Do you fancy watching your favorite TV shows, and movies whenever you want?
What about live streaming your favorite sporting event?
Or listening to all the music you can think of?
If ‘yes’ was your answer to any of those questions, then Kodi is a must-have for you!
Kodi has revolutionized the world of home screen entertainment.
What is it? It’s an application that allows you to stream, listen, watch and even play all kinds of content – whether it’s your favorite TV show, the best game on the block, or songs you love.
Taking a minute to think about how much you spend on television subscriptions each month can leave you in shock and horror. Now, think about out how many hours you spend in front of the TV.
After adding up your daily tasks along with the time spent at work and so on, you realized you don’t spend much time in front of the screen. Are your monthly subscriptions worth it now?
Don’t fret about this eye-opener:
The Android TV Box and Kodi come to your rescue.
The box is one fixed price, and Kodi is absolutely free! All of your favorite TV shows, movies, songs, and live streams can be viewed from one device, on one software, for one price.
What more could you ask for?
Discover Kodi – The Media Streaming Swiss-Army Knife
Kodi is a free media streamer. The software’s open source nature allows anyone to access and modify it from anywhere in the world.
This is what makes the tool brilliant!
All the tech wizards around the world have made contributions to the application, turning it into an excellent high-end piece of software, fuelled with hundreds of intelligent features.
The initial purpose of this software, when built 13 years ago, was just to be a simple media center for the Xbox, the latest games console at the time. The software was even called the Xbox Media Center (XBMC).
As the years have gone by, however, thousands of people around the globe have helped the XBMC grow into what it is today, Kodi, by adding a huge variety of features, languages, and lots more.
It is now a cross-platform tool that can run on Windows, Linux, Android, iOS and OS X.
Better Than Your PC – In More Ways Than One
Maybe you’re wondering:
“Surely with today’s technology, my computer can accomplish the simple task of streaming media – so what’s stopping me from just using my PC instead of Kodi?”
A reasonable question!
After all, even an entry-level computer has more features than an Android TV box with Kodi. A PC can stream content from websites, download files, and provides a brilliant web-browsing experience thanks to its keyboard.
But what if you want to turn your average living room into a sensational entertainment center?
Kodi – plus a smart TV – beats your PC in more ways than one. Let’s take a look.
Computer Monitor Or Television Screen?
Today’s television sets are taking ‘high resolution’ to another level, so much so, the term ‘high’ just seems like an understatement now. Huge screen sizes superseding ‘HD’ to 4k ultra high definition display takes this point further.
The average size of a computer monitor is around 20 inches, now although the resolution of these screens may match the latest televisions, would you rather watch your favorite movie on a 20-inch screen or a 50-inch screen?
Why Use A Keyboard When You Have A Remote?
How many PCs do you know that come with a remote control?
Interfacing television with the Android TV box turns your dreams into reality, not only can you watch any movie or show you want on your big screen, but you can also control it remotely just as you would normally.
The majority of Android TV boxes come with remote controls that can work up to 10 feet away from the box! This seems quicker, easier and a lot more comfortable than clicking around with your mouse and keyboard.
The Future Of Home Entertainment
Yes, the application streams video content like a TV. But Kodi has the power to do more. The software is an all-in-one streaming center, able to play your favorite music or display photos as a slideshow. Even hardcore gaming is only a few add-ons away!
Kodi supports almost every format for playing music: MP3, WMV, WVA, AAC, FLAC, OGG, and WMA are all compatible with the app. As well as this, the vast range of add-ons makes your listening experience, even more, fun; you can choose to create playlists, queue your music in a certain order and lots more.
The playback of movies is one of the most popular features on this tool. It supports many formats for files that could be stored on the Android device or online through streaming platforms; this includes MP4, ISOs, 3D, H.264, HEVC, WEBM, MKV, and other popular media formats. Moreover, it’s not just the film you can enjoy as Kodi also imports them complete with a description, movie poster, fan arts, trailers, the film cast and many more useful pieces of information.
Whether it’s football, rugby, baseball, basketball or any other sport, a fan never wants to miss a match where his (or her) team are playing. If that is the reason why you still pay for you monthly TV subscriptions, don’t fret, Kodi covers it. With this app, you can live-stream your favorite sports and even set reminders for when the match is about to begin or record it if you can’t make it.
What good would a TV box application be if it couldn’t play your favorite TV shows? Kodi’s stylish library design makes it easy for users to find any show they wish to watch. The smart software displays them in order of name, season number and episode number, it’s almost impossible to miss an episode!
