Avermedia LGP Lite Review

The LGP Lite from AVerMedia is a compact video capture device that connects to your PC via USB and provides HD recording and streaming of console and PC gameplay. It uses the H.264 hardware encoder, and it’s a follow-up to the company’s Live Gamer Portable. Rather than being a traditional upgrade on the Live Gamer Portable, the LGP Lite actually includes fewer features and extras than the first device, but includes a significantly reduced price tag as well.

Much of the marketing around the LGP Lite focuses on how simple it is to use, and that can definitely be true. That said, it might not be a perfect plug-and-play experience for every gamer out there, so you should be prepared to do a bit of work to get everything running smoothly. Once you’re past the initial difficulties it’s a powerful and versatile device that can work like a charm — though if your experience is anything like mine, you’ll need help to get over the bumps in the road first.

Getting Up To Speed

The physical documentation that currently comes packaged with the LGP Lite doesn’t go nearly far enough to help you get it working properly out of the box. It’s just a slim collection of pages running you through the very basics, with little guidance about what to do if you can’t get the device to actually work.

Fortunately, the collection of tutorials provided on the device’s website do a much better job of answering your likely questions.

If I worked for AVerMedia, I would make it a priority to include a big sticker on the box directing customers to the company’s YouTube page before they even try to get started, because these videos could help avoid a ton of confusion.

As you can see in the tutorial video, you actually need to connect the LGP Lite to your console AND your PC if you want to record your console gameplay (the recordings will appear directly on your computer’s hard drive). Obviously, if you don’t own a decent laptop that can handle some video editing — or at least the job of sending the video on to a proper editing PC — then the LGP Lite’s reliance on an attached PC could be a huge drawback. If that is the case for you, though, then you’ll probably be happy with the original Live Gamer Portable, which was capable of “PC free” gameplay recording to an SD card.

If you already own a capable laptop and you’re looking to save some money, then the LGP Lite offers a solid compromise. Alternately, if you’re only interested in using the device to record or stream your PC gameplay, you won’t be missing anything with the loss of “PC free” mode.

Before I could get the LGP Lite to work properly for me, I had a lot of false starts. Here are a few of the steps I had to go through in order to record PS4 gameplay. If you purchase the LGP Lite and have any trouble getting it to work, hopefully this rundown will help:

  1. Connect the LGP Lite via the USB cable to your PC, and download and install the latest driver and application from the AVerMedia website
  2. Find an extra HDMI cable (the device only comes with a USB cable for connecting to your PC, and you’ll need a total of two HDMI cables to complete the pass-through from your console to your TV).
  3. If necessary for your console, download the latest system software and disable HDCP (I had to do this via the system settings for my PS4, and I had to remember to turn HDCP back on if I wanted to watch Netflix).

Putting It To Use

Once you’ve taken care of the initial steps, you’ll be ready to roll. If everything is working properly, then it really is just a simple matter of starting up the software and beginning a recording or streaming session, and you can start or stop recording by pressing the large button on top of the device.

The LGP Lite offers a selection of features which make it great for gamers looking for an affordable, portable game recording/streaming solution. It provides extremely low latency recording up to 1080p at a max of 30 frames per second, all in a compact device that doesn’t need any power outside of its USB connection.  The H.264 hardware encoder at the heart of the LGP Lite enables relatively low CPU usage and small file sizes for HD videos.  It takes care of the resource-intensive HD encoding that could otherwise slow down your CPU and affect your gameplay if you’re streaming via your PC.

The device comes complete with AVerMedia’s own streaming and recording software, but you’re also free to use your preferred software package instead. It doesn’t include video editing software, but the files it produces are in standard formats that you’ll be able to chop up to your heart’s content with your editing program of choice. And, as highlighted by LinusTechTips, you can also get creative and use the device to record things like BIOS settings or even live-broadcast real world events via an HDMI camera.

My View

Here are the criteria I consider most important for judging the LGP Lite:

Documentation: 5/10

I had a rough time actually getting the LGP Lite to work, and the included instructions were very little help. The online videos are much better, but might not be easy for everyone to find.

Performance: 9/10

The LGP Lite is designed to handle serious video capture and streaming, and it never failed me.

Versatility: 8/10

Though the lack of a “PC free” mode is definitely a drawback, the LGP Lite has a lot in its favor to make up for it.

Software: 8/10

It doesn’t include video editing capabilities, but the basic software included with the LGP Lite does a fine job managing your recording and streaming.

Overall: 7.5/10

With live streaming and gameplay videos more popular than ever, many gamers are looking for a way to get started without needing to spend a lot of money. If you’re one of those gamers, the LGP Lite could be the right device for you.