Elgato gave streamers a new level of control with the Stream Deck. It’s my favourite piece of streaming hardware, as it allows me to switch scenes, manage audio, trigger replays, and even stage a concert with the push of a button. I love the device and the Stream Deck platform so much that I just doubled down and bought a Stream Deck XL for access to even more buttons.
Many alternatives have risen in its wake, though they’re almost entirely software solutions that use your PC or phone. The Stream Deck still sets itself apart by being a physical device with tangible buttons that can be pressed without having to take your eyes off the camera.
Enter the Loupedeck Live. Best known for making tactile control devices for content creation, they’re taking their expertise to the world of streaming.
A while back, I invested in the Elgato Screen Link. For the purposes of capturing my mobile screen within OBS, it worked as intended.
However, that’s not the only thing the application can do. You can also use it to make your smartphone work as a wireless camera. Though I found this feature to be way more interesting, early tests melted my computer.
Over at The Support Role Discord group – which you should totally join by the way – someone came in and asked for help setting up their capture card for gaming. Without seeing what they were working with, I was able to talk them through the process of getting everything going. At the end, they took a picture of the results. On the shelf was a laptop with OBS on, capturing Fortnite. On the TV was the same OBS feed.
“Wait, why does your TV and laptop have the same video feed?” I asked.
From there, we ultimately deduced that for the purposes of gaming, the capture card they had purchased wasn’t going to work at all for their needs. Bummer.
I adore my Elgato Stream Deck. Yes, it seems very pricey for a handful of buttons. And no, you probably shouldn’t buy the Stream Deck Mini because six buttons isn’t enough for most. However, my standard Stream Deck has proven to be more than worth it. With this device, it makes it so easy for me to seamlessly juggle between scenes, toggle audio sources on/off, activate my voice changer, trigger my sound board, and so much more. If anything, I’m pining for the Stream Deck XL so I can have access to even more buttons.
Regardless of how much I and many others may recommend this controller, it’s hard to overcome the sticker shock to really understand the Stream Deck’s value proposition. If you want a taste of what it’s like to have a Stream Deck but don’t want to pay Stream Deck prices, consider these alternatives.
It drives me nuts that the standard Joy-Con on the Nintendo Switch doesn’t have a d-pad on it. Desperate for answers, I turned to the Hori Left Joy-Con with D-Pad. Does it solve all of your d-pad needs? Watch the review to find out!
NOTE: Need to mention a bit that got left on the cutting room floor. At launch, there was a bug that this controller would drain your battery even in sleep mode. That has since been fixed. More info here.