A Comparative Review of Elgato’s Prompter
Elgato consistently piques the interest of streamers and creators each time it unveils a new product. With every launch, there’s a buzz of excitement, but also a chorus of skeptics who declare, “This is overpriced, I can build the same thing for half the cost.” This critique remains consistent regardless of the product, be it their Stream Deck versus a DIY numpad, or their Keylight against a homemade lamp and diffusion material.
Yesterday Elgato launched Prompter, a teleprompter that connects to your computer as an external screen. This allows you to display any content while maintaining eye contact with your audience. Interestingly, I’ve been utilizing my own DIY teleprompter solution for the past two years, which operates in a similar fashion. Having tested Elgato’s Prompter over the past few weeks, I thought it would be beneficial to provide a comparison for anyone considering incorporating a teleprompter into their content or livestreams.
Prompter is $279.99 (prices in GBP, EUR, CAD). The DIY solution can be built for ~$200.
You can absolutely put together your own teleprompter setup for cheaper, especially if you already own a 7-9″ camera monitor. It won’t be as good, but it will be cheaper. I followed Caleb Pike’s excellent video to build mine a couple of years ago.
Prompter has a 9″ screen at 1024×600. DIY solutions can use any screen size, I used an 8” screen at 1920×1200.
You typically get more screen estate with a traditional camera monitor, but at arms-reach, it’s not a major advantage as everything requires 200% scaling anyway. Both work as external monitors so anything can be dragged onto them.
Elgato Prompter has mounting solutions for DSLR/Mirrorless cameras (9 included step-up rings for nearly every lens), Facecam Pro, and a universal mount. It’s designed to work with pretty much any streaming camera solution. DIY is typically camera-mount only, but you can get adapters for most webcams/phones.
Elgato has made great software (as they usually do). It’s built into Camera Hub, allowing for plenty of customization, and covers the main bases with text mode and Twitch chat. It also integrates with Stream Deck as you’d expect, controlling font size, scroll speed, etc. I especially like using it with the foot pedal.
You can probably botch together something similar with software, hotkeys, and scripts in a DIY solution, but it would require a lot of tinkering, I never bothered.
Prompter combines both video signal and device power into 1 cable, whereas the DIY solution would require 2 cables.
If you’re using a Mirrorless camera, you’re likely going to be running HDMI out (into a capture card) and a dummy battery (for continuous power) already. 1 fewer cable isn’t a game-changer, but it does look notably cleaner and makes it easier to adjust your setup.
An advantage Prompter has is its weight of 690g (1.52lb). It can be mounted to a desk mount or the Elgato low-profile arm (providing the camera/lens isn’t too heavy). I had to use a camera tripod in my DIY solution which meant 3 legs under my desk and having to move my desk away from the wall.
Prompter also has space for 2 accessories to be mounted on top. Not a big deal for me as I don’t think I’d ever look to mount a light/microphone on top anyway, but it’s worth knowing for those with a little less desk space.
☝️ First Impressions of Prompter
I like it. If you’ve been interested in using a teleprompter for your content, it’s certainly worth considering.
There will understandably be some people who want to build a DIY solution that solves the same problem for cheaper. For those, I’d highly recommend checking out Caleb Pike’s video that I followed 2 years ago. It won’t do everything that Prompter does, and it certainly won’t do it as easily, but it’s an option if you’re on a stricter budget.
For what it’s worth, I’ve replaced my DIY solution with Prompter, I prefer it. If I owned neither, I’d probably go with Prompter. If I already owned a DIY solution, I probably wouldn’t buy Prompter unless I could repurpose the DIY solution in some way.
Hope that helps!
Twitch Stories: A New Chapter in Community Connection
Twitch has announced the introduction of Stories. This feature, similar to those found on Instagram and Snapchat, will allow streamers to post short updates to their audiences. The aim of this feature is to enhance the connection between streamers and their communities, allowing them to share updates, pictures, or clips even when they aren’t live.
- 48-Hour Expiry: Stories are short updates that expire after 48 hours, similar to Instagram and Snapchat stories.
- Exclusive to Twitch Mobile App: The feature is available only on the Twitch mobile app.
- Limited Availability: Initially, only Partners and Affiliates who have streamed at least once in the last 30 days can create stories. Availability will be gradually extended to more streamers.
- Push Notifications: Viewers will receive push notifications when a new story is posted, and they can control the frequency of these notifications.
- Customization Options: Streamers can share photos, clips, or text-based posts with custom channel emotes and backgrounds on their stories.
- Subscriber-Only Stories: Streamers with at least 30 subscribers can create subscriber-only stories, offering exclusive content to their subscribers.
- Safety Measures: Stories will be subject to the same community guidelines as other content on Twitch, and users can report stories that violate these standards directly within the app.
- Future Updates: Twitch plans to add more features to Stories in the coming months, including mentions of other Twitch users, creating polls, uploading videos, clip editing capabilities, and more.
It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time a platform has introduced a Stories feature. Platforms like YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn have previously introduced similar features, only to remove them due to limited use. Whether Twitch’s Stories feature will see a different fate remains to be seen.
Unpacking YouTube’s Latest Design Overhaul
YouTube has recently announced a slew of updates to enhance its user experience. These changes, which include new features and design enhancements, aim to provide more control to users over their viewing experience while simultaneously improving the platform’s aesthetic appeal and functionality.
Here are the key updates YouTube is rolling out:
- Stable Volume: Automatic volume control on mobile devices to reduce abrupt volume changes.
- Press to 2x: A new feature allowing users to quickly increase video playback speed to 2x by pressing and holding the screen.
- Enhanced Video Seeking: Bigger preview thumbnails while seeking through videos and a feature to return to the initial position if users change their minds.
- Lock Screen Feature: Prevents accidental interruptions during viewing on mobile devices and tablets.
- You Tab: A merger of the Library tab and account page, providing a single location for previously watched videos, playlists, downloads, purchases, and account settings.
- Search by Voice or Song: An AI-powered feature enabling users to search for a song by humming, singing, or playing it.
- Animated Reactions: Animated reactions to creators’ prompts for likes or subscriptions.
- Real-time Updates: Real-time updates on view count and like count for new video uploads.
- Top Comments Rotation: Automatic rotation of top comments for easy scanning.
- Smart TV Experience: A new vertical menu for quick access to video details, a subscribe button, and a scrollable description section with a cleaner design.