Genki Shadowcast Review: The Capture Card Changing the Game
Today, I’m going to review the Genki Shadowcast, and I have to say – this little piece of hardware blew me away. What looks like a tiny HDMI flash drive is in actuality, a very powerful capture card. It also purports that you can hook it to a DSLR camera, to use as a professional webcam, but unfortunately, I do not have one of those at my disposal. Instead, I tested this on the Nintendo Switch, PS3, PS4, and PS5 across my laptop and desktop. No matter what setup I used, it worked brilliantly. Now, I’m going to preface this by saying it’s not going to change the world and give you 4k, 120 fps recording, but the footage I did capture was still picture perfect and beautiful.
What’s more, I saw no input lag! I would have given anything to have this when I was on the games journalism side of things and traveled nearly once a month for years. It would have been an absolute godsend for a variety of things.
What Is The Genki Shadowcast?
We also recently interviewed the CEO of Human Things about why you need a Genki Shadowcast, so make sure to give that a read too. This product is good enough to be hooked right into my PC for when I want to stream PS3 games over on Twitch. So, when I got the product in the mail, I was so excited. I love new tech and especially technology that makes my life easier. For reference, this is the third capture card that I own/have owned. So let’s get into the Genki Shadowcast review!
I love the other products I have, but they were not half as easy to use, that’s for sure. I didn’t have to install any drivers, get any other things installed. I literally booted up 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 turned on right away. The only problem I had was not the fault of the Shadowcast. When you use Streamlabs OBS, it transfers your sources/settings between systems. So when I swapped back to my desktop, I had laptop sources and audio/video settings, and that was not good.
That’s just some food for thought for people who don’t know. I think it’s important to bring those things to light in case someone new to streaming isn’t aware and gets frustrated. That’s genuinely all it took to get the Genki Shadowcast set up. I didn’t have to run any kind of splitter on my PS3 to strip away security, in order to let it capture in the first place.
Flaws, While Minor, Exist
It also showed up as a webcam in Discord and Zoom, so if I wanted, I could share my gameplay footage across these programs. This would be an excellent way to stream to a very small audience or show something amazing/disappointing that you want to share with your friend group. It’s a fantastic product, but it’s not without its minor flaws.
All capture cards really introduce some input delay. If you’re running this on your laptop, your only way to watch the gameplay is through the source on your streaming software. This means there’s going to be a tiny bit of input lag or delay. It’s not the worst, but it does exist. When I tested it on Street Fighter V, I didn’t feel like it was debilitating when practicing combos. It was a little stressful in shooters, but only when playing competitively. It wasn’t quite as bad as previous cards where I had to watch through an OBS window.
The Genki Shadowcast can pick up signals up to 4k/30fps or 1080/60fps. It’s going to output 1080/30fps or 720/60fps though, so be aware of that. I had zero issues though, and everything looked clear and easy to see. This won’t replace a 4k internal capture card or anything like that. But it has so many uses anyway. It’s a great easy way to stream, or simply to use your laptop as another TV screen for games. When traveling, so many hotels lock down the TV so you can’t hook your consoles up to them, and this will help you if you have a laptop. The Genki Shadowcast does have two “modes” though, the Performance Mode or Resolution mode, which gives you the above options.
Resolution Mode gives you the 1080, 30 fps. If it’s already a game that runs in 30 fps, this isn’t an issue. For 60+ fps games, you will most certainly notice a difference. That’s why I will stress I wouldn’t play competitive games this way.
Final Thoughts: A Quick Solution With a Lot of Upside
Between using this and OBS/proprietary Shadowcast Software, you can wind up using a lot of your laptop’s resources. I don’t even notice it on PC. My laptop isn’t a top-of-the-line mega-gaming laptop though. That having been said, I haven’t had any issues on either one. I love this capture card, and it’s a great starter piece of hardware 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 dollars compared to cards that cost 250+? It’s not a bad pick for something as an intro/portable capture card.
This is an absolutely brilliant device, and after writing this review of the Genki Shadowcast, I can absolutely say I’m satisfied with it. I got way more than I expected with it. We could have used this so many times on the road at my previous website. You can hook your DSLR camera right into the laptop, and record interviews and footage right onto your hard drive. You can also use it to play console games when you need/want to. It’s incredibly easy to use and quick to set up. It’s not going to be your must-use capture card for big-time streaming, but it’s amazing for all manner of casual gaming purposes. I wouldn’t play competitive ranked games on it, but for some fun casual stuff? Yeah, it worked just fine. For the price point, it did what I hoped it would. The Shadowcast is no substitute for a real TV, but its delay is better than other cards I’ve used with higher price points.
Hardware was provided by Human Things for the purposes of this Genki Shadowcast review.