FAQ

General Questions

What does Yodeck allow me to show on my monitors?

Yodeck can display a composition of videos, images, documents, online web pages and widgets.

You can upload whatever media files you want to Yodeck and use them. We also support YouTube videos, Live Streaming Videos (YouTube, Ustream, and custom streams) and PowerPoint files (converted to videos, keeping all animations). All Document types are supported and shown as slides, including PDF, PowerPoint, Word and Excel files. Our Widget collection, including Scrolling Text (ticker), Rich Text, RSS Feed, is now available to use and we are working on adding more.

Why not using the USB media player feature of my TV or my Smart TV?

Because it sucks. Really.

Most TVs with a USB port allow you to load some media files on a USB drive and select to play them back sequentially.  That’s it.

If the TV turns off, you will have to restart the playback. Some TVs show annoying progress indicators on screen. Others, stop when the full list of media is completed. Generally, it is a nice free way to do stuff, but it really sucks.

Yodeck automates the process of playback. It can turn the TV on and off, change the channel to the proper HDMI input and make sure everything goes smooth without glitches even after a power failure. And, of course, you can continuously update the content over the Internet without using USB sticks or DVD discs, and do so to 1 or 10,000 screens. Also, Yodeck provides a scheduling feature. You can setup your monitors to show different things on different hours, or even power off your monitor to save power.

And all of that without discussing about Yodeck being able to composite screens with multiple content, using YouTube videos, PPTs, live streaming videos, etc.

What are the requirements for using the Yodeck?

You need Internet access and a Yodeck-supported playback device.

Yodeck is an online service, so you need an Internet connection for signing in and managing your monitors. A Yodeck-supported playback device is required for each monitor (either a Raspberry Pi you build yourself, or our very own Yodeck Playbox). Internet connectivity is also required for the Yodeck Player devices installed, either wireless (WiFi), wired (LAN) or mobile (using a 3G/4G/LTE USB dongle).

Do I need any special skills to use Yodeck or install the Yodeck Playbox?

Absolutely not! Yodeck was designed from scratch so that anyone can use it.

Forget the mambo-jumbo tech-stuff. The service is really easy to use and you can get our Yodeck Playboxes that are really plug-and-play. Really. And you can get them for free with our Annual Plan.

How many monitors does the Yodeck support per account?

You can have any number of monitors you need.

Yodeck uses scalable technologies that can support tens of thousands of monitors under a single Yodeck account. We provide mass management of multiple monitors, along with tag-based searches, making Yodeck an easy solution for handling thousands of units.

Hardware (Players and Monitors)

What hardware does Yodeck support for playback?

Yodeck supports the Raspberry Pi and our very own Yodeck Playbox (based on Raspberry Pi).

The Raspberry Pi is a very low cost but quite capable mini-computer which you can buy yourself from vendors worldwide, no matter where you are located. In the past, we did support using regular PCs, but we have dropped support as nobody was actually using it on a PC.

We have our very own Yodeck Playbox, based on Raspberry Pi 3. You can get all Players you need for free with our Annual Plan. Yodeck Playboxes you get are shipped ready-to-use, with everything pre-configured. See the Yodeck Playbox section below for details.

Which Raspberry Pi does Yodeck support?

Yodeck was built for Raspberry Pi 3, and also works fine on Pi 2. Even Pi 1 or Pi Zero (and Pi Zero W) will work for simple cases.

The experience has been optimized for the Raspberry Pi 3, and our own Yodeck Playboxes are based on Raspberry Pi 3 Model B.

