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ZILR Lumin Streaming Hub Assessment


ZILR has turn into recognized for his or her digital camera batteries and high-quality video cables. Lately the corporate has put a brand new twist on the USB-C dock/hub/dongle by including streaming and internet conferencing performance. I’m excited I obtained my palms on it, and am in a position to share my expertise with you on what the ZILR Lumin Streaming Hub can do and if it’s value your cash. So, let’s dive in!

Ever because the first USB-C-only computer systems had been launched, customers wanted dongles, hubs, and docks to attach legacy ({and professional}) gadgets. Heck, I imagine the phrase “Dongle” wasn’t on the radar for most individuals earlier than USB-C got here alongside.

The primary time you lay your eyes on the ZILR Lumin Streaming Hub, it appears like a daily USB hub to hook up with your pc with the next inputs:

  • SD + microSD card reader
  • 3.5mm mic enter
  • 3.5mm headphone output

If you flip the hub round, you see these ports:

  • USB-C PD for charging
  • 2x USB 3.0 Kind-A ports
  • HDMI In
  • HDMI Out
  • USB-C

At first look, nothing particular right here, aside from the HDMI Enter, however extra on this under.

I really feel like I’ve to say that this gadget, regardless of its identify, doesn’t have any streaming capabilities. It doesn’t connect with the web or any streaming software program. The Lumin merely converts any HDMI video supply right into a video enter that may be chosen by any streaming or video conferencing software program.

Construct high quality

Earlier than I make my level on what makes it particular, only a fast be aware on the construct high quality: The ZILR Lumin Streaming Hub is manufactured from aluminum with a plastic prime and has a great weight to it (4.9 ounces/140g). With the assistance of the 4 rubber toes on the underside, it stays in place very nicely on even surfaces.

top of the ZILR Lumin Streaming Hub
solely the highest plate is plastic, every thing else aluminum. Picture credit score: CineD

So, what’s particular concerning the Streaming Hub?

With typical USB docks, you possibly can plug in an exterior monitor to the HDMI Output. However the ZILR Lumin Streaming Hub additionally lets you plug in an HDMI Enter, like a digital camera or gaming console. Your pc will then detect the gadget and it’ll present up as a USB supply for streaming or video conferencing.

HDMI In port on the ZILR Lumin Streaming Hub
HDMI In port on the ZILR Lumin. Picture credit score: CineD

That is handy if you don’t have USB-C cameras or gadgets that output video over USB. The gadget that you just plug in by the HDMI-In port is mechanically reworked right into a video and audio supply that your pc will supply as “ZILR Lumin” inside your streaming or internet conferencing app.

ZILR Lumin available as camera and microphone source
ZILR Lumin displaying up as Digicam and Microphone inputs. Picture credit score: CineD

Video Conferencing setup

Any digital camera with a clear HDMI output (DSLR, camcorder, mirrorless, and so forth) can be utilized as a webcam when it’s related to the Streaming Hubs HDMI-In.

ZILR Lumin as video enter in Zoom. Picture credit score: CineD

You can even plug in a separate microphone into the three.5mm microphone or the USB Kind-A enter on the Streaming Hub and monitor your audio by plugging headphones into the headphone jack.

Audio Input settings in macOS with the ZILR Lumix Streaming Box connected
USB- and three.5mm Microphone Inputs out there by the ZILR Lumin. Picture credit score: CineD

The “ZILR Lumin” video enter is proscribed to 1080p60 (uncompressed) for streaming/video conferencing however can move by HDMI alerts as much as 2160p60 although, so you possibly can nonetheless monitor/sport in 4K.

Recreation Streaming Setup

You can even plug your gaming console instantly into the dock’s “HDMI-IN” and proceed watching your sport in your related TV through the use of the “HDMI-OUT”. If you want to additionally add your voice to your stream, you possibly can join a microphone to the three.5mm microphone jack or the USB Kind-A port on the hub.

Recreation streaming setup with ZILR Lumin Streaming Field. Picture credit score: ZILR

After connecting the Streaming Hub to your pc utilizing the “USB-C” port, Twitch, YouTube, and so forth. will supply “ZILR Lumin” as your video and audio enter and output.

DISCLAIMER: As I’m not a gamer, I used to be not in a position to take a look at the sport streaming functionality of the Lumin.

