Vero 4k first impressions


i started using a Mediacenter around 2 years ago when Infuse became available for the Apple TV 4.

Of course thats not an ideal setup because 24p isn’t possible because of hardware limitations and the whole database is sitting on the client and can become corrupted during an error in Infuse or after an update. Then all metadata including watched status is gone.

I read many of wrxtasy’s posts on the Kodi forum and purchased an Odroid C2 + MINIX A2 lite remote and installed LibreELEC in March 2017.
I was blown away by Kodi on this box. I also started to use Emby Server by then.

It did everything i wanted:

  • Very good default Metadata for everything, very nice server with a perfect GUI (Emby)
  • True 24p playback perfectly smooth
  • Flawless playback of 1080p Blu-ray rips using MakeMKV
  • Audio passthrough including Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD
  • CEC control of the AVR to adjust volume with the MINIX remote
  • Boots in a few seconds, easy setup, automatic updates

After a few months of using it i became aware of a few flaws:

  • Very rarely (can’t reproduce) i get rapid dropped frames during playback which can be fixed by stopping and restarting playback completely.
  • Sometimes i get buffering problems that i can’t reproduce. I have an almost ideal setup so it has to be something with LibreELEC/Kodi i think.

Because of the above problems i don’t consider Kodi to be „stable“ or „solid“ in any way. I get the impression sometimes that there are parts where its not very mature (the video playback engine) and regular updates are needed to better the situation.
I tried to get some help from Kodi or LibreELEC communities but the former is too flooded to get noticed and the latter is too dead (or not interested) that someone would even respond.

  • The „new“ Estuary skin to me already feels like it was made 10 years ago. It’s very functional but the Apple TV is the benchmark how a modern media center has to look and feel for me.

  • The MINIX A2 lite remote is too bulky for me, also too many buttons including a whole keyboard which i only needed during setup. The worst part about this remote is that sometimes button presses are ignored. Don’t know if thats a hardware of software issue but it’s a no-go in my opinion.

The community here is really something special and that alone made me consider to switch to the Vero 4k!

But also the monthly updates of OSMC and the (in my opinion) perfect remote were strong driving points. Add to that the nice looking case and stylish UI and i quickly purchased a unit for me a few days ago.

Now to the impressions - finally!!

Arrived from UK to Germany in record time. I counted 66 hours from door to door. Wow, what a surprise!
Nice packaging - everything included, very professional looking!

The OSMC skin gave me a little panic attack at first, to be honest. While initial setup went quick without any problems, the „My OSMC“ with the round menu wheel doesn’t fit in, imho. „My OSMC“ sounds like i have to create an account of some sort, idk.

The really bafflling part came when i had to use the OSMC skin as my new KODI UI. Its almost too basic or too minimalistic somehow. You know the menu structure below but it’s sometimes just different enough from Estuary that it drove me nuts somehow. Also you get lost. Sometimes i had to go back a few menus to get a grasp of where i am at the moment.

Ok, i just needed a little time to let it all sink in and get to know KODI again for a second time. I really wanted to love that new skin i tell you!

OK, it didn’t work out. I’m back to Estuary and it felt like a relief to me.

Two problems with the OSMC skin that i couldn’t solve i a few hours made me switch back:

  • No easy configurable widget for TV series and movies to display the „in progress“ content to easily continue a movie or series.
  • No indicator in the timeline at what position in the current video the use of skip steps will jump to.

Without these two features, sadly, the current skin is of no use to me.

On the positive i was able to really easily (using Keymap Editor Add-on) to reprogram the up/down arrows to adjust volume of my AVR using CEC - and only during video playback so the up/down keys are normally useable in the menu system.

In the end i have to say that OSMC and the Vero 4k make the best KODI box out there by a far margin. It’s a real working product instead of something you HAVE to build yourself. But of course you CAN change almost anything about it if you wish.

Thanks for reading, i hope i didn’t waste anyones time too much with this! :slight_smile:

See you on the board,

The OSMC skin isn’t for everyone but we are improving it frequently

Start a post with debug logs and samples re frameskipping and we can investigate

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After using Kodi on a few different devices, I find it simplest to use here on the Vero. 24hz playback actually works properly (unlike with Android boxes), and if we have a problem with the device, we can actually talk to the developer about it. I always recommend this box to my friends who are looking for a proper Kodi box that is easy to use for beginners, due to the simple setup and the fact that they will get monthly updates straight from the developers (rather than having to figure out how to keep Kodi up to date on their own). Audio passthrough works beautifully. As of now, my whole setup is 1080p, but it’s nice to know that this box can do 4K when that time comes. The box is very small and goes unnoticed next to my TV.

I found the default OSMC skin to be a little cumbersome to use (I like to remove things from the menu that I don’t use, and I find it easier to do with the default Kodi skin, which I also find cleaner/simpler). The default OSMC skin seems too complicated for its own good. It’s ridiculously easy to remove unwanted items from the menu with the Kodi skin, but when I tried doing it with the OSMC skin, it seemed too complicated and I gave up and went back to the Kodi skin.

This device has a lot going for it that other devices on the market simply don’t (no bloated Android in the background, monthly updates, actually talking to the developer and getting your bugs fixed, overall simplicity and easy setup), and is future-proofed as far as its capabilities.

This is a great box for people who want it to “just work.” Does everything work perfectly? No, but I think most of those problems lie with Kodi itself, and not OSMC. The only issue I had with the box itself, compared to some others, was the annoying blue LED - but that’s my own personal taste and was solved by putting some tape in front of the LED. Totally worth the money, and I will be happy to continue supporting OSMC in the future and recommending it to my friends and family.

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  • The MINIX A2 lite remote is too bulky for me, also too many buttons including a whole keyboard which i only needed during setup. The worst part about this remote is that sometimes button presses are ignored. Don’t know if thats a hardware of software issue but it’s a no-go in my opinion.

Added my disdain of the MINIX A2 lite remote above. Forgot about it but it also was a major driving factor for my switch to OSMC.

That was with the Odroid but if it happens with the Vero i will do so, yes.

Maybe I am missing your point but Settings - Interface - Skin - Configure Skin - Customize Home Menu - Choose the menu you want to remove - untag "Enabled" looks pretty straightforward to me

Thats so true! I loved the easily customizable home menu on OSMC skin!! Always wanted to do that on Estuary.

You’re right - I think I confused what my actual issue was. I think the thing I didn’t like was that by default, hovering over items (like Favorites, for instance) didn’t automatically show my favorites on the side like it does in the Kodi skin, and it required me to click it to see my favorites.

I couldn’t find an option to make it behave like the Kodi skin, and the only Add-ons it does this for by default were Programs Add-ons. I’m sure with enough tweaking, I could get it to behave in an acceptable way, but I didn’t want to bother too much since the other skin does it the way I wanted.