Yodeck has been tested to work on:

  • Raspberry Pi 3 Model B (4 cores, 1GB RAM) – Will provide you with the best experience possible.
  • Raspberry Pi 2 Model B (4 cores, 1GB RAM) – Will provide you with a great experience.
  • Raspberry Pi Model B, Rev 2 (1 core, 512MB RAM) – Significantly slower, can handle most cases but changes take longer.
  • Raspberry Pi Zero (1 core, 512MB RAM) – Significantly slower, can handle most cases but changes take longer. Needs an Ethernet or WiFi adapter.
  • Raspberry Pi Zero W (1 core, 512MB RAM) – Significantly slower, can handle most cases but changes take longer. Has a WiFi adapter. Supported using a special image.
  • Raspberry Pi Model B (1 core, 256MB RAM) – Dramatically slower, can handle a single playlist only, may wear out SD card due to swapping under load.
  • NEC Vxx4 and Pxx5 series displays, with Raspberry Pi 3 Compute Module – NEC Edition

We also support all Raspberry Pi Compute Modules according to their respective generation as above. We do not support Raspberry Pi models with less than 1GB RAM for new production-grade installations.

What TVs or monitors does Yodeck Support?

Yodeck software supports any type of monitor, of any resolution.

The service was designed based on the primary resolution of 1920×1080 (dubbed “Full HD” or “1080p” in the TV industry). The content is automatically adapted for any resolution and any monitor, even non-widescreen monitors.

Yodeck supports multiple ratios and orientations making it possible to customize and optimize your content by ratio and orientation (portrait or landscape). For resolutions supported by our Yodeck Playbox, check out the hardware specs of Yodeck Playbox.

Yodeck Playbox

What is Yodeck Playbox?

The Yodeck Playbox is our own plug-and-play Player, based on the popular Raspberry Pi 3 computer.

Yodeck needs a device that will handle playback of your media onto your monitor or TV. To make things easier for you, we created our own consumer device.

With “Yodeck Playbox” you get:

  • A Raspberry Pi 3 (Model B) mini computer, including a plastic case and mains power supply.
  • A 3ft-long HDMI cable, for connecting the Yodeck Playbox to your TV/monitor.
  • An 8GB SD-card, preloaded with Yodeck software and preconfigured to be plug-and-play.

Sounds complicated? It is not. As soon as you plug your Playbox on your monitor and then on your broadband router, it will start playback from your account. Immediately.

How do I order the Yodeck Playbox?

Sign in to the Yodeck service and from the top-right menu select “Buy Yodeck Playbox”.

Any Yodeck Playbox you order will be preconfigured with your account details so that you can simply plug it in and start “yodecking”!

Remember: With our Annual Plan, you get all Yodeck Playboxes you need for free!

If you need any advanced configuration, you can provide it through the ordering process. For example, you can supply your WiFi network name and key and the Yodeck Playbox will come ready to connect to your WiFi network!

Do I need to get a Yodeck Playbox to use Yodeck?

No. But why not?

You have the option to buy a Raspberry Pi yourself, with a case, power adapter, HDMI cable and an SD card, then download our Raspberry Pi image, write it to the SD card and assemble everything together. But why?

Yodeck Playbox is probably cheaper than assembling a Raspberry Pi player yourself. And for our Annual Plan, we provide with all Playboxes you need for FREE!

On the other hand, you can just use a PC you already have with some other software. But PCs use a lot of power, something like 3x-15x the power Yodeck Playbox uses. So, you will end up paying more through your electricity bill than if you had bought Yodeck Playbox!

What if Yodeck Playbox fails?

There is a limited worldwide warranty of 1 year on Yodeck Playbox.

But first, you should follow the Yodeck Playbox troubleshooting guide. It might save you precious time and money.

If your Yodeck Playbox is eligible for replacement, you can ship the failed Yodeck Playbox back to us and we will send back the replacement unit within 1 day of receipt. Shipping costs for returning of Yodeck Playboxes are covered by you, whereas we will cover for the shipping costs of the replacement unit.

In order for you not to incur unnecessary shipping costs, make sure you go through the troubleshooting guide. You might get yourself a local part replacement which might be cheaper than shipping it back to us.

Yodeck Playbox Specs

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Specs

The latest version of the Raspberry Pi, featuring a quad-core 1.2GHz ARMv8 CPU.