Imagine viewing all the photographs you’ve taken over the years on your television… now you can! With Kodi, you can browse every picture on your Android TV box, simply import the photos you want to see and view them on the TV screen. Then create a slideshow, sit back and enjoy watching your memories.
Must-have Miscellaneous Apps
Kodi’s media playing ability is second-to-none, but it’s features do not stop there. There are several other add-ons that allow you to browse through various apps that you may not have thought of. With just a few clicks of the remote, you can receive traffic updates, weather updates, the time and many other features.
Are you convinced yet?
If you’re thrilled by the entertainment options brought by Kodi, the next section will show you a step-by-step installation guide for your Android TV box.
How To Install Kodi
The latest Android TV boxes come with Kodi pre-installed to deliver a better user experience. But other boxes require manual installation. The good thing is, manual installation only takes a few clicks: simply go to the app store on your Android TV, search for the Kodi app and download it, configure Kodi, and that’s all there is to it.
Sometimes, though, you can’t download Kodi from the Google Play Store – this may be because of your device’s default security settings or the box itself may just not allow it – if this has happened to you, use this method to install it:
Side loading typically refers to transferring media files to an external device (like an Android TV box) via USB, WiFi or Bluetooth. When referring to Android apps, it simply means installing an app in the APK format onto an Android device.
- Go to your Android TV’s “Settings” and scroll to “Security and Restrictions”.
- Turn on “Unknown Sources”, this allows installation of apps outside of the Google Play Store.
- Download Kodi for Android from Kodi’s download page, for this you may need to use a laptop or desktop PC.
- Copy the .apk file you just downloaded to Google Drive or a USB to plug into your Android TV box.
- Find where you saved the .apk file.
- Open the .apk file and select “Install” when it asks if you’d like to install Kodi.
- Once the file has completed the transfer to your device, select “Install” again after the question is repeated.
- Configure Kodi to your heart’s content, and that’s it!
Transform and Personalize Kodi With These Exciting Add-ons
Because this app is an open source tool, anyone is free to modify it and create extensions for it. Therefore, there are hundreds of people around the world creating new add-ons for it. These add-ons add to the basic features and functionality of Kodi, meaning your user experience can be even more enjoyable.
Some of Kodi’s most popular add-ons include:
- Exodus – this is currently the most Kodi add-on. It is the evolved version of the Genesis add-on with updated code. It plays movies and TV shows. This brilliant add-on does not have a “favorites” folder, though, like so many others similar to it.
- Phoenix – this add-on contains a lot of content including TV shows, a kids section, movies and sports. There is more than one contributor to this add-on which makes it a big, reliable source to find good streams.
- Specto Fork – the code for this add-on is based on the code from Genesis; it has the same user interface with TV shows and movies. Specto has a “favorites” folder, so it is quick and easy to select your favorite shows and movies.
- BoB – this is quite a recent add-on created from the original members of Phoenix. It plays a wide range of content such as TV shows, movies, sport, and music. There’s no need to search through a server list on this add-on, playing streams is just one click away. Funny messages pop up while you are waiting for your stream too, which is a cool and unique feature.
- UK Turk’s – this add-on has a unique layout for categories like TV shows, live TV, live sports, cartoons, and documentaries. It also has a one-click to play system, so there is no need to browse through server lists to find the best feed.
Installing a Kodi add-on is easier than you might expect, it can be done in two ways.
The easier route:
You can use an add-on installer for unofficial Kodi apps. The add-on installer works just like Google Play, except everything is free. You only need to find the add-on you like and load it onto your box with a few clicks.
There are several add-on installers to choose from, one of the most common ones is the Fusion installer. Before installing any add-ons, you will first need to download the installer to your device. Once this is complete, follow these steps.
- Find the “Settings” tab under the “SYSTEM” menu.
- Select the “Add-ons” option.
- Select “Install from zip file”.
- Select the “Fusion” folder from the listing.
- Click the “start-here” folder.
- Select the “plugin.program.add-on installer-1.1.7.zip” file from the listing.
- Return to the main menu and navigate to the “PROGRAMS” menu.
- Launch the “Add-on installer” program.
- Select the add-on category you wish to browse.
- Choose the add-on you want to install and select the “Install” option.
- When prompted, click on the “Install” button. This will confirm the process.
- Click the “OK” button once the installation is complete – a “Success” notice will be displayed.
- Return to the main menu and find the “Add-ons” tab under the “VIDEOS” menu.
- Select the add-on you just installed from the listing.
- That’s all there is to it.
Sounds Great, BUT Is Kodi Legal?
The short, technical answer:
Yes! Kodi is legal.
