As The Verges resident live-streaming reporter, I do a lot of streaming on my own time, both because its fun and because I want to know a little about what its like for the people I cover. Thats meant Ive gained a healthy appreciation for the various pieces of gear that make streaming possible because streaming is the opposite of effortless. Things break constantly, and most of the time for no obvious reason. (There but for the grace of god go we, etc.) All of that said, Ive found that upgrading my stream setup is one of the few true pleasures I have left; theres nothing quite as satisfying as adding a new camera or microphone or chat command that might elevate a viewers experience.
It is in that spirit the spirit of perpetual tinkering and perpetual upgrades that I bring you the cheapest, best piece of gear I own. It is a no-brand cam link that retails between $11 (eBay, but beware shipping times) and $26.99 (Amazon). This device is one of those magical things thats made possible by the confluence of online retail, consolidated manufacturing in China, and a global postal service. It simply couldnt have existed before.
As a clone of the popular Elgato Cam Link 4K (which retails for $129.99), all the device does is convert HDMI to USB, which is conceptually simple but technically more complex. The best of these devices do this conversion very quickly and at high fidelities; Elgatos version even handles 4K resolution. Due to the pandemic and the legions of people whove joined Twitch and YouTube, however, the brand name models have become difficult to find, which is where this weird little knockoff model comes in. My colleague Grayson, a motion designer at The Verge, tipped me off to it one day in early June, after he saw an excellent video review of the device from the YouTuber EposVox.
I thought the review was convincing, so I figured Id try it for myself. My friend and fellow streamer MikeAM took the plunge with me; we decided wed try to upgrade our video streams on the cheap because hey, why not? We each bought a 2018 GoPro Hero, some micro HDMI to HDMI cables, a non-HDCP HDMI splitter, and, of course, one of these cards. The difference was instantly apparent. Id been switching between my Logitech C922 and a Panasonic Lumix GH5 (which I borrow to shoot a late-night show on Twitch), and I could immediately see how much clearer the GoPros video was than the C922. (With a splitter, the HDMI converter doubles as an extremely cheap capture card for a console, though Id personally recommend shelling out for the more fully featured Elgato HD60 S.) The experiment worked.
Naturally, the star of the show was the capture card. It has a lot of limitations: it can only support 1080p / 60fps input, and its output maxes at 1080p / 30fps or 720p / 60fps. It also converts the image to MJPEG, which means the colors are sometimes a little wonky. (I used a filter in OBS to desaturate the image.) It also sometimes lags, which is a problem because you cant actually Google how to fix the problem theres no manual, really, and troubleshooting is nonexistent. The other thing to remember is that not all of these cheap cards are created equal; if you pick up one thats billed as USB 3.0, or one that looks a little different, that is an entirely different device.
But if you can work within those limitations, the device is a dream. Its plug n play: the card shows up on your computer as USB Video, and it works anywhere youd put a webcam, which includes Zoom, Discord, OBS, and more. The price point is also unbeatable. Lately Ive been using it with the Lumix. Its always a joy to plug in because I know its going to work. If you want to see what it looks like in action, feel free to follow me on Twitch.
Otherwise, if you have a camera that outputs HDMI and dont want to (or cant) shell out for an Elgato, Id say pick this little guy up. Its a cheap upgrade that, for me, has absolutely been worth it. Go see for yourself.
Read the original here:
- Sandra Cisneros Loves to Read About Women Waging Battle - The New York Times - September 5th, 2021
- New watchdog to crack down on modern slavery and low pay - Construction News - June 10th, 2021
- Every New Financial Bubble Is a Cry of Desperation - In These Times - June 10th, 2021
- Racial wealth gap may be a key to other inequities - Harvard Gazette - June 10th, 2021
- Factories that abuse and underpay staff could be banned from sales under new watchdog - The Mirror - June 10th, 2021
- Dr. Heavenly's Job Advice Has Fans In A Fury. Here's Why. - Nicki Swift - June 10th, 2021
- Germany, France and the UK apologize for the colonial past - Mediarun Search - June 10th, 2021
- Hunter Biden uses n-word multiple times in casual conversations and text messages show - Texasnewstoday.com - June 10th, 2021
- Clack: Remember these other massacres of Blacks, too - San Antonio Express-News - June 10th, 2021
- Economic Sanctions of Pericles 2,500 Years Ago Backfired, Prolonging War - Greek Reporter - June 10th, 2021
- Ouachita announces students named to Fall 2020 Dean's List - Ouachita Baptist University News - February 1st, 2021
- For the Record | Real estate | Business World | wenatcheeworld.com - wenatcheeworld.com - August 6th, 2020
- Congress grills Facebook over its acquisitions and feature cloning - Yahoo Tech - July 30th, 2020
- Lucasfilm Reportedly Has Plans To Bring Yoda Back Via Cloning - We Got This Covered - July 30th, 2020
- Former 'Thone Clone' Elroy Hefner remembered as caring, conservative legislator - Omaha World-Herald - July 30th, 2020
- How Star Wars Bounty Hunter Influenced The Clone Wars Canon - Screen Rant - July 30th, 2020
- Clone troopers feeling remorse amid execution of Jedi - Dork Side of the Force - July 30th, 2020
- Thousands of these self-cloning ticks now in Kentucky - Frederick News Post - July 30th, 2020
- TV and Film Review: The Clone Wars Season 1: The Gungan General - Fantha Tracks - July 30th, 2020
- Tick that can clone itself is found on cattle in Southern Ky. and wildlife in Eastern Ky.; it's also a threat to pets, and hard to identify - The... - July 30th, 2020
- THE BAD BATCH TV Show On Disney+ Could Include THE CLONE WARS And REBELS Hero Captain Rex - CBM (Comic Book Movie) - July 30th, 2020
- Breath of the Wild "clone" Genshin Impact gets release date - KitGuru - July 30th, 2020
- Pet Clones Market Review with 2025 Forecast Global Analysis by Types, Applications, Regions, Size & Trends, Top Players - Market Research Posts - July 30th, 2020
- 10 Video Game Clones That Kicked Your (Own) Ass - WhatCulture - July 30th, 2020
- 2020 Comic-Con at Home: How to watch panels and events, what to expect - Tom's Guide - July 26th, 2020
- How to Watch Comic-Con@Home on IGN Live and the Full Panel Schedule - IGN Southeast Asia - July 20th, 2020