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Yolobox Mini – On-Camera Monitor, Video Streaming Encoder and Recorder


hey everybody it’s lon seidman we’re taking a look today at the yolo box mini this is a video encoder that will allow you to stream your productions out to popular streaming services either through hdmi or a usb webcam it also doubles as a monitor so you can monitor the output as things are going and it records as well and we’re going to take a closer look at this little device and what it’s all about in just a second but i do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure this came in free of charge from yolobox however all the opinions you’re about to hear are my own no one is paying for this review nor has anyone reviewed or approved what you’re about to see before it was uploaded so let’s get into it now and see what the streaming box is all about now the price point on this is 699 the price might seem like a lot but believe it or not in the video production world this is a budget kind of price so if you are looking at other on-camera encoders like this one you’ll see a lot more expensive devices out there that have similar features to this now this is kind of the starting point in the yolo box product line there are two other yolo box products out there one is called the yolo box the other one is called the yolo box pro those work like production switchers and they will take in more than one video source and allow you to switch between them or do a picture in picture and do some green screen stuff this one is pretty much just an encoding and streaming device but it

does have some video overlays that it can do or at least graphical overlays and i will demo that as we get a little bit further into the review it is running android but the android operating system here is tailored just for the purposes of video streaming and encoding so it will not have any apps that you can install on top of it as far as ports are concerned there are not too many on this one you do have a usbc power input over here this will work with any usbc power adapter i have it plugged into an apple one at the moment but any usb powered device should work with it there’s a battery built into this so you can run wirelessly completely if you want that will run for probably about two hours or so depending on conditions and how bright the screen is so you probably want to keep some power nearby but if you’re in a pinch you can probably stream for an hour or two without having to plug it in there’s a headphone jack over here you’ve got two audio inputs there is a line in and a mic in you have an ethernet port here for connecting it directly to a wired network i always recommend doing that for streaming if possible that will be the most reliable connection you have an hdmi input here for your video devices this will take any 1080p device and allow you to stream it back out again you also have the option for plugging a webcam into this over usb but it has to be one or the other you can’t switch between the two so if you have a webcam with a microphone you can plug it in here and get all your audio through that or you can plug in your hdmi device it could be another video production switcher like a blackmagic atem or just a camera and audio will pass through the hdmi out to your stream as well and then over here is an hdmi output as you’ll see in a minute there’s the option

to mirror the display here or just run a clean program out the display is a pretty bright 500 nit display it’s five and a half inches it is a touch screen of course for interacting with everything i’m not sure what the resolution of the display is i would imagine it’s probably a 720p display but all of the 1080p content that i’ve been running through it works just fine and then on the bottom here you’ve got a tripod mount so you could use a little shoe adapter and stick it to the top of your camera it has a 4g modem built in so you can use it on a 4g cellular network with a sim card that will go in this slot here and then it’ll take a full size sd card over here for recording and for loading on graphics and other things there is a power button here it is kind of on a hairpin at least on this review loaner that i’ve got with me here so just be careful not to push that button by accident because i did that a few times as i was handling the device and that will put it to sleep and you’ll have to hit it again to come back up and i think that would probably interrupt your stream so just be careful with that button there on the bottom now this will connect in addition to the ethernet and 4g over wi-fi it supports ac wi-fi on either 2.4 or 5 gigahertz but it doesn’t support wi-fi 6 which i think would be a good technology to have on a streaming box but if your wi-fi is clear of a lot of traffic i think this will do just fine now the interface on the device needs a little bit of work as you can see here on the home screen i’ve got a bunch of live streams that i was doing as i was testing the device earlier and now that those streams are ended i can’t do

anything with these things but they’re still here i could hold my finger down here and delete them but i would like the option to be able to copy the settings forward because every time you set up a new stream you have to set up everything from scratch which is a real pain especially if you are streaming frequently to the same place now to create a stream you hit the plus icon here and you can create a new stream from that button there on the left the other thing you can do is put it into monitor mode and this is kind of a quick way to get the input coming in to display on the screen and you also have the option to record here but in monitor mode you cannot stream out so if you are looking to do a stream you’re going to need to create one in order to do that i’ve got one set up here which we’ll jump to in a second so when you create the stream here you just give it a name and a date and then you can link it up with youtube and the other services that you’re using i’m going to jump into this one that i have been using and as you can see the interface looks very similar to what we just saw in monitor mode but i have the option here to go live if i have an sd card inserted i can also record simultaneously and what it will do is record the stream that it’s sending out basically the same data will get written to the card as what will get pushed out over one of your connections there now it supports up to one terabyte of storage on that sd card it will work with xfat ntfs or fat32

oddly though if you go beyond three and a half gigabytes in file size it creates another file it will also by default create a new file every 10 minutes i’m guessing because they’re concerned that something might get out of whack during the stream so you do want to make sure that you hit continuously here or else it’s going to keep making new files every 10 minutes those will blend seamlessly in an editor but i think continuously is probably for me the better way to go now as far as streaming is concerned it’ll do up to 1080p at 60 frames per second if you decide to stream directly to the service provider it will only allow you to send to one of those at a time but yolo has their own streaming service which will allow you to send one stream to them and their cloud server will send it out to up to three services simultaneously but this device itself can only do one at a time now i set mine up here to go to my extras channel over rtmp so if you have one of those multi-streaming service providers you can rtmp into them and they could also get your stream out to a larger audience this will not bond the connection so we recently looked at a teradek device that costs a lot more than this but works with their streaming services where you can actually send data out over all of its connections simultaneously and if you lose a connection it just keeps going because it load balances the outgoing data this one is going to send everything over a single connection so for example if you have ethernet plugged in but also have wi-fi configured the ethernet