  • Broadcom BCM2837 1.2GHz ARMv8 quad-core processor with VideoCore IV dual-core GPU
  • GPU provides Open GL ES 2.0, hardware-accelerated OpenVG, and 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode, supported resolution up to 1920×1200 or even 4K@24Hz (see here more specs)
  • 1GB LPDDR2 SDRAM
  • HD 1080p video and stereo audio output
  • MicroSD card socket
  • Ports:
    • 10/100 BaseT RJ45 Ethernet socket
    • HDMI 1.3 & 1.4 video/audio socket, with CEC support
    • 4 x USB 2.0 sockets
    • 3.5mm 4-pole audio/composite video out jack socket
    • Composite video (PAL/NTSC) output
    • 15-way MPI CSI-2 connector for Raspberry Pi HD video camera*
    • 15-way Display Serial Interface connector*
    • 40-pin header for GPIO and serial buses*
  • Required power supply: +5V @ 2.5A via microUSB socket
  • Dimensions: 86 x 56 x 20mm

* These ports not yet usable through Yodeck software, but some will soon be supported! Check out our roadmap!

SD Card

We provide an 8GB Class 10 SD card, ready to boot.

This provides around 4GiB of usable media storage space, suitable for normal use (up to 4 hours of video files). You can use up to 32GB, from which around 24GB of usable media storage space, suitable for heavy video use (up to 24 hours of video files).

The SD Card comes with software preinstalled and preconfigured with your Yodeck account.

Power Supply

We include a Raspberry Pi-compatible power supply, with a suitable plug for your region.

HDMI Cable

We include a standard HDMI cable (male-to-male), rated for 1920×1080 resolution. It also works for 4K@24Hz.

Features

How do I set what gets displayed?

Within Yodeck, there are 4 simple concepts: Media, Playlists, Widgets and Shows.

  • Media, which are things that you create or upload to Yodeck and get displayed, like image files, video files, documents or web site addresses
  • Playlists, which are a collection of media that gets displayed one after the other, with a duration that you specify (to create an image slideshow or video playlist)
  • Widgets, which are drop-in, small apps displaying useful info, like RSS feed, Ticker, Rich Text, Analog/Digital Clock etc.
  • Shows, which are a composition of playlists, media and widgets, placed on a virtual monitor, e.g. a full-screen image slideshow with a video playing on one corner.

After you create your shows, you just assign a default show to each of your monitors.

How do I set when things get displayed?

Beyond the default show assigned to each device, you can also assign it a single Schedule.

The Schedule determines the exact time different shows get displayed. So, for example, you can setup a different show for different hours or days, or schedule to display a specific show at a given time-frame. It is very easy, but very powerful.

By using a Schedule, you can also setup the hours that you want to power-off your monitors in order to cut on electricity bill.

What about Internet outages? What will happen to my monitors?

In an event of Internet outage, Yodeck-enabled screens will continue to work fine, up to a full month.

Content displayed on your monitors is downloaded and played locally. But you won’t be able to change what gets displayed until Internet access is back. Of course, content that loads from the Internet, like Web Pages and Live Streaming Videos (except simple YouTube videos, which are downloaded locally), is not available when your devices go offline.

Does Yodeck support monitors mounted vertically?

Yes. Yodeck fully supports monitors mounted vertically.

“Shows” can have many layouts, for different resolutions, orientations and ratios. So, you can have a Show with 2 layouts, one 16:9 horizontal and one 16:9 vertical. When you assign this Show for playback, each Player selects the appropriate layout depending on its ratio and its configured orientation.

Advanced Features (tech-stuff)

Does Yodeck support connecting through a HTTP Proxy?

Yes.

You can set HTTP Proxy and Username/Password through the configuration file. You can edit this configuration file through your PC and an SD card reader.

For our Yodeck Playboxes, all Network Settings can be configured during ordering, so it works great as soon as you plug it in!

Does Yodeck support connecting through a WiFi network?

Yes.

