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Capture Cards Reviews

ATEN CamLive+ Review – Camera-Mounted Capture Card?

It was only a few years ago that the very prospect of using a camera with a capture card for streaming, video conferencing, or teaching was still a niche idea and products like Elgato’s “Cam Link” seemed like a big deal to the mainstream audience due to it being catered specifically to camera capture. Every few months now we get new capture cards aiming to serve double-duty and work with cameras as well, and this one we’re reviewing today goes a little above and beyond that call.

This time it’s the ATEN CamLive Plus – a USB 3.0 capture card with a unique twist: it has 1/4″ 20 thread jacks on both sides, USB C power delivery passthrough, and works with Android! This is a capture card aimed both at gameplay capture and streaming and connecting to your camera with the included hot shoe mount and streaming that to the world, too – though not at the same time.

PRODUCT LINKS (affiliate):

SPECS

  • 4K 60hz input & passthrough (HDMI 2.0)
  • 1080p 60hz capture
  • No HDR capture or passthrough
  • 720p input (scaled poorly)
  • 1080i not supported
  • MJPEG & YUY2
  • USB 3.0 5gbps
    • Poor quality MJPEG over USB 2.0
  • No 1440p support
  • No high refresh rate support

LATENCY

Capture CardPreview Latency (OBS)
Black 4K USB 3.0 HDMI Video Capture Card (Lattice)128
EasyCrap "USB 3" Dongle #1126
Genki Shadowcast115
Narvitech U2 HD60 Pro100
Bird Dog NDI Flex 4K IN85
AVerMedia Live Gamer Mini (GC311)82
KAPCHR (TC-UB570)82
ATEN CamLive+80
EVGA XR1 Lite78
AGPTek VG0061 EZCap U377
Black USB 3 4K HDMI Capture LT76
ClonerAlliance Flint 4KP Plus75
Silver "USB 3.0 HD Capture" w/ Power LT75
Magewell USB Capture HDMI 4K Plus73
ClonerAlliance Flint 4KP71
Elgato 4K60 Pro71
Riiai YK75269
EVGA XR168
Razer Ripsaw HD67
Razer Ripsaw65
Mokose U70S64
ASUS TUF CU4K3064
AVerMedia Live Gamer Extreme 2 (GC551)63
Elgato Cam Link 4K63
AVerMedia ExtremeCap UVC61
Magewell XI100DUSB-HDMI61
Elgato HD60 S+61
Bird Dog Studio NDI60
Elgato 4K60 Pro MkII58
BlackMagic Decklink Mini Recorder 4k57
Elgato HD60 S57
AVerMedia Live Gamer Ultra (GC553)55
Elgato HD60 Pro51
Elgato Cam Link (Gen 1)51
EZCap GameLite RAW (ezcap321)50
Digitnow U60150
Pengo 4K HDMI Grabber49
Magewell 4K Pro Capture HDMI Plus LT48
BlueAVS/GOODAN/Generic HDMI to USB 2.048
AVerMedia Live Gamer Duo (1)43
AVerMedia Live Gamer Duo (2)42
AVerMedia Live Streamer CAP 4K40
AVerMedia Live Gamer 4k (GC573)36

HDMI passthrough is real-time. With an OBS Preview Latency of 80ms, this falls fairly in the middle in terms of speed – it’s not the fastest by a long shot, but a fair bit off of the slowest cards I’ve covered, as well.

Latency measured in the uncompressed YUY2 mode. MJPEG is likely slower.

Quality

Quality-wise, it looks great! You’ve been seeing gameplay footage from it with Xbox Series X and Playstation 5 running at 4K, and the Switch obviously at 1080p. You get an uncompressed YUY2 feed, so it’s hard for that to NOT look good.

I don’t have a reliable way to test mobile quality as UVC support on Android is hit or miss based on phone’s USB and OTG implementations, versions of Android, and so on, and there aren’t really any worthwhile apps that actually use UVC much. This is very new ground for mobile. Here’s a sample of the GH5s run into Android using the “USB Camera” app designed for composite and s-video easycaps. This doesn’t really tell you much. Leaning so hard into mobile for this seems silly, the software just isn’t there.

Retro Capture?

In terms of retro capture, the CamLive+ isn’t a good option. It handles 480p fine from something like the RetroTINK 2X, and the 1080p modes from the RetroTINK 5X work just fine, but neither the 1200p nor 1440p modes work. With the OSSC and a Super Nintendo, 2x 480p mode works, 3X mode does not, 4X mode disconnects the capture card entirely somehow, and 5X also doesn’t work. Oh well.

Pricing

Personally, I’d like to see this card positioned at $150 even, with sales that run lower. In an ideal world, $125-ish. It’s a solid card, but it’s quite basic in overall offerings, so to be expensive it’s not very competitive against other options. That’s not inherently a knock against it, but you can get 4k passthrough 1080p capture cards for much cheaper. The EVGA XR1 was just on Amazon Prime Day sale for $89 even. And that has amazing headset support. Check the capture card reviews playlist link in the description for more options.

PRODUCT LINKS (affiliate):

 

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