What’s In The Box? It’s An Elgato Stream Deck!

Image via elgato.com

Elgato has become well known for quality products for content creators. The Elgato Stream deck is another product in their catalog. It has been out for some time but with a recent Amazon sale it was time to break down and buy one. But is it worth it?

The most obvious attribute of this devices is it’s size. It is damn near tiny. The box itself was surprising small. Granted, streamers generally don’t have a great amount of space in their streaming areas but the size can be a bit limiting once you start working with it.

If you expected much more than the most basic of instructions then you will be let down. Along with the Stream Deck there is little more than a quick guide about how to connect it. Luckily you don’t need much since as soon as you do connect it the necessary software will download and install.

The Stream Deck itself feels sturdy and well built. Even for being so small it has a good weight to it. The overall look and finish of the device has a certain elegance to it. The kickstand on the back is a bit confusing at first but once you realize how it is intended to be used it becomes easy to use.

As a matter of scale just look at the Stream Deck next to a PS4 controller. The size is concerning but only because of how the buttons work. Not in the idea that it will be hard to press the buttons but rather they may be hard to read. Each button is a mini-LCD display that is customizable. The software included with the device makes it easy, maybe to easy, to put whatever you may like on each button. One will have to take caution to make the button descriptive but not illegible.

Closing Arguments

Overall the Elgato Stream Deck is a good product. Along with the build quality of the hardware, the software is intuitive and easy to use. People that are willing to put the capital into a device like this will probably already know the nuances of setting it to do commands in the likes of OBS or Xsplit and have it functional in little to no time. The versatility of this device makes it well worth the investment of those that will use it to its potential.

Why would I buy this device? To support my professional streaming career, of course. No, not really. I tinker with streaming and do it on a limited and sparse basis. The production and tools behind it have always been more interesting to me. That was the biggest reason that drove me to but this item. $150 was too much but $100 was just the right price to get me to buy. Then again, this device will end up being another reason I don’t stream. I’ll sit their and tinker with it for hours instead of streaming just because that will be what interests me.

Paul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.


What’s In The Box? It’s A Chair!

Why is a chair in a box? Because it’s not assembled. I decided to make an investment in a decent office chair for my workspace. I did not intend to invest as much as I did but this was the most comfortable chair I tried while at Staples. The Hyken Technical Task Chair, model 23481, is the chair I speak of.

The box is…well, a box. Behold its glory.



Then you open it and start seeing the pieces.


When you start pulling everything thing out, you find things like the arms, the tilt control, and the stem.



You’ll also find the base and the wheels.



Don’t forget about the parts you’ll spend most of your time with over the life of the chair like the seat, back, and headrest.



That is what you get in this box. Once it is unpacked it is time for the assembly.

Bonus Audio:

The chair is not difficult to assemble. It would have gone faster if I had realized they provide the allen wrench you need. I spent as much time looking for one as I did assembling the chair. When I was pulling out the last bolts I found the wrench they intend you to use. Overall assembly time was under an hour and you can do it quicker by using the tool they give you rather than finding your own like an idiot.

When you are done you get this…




What’s In The Box? It’s An Apple AirPort Time Capsule!

Apparently I just have too many wireless devices. My  Netgear G54 wireless router was not handling the amount of devices I had running through it so I had to find something with better throughput. After countless hours of researching, I decided on the Apple AirPort Time Capsule with 2TB of storage. The decision was swayed by several factors. First was the need for better wireless connectivity and the AirPort had very good ratings and reviews for its 802.11ac wireless radios. I don’t have any devices that can use ac and it is not ratified as a standard yet but I figure I’m going to have this unit for the next few years so I should be good for any new devices I get. The second factor in my decision was the built-in storage. I had been using an Iomega Home Media 2TB drive as a backup device. Part of the issue I was having was that the throughput for my MacBook Pro to complete a back-up was terrible and not only slowed my network’s performance but caused my MacBook’s battery to drain several times daily. The last factor was the fact that it was an Apple product. Given the fact that all the Apple products I have purchased have worked very well and been great purchases sold me on making this one as well.

With all that said, let’s take a look at what you get. First, the box itself which is about 5″L x 5″W x 9″H.


Pull off the plastic shrink-wrap and you have to pull the box up off of its bottom. It doesn’t necessarily come off easily but will come off eventually to reveal the Airport Time Capsule itself.



The base of the box has a pull out piece that will gain you access to the power cord and documentation.


That is all that is in this box. If you do need to hardwire anything you better already have the cables you need.

Normally I have an audio track here of the unboxing but I lost the file save so there will not be one for this post.

