Elgato Stream Deck review: A streamer’s best friend

During Amazon’s Prime Day sale you will discover all kinds of offers on Elgato streaming {hardware}, together with this Elgato Stream Deck for simply $100—a $50 financial savings off checklist worth. 

Pro-grade gear at a discount worth. That’s the status Elgato earned as first YouTube movies after which Twitch streaming took over video video games. Straddling a line between hobbyist and professional-grade—a line that’s onerous to stroll competently, I would add—Elgato’s seize playing cards have grow to be a mainstay of streamers in any respect ranges.

The Stream Deck, Elgato’s newest piece of {hardware}, is one thing altogether completely different: A video switcher (or mixer), not a seize card. But other than some early-days software program points, it’s poised to be simply as essential a bit of package for a sure tier of creatives.

Power at your fingertips

Video switchers are a reasonably customary (and boring) a part of multi-camera broadcasts. If you’ve ever watched a sporting occasion or one other stay broadcast, likelihood is a switcher was employed—it permits a producer to swap between a number of digital camera feeds on the fly, moderately than sticking a digital camera on a tripod and calling it a day. Usually it’s an enormous grey rectangle filled with dials, levers, and color-coded buttons.

Elgato Stream Deck IDG / Hayden Dingman

Elgato has taken that idea—the benefit of hitting a button and switching digital camera angles or what have you ever—and utilized it to all features of the streaming expertise. Basically, the issues any streamer does in software program proper now? The Stream Deck enables you to do them in {hardware}.

Oh, and the entire unit is in regards to the measurement of a pack of index playing cards. The Stream Deck consists of 15 buttons, organized in three rows of 5. They might be boring ol’ buttons like some other video switcher, however no. Instead, every is a miniature OLED show.

With software program tie-ins to Open Broadcaster Software (OBS), Twitch, Twitter, and extra, you possibly can handle a whole stream with out ever Alt-Tabbing or pulling focus away from a sport. Want to launch OBS? Program a button to launch OBS. Want to start out streaming? Hit one other and ship a stream direct to Twitch. Hell, have one other button announce to your Twitter followers {that a} stream is beginning. And if it’s essential to shut a sport mid-stream and need to full-screen your webcam or do some other fancy scene-switching? Yeah, you possibly can program buttons for that too.

Elgato Stream Deck - Software IDG / Hayden Dingman

An instance setup.

It’s straightforward. Setting up the Stream Deck is usually a little bit of a trouble, most likely requiring 45 minutes or an hour to dig by way of all of the choices and configure it simply so. Add extra time if you wish to customise the artwork—Elgato has an online portal the place you possibly can create customized 72 x 72-pixel icons for every button, when you (for example) need to make a collage of Nicolas Cage’s best faces or one thing.

But on the finish you’re left with an extremely highly effective switcher, or no less than an extremely elegant one. I’ve lengthy envied consoles for a way straightforward they’ve made the streaming course of—press a button and also you’re achieved. PCs are extra…


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