When it comes to converting an HDMI signal to something a little more computer friendly (USB), there are plenty of good options. Osprey and Magewell both have very compelling offerings with enhanced features, but at a price of roughly $300 – $330. Enter Elgato and their $130 HDMI to USB converter. While we haven’t had an opportunity to test the device, it looks to further lower the barrier of entry for higher quality video streaming and capture. The website is somewhat thin on details, but after digging around a bit it seems the Cam Link uses the UVC driver, so it should be compatible with most modern versions of Windows, Mac, and Linux without the need for a driver.
That said, some key details are missing from the website, specifically, what resolution and frame rate does the HDMI inputs accept. While it mentions 60fps, does it also capture 24, 25, 30 and 50? Also, no word on if or how or if it will handle interlaced video. That said, one interesting feature of this device is that you could theoretically use two Cam Links (one for video and one for content) connected to a laptop (with two USB3 core hubs) and create an ultra portable live teaching rig, assuming you had all the other necessary equipment (camera or video capable dlsr, mics, lights, etc.). Add in WireCast (or OBS if you are on an ultra tight budget), and you could start hosting some rather high quality streaming events (alumni engagement session, “behind the scenes” when high profile guests that come to campus, live Q&A with the admissions folks, etc.) on the cheap-ish.
We’ll be keeping our eye on this device as it enters the market.