There is a battle going on for the living room. From Android media players to DIY solutions like the Raspberry Pi, there is a growing number of devices that allow you to stream almost every media format imaginable straight to your box. One of the latest comes from Raspbmc and OSMC developer Sam Nazarko. The Vero is his latest creation – a tiny, portable media player which couples solid hardware with excellent developer support. Could this be the best XBMC box yet?
I’ve had a chance to speak with Sam regarding the Vero and get some exclusive details on this exciting device.
Michael Ludvik: Thanks for taking the time to speak with me again. So, what is the OSMC and the Vero? How are the two related?
Sam Nazarko: As discussed in our previous interview, OSMC is the next generation of Raspbmc – building upon the Raspberry Pi distribution and providing an improved update system, easy content sharing, an app store, performance improvements and much more.
Vero is OSMC’s flagship device. Vero is named after the Italian word for true and that fits in well with its open source ideology. Vero gives you a performant, well connected and powerful device but manages to sit in a small low-power package.
ML: I’m loving how OSMC looks! Will the OSMC skin be available to other XBMC/Kodi users?
SN: Yes, the OSMC skin will be made available to other XBMC/Kodi users.
ML: So how is the Vero progressing?
Vero is off to a very good start and it’s had a good amount of preorders already and it’s now available for purchase at getvero.tv. It’s great to see just how much support it’s got from the community and how excited people are to get their hands on it.
ML: What makes the Vero different from other media players?
SN: Raspbmc is the most successful media centre on one of the most successful computers in the world. We’ve had over 3 million downloads in the last 12 months and 200,000 regular users. I wanted to bring the platform to multiple devices but I was worried. Raspbmc was known best for being rock solid and reliable. This was relatively easy because we were only running on one device. However the challenge was to maintain that reliability but still support other platforms. So I decided to put all my efforts in to making sure OSMC runs rock solid on Raspberry Pi and for those that take their TV seriously, on Vero too. OSMC will run well on other devices out there, and I wish I could support all of them, but for now I can only support the Pi and Vero. These two devices will be perfect for OSMC and run straight out of the box with no tinkering required.
ML: When I spoke to you last, the Vero specifications were not released. What are the confirmed specs?
SN: As per the website:
- Dual Core 1Ghz Cortex A9 ARMv7 processor
- 1GB DDR3 RAM
- Gigabit Ethernet
- Integrated 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi
- Bluetooth 4.0
- Integrated IR receiver
- Optical S/PDIF output
- 2x powered USB 2.0 ports
- HDMI 1.4 with CEC (allows you to control Vero with your TV remote)
- Full HD 24Hz output
- 3D ready
ML: Will gaming and emulators be a feature of Vero? I know alot of people who love XBMC/Kodi are also avid gamers
SN: Not at this time. I’m sure people will be able to get emulators working but it won’t be part of the standard experience
ML: Will the appstore have paid apps or only free?
SN: Only free. The phrase app store is just to explain that it will be easy for people to expand OSMC’s functionality
ML: With such a promising platform, will the app-store be open to other developers?
SN: Yes, of course, and a few third party developers already on board
ML: Vero comes with a remote. Does it have air mouse functionality?
SN: Nope. The Vero remote only has the buttons required to navigate OSMC.
I just want to thank Sam Nazarko again for speaking with me. It’s great to see that Sam has taken his passion and experience from Raspbmc and translated that into a media-centric device. I, as many are, am keen to get my hands on a Vero and put it through its paces. Keep an eye out for my analysis of the Vero and how I anticipate it will stack up against some of its competitors.
For more information and to get your very own Vero for $199, head to getvero.tv
Also, keep up to date on OSMC at http://osmc.tv