Product Review: Livestream Gear

With Periscope having the honour of being the App of the Year (in the United States) for 2015, and being the runner-up in Canada, the live-streaming world will only become bigger and bigger. There is also an increasing number of accessories available to help you with your live-streaming adventures.

When the fine people at Livestream started to promote their live-streaming gear, they kindly sent me a package for me to test out as I used Periscope. This review is based on this package, which included the Gooseneck Chestmount, and the Exstream Sportsmount.

Product Review: Livestream Gear

Gooseneck Chestmount

This chestmount, as you can see, is a harness that wraps around your shoulder that stretches generously. With a clip that wraps around your waist, it fits snug against your body. The gooseneck is attached to the harness through a plastic plate that is centred on the harness. The gooseneck functions well as it’s easily adjustable to what you’re doing. It moves freely up and down, to either side, and you’re also able to adjust the clamp that holds your phone on to the neck. But be aware that if you move the gooseneck too far away from your chest, the weight of your phone will make the bottom of the centre plate dig into your chest.

The Gooseneck attached to the Chestmount.

The Gooseneck attached to the Chestmount.

My initial thoughts on using this Chestmount was to be able to walk around while having my hands free to do other things, like take pictures with my dSLR. I soon realized, however, that I wouldn’t be able to use my dSLR without the gooseneck being in the way of my camera. If I moved the gooseneck so that it wasn’t hitting my camera, then my phone would be positioned in a way that wasn’t so practical for live-streaming.

My iPhone 6s Plus weights down the Gooseneck attached to my Chestmount, digging the bottom part of the plate into my chest.

My iPhone 6s Plus weights down the Gooseneck attached to my Chestmount, digging the bottom part of the plate into my chest.

So, scratching that off my list, I used the harness as I walked around, showing people the area I was in. Because of the elastic nature of the shoulder straps, I found that the gooseneck actually bounces quite a bit as I walked around. While the clamp is big enough to fit my iPhone 6s Plus with a thin silicone case, the added weight of my phone actually stretches the straps, forcing it to go down. I would think with a lighter phone, this may not be an issue.

The Gooseneck moves well, but needs a little support from your hands for heavy phones.

The Gooseneck moves well, but needs a little support from your hands for heavy phones.

Thoughts

The chestmount and clamp are built reasonably well for the price. It’s sturdy plastic that is capable of moving in many directions for your live-streaming needs. The combination works well, although if you clamp a heavy phone on to the end of the gooseneck, it may weigh everything down to the point that you can’t see what you’re live-streaming about.

I believe if the elastic shoulder straps were replaced with a buckled strap that you can manually adjust, then the gooseneck may not fall down as much, allowing you to use it in more scenarios. For light usage though, this can be a pretty handy thing to have as you live stream from your phone.

Exstream Sportsmount

The Exstream Sportsmount is a suction-cup based mount that straps all around your phone, ensuring that it will not fall off wherever you are mounting in on to. It can be very handy for people who want to provide a first-person perspective of the extreme sport they are doing. I can see people skydiving, bungee jumping, parasailing, etc. with this sportsmount. Before mounting it on to anything though, you place the suction cup against the screen-side of the phone. You then wrap the velcro strap all around the phone until it reaches the velcro on the back-side of the suction. You can then mount this sportsmount on to pretty much anything that is compatible with this mounting system. For example, it will fit on to the Chestmount, above, if you take the gooseneck off.

The Exstream Sportsmount that will mount to the Chestmount.

The Exstream Sportsmount that will mount to the Chestmount.

The mount can be adjusted vertically but not horizontally. But if you have this strapped to your chest, then all you really need to do is twist  left or right to get the right angle.

Exstream Sportsmount mounted onto the the Chestmount.

Exstream Sportsmount mounted onto the the Chestmount.

Thoughts

This is a pretty sturdy mount where you can be assured that your phone will not fall off during your wildest adventures. The only downside is that because you have a large suction obstructing the screen of your phone, you’re no longer able to see what you’re live streaming, nor are you able to ready any of the comments that come up during a Periscope broadcast.

Sideview of Exstream Sportsmount mounted to the Chestmount.

Sideview of Exstream Sportsmount mounted to the Chestmount. Can be mounted so rear-facing camera faces outwards instead.

I can see this combination coming pretty handy since in all honesty, reading Periscope comments is probably the last thing you want to be doing as you skydive or parachute off an airplane!

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