The Kodi for Android has done very well for home entertainment systems in recent times, and the market of add-ons has flourished for the Android TV, letting you stream media that includes all your favorite TV shows and movies, as also international cinema and other things right to your phone on an app that is free! The focus hence is on what devices you can run Kodi on for the best home entertainment experience. Kodi has a version for the popular Raspberry Pis and in this article we will talk about what Pi is best suited for Kodi – Zero or Pi 3. While neither of them are computing powerhouses, there is enough of a gulf in capabilities between the two for you to think hard and long before deciding which one to opt for.
The Kodi Zero box costs just $5, although it is recommended that you go with the Zero Starter Kit that costs about $25 if you are trying to build your own box. The Pi 3 costs $40, so there is a significant price difference between the two. When you are building a Kodi box, the processor and RAM on the device should not be the biggest of your concerns, so the Zero is not that big of a problem in that department, although things may take a little more time to load on the board. The Pi 3 offers lot more to kodi that is additional things for it like Internet connectivity, full-sized USB ports and a full-sized HDMI output.
This translates into just plugging in the power, the micro-SD card and the display cables and the Pi 3 is up and running for you. This is just not possible with a Pi Zero, if you want to so much as output the display, you would want to either buy an adapter or get a micro to full HDMI cable. Plus, you will have to get a micro to full USB adapter as well as a Wi-Fi or Ethernet Dongle to get the box up and running. While none of these accessories are crazy expensive in themselves, buying them in addition to the Zero box negates one of the most attractive (and perhaps the sole one) part of the Zero box – its price. If you purchase all the accessories separately, you will be getting to the $40 tag of the Pi 3 anyway, so the Zero is for you if you already have the other accessories lying around for other things. In that case, the $5 price is a rip for you.
The Pi 3 also has a bigger box, so that is better for your own viewing pleasure. The higher price also affords you more accessibility – the Pi Zero goes out of stock easily, and is not very easy to get a hold of.
There is perhaps one case where the Zero makes more sense than the Pi 3 – if you are building multiple boxes in more than one room in your house, then it is better for you on the basis of cost alone. Given the small size of the box, you can have it taped it to the back of the TV with no problem, even with its case on.
The Kodi Zero is a beginner package that lets you use your own hardware to bring the Kodi experience to your home entertainment. The Raspberry 3 Kodi box is a much more featured and sophisticated thing, and the bigger box may create trouble so you have to bear in mind that too. The prices almost match if you supplement the Zero Kit with accessories required to get it up and running, so the Raspberry 3 is recommended but if you have to install the boxes in multiple TVs in your house, you might want to side with the Zero, although it is hard to find in most markets.