Thoughts and Impressions on the YoloBox Pro
Having just received the Yolobox Pro from our friends over at Yololiv, here’s a running summary of my thoughts on the device.
- Smells like a new pair of shoes!
- There is no AC adapter…Only the USB C and A cables. The PD intake is finicky and does not accept all USBC chargers. Seems to want a 5v 2.4A output – a charger should be included.
- Would like black power cables – white stands out too much when the YBP is in the camera shot
- Case construction is plasticy, but feels solid. Heavier than I had anticipated!
- I like that it can sit flat on a surface and the fan grill is not blocked
- Compact form factor and swiss army knife of connectivity is an obvious win – this device is unique in its category
- Bringing in and displaying user comments is easy
- The ease of emailing a link and bringing in remote guests looks promising
- #1 request: open up OSC control, build module integration with Companion. To avoid having to re-set up control between shows, the Companion module would need to remember to connect to the same inputs (HDMI inputs, webcam, PIP layouts, graphics, video playback, graphics etc). Use case: I currently run my PTZ camera moves, lighting cues, audio fades and video playback via Companion cues. Being able to build Yolobox into companion would mean being able to switch camera angles, mute/unmute audio, show/hide comments and graphics, start/stop a stream or recording.
- “Snapshots” feature: Once you have compiled a look (ie selected a PIP of two or more inputs, graphic background, lower third, countdown), have a “snapshot” button that will save the current layout (with the correct graphic layering) so that the scene can be switched back to with a single click during a show.
- Building on the “snapshots” feature, have a Switching page with assignable Inputs 01-99…. Camera angles, supersource layouts, video playback, still images etc. So that you can recall shows and map it to a console, and ensure that a remote control like Companion remains linked to the correct inputs.
- Add video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet, and Skype. Use case: even in non-livestreaming productions, we often have to bring in remote clients to view a field shoot. Using a laptop is cumbersome on location. Being able to boot up the device to run Zoom natively would extend the usecases for the Yolobox.
- Screen Capture & Auto Thumbnail update – I want to pull screen grabs from program feed and save to SD card as a PNG/ JPEG. I use this all the time on the ATEMs when scheduling a future YouTube livestream – I’ll grab a still, and upload the image to be the program thumbnail. It would be amazing if Yolobox could automate this – with the option to update the scheduled livestream Thumbnail on YouTube, and to save the image to SD card. Additional option to automatically email the image to the user’s email address and a guest email address would help to work with the file immediately without having to eject the SD card.
- Graphics: user-selectable option to place graphics in the background. Currently they are only foreground, but would help to have a full screen graphics in background by default to layer video inputs over the top.
- FTP access of the SD card… i.e. use a laptop to load videos or graphics onto or off the SD card via the network, or copy off a program recording without having to eject the SD card.
- Remote director login – use case: send a camera operator to an event (with 2-3 cameras and the YBP), and then I can switch & direct remotely from home by logging in through the yolocast platform to the specific Yolobox device. Even locally in the studio, I would use a similar feature like that to be able to control and monitor the Yolobox via my Mac on the local network: ie, through a web browser, manage connectivity settings, comments, graphics, monitor stream health, manage media on the SD card, switching ability, and depending on bandwidth, a low-data-rate multiview of Program & inputs. This would help for solo-presenter modes to be able to control the YBP from a web browser on a tablet, and monitor and action comments remotely.
- Would like to long-press-and-drag to arrange menu Icons in order of priority, in case I want easier access to the audio or switching controls during a show.
- When in the “Full Screen” view of the monitor, would like to be able to view and select comments for on-air display as a screen overlay.
- Need to be able to access network settings while remaining in an active live stream to be able to troubleshoot any internet/network issues that may arise.
- *Need to test again with 2023 firmware updates: Forgets AFV Audio settings. Livestreams sessions do not remember audio parameters. For instance, I want it to remember HDMI 3 audio in, have AFV off by default, and to have my webcam audio Off.
- Want Bluetooth access for keyboard – I like the way Apple computers automatically remember the bluetooth pairing connection after plugging in and then disconnecting a USB cable
- Live stream event description is not automatically copied to the resulting Facebook post (just shows up on Facebook as DESCRIPTION)
- Headphones have weird noise when scheduling a livestream on the white startup page
- Can’t stream Privately to FB if you want to test the settings. Have to post publicly, which notifies everyone, then go to Facebook in a web browser and change to private.
- On Facebook, kept getting “Update abnormal privacy status, please click the distribution switch button to redistribute; Or the user id has expired, please re-bind your Facebook account”. However, after rebinding, error message still appears.
- Fan is loud for a presenting environment. Because it is touch screen controlled, it needs to be placed within arm’s reach, which places the fan in front of the microphone. Remote control (Companion, Stream Deck, OSC etc) would enable placing the screen at a distance.
“Invite Guests” Feature
YoloBox’s ability to invite guests on to a livestream shows a lot of promise. These are a few findings after using it live:
- Need a field in the web browser for guests to enter their name when they join. Currently they just show up as “GUEST42” etc. If the host doesn’t know their name (ie, a drop-in show) then there’s no way to differentiate between the “Guests”.
- If a guest drops off, the whole screen (even if the guest was part of a 2-UP/3-UP composite) goes black. Need to retain local HDMI source active in a 2UP, or have a default HDMI source to automatically switch back to.
- Need a more intuitive 2UP/3UP/4UP/5UP/6UP layout if a solo presenter/streamer is going to use the feature. Takes too long while on air to build composite shots.
- 8/12/2022: Experienced the whole YoloBox Pro crashing mid-livestream while trying to bring a composite of a Guest on screen. Need an intuitive recovery mode, since when re-entering the session, the “stop livestream” button was active, even though it was no longer streaming. Without wanting to close out the session and lose the audience currently watching on YouTube and Facebook, I was able to “pause” the livestream (rather than “Stop”), and then restart it again. Took two goes at this before it started streaming to Facebook again.
- Guest invite list – would like to remember contacts in Most Recent address book – perhaps even sync to Google Contacts.
- 08/23 – Yolobox Pro won’t allow a livestream to be scheduled more than 7 days in advance. Need to be able to schedule further than 7 days…what about recurring shows?
- 08/23 – Bug: again discovered Guests appearing on the show with their audio active, even with the “mute guest audio on entry” button enabled, and even with their audio channel settings muted.
Resolved Questions or Bugs
- Resolved – Does the audio bell notification of power connected/disconnected play through to program? Or just headphone monitoring? It does not – I tested this on my first livestream and the audio “ping” when power is reconnected only comes through headphone monitoring, not on to program.
- Resolved – Forgets HDMI Program Out setting.
- Resolved – Forgets USBC Out
- Resolved – Forgets encoding settings and resets it to default 3000kbps. YouTube’s recommended rate is 4500, so I’d like YBP to remember that when it has been set.
- Added – Would like to be able to filter comments by platform source (currently available), but also all platform comments aggregated by time – so that you don’t miss a comment on a different platform.
Do you have any input on your own experience with the YoloBox Pro? Comment below!