The Raspberry Pi is a favorite for folks building their own streaming box because it works well and the price is right. Version 4 comes with much-improved hardware, but it’s also new and software like LibrElec doesn’t yet support 4K streaming very well.
Plug and Play
OSMC is one of the best operating systems for any home theater box and the Vero 4K+ was designed to work specifically with it by the people who wrote it. If you live in Europe it’s hands-down the best way to stream 4K video without spending a lot of money, but for everyone else, it’s hard to get a hold of.
We really like the Raspberry Pi 4 for almost anything, but it has a bit of a problem with 4K files right now — the hardware is so new it’s not properly supported by any streaming software. The Vero 4K+ doesn’t have that issue, but you can only buy it from a U.K. website.
|Raspberry PI 4||Vero 4K+|
|CPU||Cortex-A72 quad core 1.5GHz 64-bit||Cortex-A53 Quad Core 1.6Ghz 64-bit|
|GPU||VideoCore VI 3D up to 500 MHz||Mali 450 MP3 750Hz|
|RAM||1, 2, or 4 GB||2 GB|
|Wi-Fi||802.11 ac/b/g/n WiFi with Bluetooth 4.0||802.11 ac/b/g/n WiFi with Bluetooth 4.0|
|USB||2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0||2x USB 2.0|
|Audio||3.5mm analog audio output||3.5mm analog audio output|
|HDMI||2x micro HDMI||1x HDMI|
|Ethernet||Gigabit Ethernet||Gigabit Ethernet|
|Video||HEVC decode to [email protected] (with HDR)
H.264 decode to [email protected]
|4K, H265, 10-bit HDR ready|
As mentioned above, the Raspberry Pi 4 just isn’t ready for 4K streaming right now. The hardware is there and plenty powerful enough, but home theater software just hasn’t caught up to what’s new. That will change and the right people are already hard at work and showing promising results. Once everything is working together, the Raspberry Pi 4 should make for an excellent and affordable streaming media player using free and open-source software.
However, the Vero 4K+ is already there and all you’ll need to do is provide an HDMI cable and power it on to enjoy your favorite media, but only if you can find one. It’s sold directly by OSMC, which isn’t huge and is U.K. based, so you’ll need to order from overseas if you’re in the states.
Right now, the Raspberry Pi 4 works great when streaming 1080p video and the Raspberry Pi foundation is pushing software out for better 4K support almost every day. If you’re U.S.-based, it’s the one you should buy because it’s easy to get and will be supported for years. If you’re in the EU, the Vero 4K+ is a no-brainer.
It’s getting there
The Raspberry Pi 4 has issues streaming in 4K but they are quickly being resolved. It’s a great 1080p streamer in the meantime.
Plug and Play
Great if you can find it
The Vero 4K+ is a great product with great supporting software. You’ll have to order it from the U.K. though.