Deal Alert: Amazon offering El Gato Camlink for just $89

Hey-ho there neighbor! You might recall some time back I reviewed the little El Gato Camlink, an inexpensive device to allow video capture from HDMI sources to a computer with a USB 3.0 port. Originally offered for $129, Camlink was notable for being about the cheapest way to get that done. Today Amazon’s Gold Box deals include the Camlink for just $89.99.

As I mentioned before, Camlink works well enough, within certain constraints:

  • It can’t scale the video size. If you feed it 1080p the host software on the computer will see only 1080p.
  • It doesn’t have an onboard compression engine. The software that you’re using must be able to handle YUY2 uncompressed video. Not a problem in most cases.
  • It requires a USB 3.0 port. Uncompressed video required big bandwidth, so in most cases the Camlink needs a USB 3.0 port. You might be able to get away with USB 2.0 if your source is SD or 720p30.

At the time it was launched CamLink did not deal with interlaced video. That means that SD or 1080i sources were a problem. I’m told that the company has since solved that problem with a firmware update. I installed the new software, but have not yet scrounged an interlaced source to test that claim.

Most recently, I’ve used it to capture the output of an older GoPro Hero2. It worked flawlessly in that role.

BlackMagic, Nexus Devices, MHL, SlimPort & Elgato Game Capture HD

elgato-game-capture-hd.jpgUpon reading my prior post about my effort to capture the output of one of my Android devices fellow VUC alumni Andreas Dorfer suggested that I try the Elgato Game Capture HD. At first I was reluctant to make yet another purchase in pursuit of this goal, but I eventually caved in ordering one from Amazon for $179.

It arrived today. It took only a few minutes to come to the conclusion that it was not a solution to my problem. While I opened a trouble ticket with the company to pursue the matter, I discovered a FAQ entry claiming that the Nexus 4 always sets the HDCP copy protection flag in the video stream. Thus no downstream device will be able to record the output of the Nexus 4.

What’s unclear to me is whether control of that HDCP flag is done by the Nexus 4 or the SlimPort® SP1002 adapter.

Whatever the case, the Elgato device is being returned. This little pursuit has tried my patience enough for one week.