What I do have is some more detail on my experience thus far with the AirPort Time Capsule. I must say that this is yet another satisfying purchase of an Apple product.  From the setup to the overall performance, it has met every expectation.

Setting up and configuring the unit was alarming easy. I launched the AirPort Utility, it discovered the AirPort device, and asked me to configure it.  Better get your’s set up quick before someone else sees it and configures it I guess. I was able to make the SSID and wireless settings match my previous router’s and all of my devices connected with no further modifications. Setting up Time Machine to use the Time Capsule for backups was just as easy. Once you are on the same network, click select disk, select the Time Capsule disk, and click Use Disk.

The performance of the router has been fantastic. Currently I have my Xbox 360 hardwired to it and the following devices connected wirelessly: MacBook Pro, iPad, iPhone, AppleTV, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Even connected wirelessly, I have not noticed any lag or other issues when playing my Xbox One and PlayStation 4 online. I have not played any PlayStation 3 games online to say anything about its performance. One issue that was resolved with the AirPort was the lag when using the PlayStation Vita’s remote play function with the PlayStation 4. With the Netgear router it was unusable even with the PlayStation 4 hardwired and PlayStation Vita running wirelessly. On the AirPort, both devices are connected via wireless and there is no noticeable lag.

If you do need to hardwire more than three devices then you are going to need some additional equipment. See in the picture below that there are only three gigabit Ethernet connections you can plug devices into.


You can see a fourth Ethernet connection but that is reserved for the connection to your Internet provider. There is also a USB port for USB storage devices but I have not used this and can say nothing about it other than it is there.

If you are willing or able to pay for this device it is well worth it. I weighed it against several other products but ultimately felt this was my best value. Many other routers have the same amount of interfaces and radios at nearly the same cost but do not offer the storage. There is also a 3TB model available if you need more space than 2TB. If you don’t need storage at all there is model with no storage that is less expensive.

What’s in the Box? – It’s an Xbox One

We have it in hand now, the second and final of the next generation consoles – the Xbox One, specifically the Day One Edition. Let’s get in this box.


The box itself is square and flips open from the handle side(on the bottom of the picture above).


First thing you get to see is the Kinect controller. You know, the one that you don’t have the option to not buy.


Where the Xbox logo is printed opens to reveal some additional contents such as some documentation, HDMI cable, power cord, power brick, wired headset, and batteries. Here’s a better look.


Then we removed the Kinect from the box.


Getting that out of the way, we are finally to the meat of this meal.


Here the console is nicely and tightly packed into the very bottom of the box.


There is the console! Behold it in all its glory.

It’s hard to get  a feel for the new system with out a point of reference. With that said, here are some bonus pictures to compare.

Like, the Xbox One beside an Xbox 360 from the top…


and from the side…


Now, the power bricks! From the top…


and the side.


For the final submission, the controllers.


That’s what’s in the box. If you get one of these for yourself, get ready to hurry up and wait as you download and install the day one, mandatory patch. It actually went fairly quickly.

Bonus: the audio unboxing. Thanks for checking us out.

[audio http://k007.kiwi6.com/hotlink/zcvo0st9no/witb-004-xbone.m4a]


What’s In The Box? It’s A PlayStation 4!

The first of the next generation consoles are upon us. The PlayStation 4 was released 11/15/2013 to North America and that is where I am… let’s see what’s in the box.

PS4 Box

Behold the box itself. It has a nice plastic handle for carrying the box, if you think you will be doing a lot of that. GameStop gave it to me in a very nice(that is sarcastic) black bag with handles. I won’t give you all the views of the box(this post is called What’s IN The Box after all).

The box opens from the handle side and flips open to reveal the contents.

PS4 Inside Box

Console on the left and all the other goodies on the right. Pull everything out and you find: console, controller, power cord, HDMI cable, mono wired mic, welcome packet, and special offer packet. I note the lack of a network cable though. It is recommended to hardwire the console if you are planning on doing remote play via your PS Vita but I guess saving a dollar or so was more valuable to Sony rather than helping make sure their own experience is the best it can be. However, do the math that if they plan to sell five million of these things then saving a dollar per sale adds up.

PS4 Contents

The welcome pack is the idiots guide to hooking up the system. I think this is for parents that should just let the kids do the hookup anyway. The special offer packet is the more interesting document. It contains codes for a 30 day PS Plus membership, 30 day subscription to Sony’s Music Unlimited service, and $10 PlayStation Store credit.

That is what’s in the box. For the curious, below are some pictures to compare the controller and console their predecessors.

