Kodi: The Multimedia Junkie’s Guide

Peter Selmeczy

Peter Selmeczy

October 9, 2017

Let’s face it, monthly cable bills suck!

This Kodi Guide will show you how to stream more, for cheaper and easier!

Normally. you may spend around a hundred dollars per month for a bunch of channels that you couldn’t care less about.

For the ones you actually care about, you’re probably stuck watching commercials for a third of the time. That’s not right!

Kodi is a popular streaming program that is installable on almost every device on the market. Whether it be a PC, Mac, Android device, Apple TV or Raspberry Pi, you can rest assured that you can enjoy the streaming benefits of this program.

Whether you’re a tech guru or you’re a complete novice when it comes to technology, our simple guide will help you get started and streaming in no time.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Kodi

What is Kodi?

What Is KodiKodi is a media player dating back all the way to 2002 when it was first called the Xbox Media Player, or XBMP for short. As the name suggests, the media player was created for the first generation Xbox video game console. A year later, the words “media player” were tossed to the side and renamed to the Xbox Media Center, a more appropriate name for its capabilities.

However, the media center wouldn’t remain on the Xbox platform forever, and in 2008, the program was renamed to XBMC. This was done to remove the Xbox name, while still retaining some of the branding that its long time users have come to know.

In 2010, the XBMC team added a key element that Kodi users may not appreciate today, but one that helped simplify and popularize the media center’s capabilities. This advancement is known as the Add-on Repository. As user add-ons began to grow in popularity, there wasn’t a source where to get them all from. The team created an official repository in which users could finally download all of their favorite add-ons directly from the developers themselves.

Finally, in 2014, the XBMC program was renamed to Kodi, following legal disputes about its name and Xbox origins. Many old-school users still use the XBMC name for nostalgic purposes, but after the name change, Kodi’s developers began to streamline the user experience which has allowed for it to become more user-friendly, and hence, extremely popular.

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Not too long ago, all you would hear about is Netflix. Many people were thrilled that they could ditch their cable companies and replace them with an $8 per month subscription to Netflix. But is Netflix still the answer to every cord cutter’s dreams?Kodi Popularity

What once started as a fantastic service, Netflix users have lately complained on many forums and blogs that the selection isn’t what it once was.

This is because Netflix struck many video streaming deals with studios when they didn’t know the real value and popularity of online video streaming. Once Netflix began to gain notoriety, studios began to demand more money or left to form their own streaming services. Another negative was that certain countries didn’t have access to certain movies or shows in their regions which led to a split community.

“You should get Kodi” is now a very popular term for that very reason. Why pay for a service like Netflix that doesn’t have all of the shows and movies that you want? Particularly in countries like Canada have about 55% of the content that the United States has access to. Sure, you can bypass this by getting a VPN service for your Netflix, but who wants to pay to subscribe to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and HBO Now, just to have access to all of the movies and shows they want to watch?

Kodi offers its users almost every movie and TV show ever created under one roof. It also provides its users the ability to stream live sports, live TV shows, and many more features – all for free.

While the program is completely free, it has packages that you can purchase for a monthly fee that can enhance your viewing experience.

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Kodi LegalityIn short, yes!

This is where the gray area around the program exists. Kodi itself is a media center that allows users the ability to install various add-ons and plugins. Depending on the add-on you install, you may have the ability to stream certain media sources and that is where the question of legality is raised.

Kodi, in itself, is 100% completely LEGAL. The issues with copyright or legality begin once you use certain add-ons that allow for you to access live streams of sports, or watch movies for free. By streaming content that you have not paid for, you may be breaking the law regarding copyright infringements.

Depending on your country and its laws, there have been a few reports where users have received a notice of copyright infringement from their internet service provider (ISP) because of their streaming activities. One way to avoid legal trouble is to purchase subscriptions add-ons that broadcast certain over-the-air channel packages for a monthly fee.

However, many of Kodi’s users still choose to stream their videos illegally. We do not condone any illegal streaming; however, we would recommend that you protect yourself and your internet connection.

How to Avoid Getting a Warning Letter with a VPN

To avoid getting a warning letter from their ISPs, many Kodi users have begun to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) which allows the user to hide their identity and online activities.

We decided to do some of our own research and we have found that most of our users like to use ExpressVPN. The price for their VPN server varies as it starts at $12.95 per month, but if you purchase their 1 year subscription, it’s only $8.32 per month. It is strongly recommended that if you going to use Kodi that you also use a VPN so you don’t have any issue with copyright notifications being sent to you from your ISP.

