Here are some cheap Elgato Alternatives which are better than Elgato for capturing live game streams…
While you are reading this article, I assume you already know what Elgato or Elgato HD60 is, what are the purposes. So, I will not be discussing the need and use of Elgato or any Capture Card is technical words, rather I will just summarise the use of Elgato in very little words to make the novice readers more aware about the usages of Elgato.
If you watch live game streams of PUBG, FortNite, or any other video games on YouTube, Twitch, Mixer etc. Then you may have heard these terms, “Elgato”, “Capture Card” etc. If you are am aspirant to be a live streamer or game-related content creator, you must be curious about Capture cards like Elgato to know how it can maximise your productivity as well as can enable your pc to give better performance while screen recording or streaming.
What is Elgato? What is Capture Card?
In simple words, Elgato HD60 is a Capture card, and any capture card is made to do a specific task, which is capturing the display output as a whole and transferring it to memory, from where it got processed and go to HDD if recording or got broadcasted if live streaming. The wire connection of this device is arranged in a systematic way so that the Video output signal goes to the Capture Card first directly from the GPU itself, and then go through the device towards the monitor itself.
Why people use capture cards?
The main usage of Capture Cards is recording or streaming what is running on your computer screen. Now, the question can arise that, just via using an application like Streamlab OBS, or Xsplit Broadcaster, the same can be done, then why investing in a third party device? The point is while you use any application to capture or stream the game on your screen, it uses the hardware resources of your pc itself, so it consumes a huge amount of processing power of the CPU as well as it does intake a lot of memory from your RAM too, in order to work properly. If your PC does not posses enough hardware resources to run the game as well as the streaming software application along with the YouTube, Twitch or Mixer app along with it then your stream quality will be downgraded for sure. The viewers will face lags, stutters, frame-drops, etc. on your streams.
So, in simple words to ensure the best streaming or screen recording quality irrespective of your PC’s hardware specification you need to use dedicated hardware for screen capturing, and here comes the need and the concept of the capture card.
Why one should look Elgato (HD60) capture cards alternatives?
Elgato is surely one of the most popular Capture cards among all other, and the Elgato especially came into the limelight when the Game Streaming trend boomed after the year 2015. But, the capture cards existed in the market even from long before that. Now people use Elgato because its looks coll, easy to use, and ready to stream, so just plug and play and with some basic configuration stuff you are good to go live on stream. Even Elgato is supported by Android and iOS based mobile devices which enable mobile gamers to stream their game online while they play the game using their own mobile device.
But, in many aspects, Elgato is not the best, and just being popular or widely accepted does not guarantee the quality f the product. Though Elgato supports almost all the platforms including Windows, Mac, iOS, Xbox, PS4 etc. but it has its downside as well. The editing software is merely good, people need to edit their videos using some other dependable Video editor in order to get the desired result. For the professional users, editing is a very important job which can not be neglected, if you take it as an all-round view Elgato is not the best of course.
New streamers or the normal players who just want to stream their gameplay to share with others for fun only, may also feel the price tag is too high for Elgato. So, the price factor is another side for which one should know about the alternatives of Elgato before investing in it.
Remember Elgato HD60 Pro is only supported by the Windows PC which has PCI slots in it, the Elgato HD60S is supported by all other devices irrespective of any port or slot. HD60S is a mobile device which needs to be connected via connectors properly in order to work, while Elgato HD60 Pro needed to be mounted on the PCI slot of the motherboard of the PC itself.
We will be talking about the Elgato alternatives in two manners, one will be cheaper alternatives of Elgato while the other will be more feature-rich, and advanced alternatives of Elgato.
The cheaper alternatives of Elgato for budget segment users
1. AverMedia Live Gamer Portable
This Capture Card comes under the budget segment, it cost way lower than Elgato HD60S and “AverMedia Live Gamer Portable” is also a PC free portable device which can be used with multiple platforms, and can give you Full HD output without spending a ton on your other hardware. AverMedia LGP is quick to configure and easy to use, and to power up the device, you do not need a pc, you can do that via connecting the LGP with your Xbox, PS4 or PS3.
If you are using a capture card to record your gameplay on the consoles then AverMedia LGP is the perfect solution for you. You just have to connect the LGP between the TV/Monitor and the console of yours and have to press the big red button on the device itself and you are good to go. All the video data will be saved within the SD card, which is installed on the AverMedia LGP, in 1080p 30FPS MP4 format.