is going to be sending a hundred percent of that stream but if that ethernet connection goes down it will then move over to wi-fi so here’s an example of me streaming live to youtube i pulled the ethernet cable out and what you’ll see is a brief delay on the youtube side because it has to get going on the wi-fi so it will interrupt your stream briefly but it won’t drop the stream so there is some redundancy built into this in the sense that the wi-fi was able to pick it up pretty quickly but it’s not going to be as seamless as a bonded connection would now as far as streaming options are concerned you do have some encoding settings here that you can find through that gear menu by default they recommend you use the cbr mode but they also have a consistent quality mode and a variable bit rate mode the maximum you can transmit in the cbr mode is 8 megabits per second at 60 frames per second i did a stream at that level a little bit earlier with a switch game that i was running and it looks okay but there’s a lot of artifacting going on and it wasn’t just youtube introducing those artifacts i saw it on the recording as well so what i did is i switched into the cq mode which looks a lot better especially on the recorded card but i found that the bit rate went up to like 20 megabits per second so you do have i think to contend with a little bit of artifacting to fit within the bandwidth that you are given that said i think if you are running live video with people versus a video game you won’t see those artifacts as much but the encoder here doesn’t feel as high quality as something that you might pay more money for but that said i found it to be very stable as a streaming device i never saw any dropped frames it was

able to maintain the connection over a stretch of time recording at the same time also worked fine the recordings look great when i took them off the card so overall i think it’s very stable i just don’t know if it’s got the highest end encoder built in it does have a cooling fan here at the bottom and i would suggest getting this on top of a camera or at least raised off a table or desk and that’s because the little rubber feet here at the bottom aren’t all that high and i’m a little concerned there’s not enough free airflow here so i would you know just keep it elevated a bit just to get that airflow going or better mount it to your camera now this does have an hdmi output here so you can mirror the screen here to another larger display and i’ve got that set up right here so we can take a look at it real quick so you can see right now we don’t have a clean output we’ve got basically the same image on the other screen as we do on the little one here but if you go back into your settings and activate program out that will give you a clean feed so that you can get another recording done off another device or just have a monitor nearby without all the other stuff on screen and of course you have your controls on the smaller screen here but this won’t be a lag free experience so you will experience a little input lag both on the internal display here but also on an external one so plan accordingly for that now one thing that this has that many encoders don’t have is the ability to overlay graphics into your stream so what i can do here is pull up the little layer function and i have the ability to add some image overlays and some lower thirds so for example i can go into the lower third here and configure a title i can type in what i want it to say and then have that overlay during my live stream so if i hit done here i’ve now got this as an option and what i’ll do is pull up our

2-up view again here so you can see what it looks like so we’ll tap on that and it will fade it up here as you can see and then i can fade it back down again looks pretty good it seems to work okay the built-in ones work better than one that i brought over from my mac so what you’re able to do is set up a a transparent png file which i did in apple’s keynote software but it comes in really jagged as you can see here and this is a 1080p resolution lower third i use this all the time in final cut pro and everything else but it doesn’t come in very cleanly here so i’m going to have to look to see if there’s some better way to bring in a png file to have it look a little nicer but the built-in ones here i think are a little bit sharper as you can see and this is kind of a nice little feature because if you are using something like the a10 mini it’s often really difficult and cumbersome for a volunteer to roll in a lower third for example on that system this might be a little bit easier because it is just a touch on the screen once it’s set up now in addition to those title overlays they have a scoreboard that you can pull up by hitting the little score icon down here and what you can do is enable a scoreboard and i can move it around here get it in the right spot and then lock it in and now you’ll see that we have a score board up and there’s some other things you can configure with this so for example as i push this here you can see the score for team one is going up they do have a couple of different templates i can make it a little bit larger here i think as well there we go so

you can adjust that there’s also a timer feature so i could set maybe like a five minute timer this will be a little difficult i think to get working out in the field but if you hit the play button here and sync it up with whatever is happening in your game it will keep a counter running there all the time which i thought was pretty neat you can also set which period that you are in so some pretty rudimentary graphics here but they get the job done there’s also a way to tie this in to commenting on popular platforms so for example on youtube it can pull in comments as they roll in and you can put them up on screen including acknowledging super chats so it’s got some neat features built in that you may not typically find on a typical encoder but it’s not all the way to becoming a replacement for obs or vmix or an a10 mini which has broader production capabilities which includes being able to switch video now down in the video description i will put a link so you can see what some of the output looks like from the yolo box and overall i found it to be a pretty versatile production tool it does quite a bit for its price and although it is kind of expensive it does cost a lot less than other production devices you might find that can do monitoring streaming and recording all at the same time that said i am concerned a bit about the encoding quality especially for gamers you will see some artifacts with high motion scenes but for general video i think you’ll be fine especially if you are in a budget constrained environment if price is no object i think there are higher quality devices out there that i would pursue but if you are constrained this will deliver a lot of functionality and it looks like a lot of stability for a pretty reasonable price as far as production boxes go that’s going to do it for now until next time this is lon simon thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by the london tv supporters including gold level supporters jim tannis and tom albrecht hot sauce and video games and eric’s variety channel brian parker and frank goldman ameda brown and matt zagaia and chris allegretta you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month head over to lawn dot tv support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe

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