ExpressVPN is one of the most popular VPN services for streaming, and not only is it popular amongst our community, but it’s also recommended by other websites for good reason. The main reason we recommend using this VPN is the huge benefits they put in place to ensure your privacy is protected when watching on Kodi. They use heavy encryption, a kill switch in case the program shuts down for any unknown reasons, and also a no-log policy. ExpressVPN also has servers worldwide, which allows you to access content from anywhere and also allows for you to have access to a much wider variety of content to stream.

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How to install Kodi?

Now comes the fun part: installing Kodi on your device. As mentioned in the introduction, one of the great benefits of the software is that it is installable on almost every device out on the market. Whether you’re looking to use your existing computer, or if you have an Amazon Fire TV stick, or someone got you an Android box last Christmas, you can rest assured that Kodi will run flawlessly on your device.

It is important to keep in mind that most devices have different operating systems so installation on some platforms may be easier than for others.

To make this process a bit easier, we’ve constructed a guide for every platform that runs Kodi. Just select the device that you wish to use to watch all of your favorite movies and shows and we’ll help get you started.

On Windows

To install Kodi on your Windows computer or tablet, head on over the official Kodi download page and select the Windows icon. Once you have selected the icon, you should see the following image below:

Kodi Windows Installation

From this point, you will have to follow two easy steps to complete the installation:

  1. Ignore the Nightly version, and instead, select from one of the release options. If you are using a Windows mobile device, such as a cellular phone or tablet, select the Windows Store. Otherwise, if you are using a PC, select the Installer (32bit) option to get started.
  2. Once the installable .exe file has been downloaded to your computer, double-click to open the program.
  3. Click the Next button to go to the License Agreement page.
  4. Once there, you may choose to read the agreement and select “I Agree” if you would like to proceed with the installation.
  5. The next screen will simply ask you to install the necessary add-ons.
  6. Now the next screen offers users the ability to choose where they would like for Kodi to be installed. If you wish to choose a different location than the default provided, select the Browse button and choose the new location. Otherwise, hit Next to proceed if you would like for Kodi to be installed in the default location (new users should opt for this option).

And that’s it! Kodi will begin to install and you will be able to install all of your favorite add-ons to start your new streaming experience. Please visit our Multimedia Junkies Kodi Guide to continue with the setup.

On Mac

To install Kodi on your Mac computer, head on over the official Kodi download page and select the Mac icon. Once you have selected the icon, you should see the following image below:

>Kodi Mac Installation

From this point, you will have to follow two easy steps to complete the installation:

  1. Ignore the Nightly version, and instead, select the Installer from the Release category.
  2. Drag Kodi into your applications folder to begin the installation process.

And that’s it! Kodi will begin to install and you will be able to install all of your favorite add-ons to start your new streaming experience.

On Linux

Installing Kodi on your Linux device varies greatly from how you would install the program on a Windows or Mac device.

Kodi 17 Krypton, the newest version of Kodi, is included in the Ubuntu repository. Therefore, installing the latest Kodi version should be pretty straightforward and easy to install if you do it in Ubuntu or an Ubuntu-based distro.

You are going to open the terminal using Ctrl + Alt + T with your keyboard. Next, you will need to type in the four lines of code below:

  1. sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
  2. sudo add-apt repository ppa:team-xbmc/ppa
  3. sudo apt-get update
  4. sude apt-get install kodi

If you followed these instructions carefully on your Ubuntu distro, you should now be able to use Kodi on your Linux device.

On Amazon Fire TV Stick

Installing Kodi on an Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick as Amazon runs a closed operating system called “Fire OS”.

  1. Go in your Fire TV Settings/Developer Options and enable the Apps from Unknown Sources.
  2. Return back to your home screen and go into the search area and type – ES Explorer – select the Explorer and install it by clicking the “Download” button.
  3. Start the ES Explorer app and input the address into the Download Manager – http://mirrors.kodi.tv/releases/android/arm/kodi-17.3-Krypton-armeabi-v7a.apk and rename it to KODI
  4. Click the Download button and begin downloading KODI.
  5. After the download is complete you will proceed into the installation screen. Click the install button and allow Kodi to install fully before you proceed.
  6. Exit to your home screen and make sure you have Kodi listed in your apps section. Launch Kodi and make sure that it is working properly.

