It's no secret that streaming video games on the internet is immensely popular now due to the rise of services dedicated to game streaming like Twitch and Mixer. A combination of commodity capture cards and software capture solutions have made it easier than ever to start streaming.
As internet speeds increase (at least in some parts of the world) combined with newly available capture hardware, it's only a matter of time before we start to see more of a push towards 4K streaming in the coming years.
However, until now, one of the biggest emerging trends in both console and PC gaming, HDR, has been ignored by capture gear.
Today, we're taking a look at two 4K HDR products from Avermedia, the Live Gamer 4K, and Live Gamers Ultra.
Recently, we got the opportunity to take a look at an interesting video capture device from a company called Pengo. While we had never heard of this company before, the promises of 4K 60Hz video capture at the price of $150 were too compelling to pass up.
Also, the Pengo 4K is a UVC capture device, which means that it uses the standard Microsoft video drivers, meaning it will work with any application capable of seeing camera input from a webcam and requires no additional software/drivers. Pengo also claims support for Mac OS and Linux with this device, although you would have to find software that knows how to deal with UVC devices.
From a design perspective, the Pengo 4K is quite simple. The device itself is made from aluminum and about the size of a deck of playing cards.
In addition to video capture, you can also use the Pengo as an audio input/output device through the audio connectors on the front.
Taking a look at the back of the Pengo, we can see my one major gripe with the device. Instead of using a proper port like MicroUSB or USB-C, the device ships with a Type-A to Type-A cable, which is actually against the USB specifications and will make finding a replacement cable, or a cable longer than the included cable (about 1 foot) difficult.
In this case, we used OBS to record footage from the Xbox One X using the Pengo 4K. Here, we can see that the Xbox is, in fact, capable of outputting full 4K 60Hz content to this capture card.
However, if you do some further investigation, we found that while the Pengo capture device ingests 4K footage, it is only actually capable of recording at 1080p 60Hz, meaning that it internally downsamples the footage.
While this still makes sense to some degree, allowing you to keep your console or PC in 4K for your local display while gaming, it's disappointing to see the capture functionality limited to 1080p. To be fair, the recording limitations of the Pengo are hidden on the specifications page, but overall it seems disingenuous to market this device heavily as "4K".
For anyone looking for an inexpensive, easy to use capture device, I would still recommend taking a look at the Pengo 4K HDMI Grabber. However, if you are looking for true 4K capture, this is not the device for you.
|Review Terms and Disclosure
All Information as of the Date of Publication
|How product was obtained:||The product was on loan from Pengo for the purpose of this review.|
|What happens to the product after review:||The product remains the property of Pengo but is on extended loan for future testing and product comparisons.|
|Company involvement:||Pengo had no control over the content of the review and was not consulted prior to publication.|
|PC Perspective Compensation:||Neither PC Perspective nor any of its staff were paid or compensated in any way by Pengo for this review.|
|Advertising Disclosure:||Pengo has not purchased advertising at PC Perspective during the past twelve months.|
|Affiliate links:||This article contains affiliate links to online retailers. PC Perspective may receive compensation for purchases through those links.|
|Consulting Disclosure:||Pengo is not a current client of Shrout Research.|