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 few days ago, Elgato opened up applications to its streamer partnership program. Though I’m generally weary of any sort of partnership or sponsorship programs aimed at small streamers for how slanted they are in favour of the brand, I decided to give this one a shot. I did so because I am a fan of the brand’s products, applying alone didn’t appear to lock me into anything overly-exploitive, and whatever permissions I gave them to my channels could be easily revoked if they rejected me.
Well, they did reject me. That’s okay. There’s a silver lining to my application that you may want to take advantage of while the opportunity is still open.
“But Jett, didn’t you literally just get a new PC and gaming chair?”
Yes. So far, I’m loving both! But there’s always work to be done. Here are a few more items on my list to pick up!
I’ve engaged with streaming as a medium for quite a long time. Even before the existence of Twitch, I remember being glued to my computer when I stumbled on the Devastation 2009 Street Fighter IV tournament that was broadcast on Ustream.
Though I would become an avid viewer of fighting game tournaments from that point onward, I didn’t really immerse myself in the medium as a streamer or as an engaged viewer until 2018. During that time, my streaming efforts finally started to generate some momentum and I discovered how amazing it can be to watch and engage with streams as a viewer.
These days, I’m deep in the trenches. Singing or rapping my heart out at the start of every stream. Spamming emotes in a fellow streamer’s chat. Inviting streamer friends over for ice cream. Spending countless hours in front of the computer programming in new elements into my own show. It takes up more of my time than any other hobby.
Here are some reasons why I’ve become so enthralled with the medium!
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.
Now that I have a modern PC, I revisited the idea of incorporating my smartphone camera into my stream as a vlog cam.
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.
This is a cautionary tale.
I chose to opt out of the first wave of 4K gaming with the Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro. Between their steep price of entry, not having a 4K screen, and only really offering a resolution bump, it didn’t make sense for me. Besides, I’ve spent most of that time gaming on a Nintendo Switch, which oftentimes struggles to run 1080p.
As the next generation of consoles loom, I’m starting to feel the 4K pressure.
[This post is part of a blogging collaboration by Later Levels and Hundstrasse called #BloggersWhoStream. Make sure to give them both credit and follow the hashtag on Twitter for more posts from the community!]
Building the game streaming setup of one’s dreams is an evolutionary process for most. It’s an expensive hobby to get into and the majority of those interested in pursuing it don’t start out with the equipment they need to produce a high-quality product. For example, I started streaming in 2017 with just the laptop I already had. Great for blogging, but it didn’t have the horsepower to display my gameplay and camera feeds at the same time.
More importantly, it’s a hobby that you really need to try for yourself before you go all in. Just because you like playing video games doesn’t mean that you’ll like playing them on stream. For instance, I love playing Tetris Effect when I’m not on stream and no one’s watching. However, when I streamed it and no one watched, I came away from that experience feeling miserable.
The outcome of no one watching was the same, but the dynamics and expectations change when broadcasting was introduced to the mix. The worst thing one can do is to buy all of the most expensive equipment and realize after the fact that they don’t actually like how streaming warps the gaming experience. You’re better off starting with whatever you have and determining whether you want to pursue it further.
This tour through my streaming setup is the culmination of my journey thus far. The road to get here was filled with failure, doubt, and MacGyver-esque life hacks. Even so, I truck along thanks to everything I’ve learned, the friends I’ve made along the way, and positive impact I’ve made on the world. From providing entertainment, to those that tune in to the money I’ve raised for charity (over $2,000 and counting for Extra Life!), I don’t take any of this for granted. All of this has inspired me to continue honing my craft and improving as a streamer on every front. As long as I continue to grow within the hobby, so will my streaming setup. Without further ado, let me show you where the magic happens.
Streaming equipment can be addictive. As soon as you get one piece, the desire to get more and better stuff doesn’t stop gnawing at your consciousness. Around this time of year, there’s a glimmer of hope that Saint Nick has also binged on the same Alpha Gaming videos you watched and is ready to trick out your streaming setup with everything you’ve been longing for.
Or, you could just write it out in a list for him like this!
Black Friday is a wonderful time to buy streaming equipment as a gift for the streamer in your life. As part of this year’s festivities, Elgato has a number of its products on sale. They are my go-to company for streaming equipment and I may have to pick up an item or two for myself.
If you want to check out the full list of deals, check out this link and find the deals being offered in your country. But if you want a few of my recos, keep on reading!