Today we are going to present a device that can be of great help to those who are dedicated to making screencasting from Linux: Slimbook 4K grabber.
Although Linux has seen a great improvement as a desktop operating system over the last decade, there are still areas where it is almost useless, and sometimes not because of you. Captors are one of those segments because few of the manufacturers mainstream they support the system, not even through Android or ChromeOS (which would bounce back to GNU / Linux thanks to the kernel).
Regarding hardware dedicated to streaming and video capture, the industry leader is possibly Elgato, a brand owned by Corsair. Unfortunately, Corsair is a manufacturer that has traditionally offered very poor Linux support, so from MuyLinux we recommend avoiding their products (including those from Elgato) except RAM memories, power supplies and possibly SSD drives.
Due to the poor support offered by the best-known manufacturers, Linux users are forced on many occasions to gamble with capturers from Chinese brands that do not always meet the minimums that one would expect in terms of quality and latencies. Luckily, at least for those who live in the European Union, the Slimbook 4K grabber may end up being an option that meets the needs of many.
To be honest, my knowledge of these devices is close to nil. The reason why I got a 4K Slimbook capturer was to fulfill my dream of giving the final kick to Xorg to migrate all my production to Wayland, since the screencasting it was the only task that resisted me. After briefly explaining my context, I am going to present the most basic features of the device.
Basic Features of the Slimbook 4K Grabber
The Slimbook 4K capturer is a small and light device, but don’t be fooled by its size, because it is very capable and offers very good results, or at least it has more than met the demands of this server.
As its name suggests, the capturer can record up to 4K resolution, supporting, more specifically, 4K at 30fps, 1440p up to 60fps and 1080p up to 120fps. Because it is external, yours is connect via USB 3, either through a cable with USB Type-C (reversible) at both ends or one from USB Type-C (end that would be connected to the capturer) to USB Type-A (rectangular and connected to the computer).
The second, and in case you want to capture from a desktop computer, it is necessary to have two HDMI cables. In the port ‘in‘of the capturer you have to connect the cable that goes to the GPU, while in the port’out‘the one that goes towards the monitor to obtain an image is placed. If what is intended is to record from a laptop without an external monitor, a single cable to the port ‘in‘is sufficient (the USB 3 cable is essential in all cases).
The Slimbook 4K grabber too It has an audio output and a microphone input through the classic 3.5 mm jack connectors. I have to admit that I have not used these interfaces, since I delegate the recording of my voice to me. Røde microphone that is connected by USB, while the sound emission, if I am recording a gameplay, I support it (because what is actually captured is the desktop audio) now about Sony Wireless Headphones that I connect by Bluetooth (if I’m not wrong, the dongle What to use requires Linux 5.15 or later to work out of the box).
How to set up OBS Studio to record or stream with the Slimbook 4K grabber
At the connection level, mounting the capture is quite simple, although you have to be careful with the little flexibility that HDMI cables and many USB cables usually offer because they can end up moving the capturer and cause it to fall without us noticing. With this front already covered, let’s go for the software part.
Recording from the capturer is a simple task with OBS Studio. The user only has to add a “Video Capture Device (V4L2)”In the Sources, open its corresponding configuration and select the capturer that concerns us. If it is the only device capable of capturing video, it should be selected by default and automatically, but the user has still found that the webcam capture initially appeared. The video format, resolution, frame rate and other settings are left to the user’s liking.
Yes, what is used to record or transmit with the Slimbook 4K capturer is the same as that used for webcams (and the same with any other capturer). In the future it is expected to rely on PipeWire instead of V4L2 to carry out this task, but apart from the arrival of the support itself, it would be necessary to see when it would arrive at OBS Studio.
The user can find, mainly with laptops, with which OBS Studio does not show the desktop in use, but only the wallpaper. This is because the grabber is being treated as a second monitor. To fix it you just have to configure detected screens in mirror mode.
And with this we already have the most basic to use the Slimbook 4K grabber on a Linux operating system. For those interested, it also supports Windows and macOS and its price is 99 euros.
It is a good option for those looking for a device of this type that offers good performance in Linux and also covers more than enough the 1080p and 60fps scenario that has become so common for years, both to capture the desktop and to time to record gameplays.
Seeing that Elgato is not very keen on offering Linux support, not even through ChromeOS or Android, the Slimbook 4K capturer is positioned as a good alternative in a segment in which our favorite system looks somewhat orphaned. I leave you with a short explanation and three gameplays posted on my YouTube channel.