I received my Vero 2 yesterday, and after battling through the horrors of my normal working day I dashed home to get it all set up. Here are my early thoughts on it, as an upgrading Vero user.
Build quality is excellent. Not that Vero 1 is shoddy in that department, but the flatter/more ‘Apple TV’ style look for Vero 2 is - to me at least - more pleasing. With the form factor, and the fact it’s in black, it doesn’t stick out so much when compared to the rest of my AV equipment. And although you only open it once, the packaging is of high quality. Not so great for the environment, what with Vero 2 being in a box, which is itselt in a larger (and sturdier) box - but with the packing material used, I reckon it’s well protected against any ham-fisted delivery personnel.
All told, it took no more than 10 minutes to get it set up - with most of that time being me fumbling around a stupidly inaccessible part of my AV setup to plug the power adapter in.
The jump in performance between Vero 1 and Vero 2 is pretty clear as soon as you start navigating the UI - everything is super smooth, and even something as (relatively) minor as this makes it feel much more solid as a product.
Before I unplugged my Vero 1 I did a backup of settings to my NAS, thinking that I could just restore them to my new Vero 2 - but had little joy with this approach. Maybe I made an error, but while my paths (ie: the SMB paths to my NAS where I store my music/video content) were restored, attempts to use those paths failed. Looking in the list of sources, there wasn’t an entry for my NAS itself, so I’m assuming that the authentication (user/password) associated with the SMB source wasn’t restored. Thankfully it didn’t take long to delete my existing sources, add a new SMB source, and then a couple of shares to my video/music sections - but due to having to do this I’d ended up losing some of the metadata associated with my video - I don’t use a library as such, but I do (did?) like that OSMC knew I’d watched/partially watched the files in my various video directories.
There’s a blue light on the front of Vero 2 which shines oh-so-brightly. I’ve already raised this with Sam on Twitter, and there’s an idea to make it only illuminate when the remote is being used. I’m very keen on this, as the blue light is intrusive as it is as the moment.
I’ve got my Vero 2 connected via HDMI to a Denon AVR-1912 receiver, and that receiver is connected to a Sony 55" X9005B TV. I notice that on power-up of the Vero 2 (and also during a reboot cycle initiated from within OSMC itself) that my TV now spits out a message about audio not being supported from the receiver and switches to TV speakers - and then when OSMC is booted up, the audio from the receiver is deemed to be there/OK, and audio playback then commences from my speaker setup. I’m assuming there’s some sort of boot-up state associated with the HDMI output on Vero 2 that results in no audio format being specified - and only when it’s initialised later on does it actually then push through what could be classed as a valid audio format. I’d be interested if there was a way to address this - I’m at work right now, so no logs handy, but can create/provide them if this would be of use in identifying the root cause of this. It’s a minor niggle though, as when OSMC is up everything works perfectly as far as audio goes.
Speaking of audio, it did worry me a little to see less audio functionality in the settings for Vero 2. There’s a DTS MA option there that’s disabled (I think it says it’s only changeable while watching DTS-MA source material - but maybe I’ve misunderstood that, as it would mean you’d need to pause your video, hoof it over to the settings, change this option, and then carry on watching). A quick search here shows that - initially at least - there’s no DTS-MA/HD passthrough, but I’d hope that this is still on track to be added. I think there are fewer varieties of Dolby present on Vero 2 at this time too?
The only visual glitch I’ve seen so far on Vero 2 comes when the screen resolution changes. It’s like the HDMI output isn’t being blanked around the resolution changes, so when transitioning between the UI (whether it’s 720p or 1080p) and a video (at whatever resolution is deemed suitable) then there’s a flash of a screen that looks like static. Typically you see this when starting a video, and when the video terminates and you transition back to the UI. I’ve confirmed this with/without having the refresh rate of the display match video (eg: it doesn’t matter if I’m transitioning to/from something like 1080p or 1080p/24… still happens).
Vero 2 seems to handle CEC natively out of the box - no libCEC stuff included. But there’s no way of disabling CEC from within OSMC’s settings, as far as I can tell. In the end, I’ve disabled menu button actions over CEC on my TV (as I was wanting to bring up the TV UI to check that output was at 1080p/24) - which gives me a short term fix when necessary.
New OSMC remote is awesome, btw. Solid feel, and I’m much happier with it being RF, as I’m no longer stuffed by line-of-sight issues as with Vero 1’s original remote.
So far, extremely impressed with things. For what’s essentially the first build of OSMC on a new platform (ie: different SOC), it bodes well for the future of the device and for OSMC.