PS4 vs PS3 Controller

PS4 vs PS3 Consoles

For your last bonus, the audio commentary.

[audio http://k007.kiwi6.com/hotlink/y7002c0zy7/witb-003-ps4.m4a]

dudewantshisrug-profilePaul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Writer, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

What’s In The Box? It’s An iPhone 5s!

It was finally time to upgrade my phone and ditch the Motorola Droid X2 that has the bane of my existence for several months. Actually, my contract was up back in July but I waited until September when the new iPhone would be released. I even ordered it online as soon as it was available. No, I didn’t stay up all night clicking refresh on my browser trying to hit the Apple store as soon as it was available. I was sick as a dog and woke up with a coughing fit ten minutes before the store starting sell the new iPhone. Figuring it would be overwhelmed anyway, I was surprised to find that I was able to log in and process my order on the first try. Even with the immediacy of the order, it still took until the next Wednesday for the phone to arrive. Guess that is what happens when everything is shipped from China. On to the box…and the phone.


If you’ve ever opened and iPhone box before then you really aren’t going to be shocked. Rip off the shrink wrap, pull off the box top, and BAM!!! phone.


Then you pull out the phone and the insert below it to find the documentation pack, so to speak.


You see your headphones, data cable, and power adapter but back to the documentation or the lack there of.


Seriously??? It’s not even a book, booklet, or fold out. It is two cards. That’s it. I think the stickers are just as informative.

The iPhone 5s looks and feels very very very similar to the iPhone 5. For comparison, you’ll see the “Space Grey” iPhone 5s next to a White iPhone 5.



I guess they are calling it Space Grey rather than black because the back is not the solid black back piece on previous models. If you notice, I caught my fingers in the picture. Don’t worry, that’s just a reflection off of the plastic coating that gets pulled off. The finish is not as shiny as the plastic cover and the grey is slightly darker then the silver backing of the white iPhone 5.

Feels like an iPhone, looks like an iPhone, must be an iPhone. Now that it is out of the box, we’ll get to using it.

Audio unboxing…enjoy…or not.

[audio http://k002.kiwi6.com/hotlink/vq9irdd767/witb-002-iphone5s.m4a]

What’s In The Box? It’s An Apple TV!

This came along with the purchase of my MacBook Pro. I figured for just under $100 I’d see what this had to offer. If nothing else, I wouldn’t have to use my PS3 to stream Netflix. Lord knows the PS3 could use some time off.

Anyway…let’s look at the box and what is in it.

AppleTV Box

A pretty nondescript box that looks a lot like typical Apple packaging but not so fast. The familiar cut the plastic and pull the box top off is not what happens here. The outside is actually a sleeve that the box pulls out of.  Kind of a fast one by Apple in the packaging department. Maybe the box engineer was some new guy that didn’t know the standard practice.

Just to give you a reference and scale for the size of the box. Below is a picture to compare to some other items. You’ll see an iPhone5 for the Apple suitors and for the Sony Playstation folks, you’ll see the PS3 Dual Shock controller and PS Vita. The box is by far smaller than I expected.

AppleTV Compare

Box size aside, what you get in the box is just as puzzling. The Apple TV in on the top, as one would expect in Apple fashion. Then when the Apple TV is removed the remote is revealed.

Apple TV Open Box

I know the picture isn’t great, I’m a photographer in progress.  The takeaway is to notice not only how small the Apple TV unit is but also how tiny the remote is. Below is another comparison against the aforementioned items.

Apple TV and Remote Compare

The box has little much else to offer than the minimal instruction set and power cord for the unit as seen below.

Apple TV Contents

Ok, maybe a photography class couldn’t hurt. I need some work on the lighting but you see what you’ll get from the box. Further inspection of the Apple TV unit shows that the only outputs you get are HDMI and optical audio. Neither of which do you get the appropriate cable. The only other connections are Ethernet and power.

Quick impressions are that the Apple TV is underwhelming at best. The near minuscule size garners a lot of doubt but Apple does have a reputation for getting the most out of the least. The remote does cause some concern. It feels fragile like the rock hard bubble gum stick you get in a pack of baseball cards.  Yes, I bought baseball cards and remember the gum you got with it. Who knows how many dentist visits that gum has caused.

That’s what’s in the box. I’ll hook up the Apple TV and put it it to the test to see what it has to offer.  I have little expectation so there is little chance I’ll be let down.

Bonus Material!

Again, a short audio of my thoughts during the unboxing. Some audio issues. Still a work in progress, as we all are.

[audio http://k002.kiwi6.com/hotlink/u869h4w500/witb-001-appletv.m4a]