The AVerMedia C985 PCIe Live Gamer HD Capture Card Review

Do you dream of becoming the next sensation? It’s easy, if you know how. The AVerMedia C985 PCIe Live Gamer HD capture card is but one step to superstardom on Twitch. Simple to install and to use, it’s the perfect companion for the newbie streamer.

Read on for our guide and opinions to the Live Gamer HD capture card.

Step One. Install the Live Gamer HD card. Why a capture card? There was a time when (the extremely young) site had an option for you to capture direct from your desktop. Things aren’t so simple nowadays, though. With HD streams and fibre optic internet getting more and more common, you need something as powerful to capture your high-res gameplay. For best performances, it’s best to have your capture card on a separate machine.

Slot that card into an empty PCI-E port and secure it. The Live Gamer HD doesn’t come with spare screws, so I hope you saved some from installing your mobo… (Or you’ll have to go ghetto like I did and use a wire tie.)

Step Two. Boot up both the CPU the card is in as well as the source of what you want to capture. Don’t forget to plug in that start/stop stream button in an empty USB port. The Live Gamer HD unfortunately does not capture PS3 output because capture of HD content with HDCP is not supported, but don’t let that spoil your day. Capture something from your Xbox or PC instead – most games worth streaming are multiplatform anyway.

Step Three. Install AVerMedia’s RECentral  software. This newbie friendly software is the big brother that’ll hold your hand during your first baby steps into the world of streams and gameplay capture. You only have to care about three things in RECentral: the capture tab, the stream tab, and where you’d like to store your videos.

Step Four. Connect your console or computer. Input from the console or PC goes into your main machine before getting out onto the TV. Think of your PC with the Live Gamer HD installed as the go-between for the Xbox and the TV set. Simple enough, right? For this, you’ll need two HDMI cables and the AV cable that comes bundled with the capture card. The Live Gamer HD unfortunately cannot capture audio via HDMI cable alone.

Step Five. Now you’re ready to start capturing your gameplay. Hitting the Capture option lets you choose from Newbie, Amateur, and Pro modes. Newbie mode is as good as auto-pilot – the only thing you have to worry about is hitting the bit red stream button. Amateur and Pro modes are actually the same, except that Amateur mode has more pictures.

It’s like how books get judged at a library – more pictures means they’re for kids. Both modes allow you to adjust your settings: the size of the video, its bitrate, its sources, and your capture shortcuts. Hit the big red button when you’re ready and your console’s feed will appear on your main monitor. You can now start capturing video or screenshots! Yay!

Step Five A. If you prefer to stream, head into the Gear Up option of the Stream tab, first. This lets you make the necessary adjustments to your video capture; it’s identical to the Amateur Capture mode. Then hit the Gateway tab. This lets you log into your account, and it’s all sunshine and roses from there on – you’ll be live on Twitch before you know it.

Step Six. If RECentral isn’t enough for you, the Live Gamer HD comes bundled with three months of free XSplit use. XSplit is another programme popular with streamers, and allows you better customisation of your capture’s screen real estate. This is a better option if you’d like to be a regular streamer, because it allows you to place logos and extra camera feeds, all the better with which to interact with your growing audience.

The AVerMedia Live Gamer HD capture card is an affordable and newbie friendly way to dip your toes into streaming and gameplay capture. With people practically making a living off this nowadays, it’s hard to not want to stream. AVerMedia – specialists in capture cards – also have pricier cards to suit the experienced streamer. But for noobs like you and me, the Live Gamer HD is the best bang for its buck. Have fun with it!

The Good
  • Installation is idiot proof – both for hardware and software.
  • Software goes step-by-step and mistakes are impossible to make.
The Bad
  • Software could have used a proper ‘Back’ button.
  • Can’t capture PS3 output.

The AVerMedia Live Gamer HD capture card retails for S$289.