So if you’re not familiar with Skreens, it’s basically a set-top box that allows you to control multiple HDMI inputs via one TV while still controlling each individual source and adjusting them as you desire. Instead of having to change inputs on your TV, Skreens allows you to have all those inputs on the same screen at the same time, with the ability to change layout, transparency, sizing, etc. of each input on the fly.
Please note: the product design in the trailer video was different from the version I saw at PAX, which had 4 HDMI inputs for source and 1 HDMI output to your TV or capture device.
Anyways, let’s talk about exactly what’s happening here. The Skreens device allows you to put your PC, PS4, Xbox, Cable Box, Roku, Chromecast, or whatever HDMI device you want onto one screen at the SAME TIME. It’s like picture in picture, but it’s so much more than that. It’s essentially picture ON picture, because you can use the Skreens app to adjust sizing, spacing, and layout of the inputs as you desire. This changes the game (pun intended) for streamers because now you can get all your source inputs like your face cam and game console set up without the need for PC processing to set it all up.
From there you’d just put the Skreens hardware into your regular capture card and then you just need your pc program like OBS or XSplit for adding in overlays and things like that. What’s also great about the Skreens device is that it has built in processing so in some cases your use of the device (multiple tv inputs/game inputs) might not even need a PC at all. Like say for instance you invite a friend over to play Halo 5: Guardians. Halo 5 doesn’t have split-screen, so you’d need a second TV. Well with Skreens, you could just put both Xbox Ones on the same tv, adjust the layout with the app via your phone, and then boom you’re both playing “split-screen” on the same TV. That way you don’t have to have an awkward set-up with two TVs, or play from different rooms.
It also has USB input for cameras so if you didn’t want to have your streaming camera on your PC, you don’t need to. Simply connect it to your Skreens device and you’re good to go. With 4 HDMI ports, you could have 4 Xbox Ones or PS4s on the same TV for co-op gameplay or parties or whatever. In another side, Skreens also has a commercial unit which has incredible potential for business applications and restaurants as well.
The Skreens unit’s for gamers/non-commercial applications are currently available, however given the current demand may be a bit of a wait while they get through the Kickstarter backer’s orders and pre-orders. Expect retail orders to commence in late 2016.
Final thoughts: Super cool seeing this tech working in action kind of makes your brain hurt but in a good way. Seeing it in action starts to help visualize the types of things gamers and content consumers could do with a device like this. Have all your on-demand media connections attached to one tv (i.e. Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, etc) and never have to swap out inputs on your tv because they could all be on screen at once. Now think about how nice it would be to see your entire on-demand library at once and just adjust the layout on the fly once you make a decision on what show you want to watch.
For gamers, you could have PS4 and Xbox One on the same screen, and just pop the layout placement when you switch games and not have to move around HDMI cables on your capture device when changing consoles during stream. Possibilities on possibilities with the Skreens device.
-Written by Andrew(@SoAfterISaid)