You can set the WiFi network name and key through the configuration file and Yodeck will try to connect. All of the settings are configurable through the online Yodeck Portal. You also can edit this configuration file through your PC and an SD card reader.

For our Yodeck Playboxes, all settings can be configured during ordering, so it works great as soon as you plug it in!

Does Yodeck support connecting through a cellular/mobile network?

Yes, by using a USB dongle.

You just need to connect a 3G/4G/LTE USB dongle to the Player. All settings, like APN, Username, Password, PIN, etc, are configurable through the online Yodeck Portal. You also can edit this configuration through your PC and an SD card reader directly on the SD card.

For our Yodeck Playboxes, all settings can be configured during ordering, so it works great as soon as you plug it in!

Does Yodeck support using a static IP?

Yes.

You can set the static network information through the configuration file. All of the settings are configurable through the online Yodeck Portal. You can edit this configuration file through your PC and an SD card reader.

For our Yodeck Playboxes, all Network Settings can be configured during ordering, so it works great as soon as you plug it in!

How secure is Yodeck?

Very. We designed Yodeck from the ground up with security in mind.

The Yodeck service uses bank-grade security encryption, while Yodeck software is always firewalled, even within your network. Nobody will ever be able to mess with your monitors. You can also fully customize the security features provided.

How reliable is Yodeck?

Very. Nothing can ever affect your screens.

Even in the remote case that our servers go down, your monitors will continue to work up to 1 month with the schedule you have already provided.

Note though that Yodeck is not a file storage service. You should always keep copies of the content you create outside of Yodeck. Always.

What types of images does Yodeck support?

Any types of images that can be displayed in a modern browser.

These include JPEG, PNG and GIF (incl. animations). Images are resized upon display, so no preprocessing is performed. It is better not to use images of extremely high resolution, because this will slow down your Player. If you have images with resolution significantly higher than 1920×1080, try resizing them before you upload them to Yodeck.

What types of videos does Yodeck support?

Yodeck supports a wide variety of video formats.

Videos that you upload on Yodeck are automatically converted to industry-standard formats (H.264 with AAC audio).

YouTube videos are supported out-of-the-box, so they just get downloaded in the best possible quality (up to 720p right now). Yodeck also supports Live Streaming Videos (YouTube, UStream, or custom HLS or RTMP/RTSP streams). These will have to be delivered by the stream in H.264 format to make sure they will be played back on Yodeck Players. We also support multicast LAN video streams.

Yodeck also allows you to upload a PowerPoint file and get it converted to video on our servers, retaining all transitions and animations.

Finally, Yodeck offers the option to select if you want to use “crop” (completely fill the region by cropping edges) or “fit” (black borders are added to compensate for the aspect ratio).

What types of documents does Yodeck support?

We support PDF, PowerPoint (PPT/PPTX), Word (DOC/DOCX), Excel(XLS/XLSX) files.

These Documents are displayed as slideshows, one page at a time, and you can set individual timings for each page through the Yodeck Portal.

Remember: Yodeck already allows you to upload a PowerPoint file in the “Videos” section and get it converted to video on our servers, retaining all transitions and animations.

How many items can be displayed on a single monitor at the same time?

You can display any number of image slideshows, webpages and widgets at the same time, within reason of course.

If the widgets require a lot of processing and the hardware is not up to it, you might notice some sluggish animations depending on the type and content of the webpages and widgets.

Note that you can display only one video playlist at any given time. This is a restriction imposed by the hardware of Raspberry Pi, which cannot playback more than one video simultaneously. In most cases, you should not need it. We are planning to provide an advanced option for removing this restriction soon.

How much bandwidth does Yodeck use?

Yodeck requires a substantial amount of bandwidth. Really.

Make sure you use the Yodeck service over a non-metered/unlimited Internet access. Same applies for the Yodeck players. Huge video files may be transferred through the Internet and constant communication of the players with the service may skyrocket your bill.

If you are on a metered/limited Internet connection (e.g. mobile carrier, or per-traffic / per-hour access), please contact us to ensure that you can use our service over those Internet connections.

