Kodi, formerly XBMC, is an open-source media player that’s now available on a range of devices, like the Amazon Fire TV, Raspberry Pi, and Apple TV. Latest Kodi version v17.0 “Krypton” is out. You can download it HERE.
Simply put, Kodi is open-source software designed specifically with home entertainment in mind – and it’s totally free. Although it was originally created for the Microsoft Xbox and called Xbox Media Center (XBMC), the software has continued to evolve – spawning a community of its own.
Unlike services like Chromecast or Plex, Kodi is managed by the non-profit XBMC Foundation, but it’s constantly being modified and upgraded by hundreds of coders around the world. Since its creation in 2003, Kodi has been shaped by more than 500 software developers and more than 200 translators.
Tip: The $39.99 Amazon Fire TV Stick is one of the best Kodi streaming devices. It’s wireless, cheap and delivers a solid stream.
Another Excellent Android Streaming TV Box
The MXQ Android 4.4 Tv Box from XINYE. This Android box is full of pure AWESOME. LOADED with features. One thing that makes this box stand out from others that I have seen and used is that it has so many apps already built into the KODI media center application. These apps will allow you to watch streaming movies, TV shows, music videos, cartoons, and so much more. Overall, it’s an awesome box, and a great priced alternative to other set-top streaming boxes. Currently on sale for only $34.99, so grab you one. You won’t be sorry!
What does Kodi do?
Designed to run on computers and home servers connected to larger TVs, Kodi pulls content directly to your front room. However, recent community-led products mean it’s now possible to run the software on selected smartphones and tablets. I am presently running Kodi on a Dell Optiplex 780, a Lenovo X220, a MacBook Pro with Retina Display and on my LG V20 smartphone.
What can Kodi play?
Kodi essentially turns any computer, smartphone or tablet into a digital set-top box or streamer, giving users the ability to stream files from the internet, a home network and local storage.
Unlike other TV streamers such as the new Apple TV, Chromecast 2 and Amazon Fire TV Stick, Kodi isn’t held back by licensing or a curated app store, so it lets you download a range of community-made apps, and watch whatever you like.
What’s more, Kodi’s purpose-built UI makes browsing through your content simple. The software features what its developers call a “10-foot UI”, meaning it can be read from a theoretical distance of up to 10ft away – and thanks to a range of built-in codes, users can browse videos, photos and podcasts quickly and easily.
On smaller devices, Kodi offers a similar experience, but can be hooked up to a larger TV for big-screen viewing. I use the Complete Kodi Wizard App from the Google Play Store to install and configure Kodi on my Android devices. To install on other devices, follow the instructional guides here.
What’s compatible with Kodi?
Kodi is available on almost every device you can think of. The media centre software is easy to download, and compatible with OS X, Linux, Windows, Android – and even the Raspberry Pi microcomputer. For those using iOS, the process is slightly more complicated: iPhone users will need to make sure their phone is jailbroken before downloading it. You should also use a VPN to access certain blocked geolocation features within Kodi. Personally, I use Private Internet Access, PIA, and it has served me well in securing and protecting my privacy online.
VPN on Kodi serves mainly two purposes: helps you access geoblocked content, as we said earlier; and also protects your online identity, in case you are concerned about it. It is suggested to use VPN mainly with services such as torrents or Usenet, because these services involve being connected with many computers, and thus might pose a security risk. However, in these cases, it would be better to enable a VPN on your whole system, and not just for Kodi.