The capture card is a game-changer
in general | June 1, 2021
Today I’m going to be reviewing the Genki Shadowcast, and I have to say that this little piece of material blew me away. What looks like a tiny HDMI flash drive is actually a very powerful capture card. It also claims that you can connect it to a DSLR camera, to use it as a professional webcam, but unfortunately I don’t have one at my disposal. Instead, I tested it on Nintendo Switch, PS3, PS4, and PS5 on my laptop and desktop. Whatever configuration I used, it worked wonderfully. Now I’m going to preface that by saying it’s not going to change the world and give you 4k, 120fps recording, but the images I captured were still perfect and beautiful.
Also, I didn’t see any input lag! I would have given whatever to have this when I was in the game journalism side and traveled almost once a month for years. It would have been an absolute boon for a variety of things.
We also recently asked the CEO of Human Things about why you need a Genki Shadowcast, so be sure to read that as well. This product is good enough to be connected directly to my PC when I want to stream PS3 games to Tic. So when I received the product in the mail I was so excited. I like new technologies and especially technologies that make my life easier. For reference, this is the third capture card I have / have owned. So let’s get into the Genki Shadowcast review!
I love the other products I have, but they weren’t half as easy to use, that’s for sure. I didn’t need to install any drivers, install any other stuff. I literally started Streamlabs OBS on my laptop, ran the cable from my laptop to my PS5, and turned it on. After adding the Genki Shadowcast as one of my sources, it immediately lit up. The only problem I had was not the Shadowcast’s fault. When you use Streamlabs OBS, it transfers your sources / settings between systems. So when I got back to my desktop, I had laptop sources and audio / video settings, and it was not good.
It’s just food for thought for people who don’t know. I think it’s important to bring these things to light in case someone new to streaming isn’t in the know and gets frustrated. That’s really all it took to install the Genki Shadowcast. I didn’t need to run a splitter on my PS3 to remove security, in order to let it capture in the first place.
It also showed up as a webcam in Discord and Zoom, so if I wanted to I could share my gameplay footage through those shows. It would be a great way to broadcast to a very small audience or show something amazing / disappointing that you want to share with your group of friends. It’s a fantastic product, but it’s not without minor flaws.
All capture cards really present some entry delay. If you run it on your laptop, your only way to watch the game is through the source of your streaming software. This means that there is going to be a small input lag or delay. It’s not the worst, but it’s Is to exist. When I tested it on Street Fighter V, I didn’t feel it was debilitating when practicing combos. It was a bit stressful for the shooters, but only in competition. It wasn’t as bad as previous maps where I had to look through an OBS window.
The Genki Shadowcast can pick up signals up to 4k / 30fps or 1080 / 60fps. It will output 1080 / 30fps or 720 / 60fps however, so be aware of that. I had no problem though, and everything seemed clear and easy to see. It won’t replace an internal 4k capture card or anything like that. But it has so many uses anyway. It’s a great, easy way to stream or just use your laptop as another TV screen for gaming. When traveling, many hotels lock the TV so you can’t plug your consoles into it, and that will help if you have a laptop. The Genki Shadowcast however has two “modes”, Performance mode or Resolution mode, which gives you the above options.
The resolution mode gives you 1080, 30 fps. If it’s already a game running at 30 fps, that’s okay. For games over 60 fps, you will most certainly notice a difference. This is why I will stress that I would not play competitive games this way.
Between using this software and OBS’s proprietary Shadowcast software, you can end up using a lot of your laptop’s resources. I don’t even notice it on PC. My laptop isn’t a high-end mega-gaming laptop, however. That being said, I didn’t have any issues on either. I love this capture card, and it’s a great starter material for people for its retail price. Right now you can pre-order it on their site for 49.99, or 45.99 without the C to A adapter. Mine also came with a small adapter to turn the cable into a USB plug, so I could use it on my PC. But less than $ 50 compared to cards that cost over $ 250? It’s not a bad choice for something like an intro / portable capture card.
It’s an absolutely awesome device, and after writing this Genki Shadowcast review, I can absolutely say I’m happy with it. I got a lot more than I expected with this. We could have used it so many times on the road on my previous website. You can plug your digital SLR camera directly into the laptop and record interviews and footage directly to your hard drive. You can also use it to play console games when you need / want it. It is incredibly easy to use and quick to set up. It won’t be your go-to capture card for large-scale streaming, but it’s amazing for all kinds of casual gaming. I wouldn’t play competitive ranked games on it, but for fun and casual stuff? Yeah, it worked really well. For the price, it did what I expected. The Shadowcast is not a replacement for a real TV, but it has better delay than other cards I have used with higher prices.
Material was provided by Human Things for the purpose of this Genki Shadowcast review.