Wednesday, April 1, 2020
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Best alternatives to popular live streaming devices [2020]

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It’s unfortunate that we’re even needing to write this article, but so far 2020 has been a most unfortunate year.  In all of the panic and craziness that has come along with the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re seeing shortages of the most unexpected varieties.  We’ve decided that we should look into some good alternatives to these various devices.

As our content often revolves around tech, live streaming, and content creation we’ve either noticed or have been informed of shortages of the popular, go-to products and have realized that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to obtain some of this gear, necessitating some good alternatives for those who still need something.

Elgato Cam Link 4K unavailable

Unfortunately, as more and more people are staying at home, working from home, or just otherwise finding ways to make a living, a lot of the tech that we normally suggest is now very difficult to find.

People are finding themselves on admin leave, furloughed, or even laid off, and they want to try to take a stab at creating a YouTube channel, streaming on Twitch or Facebook and don’t know where to start if the most popular devices aren’t even coming up on Amazon search results.

Instead of our normal long-form well researched (and quite frankly way too long) posts, we’re going to put up this one hub article and update it as we get requests, suggestions, or find things that need alternatives ourselves.

If there’s anything that you’ve been trying to track down and can’t find a good replacement for it, please drop a comment below and let us know, or reach out to us at @creatorbeat_ on Twitter.

Note: While we are attempting to list devices that are shipping currently or sooner than the device in question, we can’t make promises as to how much longer these devices won’t be affected, or if they change delivery dates after orders are placed.  We’ll keep trying to find options for you!

Best alternatives for Elgato Cam Link 4K

Elgato Cam Link 4K — Broadcast live, record via DSLR, camcorder, or action cam, 1080p60 or 4K at 30 fps, compact HDMI capture device, USB 3.0
  • Easily connect your DSLR, camcorder, or action Cam to your PC or Mac
  • Go live on any platform in no time thanks to ultra-low-latency technology
  • Broadcast in stunning quality up to 1080P60 or 4K at 30 FPS

Last update on 2020-03-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

SEE ALSO:  The ultimate cinema video camera buying guide [2019]

SEE ALSO:  17 Best microphones for live streaming and podcasting [2019]

The Cam Link 4K has been one of the more popular video capture devices for live streaming because of its simplicity, ease of use, quality, and affordability.  When looking for an alternative you’ll most likely be giving up on at least one of those facets, but not by much.

Last update on 2020-03-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Every one of these devices will do 1080p60 streaming, and some will do 4K30.  A few do offer H.264 encoding as well, especially the PCIe devices and higher-end external devices.  While some of these are specifically geared toward game console capture, they’ll still work quite well with a DSLR or mirrorless camera.

If you need H.264 hardware encoding, definitely look at the Elgato PCIe expansion card offerings or the AVerMedia game capture devices.  And the Epiphan devices are some of the most rock-solid reliable capture devices available, but they’re also some spendy little boxes.

SEE ALSO:  7 best budget home recording studio desks [2019]

Best alternatives for GoXLR Mini

GoXLR Mini - Mixer & USB Audio Interface for Streamers, Gamers & Podcasters
  • “Go live” desktop rig for online broadcasters gives you instant control over your audio
  • Flexible and intuitive USB-based mixing for all of your audio - simple, easy-to-use controls get you up and running quickly
  • Studio quality EQ, compression and gating help your voice sound its best

Last update on 2020-03-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The TC Helicon GoXLR Mini is one of the most popular audio interfaces for live streaming video, and it’s also pretty much the only one specifically designed for streamers.  Since the release of the GoXLR people have wanted a lower-cost version that they could add to their setup without breaking the bank.

Its specific features for audio manipulation, control over separate streams of audio and other effects and post-production make it an excellent option for game streaming.  Unfortunately, it also means that there’s really not much else out there as an apples-to-apples comparison, and it’s going to be at least a month or more at current availability levels before they ship out.

Last update on 2020-03-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Yes, we’re advising the GoXLR as an alternative to the GoXLR Mini.  While this is most likely not the option you would want to hear, it’s the option that is available.  If you REALLY want the functionality you can spend a bit more money and get one sooner.  It’s still not shipping any time soon, but it’s at least a week or two sooner at the time of writing this.

SEE ALSO:  17 Best microphones for live streaming and podcasting [2019]

The Behringer Xenyx 1204USB is currently available for quick delivery and is an excellent closely-priced equivalent with even more input channels and faders.  There’s no motorized automation or RGB, but you do get more physical controls, more inputs/outputs, and a lower cost.  The mic pres are their Xenyx pres, are actually very similar to the MIDAS preamps on the GoXLR and other Behringer interfaces.

We’ve never seen this before, but the Maker Hart Just Mixer M has a “Premium” version available, which is a “limited anime edition”, we can’t make this stuff up.  But while the basic version isn’t shipping out until late April, the limited version is currently listed as April 7th (subject to change, of course).  It’s an inexpensive, small size multi-channel USB interface, and while we’re not sure on just how good the preamps are, it’s probably going to do most of what the GoXLR Mini can do.  Just beware that there’s no onboard XLR port and it uses an XLR adapter.  We can’t speak for the quality of this, but at least there’s a 4 star rating and it’s available sooner rather than later.

The Pyle PMXU67BT 6-channel mixer is currently shipping out fast.  Pyle has been around for a very long time and has been known for making inexpensive gear.  Some of their stuff is great, and some aren’t, but this one has good reviews, and a ton of hardware controls and I/O.  It doesn’t seem to come with a USB cable, and even more oddly the only USB port on the device is a USB-A port.  We can’t 100% verify whether this is even usable as an audio interface, but the reviews say it is, and may get you through if you REALLY need something to take the place of a GoXLR Mini.

Final thoughts

We’re going through an extremely challenging time and experiencing something that none of us have ever lived through.  At the same time, this self-isolation process could possibly lead to new hobbies or interests.  We hope that we can do at least a little bit of a service to anyone looking to get started as a content creator, live streamer, or other similar avenues.

If you have any questions, please feel free to drop a comment below, or reach out to us on Twitter at @creatorbeat_.

Lou Wheelerhttps://www.creatorbeat.com
Musician, photographer, and tech nerd in Sacramento, CA. Currently learning audio engineering and video production while spending way too much time on YouTube.

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[…] the Cam Link 4K is pretty much sold out most places.  We’ve started a guide to some of the best alternate live streaming devices to this and other equipment that live streamers may need during this crisis and will be attempting […]

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[…] many popular items are being delayed by Amazon.  We’ve started a guide to some of the best alternate live streaming devices to this and other equipment that live streamers may need during this crisis and will be attempting […]

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