If you want to use the LGP device with your Laptop or Desktop then also you are good to go. With the help of a computer, this device can record and stream the same at the same time, without compromising the quality. While watching the video on PC in 30FPS it may not look as sharp as the 60FPS videos but the 1080p resolution is maintained and in this price range it is a negotiable drawback of course.
If you are confused about the model number then search for AverMedia C285 and AverMedia C875.
- Comes with USB 2.0 interface
- SD card can be installed, if connected to a PC then it can use the HDD as well
- 1080P, 30FPS Video recording and streaming ensured
- PC free recording feature
- Easy to carry, easy to configure and easy to use
- Works with Win PC, Mac PC, PS4, PS3 and Xbox One
- The price is around $100-$120, which is perfect for the people in a tight budget.
- The only drawback is, AverMedia LGP does not support 60FPS at all.
2. Razer Ripsaw
Yes, this product comes from Razer Inc. Itself, they have their pretty huge fan base due to their professional quality gaming accessories, like Keyboard, Mouse, Headphone etc. Now, if you have heard about Razer you know, all the products from Razer tend to be pretty expensive, but in the case of Razer Ripsaw, it is just the opposite. As Razer is new to the business of Capture Cards, they tried their best to keep the price down to grab a quick market. But, you will get optimum performance along with great built quality even in this tight price segment. Razer Ripsaw HD do also supports 4K, which is even a surprise for me because at this range you won’t be able to find any other capture card which supports 4K video recording at all.
Razer Ripsaw works with multiple platforms, like Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, it is also supported by upcoming Nintendo Switch 4K. Also, the hassle-free hardwired mic and headphone jacks make it easy to use audio mixing, which is very helpful if you are planning for streaming.
But, while you are streaming the video output with a pc you are going to need a software to do the job, in this case, if you use Xsplit Broadcaster with premium membership only then you will be able to stream on 4K, 60FPS, else if you want to go with the free software application then you can go with Stream Labs OBS but there you will only be to stream in 1080p 60FPS.
- Works with Xbox One, PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch etc.
- 1080p and 4K video resolution supported for both recording and streaming.
- 60FPS video output is ensured with Razer Ripsaw
- Comes with USB 3.0 ports
- 4K 60FPS pass-through supported
- Easy to handle audio mixing
- The price for Razer Ripsaw and Razer Ripsaw HD fall between $120-$150.
- Do not support Older Xbox, PS3 with smaller adapters, so no support for legacy consoles
- Do not come with proprietary software, so you need to use third-party applications to stream or record.
- To use the 4K 60FPS streaming facility one need to buy the Xsplit Broadcaster’s premium membership.
- Do not work well with USB 2.0 ports.
The advanced alternatives of Elgato for pro and enthusiast users
1. AverMedia Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus
Just like any other AverMedia Capture card this one also does not need any PC to capture 1080p Screen recordings, so you can use this device with your Xbox One S, PS4, PS3 etc. and can record seamless video without the help of any PC, and the recorded video will be stored on the mounted SD card of the AverMedia LGP 2 Plus. The SD card used is the normal Micro SD card which we use with our regular Mobile Phones, and the recorded video quality is also very crisp due to the Full HD 1080p resolution and the 60FPS frequency.
You should know that AVerMedia LGP is the only device, which is capable of recording 1080p 60FPS video without any PC support. While the recording file is saved upon the onboard Micro SD card so, it is even faster than transferring the file through a USB stick towards the HDD. AverMedia LGP 2 Plus also features a streaming software along with it, which is called RECentral. RECentral is a very intuitive application with Overlaying Text features and Image Tweaking features, it also supports Picture in Picture setup. With the help of RECentral, you can also record Xbox One, PS4’s in-game party chat audio without any extra enhancement, unlike Elgato. So, you will find a small but very useful application with the AverMedia LGP 2 Plus itself.
If you are using AVerMedia LGP with a PC there also it will work like a charm for both Recording and Streaming. You do not have to worry about the extra workload of “Downsampling” the video as the whole processing would be done by the AverMedia LGP itself so you can keep playing in 4K while you are also streaming the same in 1080p 60FPS over the YouTube or Twitch.
The price of this product comes around $230-$250.