The basic features of the streaming software don’t have any content. Kodi supports and streams a wide range of file formats, but you have to supply the media. And since the software was built for a 100% legal product (the Xbox), downloading Kodi doesn’t infringe on copyright nor violate any law.
But what if you install add-ons to watch paper view sporting events, the latest movies, or this week’s episode of your favorite TV series? Is that legal?
The answer isn’t clear cut.
Open source software is a large gray area. The type of software used for Kodi comes with many benefits, but it also has one or two drawbacks.
Open source tools can be edited in many ways by anyone who knows how to. Therefore, there’s an obvious gray area of legality as some people may have the knowledge required to alter the software, and the result of the alterations could end up breaking the law.
Plugins can be designed to download the media that would otherwise just be streamed. This violates the laws that govern the online streaming platform and can, therefore, be seen as being illegal.
Ultimately, Kodi is legal – it works on the same principles as streaming a movie or TV show via a free movie website on your laptop. Designing plug-ins which violate the online streaming laws, however, is not legal. Just like driving a car is legal, but driving it too quickly is not.
Using Kodi Safely
As Android TV boxes become more popular, a greater variation of them are being produced – the quality control for the components within these different boxes also vary. With an increase in the number of boxes being produced in the market, the number of stores selling them has also increased, and this is where things could become unsafe.
Many of the boxes are sold from reputable brands like Amazon, but some are sold from local stores or other online stores located in sites like eBay. Many local sellers aim to create a niche in the market so customers will go to them instead of their competitors. One niche could be pre-installing Kodi into the device; another one could be illegally modifying the kits resulting in them breaching the cyber laws regarding piracy.
So here’s a better, and safer idea:
Buy an Android TV box from a reliable seller, and install Kodi yourself.
If you do choose to buy a box with Kodi pre-installed, remember to look for one that holds all cyber ethics. A good idea will also be to use a VPN when browsing on your device.
VPN – The Better Way To Browse
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network.
It is used to hide your real location or computer’s IP address. Think of it as a virtual computer that you connect to when browsing the internet.
A tool like this can make you almost untraceable. It is advised to use a VPN when using Kodi to protect yourself; it will prevent any hackers from accessing your device (this is unlikely even without a VPN but will make your system is even more secure).
Do You NEED a VPN Service?
Of course, using a VPN isn’t a necessity to use Kodi, the media center can do just fine without it. So why are VPNs frequently advised to Kodi users?
The main reason is to access ‘geo-blocked’ streaming services. Certain streaming services are tagged with a geographical label, this means only people from certain regions can access their content.
You can stream Hulu in the United States, but connecting to this streaming service from India will trigger an error.
This is where a VPN becomes very handy.
A virtual private network can connect to any virtual computer on the internet, all you have to do is choose where. You could be in the UK, for instance, and be connected to a server in America.
Let’s say your favorite TV show/movie is showing on an American-based stream, but when you check your UK-based stream, it is nowhere to be seen. With an American VPN, this problem is solved.
Simply, a VPN will make it seem like you are browsing the web through a whole different part of the world.
Going back to the example above:
If you are in India and want to browse Hulu, you simply need to connect to a US-based VPN to gain access to Hulu’s content.
Since Kodi is a streamable media player used for Android TV boxes, this functionality alone is a huge plus for viewers. Hence, VPN becomes a tool that users nowadays see as a ‘must-have’.
Which Android TV Box To Buy?
Multitudes of Android products are sweeping in the market. So there are a variety of Kodi-compatible devices to choose from. These products range dynamically in features, price, specifications, productivity, display, and more.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick seems to have the most positive reviews concerning functionality and affordability. It is available on Amazon, a trusted website, at a price under £40. If you’re new to Android or Kodi, this could be the perfect device for you.
If you increase the price range, you can explore added features like viewing Kodi on a 4k Ultra High Definition display. Such TV boxes would include Amazon Fire TV and Roku 4 Streaming Media Player.
If you are an experienced Android and Kodi user and are looking for high-end features like high-resolution gaming, you could use the NVIDIA Shield TV. It is heavily priced at over £300 but well worth it if you want to step up your gaming experience.
Kodi plus a reliable smart TV is one of the coolest duos in the home entertainment department. You can watch, listen to, and play anything you want, whenever you want!
After reading this post, you should have a much better knowledge of Kodi and the components related to it.
We discovered the true nature of Kodi, where it came from and how it has evolved over time to become what it is today. By understanding how Kodi was created, you’ll be able to find new creative ways to use it – which you otherwise would not have thought of.
If installing Kodi was a problem before this post, it definitely isn’t now. We’ve learned there is more than one way to successfully install Kodi onto your Android device, this means you can now get Kodi up and running with ease.