Happy New Year! We are kicking it off with a bang and are ready for the new wave of outdoor IRL streamers to start streaming soon! To make things easier for you or even for variety streamers looking to add a unique IRL experience to your community, this guide is designed for anyone needing a helping hand!
Now, remember, used products (except accessories like cables) are fine most of the time if they come from a reputable seller. Specifically, eBay is most ideal in my experience or another trusting live streamer who has done IRL. The links below would be for Amazon as we’re a part of the affiliate program. I get a small commission at no additional cost to you. You can still simply search the name of the products on eBay.
Which to decide on the LiveU unit or a Belabox?
First, ask yourself these questions…
- What is my budget?
- Is visual quality the absolute most important?
- Does internet stability take priority over visual appeal?
Check the end of this article on how these questions apply.
Now, LiveU isn’t the only encoder in the IRL streaming space. Belabox has two encoders you can build or hire someone to build or have someone talk you through building it yourself too.
You can contact these folks (including myself) to help assist with building for a fair rate:
Let’s start with the LiveU Solo and LiveU Solo Pro.
Both units are fairly similar, but the Pro does have stronger components and is more rigid than the non-Pro unit. The Pro also gives you more functionality to have more internet stability in more difficult environments.
The ideal person to use this unit, honestly, is a non-techy user and those with a bigger budget.
LiveU Solo: $795 (with 2 modems included bundle)
LiveU Solo: $795
LiveU Solo Pro: $1345
Expected Monthly Costs for Data/LRT Bonding: At least $210 to at most around $400. You will need at least 2-3 sims in most places in US. I recommend visible for $25/mo for Verizon US data, and AT&T via CircledIn Unlimited Elite plan for $45/mo.
If I had an unlimited budget, I would get the LiveU Pro, but if not, get a used LiveU Solo. Some streamers who did use LiveU Solo either moved onto Belabox or LiveU Pro and may be available for the original LiveU Solo to purchase used. The average price used looks to be $300-$700.
The ideal person to use a Belabox is a more tech-savvy user. Even if you were to hire someone to build this for you, dealing with the tech problems is more ideal for a tech-savvy mind to work through the issues it could have. But this is for sure far less costly than a LiveU setup.
Jetson Nano 2GB: $159
Jetson Nano 4GB: $219
Orange Pi 5+: $106 – RECOMMENDED –
Orange Pi 5+ is the evolved version of the Belabox as the Belabox originally started with a Jetson Nano setup. You can still use a Nano, but with Orange Pi 5+ now proven to be better in performance and requiring no additional accessory like the CamLink 4k ($100) in which the Nano does require. It is best to build a Belabox on the Orange Pi 5+.
Expected Monthly Costs for Data/SRT Rely Bonding: At least $110 to at most around $300. You will need at least 2 sims in most places in US. It can work on just 1 with SRT but for OK stability you definitely will need 2 sims. I recommend visible for $25/mo for Verizon US data, and AT&T via CircledIn Unlimited Elite plan for $45/mo.
Sony Action Cam AS300 or X3000: Only found used. I recommend Ebay.
DJI Action 4: $399
DJI Pocket 3: $293
All prices mentioned are as of this writing and subject to change at any moment. Prices are also based in USD and purchased from and within the US. Prices will vary from country to country.
Now, let’s revisit the questions asked earlier in the article. How do we apply the information learned about both the LiveU and Belabox? It’s simple. Now that you know Belabox is the cheaper option, you assess your budget to see if it aligns with choosing Belabox. However, if you prioritize a superior visual experience (perhaps a 10% difference in clarity and sharpness, in my opinion, an improvement while using a LiveU), then go with the LiveU. If you have a lower budget and want to focus primarily on internet stability, opt for the Belabox. If you don’t want to or know how to deal with tech issues, go for the LiveU. Your decision depends on your goals, personality, and tech skills.
I chose the Belabox because I am comfortable troubleshooting, and I have a limited budget. I still own a LiveU Solo; it serves as my backup. However, I prefer Belabox for SRT and its lower cost in bonding (LRT = $45/mo, BelaCloud = $10/mo).
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