We record a lot of videos when we review small pc’s like those from azulle. So it only seemed natural that we take a look at a streaming/recording device. To that end we reached out to ClonerAlliance who makes USB and standalone Capture devices. They Responded by sending out a Flint 4KP for review.
The Flint 4KP itself
Overall the Flint 4KP seems well packaged. We have a rather attractive sleeve indicating it’s main function as well as details such as 4k passthrough and detail visuals of the device itself. Digging in to the package we find a breif but sufficient instruction card and a bundle of accessories. These accessories seem to include everything you could want, a USB A to C cable with USB C gender changers to help it connect to almost any PC as well as a type A to micro connector for other devices. Also included is a short but sufficient HDMI cable.
Digging into the Specs on the Flint we see a few limits but nothing unexpected. 4k is passed through at 30Hz only with support for down converting 4kp24 and 4Kp60. Recording is limited to 1080P60 which when looking at the raw data rate is approaching the limit of what USB can deliver with a demand. Looking at it assuming 24-bit, 1080p @ 60 fps: 24 × 1920×1080 × 60 = 2.98 Gbit/s we’re at 60% of what USB 3.0 could deliver without taking any overhead into account, any device promising to record 4k over USB will have to do some from of compression before delivering it to the PC.
Setting up the Flint was mostly painless simply requiring the installation of their first party software after plugging it in. Emailing users an activation key on software included free with the hardware felt dated but isn’t unheard of either.With it registered were ready to record using the HDML-Cloner PRO software.
The included software is basic but functional. It offers ability to monitor, record and locally broadcast although minus some bells and whistles third party solutions offer. The rather open nature of the hardware itself allows it to operate with Shotcut and OBS out of the box. OBS is popular for streaming and offers extensive options for streaming and recording. Shotcut is a popular open source video editor that is capable of recording directly from the Flint 4KP as well.
Passthrough on the Flint 4KP is nearly perfect. Latency wasn’t measureable and input lag was minimal to imperceptible. Visual fidelity likewise is excellent at 4k and 1080P was also fantastic with the exception of a 60hz limit which will only be an issue for the most demanding of FPS gamers.
Using the uniengine sanctuary benchmark which you can run and compare yourself multiple passes were recorded. One run in the final video is using the included HDML-Cloner software configured to recording an mp4 file. The other run was done using OBS to record raw YUV data. I anticipate the OBS raw YUV method to be the more popular due to the limited cpu impact and easier editing.
For a small portable device the Flint 4KP impressed. The recordings were frame perfect with no visual distinction between live and recorded when using the raw footage. With the ability to pass through 4k footage and record visually perfect frames and a superb accessory kit the ClonerAlliance Flint 4KP is an excellent choice for streaming and recording alike.