Elgato Stream Deck Review: always the right hotkey at your fingertips!
Elgato launched its first Stream Deck in 2017. This was to support gamers in creating livestreams on Twitch. Nowadays, you see them popping up more often in a business context as well. For example, in combination with Microsoft Teams or Zoom.
Through the blog below, I share inspiration for using the Elgato Stream Deck for business applications:
Who is Elgato?
Elgato is a global manufacturer of audiovisual products whose main target market is "video content creators. Since 2018, the originally German company has been part of US hardware manufacturer Corsair.
Elgato is best known to gamers, but has also very interesting products for marketers:
- Elgato Wave: (limited) range of studio microphones
- Elgato Capture: range of devices to convert HDMI to USB (e.g. useful for loading the image from a camera into OBS)
- Elgato Stream Deck: extensive range of devices to help you work faster and more efficiently
- Elgato Facecam: webcam designed for video content creation
In addition, Elgato also has green screens and other accessories useful for video recording or livestreaming. Below I zoom in specifically on the capabilities of the Elgato Stream Deck.
Elgato Stream Deck
In the spring of 2017, Elgato launched its first Stream Deck. In doing so, it capitalized on the many gamers who are using via Twitch published livestream videos. Now that livestreaming is becoming established in professional life as well, you see stream desks popping up more and more here as well.
1. What can you do with a stream deck?
A Stream Deck can be useful in many situations. I myself tested the Stream Deck Mini for this review in combination with both OBS as Microsoft Teams, but both private and business, there are dozens of applications one can think of for which this is useful.
Depending on the model, you have 6 to 32 physical, customizable LCD buttons at your disposal. Behind each button you can determine - via software - what should happen when you press it.
For inspiration, I provide some business applications:
- Adobe Photoshop: repetitive actions such as copy-paste
- OBS: easily switch between scenes
- Microsoft Teams: start a new chat
- Spotify: browse your favorite music
- VLC: manage the videos played
- Windows: Quickly open your favorite website or give a print job with one touch
- Zoom: mute your microphone or leave the meeting
'Programming' the keys is done through the software 'Steam Deck'. Installable on both Windows and Mac.
Good to know is that you can create multiple pages. Do you have a Stream Deck XL? Then you have 10x 32 buttons to assign. If you then know that you can work with multiple profiles - for example, a different profile per app - then you realize that the possibilities are endless.
Fun fact: if you associate a profile with a specific app, the LCD buttons automatically change when you open the app.
2. What models are there?
Currently, Elgato has 4 different models:
- Elgato Stream Deck Mini: mini-keyboard with 6 customizable LCD keys
- Elgato Stream Deck: model with 15 customizable LCD keys
- Elgato Stream Deck MK.2: operation via 15 customizable LCD keys
- Elgato Stream Deck XL: Elgato's flagship model with as many as 32 customizable LCD buttons
New: Stream Deck Pedal
In early 2022, Elgato added a fifth model to this lineup: the Stream Deck Pedal. As with the classic models, the idea is that you can perform certain actions quickly and easily. The Stream Deck Pedal features three pedals that you can control with your feet. Each pedal can combine a combination of actions.
Stream Deck Mobile
To be complete, I like to mention that there is also a mobile app. With this app you turn your smartphone into a stream deck. The same functionalities only without separate hardware. The app is not free: you pay € 2.99 / month or € 26.99 per year.
3. Key Creator
Want to personalize your Stream Deck to the max? For that there is the Key Creator. An online tool that allows you to configure your own 'buttons'. In addition to a 'Key Mode' you also have a 'Wallpaper Mode'.
What are the (business) applications?
Below I zoom in a little deeper into the capabilities of the Elgato Stream Deck:
1. Stream Deck in OBS
All models integrate seamlessly with OBS. For example, to set the transition between various scenes ('scenes'). Or to change your source at the touch of a button. The most important thing about a Stream Deck in combination with OBS? Thanks to these shortcuts, you can keep OBS running in the background, giving you space to put other apps in the foreground.
2. Stream Deck in Zoom
Also Zoom has integration with Stream Decks. Numerous features can be loaded by default through the app:
- Mute Toggle
- Video Toggle
- Share Toggle
- Leave Meeting
- Cloud/Local Record
- Ask All to Unmute
- Mute All Participants
In addition, you can enter your own "shortcuts.
3. Stream Deck in Microsoft Teams
Unlike OBS and Zoom, Elgato has no specific integration with Microsoft Teams. Through 'hotkeys' you can set any key combination and still use your Stream Deck.
The following keyboard shortcuts are useful for Microsoft Teams:
- CTRL + Shift + A: Accept incoming video call
- CTRL + Shift + S: Answer incoming audio call
- CTRL + Shift + U: Starting a video call
- CTRL + Shift + H: Ending a video call
- CTRL + Shift + K: Your hand up or down
- CTRL + Shift + E: Starting 'screen sharing' session
- CTRL + Shift + Y: Allowing persons in lobby
- CTRL + Shift + O: Video on/off
- CTRL + Shift + E: Starting 'screen sharing' session
- CTRL + Space: Microphone mute
By analogy with Teams, you can think of so many applications for which the Elgato Stream Deck can add value.