Why do you download everything locally?

Internet access is not smooth everywhere. We want you to have the best experience possible.

We could stream content, but that would mean that your Internet connection should be stable. Same goes for your WiFi network. If anything between your monitor and our server is a bit slow, it would not work properly. That is why everything is downloaded locally on the SD card (or hard drive, in case of a PC) and played from there.

I need to show a huge collection of video, more than 4GB, and want to use Yodeck playbox! Is this possible?

Currently, no. You can upgrade your SD card though.

As soon as you set a schedule, that schedule should use at most 4GB of media. You can upgrade the SD card to a 32GB one and allow for 24 hours of high-resolution video.

Do not worry though! We will soon be supporting USB storage extension, allowing you to add additional media storage capacity using USB memory sticks or USB hard drives.

How large/small monitors does Yodeck support?

Yodeck software supports any resolution, thus any monitor size.

From 640×480 VGA monitors, up to the latest 4K TVs, all monitors will work fine. It is best to choose a widescreen monitor with an aspect ratio of 16:9 (like “HD Ready”, “Full HD” or “4K” monitors and TV).

Yodeck Playbox (or Raspberry Pi in general) should also work fine with 99% of all monitors and TVs out there, so do not worry much.

Does Yodeck support video walls?

Yes.

We do have detailed instruction on creating a video-wall using Yodeck using 1 Yodeck Playbox for each screen, plus one “master” Playbox. You can create really inexpensive video-wall setups that can be matrix-like (2×2, 3×3) or can even be asymmetric, with any layout you can imagine.

Alternatively, you can use an HDMI video wall controller and use a single Yodeck player to drive a large video wall as a single screen.

Is Yodeck service manageable through a mobile phone? Do you provide an app?

Currently, we do not provide an app, but there is no need to.

We do not provide a mobile application for managing Yodeck. Yodeck was built on a mobile-compatible platform, so it is quite easy to use it through a mobile web browser.

In the future, we will be providing a mobile application mainly for push notifications on the status of your monitors.

How does Yodeck support powering on and off monitors/TVs? Are all monitors/TVs compatible with this feature?

We use the HDMI standard called CEC. Almost all TVs support it.

Yodeck Playbox (or Raspberry Pi in general) includes a CEC adapter on its HDMI monitor port. CEC is a standard communication protocol supported by most major TV manufacturers. It allows for a playback device (Yodeck Playbox) to power on, power off, and switch video inputs on a CEC-enabled TV. Check out the CEC compatibility chart.

If your monitor does not support CEC (e.g. you have a computer monitor), Yodeck Playbox turns off the HDMI port to allow for the monitor to power-down by itself. This function is supported by all current monitors, even TVs.

In the future, we will provide support for using infrared LEDs to signal the monitor on or off through IR. For large installations, we can support custom solutions, like the above, or use custom serial connections to monitors.

Is there a storage limit for media uploaded on Yodeck?

No, there is no limit whatsoever. You can upload as many videos and images as you want.

What about support?

Yodeck provides 24/7 online support for all users.

Just login to your account and drop us a word. We’ll help you out ASAP. Of course, paid users get priority over free users. But we usually provide a first response within 10 hours to all requests.

Pricing

Is Yodeck free?

Yodeck is absolutely free if you use 1 screen.

If you will be using more than 2 Players, then you need to get a paid subscription.

Remember: We provide all the Yodeck Playboxes you need for free with our Annual Plan. Just go ahead and upgrade.

Will I be charged for using Yodeck in the Free Plan?

No.

As you have probably noticed, you did not enter any billing details when signing up. So, we will not be charging you unless you provide us with you billing details.

Are there any alternative ways for payment besides a credit card?

For Annual subscriptions, we also accept wire transfers.

We can provide you with an invoice that you can then pay through a wire transfer to our US bank account. Let us know if you need such an arrangement.

Unfortunately, we do not support Paypal.

