When portability is essential, it's hard to beat the AVerMedia Portable HD game capture device. This is a capable tool for any streamer or YouTube personality who wants to record on the go. Its small size and light weight make it easy to pack along and to set up – you don't even need to connect it to a computer.
The AVerMedia Portable is a good choice for recording some gameplay on a trip or at a LAN party. It's about the size of a larger smartphone, so you don't have to worry about finding a place to store this game capture device.
The AVerMedia Portable is ideal for quick recording not only because of its portability, but also because it's extremely easy to set up and use. You don't need to connect it to a computer at all, which means fewer cables and other obstacles. All you need to do is connect your gaming system to the AVerMedia Portable with an HDMI cable and hit the big red button on top of the device when you want to record. Hit the button again and it stops recording. It records video directly to an SD card.
Because you need to plug your gaming system into the AVerMedia Portable, it makes sense to have HDMI pass-through. With this, you simply run another HDMI cable from the game capture device to your TV or monitor. Essentially, the AVerMedia Portable sees the video data as it transmits to the TV and copies it to the SD card using the built-in H.264 encoder.
This HD game capture device has its flaws. First, it automatically compresses the recorded video. While this makes sense, as it's recording to an SD card with limited storage space, it also means that you don't get the highest-quality video. Compression, by its very nature, degrades quality somewhat. Second, the AVerMedia Portable can only capture up to 30 fps, which is significantly less than the 60 fps benchmark many streamers and YouTubers shoot for.
When you return to your main computer, you just plug the AVerMedia Portable in using a USB cable to easily transfer your recorded videos. At this point, you can edit and share your videos as you see fit. It works with either Windows or Mac computers, so you don't have to worry about compatibility issues. However, the AVerMedia Portable only supports USB 2.0, so transferring large files could take a long time.
You can use RECentral to organize and edit your AVerMedia Portable videos. This is a handy tool that has some streaming capabilities. However, its editing options are somewhat limited. They're good enough for light edits, but for any serious revisions or editing, you may want to use another application.
AVerMedia has excellent support resources should you need any help. You can contact its support team via email if necessary, but there are many other options open to you. The knowledgebase provides answers for all sorts of questions, and the forum is a great place to learn and contribute to the community. You can also find tutorial videos about how to best set up a game capture device.
Overall, the AVerMedia Portable is among the best portable game capture devices. It has to make some compromises to reach its level of portability and usability, but they're mostly small.