LiveU Solo – What’s in the box and a first look

So Monday was an exciting day, we received our first LiveU unit. The LiveU Solo, it is the smallest in the range of LiveU units and is specifically targeted at those who want to stream to the usual array of social video platforms and more.

Since we have not seen much info on it online we thought we would do a quick run through of the basics and whats in the box.

What’s in the LiveU Solo Box:

  • 1 x LiveU Solo unit
  • 1 x LiveU Solo travel case
  • 1 x LH USB Extender
  • 1 x RH USB Extender
  • 1 x HDMI to minHDMI cable
  • 1 x 12v 3A PSU
  • 1 x UK figure 8 power cable
  • 1 x EU figure 8 power cable
  • 5 x GoSolo Stickers

In addition we ordered;

  • 2 x HUAWEI E8372 USB 4G/LTE Dongels

Construction

The unit itself is a LU200 unit with a re branded front plate and a sticker placed over the sim card slots. It is a fairly solid unit and well put together. It includes and on board battery advertised at up to 2 hours streaming time. It has a small on board display, control and power buttons.

Connectors include;

  • HDMI in
  • SDI in
  • 10/100Mb Ethernet
  • DC in (12v 3A) + Charging light
  • 2 x USB 3 Ports for modem connection
  • headset scoket (appears to be unused)
  • microSD slot (appears to be unused)
  • mini USB (appears to be unused)

The setup

This took less than 5 min and most of that time was waiting for the confirmation email after creating the account!

  1. Plug in the LiveU Solo unit to power and internet
  2. Create an account on https://solo.liveu.tv
  3. Confirm email address
  4. Punch in the serial number to the dashboard and you are done ready to stream.

Starting a stream

Starting a stream is easy. Facebook, Periscope/Twitter, Switchboard Live, Wowza and YouTube some have a One-Touch Streaming setup and the others will require you to fill in the usual details depending on the service. Once you have done that you click start stream and you are up and running. Assuming the unit is connected and had a video signal.

Connectivity

The LiveU Solo has a range of connectivity options Ethernet, WiFI and 2 x 4G/LTE dongles. Each interface can be used independently but where it gets cleaver and probably the main reason we think to purchase this unit is its ability to automatically bond two or more interfaces to produce a much more reliable and smooth stream.

For those of you unfamiliar with LiveU it is worth mentioning at this point that the LiveU Solo uses the same patented LiveU Resilient Transport (LRT) protocol that the rest of the models. The implementation here is slightly less controllable in as much as you are bound to using all your available interfaces all of the time equally vs the ability to throttle and limit each interface which can be done in LiveU Central.

The cost

This changes day to day so be in touch with Garland the UK distributor for LiveU for an accurate quote, on that note many thanks for organising this unit in a rush and getting it over to us next day! Don’t forget if you are looking at investing into one of these you will also need some data sims, we are currently reviewing the options but so fare we are testing with EE and Vodafone. If you are planing on streaming your entire 300GB monthly allowance over 4G that could end up costing you (we estimate based on some of the deal around) around £200 – £300 pcm.

The unit we purchased came with a 1 Year subscription to https://solo.liveu.tv with 300GB of outbound data each month. One thing we think is missing form the dashboard is any sort of counter indicating how much data you have used and have remaining. We also still have a question of what happens when you reach the 300GB limit, if anyone at LiveU can answer this we would be grateful? But at least for the time being the limit is adequate even is you stream frequently, based on figures we have seen for a 6Mbps stream we are looking at around 2.7GB per hour so around 110 hours per month. I will at some point actually verify this estimate!



In conclusion

One of the most and attractive features of this platform other than the bullet proof reliable connectivity is the ability to send an RTMP Generic stream. This adds a lot of flexibility when it comes to routing your streams to the desired locations and gives you a lot of options of where to send it for processing. There are however a few features we feel are missing from the platform and hopefully we will see these released as more users request them.

The LiveU Solo lived up to expectations and so far has delivered exactly as advertised. We still have plenty of testing left to contemplate on this unit and we will most probably do a follow up post in the not to distant future with some results and observations.

 

EchoEight cater to a wide range of industries and offer flexible, bespoke packages, utilising various platforms. Based in SE1, London we travel all over the country (and world), Whatever your requirements or budget, we get your content broadcast live on the web today! 

 

If you are interested in hiring a LiveU Solo be in touch with Trickbox TV : POA

James O'Farrell

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