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A must-have for any streamer — AVerMedia Live Gamer DUO review

Nearly every video you see on Gaming Trend is captured on an AVerMedia Live Gamer 4K. It’s an incredible piece of hardware that has proved invaluable for capturing high framerate / high resolution video. The Live Gamer DUO is the next iteration of that hardware, offering some awesome bells and whistles on top of the already stellar performance of the Live Gamer 4K. Let’s unbox it and take a look at what makes this device unique, and a must-have for any streamer.

The allure of the Live Gamer DUO is the two HDMI input ports. Why would you need to capture two inputs at once? Well, ask anyone doing more than a starter level of streaming and you’ll know precisely what it’s for. Once you’ve moved past even high end USB cameras and into the world of decent DSLR or mirrorless cameras you’ll find that their output comes via HDMI. Modern cameras with a video-out option typically have what’s called a “Clean HDMI-out”, meaning that the video that comes out doesn’t have the overlays of ISO, frame-stop, color scopes, or anything else you’d normally have on the rear viewscreen. That clean output can be pushed directly into the Live Gamer DUO, allowing you to livestream, vlog, or otherwise broadcast your face coupled with whatever you’d like to push into that second input port. Paired with the included RECentral software, this means you can drop in scenes from a PlayStation, Xbox, another PC, or anything else that’ll output through an HDMI port.

This card is perfect for streaming via a DSLR or mirrorless camera.

AVerMedia has been pushing the envelope of AV Capture and streaming for a while now. To that end, they’ve embraced things like Thunderbolt and HDR (you can see the review of the Live Gamer BOLT which uses both pieces of technology here), but it’s clear that they want to be ready for whatever the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X have to bring to the table. To that end, the Live Gamer DUO can pass through 4K HDR while also recording that second 1080p uncompressed stream from your DSLR or mirrorless camera.

Getting under the hood, there’s a lot of tech inside this little card. More than simply capturing the signal, the DUO performs active signal processing, downscaling, frame rate conversion, sound processing and conversion, and all before passing it to the PC for capture. This removes nearly any load on the PC, ensuring that there is almost no input lag whatsoever. Some capture rigs I’ve used throughout the years had so much input lag that you couldn’t use the preview pane to actually play, but here the lag is imperceptible.

Staying under the hood, here’s a quick tech spec sheet for additional details:

  • Interface: PCI-Express x4 Gen2
  • Input & Output 1: HDMI 2.0
  • Input 2: HDMI 1.4
  • Max. Pass-through Resolution: 2160p60 HDR / 1440p144 / 1080p240
  • Max Recording Resolution:
  • Input 1: 1080p60 HDR
  • Input 2: 1080p60
  • Input 1: 2160p, 1440p, 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 576p, 480p

Beyond simply capturing the signals from the two inputs, the Live Gamer DUO is also capable of delivering live HDR pass-through to your monitor, provided you have a monitor that supports it.

Like previous AVerMedia cards, the best way to get every bit of functionality from the Live Gamer DUO is AVerMedia’s own RECentral software. Rather than describing, let’s do a little show and tell.

As you can see, the software is essentially plug and play. Viewing the Live Gamer DUO as two capture cards, it easily differentiates the two inputs streams. I’ve got my Canon M50 plugged in on input 2, with a PlayStation 4 plugged into input 1. The video above shows just how plug-and-play the whole thing really is. Within 30 seconds I was set up with a basic set of panels and ready to stream. If RECentral isn’t your cup of tea, you’ll be glad to know that it works precisely the same in OBS.

RECentral takes seconds to go from zero to streaming.

If you are looking for a card that can handle HDR, the Live Gamer DUO has you covered there, with one small caveat. By selecting the “Optimal” dropdown and clicking the HDR button, you’ll turn on HDR capability. HDR is only available in single pane mode, so you can’t record in HDR while running a second input into it, but that’s honestly the only drawback I can find in this entire package.

95

Excellent

Live Gamer DUO Dual Capture Card

Review Guidelines

The Live Gamer 4K was an impressive card in its own right, but the Live Gamer DUO takes that card and drops in the best hardware update I didn’t know I needed -- a second input. Retaining its plug-and-play simplicity, the Live Gamer DUO is a must-have for any aspiring streamer wanting to take their game to the next level.

Ron Burke is the Editor in Chief for Gaming Trend. Currently living in Fort Worth, Texas, Ron is an old-school gamer who enjoys CRPGs, action/adventure, platformers, music games, and has recently gotten into tabletop gaming. Ron is also a fourth degree black belt, with a Master's rank in Matsumura Seito Shōrin-ryū, Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do, Universal Tang Soo Do Alliance, and International Tang Soo Do Federation. He also holds ranks in several other styles in his search to be a well-rounded fighter. Ron has been married to Gaming Trend Editor, Laura Burke, for 21 years. They have three dogs - Pazuzu (Irish Terrier), Atë, and Calliope (both Australian Kelpie/Pit Bull mixes).
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