Social media has gone beyond messaging, liking, and commenting on posts. These days, people host shows, parties, classes, auctions online. In fact, the internet is so flexible that there are tons of things you can achieve online including streaming. So how do you stream your favorite shows or be part of a class?
There are different streaming gadgets and apps available. Some of these applications are free, while users will have to pay to access them. A stream deck is an example of a streaming gadget. However, unlike applications that are only accessible online, a stream deck is a physical device.
What is Steam Deck?
A stream deck is a hardware device that allows users to switch screens while streaming physically. The flexibility of this device is unmatched as users can change cameras, switch between scenes, mute themselves, etc.
The stream deck features three rows of five physical buttons on its surface; each of these buttons has a tiny customizable LCD screen within it.
Also, this device comes in different sizes and is available as an application. Each size has its distinct features; nonetheless, each size comes with a keyboard. The keys on the board allow users to customize their screen to show any icon or minimize any show they are streaming.
Basically, you can take any actions when using a stream deck—the flexibility a stream deck gives while streaming is unique. You can toggle mics, switch scenes in OBS, play sounds, trigger actions, etc.
Features of a Stream Deck
The stream deck is suitable for people who stream themselves while playing video games, hosting web shows through online stream platforms like Mixer, Youtube, Twitch, etc. Below are some of the features ad customizations you can achieve on the stream deck:
The Go Live button allows you to go live or finish an ongoing broadcast.
The pause button is available only in record-only mode. You can pause whatever you are recording with a push and resume with another push.
You can see all available scenes in the popup menu. Also, you can configure the Scene you want to trigger using the menu bar.
You can alternate whatever you are watching with the previous or next option via your scenes window.
If you have an already pre-recorded video, you can configure and select a video to watch. Alternatively, you can select from your recently played videos.
Overlay Display Option
You can decide to show or hide an overlay from the Overlay windows by selecting an overlay from the Overlay window.
You can easily play sound or music on your device by selecting a sound file from the soundboard or available Sound Effects. Also, you can decide the volume level, play/stop, loop/stop, etc.
The Camera mode option allows users to switch to a specific camera when multiple cameras are connected to the device. All you need to do is to choose your desired camera. Also, you will see a checkbox that will notify you when to switch into Camera mode.
You can switch and share your screen with this option.
Picture in Picture (PIP) Display Option
The PIP display option allows users to alternate the PIP window. That is, when you are in Camera mode, you can alternate between split-screen mode and PIP mode.
With the mute option, you can mute your microphone and unmute it at ease
Comment Display Option
You can decide to show your last promoted comment overlay or not.
This option shows the viewer count your current streaming platform garnered.
Different Sizes of Stream Deck
As mentioned above, the stream deck makes streaming seamless for its users. To use this device, you have to assign your most frequently used commands to a series of buttons on the device. That is, the prompt that comes with each button on your stream device depends on what you set it to be.
The stream deck has different sizes; however, the standard 15-key deck is the most prominent. Below are the three different sizes of stream decks available:
Stream Deck XL (32 keys)
Stream Deck (15 keys)
Stream Deck Mini (6 keys)
The Stream Deck Application
The stream deck application is available on both the Apple store and Playstore. Note that the initiation of actions on a stream deck is aimed at streams.
Tons of integration work with streaming tools like OBS, media controls, control mics, social media push, and screens to achieve every command.
To customize your Stream Deck, you will have to install an app on your device. The Stream Deck app will give you access to create profiles and assign actions to different keys.
Pros of Stream Deck
- Easy to setup
- Simple device design
- Excellent app interface
Cons of Stream Deck
- A bit pricey
- Not all programs are supported
The Stream Deck is a handy tool for people who stream online content a lot. It offers swift audience engagement and has customizable buttons that give users access to tons of features.