- 1080P 60FPS capture without any PC.
- USB 3.0 support and the device can be powered using Xbox or PS4 connector directly.
- 4K to 1080P downsampling won’t mess up the gameplay or streaming quality at all.
- Works with Windows PC, Mac PC, Xbox One, PS4 and PS3.
- RECentral support which enables lots of useful features to explore.
- Recording in 4K not supported
- Streaming in 4K not supported
2. Elgato 4K60 Pro
Though we are talking about Elgato alternatives, in this point I would talk about a product from Elgato itself, as it is an off the bit product from Elgato and not many users use it. If you are not in a tight budget and spend enough on your Capture Card to ensure 4K Capturing, Recording and Streaming in 60FPS then you should consider this product. Elgato 4K60 Pro is nothing like Elgato HD60 or HD60s at all. From connectivity to data output everything is different, thus we are discussing it as a mainstream Elgato alternative. Especially if you are looking for an alternative for Elgato and you are not in a tight budget then you deserve to know what is the best Elgato can offer you.
Elgato 4K60 is not a portable device, it is not for using directly with Xbox One or PS4. It is a PC device, meant for PC users mainly, and Elgato 4K60 can be connected only via PCIx4 slot in the motherboard. If you are a pretty serious gamer who wants to explore the world of Game-based content creation or Live streaming then this one is for you. To get the best out of Elgato 4K60 you need have quite serious hardware through which you can play any game in 4K 60FPS, even you need to have a prominent 4K Monitor for that, along with the most advanced CPU, GPU etc.
The price for the Elgato 4K60 is around $400.
- Supports 4K 60FPS video recording, capturing and streaming.
- Supports 2K, 1080P 60FPS streaming as well
- Easy to use built-in software, with intuitive features.
- Video encoding is done on the go, so almost no power is consumed from the CPU itself.
- Needs a very high-end PC for using it
- Damn expensive product
- Works with Windows PC only
- Connectivity method is only via PCIx4 slot
3. Epiphan AV.io4K
AV.io4K is also a very good alternative option for Elgato products. AV.io4K is expensive as hell but features some of the coolest features among all other capture cards. AV.io4K is meant for PC users only meant for professional users. Though AV.io4K is a portable device unlike Elgato 4K60, it does not support 60FPS at 4K like Elgato 4K60. So, one way it is better and in other, it is not.
Av.io4K does not support consoles natively, but if you want to use AV.io4K consoles then you would be needing a PC for that. Even if you use a PC to stream the game from your Xbox or PS4, it provides you with a lag-free experience in 4K all the time. By many experts, AV.io4K is considered as the best streaming device for Xbox One and PS4 4k models, even though it needs a pc support, but remember you do not need to have a very powerful PC for that, even a mediocre Laptop or entry-level Desktop will do the job. MacBook is recommended by the developers though, for the best experience.
The price for AV.io4K is around $400-$500 in online and offline markets.
- Support 2K 60 FPS and 1080p 60FPS flawlessly
- Supports 4K at 30FPS but without any lag
- It is a portable device
- Extremely small and handy
- Comes with advanced built-in software, so no need for any other 3rd party software
- Supports Windows PC and Mac PC.
- USB 3.0 interface.
- Very Expensive product.
- Does not support 60FPS at 4K resolution.
- No native Console support you would be needing a pc for that
4. Hauppauge HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition
Hauppauge HD PVR 2 is the only capture card which supports and capture the audio with 5.1 surround sound. Hauppauge HD PVR 2 works flawlessly with Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS4, PS3 and with Win PC & Mac PC. So, it is truly a multi-platform device. The device is portable and looks cool itself.
To have 1080p 60FPS lag-free Hauppauge HD PVR 2 is something upon which you can rely on. Also, 60FPS 2K streaming and recording are supported. This device also saves the recordings in H.264 encoding, which also makes the save files small and easy to transfer.
The price for Hauppauge HD PVR 2 some around $180-$200, which is not that high.
- Supports multiple devices
- H.264 codec support
- 5.1 surround sound supported
- Looks cool, small-sized and handy to use
- Price is not that high, so affordable for most of the users.
- Does not support 4K
As I always say, the final decision depends on the buyer and his/her needs. First determine why you need, how you want to implement, once you figured out the how and why you can go for understanding the budget you have, and then you can choose any of the above according to your needs.