When it comes to setting up a proper game stream — complete with your streamer actually in the picture — a few tools come in handy. A green screen, for one, unless you want people to see your background stuff. And, for that matter, proper OBS tools, or something that enables you to set up the proper rig. Or, you could take the simple route and go with one of Elgato’s Game Capture devices.
In the past, these have proven to be effective, with a simple “plug and play” set-up and in-device software that makes it a cinch to set up your stream. But now the HD60 S+, the latest in the product line, takes it to the next level, with better support and a few new features. It’s quite simply the most streamlined of their devices, and a must-have if you’re serious about entering the stream game.
As with previous devices, the HD60 S+ works by plugging it into your computer, be it either PC or Mac. (That’s a big difference, considering that Razer’s capture hardware doesn’t even work with Mac computers.) It includes support for 1080P 60 HDR capture, along with HDR 10 passthrough and instant gameview. In other words, it delivers on streaming performance, without even the slightest hint of lag. Even when things get extremely frantic on the game screen, you can see what’s happening with the best kind of clarity.
What’s more, you can check the quality of your recordings with Flashback, which shows what settings you may need to tweak to get the most out of their performance. However, I didn’t really need to mess with this too much, as the quality didn’t let up in the slightest. I checked out recordings with the likes of Death Stranding, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and even the older Aladdin/Lion King Collection, and found very few problems when it came to capturing in-game details.
There’s also a good portion of room for recordings, although you may want to do a slight bit of management so it’s not overloaded. It’s great to have some variety there as you work your way through settings and see what works best for you in terms of what you want to keep. Fortunately, Elgato makes it manageable with ease, as I found little to no problem managing what I recorded and setting up what I wanted to do next.
The set-up is routinely simple, with the device, as well as the necessary cables. And it’s easy to figure out the walkthrough and where to get started next, though you’ll want to make sure you have all your streaming settings in place, just in case. The device does work well with OBS, if that’s your jam. Otherwise, you can go direct, with everything working like a breeze.
And the equipment is light and easy to use, so you can take it with you if you need to record something on the go, like at a friend’s house or at a convention like QuakeCon. Again, with its ease to set-up, it’s a practical tool for up and comers.
Then there’s the 4K Capture Utility. How you use this really depends on what you’re going for. Looking to record video for YouTube or Twitch posting? It’s excellent, and includes top-notch quality, no matter what system you’re playing on. But it’s not really used for streaming, probably because Elgato hasn’t gotten to that level just yet. That said, the quality is still excellent, so you probably won’t even notice unless you’re all things high definition.
Finally, that brings us to price. The HD60 S+ does go for around $199, one of Elgato’s most expensive pieces of hardware to date. But you get the performance you’d expect from it, and with very few flaws. Plus their customer service is on the money, as I came across an issue that was easily resolved, and I was back on my streaming little way.
The Elgato HD60 S+ probably won’t do much good for practical users that are just looking to game and not share their stuff with the world. But for up-and-coming and pro streamers alike, it’s a necessity for your set-up. Whether you have OBS or want to do things old-school, it works remarkably well, and is incredibly simple to put together. Plus it’s a cinch to use, with an interface that’s as user friendly as they come.
Elgato nails it out of the park again. Someday, we’ll get the full 4K Capture support for streaming and recording alike. But, for now, the HD60 S+ is essential for capturing. And that includes your heart.