What you need to know
- AVerMedia announces its Live Gamer ULTRA 2.1 USB capture card with support for features from the HDMI 2.1 standard, such as variable refresh rates (VRR.)
- Using USB-C 3.2 Gen2 connectivity for low-latency captures of 4K footage at 60Hz with HDR, it launches with 4K144 passthrough support and a promise of 1440p240 via a firmware upgrade on October 19.
- It's available now with a suggested retail price of $299.99 at Amazon and AVerMedia's official storefront.
A long-standing competitor to Elgato in the capture card category, AVerMedia is back with a new addition to its range with the $299.99 Live Gamer Ultra 2.1. It uses USB-C 3.2 Gen2 connectivity for recordings and live captures with up to 2160p resolutions at 60 FPS, perfect for 4K consoles like the Xbox Series X. Maximum pass-through support is 4K at 144Hz at launch but promises a framerate upgrade to 1440p at 240Hz with a firmware update on October 19.
For streamers with multi-monitor setups at their desks, additional support for HDR and VRR (variable refresh rates) means you don't have to sacrifice visual luxuries when capturing footage or broadcasting your gameplay from any console that supports the HDMI 2.1 standard, like the Xbox Series range and Sony's PS5. An included 3.5mm audio cable connects to controllers to capture party chat, too, which is perfect for streaming multiplayer games like Fortnite.
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What is a capture card, anyway?
Live streamers take to popular platforms like Twitch to share their gameplay, amassing potentially thousands of viewers at a time. Capturing footage from PC games is more straightforward since it only requires additional software like OBS Studio. Consoles like the Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch often have limited built-in live streaming options, but a capture card brings them up to the same level as PC users.
Connecting a compatible cable with HDMI 2.1 support (the Xbox Series X includes one in the box, but the Series S does not) to a console and a capture card like the AVerMedia Live Gamer Ultra 2.1 allows you see your live gameplay on a Windows desktop or laptop. From here, you can either record the footage to compile into videos for platforms like YouTube or direct the live feed to a live stream, including the voices of your friends speaking on party chat.
Capture cards aren't a new category, and AVerMedia famously competes with a similar brand, Elgato, for domination in the space. Our Elgato 4K60 S+ review shows similar specifications for a comparable price (currently $299.99 at Amazon) but doesn't match up perfectly with AVerMeida due to the limitations of the HDMI 2.0 standard.
Aiming to stand out with RGB lighting alongside a companion AVerMedia Gaming Utility app on Windows 11, the Live Gamer ULTRA 2.1 is available now. I've contacted the company to inquire about availability for a review to see how it performs in real-world testing, so stay posted for updates.
Would you pick up this ultra-performance capture card for your live streams? Let me know in the comments!
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Ben is the channel editor for all things tech-related at Windows Central. That includes PCs, the components inside, and any accessory you can connect to a Windows desktop or Xbox console. Not restricted to one platform, he also has a keen interest in Valve's Steam Deck handheld and the Linux-based operating system inside. Fueling this career with coffee since 2021, you can usually find him behind one screen or another. Find him on Mastodon @firstname.lastname@example.org to ask questions or share opinions.