very much like the first scenario, but provides benefits as that no resources are used for the game itself.

(NFS Action, 720p60)


(NFS Action, 1080p30)


Results III
In the final situation the capture card’s recording capabilities were not used, instead, another streaming application was used. In this case Wirecast was used for testing. The C985 is officially supported by Wirecast, but it is not clear which settings are actually picked. It seems that no matter what option is selected, the final output is 720p60 fps (which is fine for most use cases).

Passthrough delay
The total passthrough delay seems to be very low, although noticeable. As long as you are not playing response time testing games using your screen through the passthrough should not be a problem at all. Games like FIFA, SpeedRunners or any other face-paced games are not noticeable harder to play.

Below we see a few example videos that demonstrate the differences.

(Speedrunners, quick action)


(Nature movie)


(Game, lots of scenery changes)


(Game, lots of action)


Conclusion
In general we could say the card is very good. The only mentionable downside is the missing capability to use the card at 1080p with 60fps. Besides that, the card is an absolute killer for the money and best in it’s price range. The recording quality is superb and the passthrough delay is negligible. If you are looking for a low-budget capture card, care about delays (no USB) and require passthrough with HDMI - this is definitely the card you want!
 

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