Your next camera for streaming and video content creation might already be in your pocket.
Yes, it is possible to use a smartphone as a webcam. Wrote a guide in the past on how to do that using Elgato Screen Link. While that solution is still valid if you need to screen capture off your phone, I’ve recently discovered a better way to use it as a webcam that negates most of the input delay. Here’s how you can quickly set up your phone as a camera in a matter of minutes!
In the wake of the Elgato Stream Deck, stream controllers have become a popular addition to one’s setup. They allow streamers to seamlessly manage their shows in ways that aren’t as efficient as one could manage with hot keys or a mouse.
Despite the initial sticker shock for what amounts to “just” 15 buttons at face value, my Stream Deck has proven its worth many times over. From scene changes, to managing voice changers, to complex event sequences triggered by a single button, my shows wouldn’t be the same without it.
Though the standard set of 15 buttons should suffice for most, I’ve long since run out of space due to my production-heavy shows. Folders allow me to squeeze in a few more actions, but most activities require me to cycle between menus with extra presses, negating some of the device’s convenience. For streamers like me who are in need of even more control, the Stream Deck XL has us covered.
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.
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.
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 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.