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Review: YoloLiv Yolobox and Yolobox Pro

Anthony Burokas provides a walkthrough of Android tablet-based multicam livestreaming Yololiv's YoloBox and Yolobox Pro, discussing key features, usability, and current shortcomings.

In this review I’ll look at the YoloLiv Yolobox, a multi-camera, live-switching, recording and streaming Android tablet. I am not going to do an unboxing because so many people have done that already. I'm just going to get right into using it.

Using Yolobox

YoloLive sent me two versions, the Yolobox and the Yolobox Pro. I used both to produce and switch the video that accompanies this article. Both devices have cameras and multiple inputs- seven external inputs across both devices, plus internal video playback and multiviews. In the video, I’m feeding the basic Yolobox into the bigger Pro model. I have multiple cameras, with my main camera on HDMI being fed into the Yolobox Pro. Also feeding into the Pro is the output of the basic Yolobox, which has a webcam being fed into it. I have an over-the-shoulder camera capturing the two devices in action (Figure 1, below), and a video clip right here that I can bring up and play. Finally, I have a PowerPoint slide coming in from my laptop via HDMI.

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Figure 1. The Yolobox (left) and Yolobox Pro

I have both Yoloboxes plugged into external power. They have internal batteries, but the batteries don't run these little tablets all day.

Digging In

Figure 2 (below) shows the Yoloboxes’ Overlay functionality. I can bring in a layer; I can take out a layer. I can bring in a bug (as seen in Figure 2); I can take out a bug. I think there's a bug with the bug, because the bug itself is in the upper-right corner, but in the little preview for that bug, it is not up in the corner. It's kind of in the middle of the preview frame. Also, I can't make the bug any smaller than the one you see in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Yolobox Overlays. Note the oversized Stream4.Us bug in the upper-right corner.

If I press and hold on the preview image, I get a pencil icon so I can “write.” which means I can edit the overlay. When I go to the write window, I can use the size slider to make the bug bigger--bigger than the whole video frame if I want to (Figure 3, below), which is cool. But I can't make it really, really small. Then, when I drag it into the far corner, the preview thumbnail doesn't show me that it's actually all the way in the corner. I'm going to call that a bug.

Figure 3. Sizing the bug

I can set my lower-thirds and other titles fade in and fade out. I’ve found that I also have to let a title fade in all the way before I can tap it to fade out. Otherwise, I get a weird flickering effect, because it pops to 100% and then fades out. The previews on the side also flicker, which takes a bit of getting used to, but it doesn't affect the actual program output.

I can add more overlay images as desired. I can pick from any of my logos, and position them in the frame. To change the size, initially, I wanted to use my fingers to pinch it, but "pinch" doesn't work, so you have to use the Scale slider. Figure 4 (below) shows three overlays going at the same time.

Figure 4. 3 live overlays

Yolobox features several lower-third graphic options. I’ll choose one with two colored bars and left-justified text. When I create it, I can only drag it up and down. Again, I can't pinch to scale it; I can only move it vertically. I can't move it in the middle, and I can't flip sides. It's attached to the left.

I can choose the font from a bunch of available fonts. The Title Size slider automatically changes the title size. Further down, I can change the text color and the background color. I can also adjust the offset of the Title to the Subtitle. This lets me actually scoot the name in a little bit more. Plus I can adjust the scale for the whole thing, which is pretty slick (Figure 5, below). I can move it around, and make it much bigger or scale it down. The controls are fairly comprehensive. They just need to let me freely position it anywhere on the screen and detach it from the left.

Figure 5. Customizing lower-third title settings

Destinations

In the next panel over, Platforms, you can choose streaming destinations (Figure 6, below). YoloLiv has some pre-built connections in here as well as a custom RTMP, which is really where a lot of people are going to be spending their time, unless they just want to go to a specific YouTube or Facebook channel. In the video review, I use Yolobox Pro to stream to Facebook, just to give the Yolobox a real-world test.

Figure 6. Streaming platform destinations

In addition to streaming that video to Facebook, I recorded it so I could edit into the final video to accompany the article. I also redid a part. For that second part, I used the Yolobox's internal recording to SD card feature.

I can also send a video to my Timeline, which is just me, or a page that I manage. The Yolobox lists the different pages that I manage. Or, as you can see in Figure 7 (below), I can send it to my ScratchPad a group that I have where I can send test videos like this.

Figure 7. More customized streaming options