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!
See you on the board,