I have been a Kodi user for nearly 10 years, and I’ve run it on numerous devices. I have a large library of high-quality Blu-ray rips, many of them 4K/HDR, and nothing I’ve used—nothing—has been as seamless as the $150 Vero 4K.
While there are a lot of set-top boxes that can run Kodi, the Vero 4K (and its newest revision, the Vero 4K+) is one of the few built specifically with Kodi in mind. Developed by Sam Nazarko, the Vero runs OSMC, a Linux-based operating system with a modified version of Kodi at its center. Unlike vanilla Kodi, it has support for HDR, automatic updates, lots of popular remotes (not just the one included in the box), and a few exclusive add-ons. Of course, you’re also able to use any of the regular Kodi add-ons out there, though it doesn’t come with any pre-installed.
The hardware is compact, fitting everything in a tiny box that you can put just about anywhere. You can add extra storage through a Micro SD card or USB hard drive, play just about any format under the sun (including high-res audio formats like DTS:X and Dolby Atmos), and it’ll switch between standard content and 4K/HDR gracefully. The only thing it doesn’t have is Dolby Vision, though Dolby Vision videos will play just fine using HDR10.
The other big downside, for now, is that the Vero isn’t designed to run any other apps, though Netflix and Amazon Video support is coming in the form of third-party add-ons in the next version of Kodi. Either way, it’s fine by me. Kodi runs significantly better on Linux than it does on Android, and—after years of dissatisfaction—I’ve given up on the “one box to rule them all”…