Audio weak point

Throughout my testing, I discovered that audio is the weak level of the Streaming Hub. I bumped into the problem that the headphone output on the Streaming Hub solely outputs a mixture of all of the audio inputs on the Lumin. It doesn’t matter what I set as my audio enter on the pc, I saved listening to all of the audio that got here into the Streaming Hub – HDMI or from the three.5mm mic enter or a mixture of each when each had been related.

audio input routing of the ZILR Lumix Streaming Box
All audio inputs are routed to the headphone output. Picture credit score: CineD

I additionally was not in a position to get a secure video reference to the ZILR Lumin chosen as my audio supply both. The picture saved freezing and sometimes Zoom and Google Meet even crashed. As quickly as I chosen a special audio supply although, every thing was working tremendous once more.

If you’re going to do all of the work of establishing an exterior video and audio setup, then the very best answer is to hook your microphone as much as the digital camera which is able to then permit sending video and audio over the HDMI cable to the Streaming Hub. This ensures that video and audio are undoubtedly in sync and solves the freezing problem.

USB-C Energy

On the again of the hub, there are two USB-C ports – one labeled “USB-C” and one “USB-C PD”. The “USB-C” port is used for connecting the hub along with your pc (no charging or video output). The “USB-C PD” is used for charging solely, which presents two choices:

Choice 1: You’ve a laptop computer that must be charged and is already related to the Streaming Hub with the “USB-C” port. It’s a must to plug in an influence adapter (ideally the one which got here along with your laptop computer) to the “USB-C PD” port and plug it into an influence supply. On this case, you enter energy by the “USB-C PD” port.

ZILR Lumin Streaming Hub charging laptop
USB-C PD charging laptop computer from energy adapter. Picture credit score: CineD

Notice, that the out there 87W from the Lumin is sufficient to cost a 13″ and 14″ MacBook Air/Professional however not sufficient to maintain your bigger and better powered laptops from slowly draining the battery.

Choice 2: You may quick cost your cell phone (iPhone with an non-obligatory USB-C to Lightning cable) and different equipment by connecting to the “USB-C PD” port whereas the hub is related to your pc by way of the “USB-C” port. On this state of affairs, you output energy by the “USB-C PD” port.

ZILR Lumin Streaming Hub charging phone
USB-C PD charging telephone from laptop computer battery. Picture credit score: CineD

Card reader

Nearly commonplace on many USB-C docks/hubs/dongles is a microSD and SD card reader. The ZILR Lumin Streaming Hub is not any completely different with each card reader slots on the entrance of the hub.

One factor that irritates me is the very fact, that you need to plug in SD playing cards the wrong way up. Ultimately, I’ll get used to this nevertheless it’s value declaring.

Learn speeds seem like commonplace UHS-I speeds which is unlucky since this field is clearly focused at a extra skilled consumer group. UHS-II SD playing cards are so generally utilized by skilled creatives that it’s disappointing to see this sluggish reader within the Lumin Streaming Hub.

Conclusion

ZILR Lumin Streaming Hub is a really respectable USB hub/dock/dongle in your USB-C-equipped pc. The efficiency of the cardboard reader is a bit disappointing, it seems like UHS-II speeds would have been the way in which to go. The USB-C PD port is flexible and the 87W laptop computer charging functionality additionally makes the Streaming Hub a fantastic touring companion.

So long as you retain it easy, the Lumin makes establishing knowledgeable streaming or video conferencing setup a breeze. For my Mac mini, the Streaming Field provides the issues I miss most – a card reader, further USB ports, and the power to rapidly remodel my digital camera right into a webcam with none particular software program.

Comparable merchandise that allow you to flip your HDMI digital camera right into a webcam are the Blackmagic Internet Presenter and ATEM line of merchandise. Each value not less than twice as a lot but in addition supply extra configuration choices.

As a hybrid between skilled broadcasting options like Blackmagic’s choices and extraordinary USB-C dongles/hubs/docks, the ZILR Lumin Streaming Hub units itself aside and presents nice performance in an inexpensive package deal at $249,99.

Producer Web site: www.zilr.professional

What do you concentrate on this “streaming” hub? Share your tackle it within the remark part under!



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