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Review: YoloLiv YoloBox Mini

The YoloBox Mini is a compact, single-source streaming encoder and recorder with the ability to do some audio mixing, overlay a sports scoreboard, social media content, logos, and lower-thirds. It's not a multi-camera live-switching tool like the original YoloBox or the YoloBox Pro. I consider it more of a YoloStream than a YoloBox, but this 5" screen device is so compact and light, it certainly is "Mini."

Using the Scoreboard

Looking at the Scoreboard feature (Figure 6, below), if you tap into Style, you can pick logos, background, color, text color. Let's say one team is red, and another team is green. You can pick font colors, and even bring in small logos for each team. In Figure 6 you see what I call my “designing box.” There's a dotted line around the scoreboard here. That means you can reposition it. I can change the size, put it in the corner or put it in the middle. It's not part of the program yet. When you decide it's ready to go, click the checkbox, and it becomes part of the video.

Figure 6. The Scoreboard feature

When somebody scores, you can go into the scoreboard and tap the plus (+) button to increase the score counter. You can put a timer in as well.

Recording and Streaming

The YoloBox Mini is a purpose-built, up to 60 frames per second single-input device that allows you to record internally to SD media, control audio, and stream out–whether from the built-in 4g, LTE, WiFi, or ethernet. 

However, as designed, it does not do bonding. There are workarounds for that. Since the YoloBox is essentially an Android tablet, people have loaded an app called Speedify onto the YoloBox. Speedify aims to provide software-based bonding. With it, you could probably handle a WiFi connection to a phone, and a built-in 4g LTE connection on the sidelines of a game. Or if you're at home, you’d have your ethernet and then your cell phone as a backup.

One of the key things to remember with the YoloBox Mini is that it’s not really a box–I think the "Box" title is more fitting for those devices where you can plug multiple inputs into the box and switch between them. This YoloBox Mini is a single-stream, single-input device. I did a review of the Teradek Wave, which is also a single-input streaming device that does bonding. But the Wave doesn't have an audio mixer in it. The Wave doesn't have a graphics overlay. It doesn't have a sports scoreboard. They are very different tools.

To test the Mini, I created a streaming project called “The Big Playoffs.” I still have only the one camera, but now I have another icon down at the bottom, which is sharing. Tap that and you can see it's connected to my account. So I could share to Facebook or YouTube or Twitch or a custom RTMP. I didn't have to spend any time programming it in on this box because it's already saved on another YoloBox into my account.

Now, because I've connected it to a streaming destination, on the right hand side of the screen the Go Live button (Figure 7, below), which I can tap to start streaming. After you tap Go Live, the indicator spins for a bit and then you’re live.

Figure 7. Use the Go Live button to start streaming.

One of the things that you also get now, when you are streaming, is a Chat icon. The chat content comes back to the YoloBox. So if you’re streaming to your Facebook page and you have fans watching and they're saying, “Wow, great job,” you can throw that up into the video stream and involve the audience in the production (Figure 8, below). That is a very cool thing.

Figure 8. Adding viewer comments to the stream

On the bottom left of the screen, it shows the destinations I am connected to. Across the top it shows other streaming statistics, like dropped frames, upload bandwidth, and more. If I had multiple destinations, they'd all be listed out across the bottom left of the screen. In the upper-right-hand corner of the screen, you can see the counter and the Stop button to stop the stream. Stopping the stream and the recording are both multi-touch actions. You can't easily accidentally stop the stream, with a touch of the screen because it's always going to ask you to confirm that you want to stop streaming and/or stop recording.

Conclusions

With the YoloBox Mini, you have the ability to take in a video source from USB or from HDMI. You can create titles, create scoreboards, create lower-thirds, corner bugs, and more. The thing you can't do on the Mini that you can do on the YoloBox Pro is play back video clips. Because this has the same processor as the Pro, it would be nice if it had the ability to load other media inside the device and be able to play the video clips back–like a pre-show video clip, commercials, sponsor ads, things like that. Right now there's not a way to do playback of video and use that as something else to cut to.

The YoloBox Mini is a compact, single-source streaming encoder and recorder with the ability to do some audio mixing, overlay a sports scoreboard, social media content, logos, and lower-thirds. It’s not a multi-camera live-switching tool like the original YoloBox or the YoloBox Pro. I consider it more of a YoloStream than a YoloBox, but this 5" screen device is so compact and light, it certainly is “Mini.”

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