Due to disappointing sale prices on items I’m not in the market for, I generally ignore Amazon Prime Day. To their credit, Amazon has gotten better deals each year and their gaming deals this time around were particularly strong. However, its deals on streaming equipment were what really got me hot under the collar.
The first warning shot came from Elgato. Much of their streaming equipment was available at a notable discount. As someone who is still using the aging Elgato Game Capture HD, I have my eyes on upgrading to an HD60 S. I want to be able to stream at 60fps, which isn’t really possible with my old capture card.
A few things kept me back from pulling the trigger. During Boxing Day of last year, the HD60 S was actually on sale for even cheaper. If they’ve marked it lower before, it will go on sale again and possibly at a cheaper price. I also have some lingering concerns about the shelf-life of the HD60 S. The product is a number of years old now, and the newer Razer Ripsaw does everything the HD60 S does, while also allowing for 4K passthrough.
While my stream may cap out at 1080p, at least the TV I’m gaming on would keep its 4K signal. Even though I don’t have a 4K monitor and don’t plan on upgrading anytime soon, maybe it’s worth it for me to future-proof myself should the need arise. I bought my Game Capture HD just as the HD60’s were coming out, and I’ve been fighting an uphill battle ever since. Even so, I love Elgato’s products, I have additional products that I’ve specifically bought for my existing Game Capture HD that may not work or have an equivalent on Razer’s equivalent, and I’m not entirely sure that I trust Razer with my game capture needs at this juncture. With so many variables in the air, I let the HD60 S slide.
At some point, I stumbled on deals for microphones. The Blue Yeti and the Audio Technica AT2020 were marked down considerably. I currently use a Blue Snowball Ice, which is…serviceable. It’s a good starter mic, but I do want to improve my audio quality while also getting away from its hyper-sensitivity.
Though the Blue Yeti and Audio Technica AT2020 are big improvements at reasonable prices, more questions about where I want to go prevented me from making a move. The Blue Yeti is often criticized for also being hyper-sensitive, while also being too large for some mic arms and having finicky audio quality. The AT2020 seems like a good mic, but it’s also an XLR mic, which would require me to buy a mix amp or a mixing board with it. Between the cost of an XLR mic and mixer, I’d be making a larger investment that what I was ready to make in the immediate term. After weeks of internal debate, I haven’t quite figured out if I want the flexibility of an XLR mic and mixer setup or the plug-and-play convenience of a high-end USB mic like the Samson G-Track Pro.
Studio lighting has also been a priority for me. A few weeks back, my cousin gave me her old box lights that she was no longer using. They’re large and incredibly bright, but they don’t come with stands and one can’t be mounted to a stand because the locking mechanism is broken. As of writing, they’re propped up on folding chairs with moving boxes stacked on top.
After doing some research, it turned out that it would be more cost-effective for me to just buy a new pair of studio lights with stands than try to buy the parts to fix what I have. There were a number of deals on lights, but I didn’t end up pulling the trigger on anything major.
Ultimately, I ended up with this.
Going back to my skunkworks approach to streaming equipment, I bought a set of LED strip lights. While they’re not specifically designed for streaming, these are technically an upgrade from what I currently have.
Right now, I use a makeshift lighting rig across the top of my desk with LED strip lights. Over time, its issues have grown apparent. Having to manually plug in the lights every time is a pain, and they only light the top half of my face. I didn’t have enough lights to wrap all the way around the border of my desk, so I settled for just a top strip at the time.
With 16 feet to work with, I should be able to wrap this around the desk in full at least once. Having a remote is a handy way to turn the lights on-and-off. Best of all, it features an assortment of colours. I’ve been looking to use coloured lights to change the look of my streams, and this gives me a lot of colours to play with. I hope it does the trick for lighting my face properly, but if it doesn’t, I can still use it to set the mood with the colour options.
Amazon Prime Day was a great opportunity to save on high-end streaming equipment. Hope you got some great deals! Unfortunately for me, I’m not in a position to make definitive decisions about expensive hardware. Partially cause I don’t know exactly what I want yet. Partially cause I don’t have the money to make all of this happen at once. Will continue to optimize everything I have and continue to build towards the rig of my dreams!
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