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Elgato rocks for streaming
13 April 2015
Posted in PlayStation

Like I said yesterday, I decided to give the Elgato Game Capture HD a try and I bought it last weekend. Well, I gotta say that from the moment I installed it I was sold by the thing. Let me make a comparison with the Roxio Game Capture HD Pro from my PlayStation 3 experience (can't really comment on other consoles since I only own a PS2 and PS3 )

First the price of the two. The Elgato is 20 more than the Roxio, but it comes with a PlayStation 3 cable, which the Roxio lacks. That means that for PlayStation 3 owners the price of the two is roughly the same, but for other console owners the Elgato is a bit more expensive. But I think in general that extra 20 for the other console owners is really worth it (read on).

The installation of the Elgato is as simple as that of the Roxio. Just plug it in, install the drivers and software. The Elgato does not come with a CD so you should download the latest version from their site, while Roxio comes with a CD and has a key linked to it (I feel sorry for the person who buys my returned device, though after all this time the thing is still available in the store - I did ask Roxio to remove my key and make it available, but so far it's still linked to my account ).

One of the main reasons I returned the Roxio was the shadows it created on my screen. The Elgato doesn't create such shadows and has a 100% stable pass through of the signal through the device. And speaking about the pass through of the signal... The Roxio had problems switching from 1080p to 720p, forcing me to have my PC on to make the switch, while the Elgato switches resolution without any problem when my PC is turned off. An other important feature is that the Elgato by default supports the 1080p signal when the PC is turned on, while the Roxio needed a software upgrade of the PC drivers to reach 1080p (it only supported 1080i when the PC was turned on).

Then the software supplied by the 2 manufacturers... They both have the same functionality in general, but the Elgato goes a lot further where the Roxio stops. For instance, the Elgato allows you to set your maximum bitrate for streaming and thus the quality of the signal. This while the Roxio uses the maximum bitrate available for the resolution you want to stream on. This means that the Elgato can stream on 720p with as low as 1.6Kbps while Roxio uses the default 2.5Kbps for 720p (and thus isn't optimized for slower upload rates).
An other good feature the Elgato software has and the Roxio software lacks is the ability to stream and capture the feed locally. Though it does seem like a feature one would not use a lot, video editors (like myself) certainly will use it. And to make things even better, the Elgato allows you to separate the actual gameplay feed from anything you add on the PC (pictures, webcam and even commentary!)
Last but not least, the Elgato software has a higher quality in general, making the software respond a lot faster than the Roxio software does...

Streaming with both the Elgato and Roxio software also shows some differences. Both support twitch and Yahoo (for obvious reasons), but adding a custom site (like DailyMotion for me) is a lot easier with the Elgato software. Sadly though, the Elgato software only stores 1 streamkey and uses it for all settings, where the Roxio stores the key per streaming site.
Of course, you're not forced to stick with the supplied software. You can use XSplit or Open Broadcaster Software. I'm using the latter for the Eegato (didn't use it with the Roxio so I can't comment on that part) and this speeds up the throughput from the PlayStation 3 to the PC and streaming to the site a lot - especially from the PS3 to the PC. Don't ask me where that extra speed comes from, but I think it has something to do with the Elgato software allowing you to replay while streaming (didn't figure out how that works because I won't use that while playing games).

Though I am very positive about the Elgato, there is one negative to the drivers and/or software. Whenever I start to stream, the PS3's screen blanks for half a second. This happens in both the Elgato software and the OBS software (so it must be the drivers I think). That means that when I want to stream, I have to be in the main menu of the game and not be playing already just to make sure I won't die in the game when that blank screen shows. But aside from that, I think that the Elgato is a much better streaming device than the Roxio is...


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