What is a registered monitor?

It is a monitor that you can use.

Each monitor under your Yodeck account can either be “registered” or “unregistered”.

  • Registered monitors are monitors that have been paired with a Yodeck account.
  • Unregistered monitors in your account do not have a real-world counterpart, and are waiting for a player (such as Yodeck Playbox) to register.

Both registered and unregistered monitors can be managed the same way under your Yodeck account, so you can configure settings, assign schedules, etc. But unregistered monitors cannot be actually used to display stuff, until they get registered by a player (such as Yodeck Playbox).

How is Yodeck priced?

Yodeck is priced based on the maximum number of monitors you can have under your account.

You can freely set this limit, so it can be any number between 2 and 100. Yodeck will automatically select the most suitable plan for you, which is billed monthly.

For more than 100 monitors, you can contact our sales team for a quotation based on your needs. We can support thousands of monitors without a glitch!

Remember: a single-registered monitor account is free!

Can I have an annual plan on Yodeck?

Yes, you can! Just select the Annual Plan and we will provide the Yodeck Playboxes you need for free!

How can I test-drive Yodeck without buying a Yodeck Playbox or Raspberry Pi?

You can create an account for free but you need a Player to see it working.

First of all, Yodeck is free to use for a single registered monitor. We recommend that you buy a single Yodeck Playbox and test out the real thing! If you do not like it, you can turn the Yodeck Playbox into a full-fledged Media Center with RaspBMC for free!

If you insist in a “no-cost” route, you can ask our Support Team to provide you with a demo, including a video capture of the output you create, so that you can be sure it does what you need it to do.

Are there any limits placed on Yodeck usage?

No, there is no limit whatsoever.

You can upload as much content as you want and do as many changes as you want. The only limit imposed is the number of registered monitors. As long as you subscribe for the number of registered monitors you want to operate, everything else is unlimited!

Do I have to pay extra for support?

No. Online support service is included in your Plan.

Actually, even accounts on the Free Plan get support for free, we just respond to paid account requests first before handling requests from free accounts.

If you have a large project that requires on-site presence or deployment services, contact us. We have a Partner Network that might accommodate your requirements.

What happens if I want to add more monitors?

You can add as many monitors as you want and can use them as soon as they get connected.

New monitors will appear as unregistered in your account until the player gets connected for the first time and registers successfully. You can manage unregistered monitors just like registered ones, they just have not been paired with an actual player.

Your subscription includes a limit on registered monitors. If you have reached your limit of registered monitors, then you will not be able to register any new ones. In case you want to increase this limit, just update your subscription with the new number of monitors you want to operate.

What happens if I want to reduce my active monitors?

You have to delete the registered monitors that you no longer require.

Players of deleted monitors will be de-registered and the monitors will constantly display a relevant message, waiting for registration.

Charges are fully automated, so you will be billed (or credited) the difference of your plan, so do not worry about losing service credit.

What happens if a charge for my subscription fails?

Automated emails will be sent to you. If no action is taken, your players will eventually stop playback.

We want to make sure that charge failures do not mess up with your deployment. Monitors are usually in public view, so we want to be careful and discrete.

If a charge fails, an automated email will be sent to your designated email address notifying you of the problem and urging you to take action. We will keep sending these emails every day.

If the charge cannot be completed within 5 days, we will automatically display a flashing red image (without any text) for 2 minutes every 2 hours to alert you of the issue.

If the charge cannot be completed within 2 weeks, we will automatically downgrade your account to a free account. All registered monitors will be de-registered, only 1 monitor will be left as registered (the earliest one).

At any point, you can prevent this by logging in and updating you billing details.

What will happen if I cancel my subscription?

First of all, we will be sad.

To cancel your subscription, you can go to the subscription panel and set to number of monitors to 1, deleting all other monitors from your Yodeck account. If you want us to completely remove your account and media, drop us and email and we will do so.

FAQ was last modified: December 5th, 2017 by Yodeck

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