On Raspberry Pi

Installing Kodi on a Raspberry Pi will require a few things before you can make it work. Some of the things you’re going to need are a Raspberry Pi Model B+ or later, you will need an HDMI cable, 2A USB power adapter, and a MicroSD card (8 GB or more recommended for a smooth experience).

If your Raspberry Pi is running with the Raspbian Jessie operating system, you can install Kodi with a few small, short codes and it will make your life a lot easier. Therefore we recommend installing Raspbian Jessie then proceeding with installing Kodi.

After installing Raspbian open the terminal window and enter the following:

  1. sudo apt-get install kodi
  2. sudo nano /etc/default/kodi
  3. Change the ENABLED setting to 1.
  4. Press ctrl-z to complete this with a save and exit for all your changes.

Now you can run Kodi with a mouse click on the desktop, or opening the terminal center and typing in: kodi.

On Android Devices

Our tutorial will show you how you can install Kodi on your Android box in less than 5 minutes so you can quickly enjoy all of your favorite movies, TV shows, live sports and many more forms of audio & video media.

There are many Android TV boxes on the market that already have Kodi and its many add-ons pre-installed. However, there has been a crackdown on some selling platforms to remove these devices that come pre-loaded with the software. Instead, users may be required to install Kodi themselves. Don’t worry though, this short guide will help you get started quickly.

What’s the best Android box?

There are hundreds of boxes and devices that are being sold with the Android operating system. So which one is the right one for you?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question as many Android boxes that you find on websites like Amazon, can run Kodi and stream videos very well.

Here is a screenshot of the search results you will get when typing “Android box” on Amazon:

Android Multimedia Box

As you can see, there are about 12,000 results for these search terms so it is best to read through some of the user reviews and make your decision from there.

How to Install Kodi on any Android Box

If your Android box does not come with Kodi pre-installed, there is no need to worry as the installation process is extremely easy.

  1. Open the Google Play Store application.
  2. In the search bar, simply type Kodi.
  3. What you will want to do is select the first option that is developed by the official developers, the XBMC Foundation.
  4. Once you visit this next page, just hit the green Install button and you will have the latest stable version of Kodi installed on your Android device.

Kodi on Googe Play

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Kodi Basics

In this portion of our guide, we will go through the Kodi basics. This includes the use of a remote, how to play content, and various tips and tricks that can enhance your streaming experience.

Interface Overview

Kodi’s user interface has undergone many changes over its history. If you’re just installing Kodi now for the first time, consider yourself lucky because the previous interfaces were not as easy on the eyes.

What’s also great is that the way we use Kodi has changed so much over the years that we can now use our smartphones and even web browsers to control Kodi wirelessly."

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This next section will discuss Kodi’s interface and how to interact with it.

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Controlling Remotely

From a Smartphone

One of the great things that smartphones do is that they eliminate the clutter from our lives. Remember the calculator? Who buys those things anymore when you’ve got an app on your phone? Similarly, your smartphone is now able to replace that remote in your house so say goodbye to having to buy those batteries over and over again.

Best Kodi Remote App for Android

Here’s some great news: you don’t have to look for any 3rd party remote apps because the developers of Kodi have developed an official remote apps for Android devices. Just open your Google Play Store and download Kore by the XBMC foundation, and not by Synced Synapse.

Here are some of Kore’s features:

  • Control Kodi with complete ease
  • Choose from several themes that are visually appealing
  • See what’s currently playing, as well as any relevant information
  • Download subtitles to display on-screen
  • Send YouTube videos to your Kodi display

How to Install and Configure Kore Remote App for Kodi

Step 1: Preparation

Make sure that your device has Kodi currently running, as well as the Kore app on your phone.

Next, make sure that, both, your phone and your Kodi device are connected to the same network. This app will not work as a remote if it is connected to your cellular data services and must be connected to the Wi-Fi network.

Step 2: Connecting Kore and Kodi

Once you open the Kore app for the first time, you will be prompted to add a media center. Simply hit the Next button and the application will begin searching for your Kodi device.

This process should take a few seconds and you should be greeted with the screen, “Media center found”. Simply select your Kodi device and proceed to the Next button.

Note: if you have more than one Kodi device, you must do these steps for each device on separate occasions.

And that’s it! Your Android smartphone is now able to control your Kodi device with absolute ease.

Didn’t Work?

If your smartphone was unable to connect to your media center device, you may need to enable a few options on Kodi in order for it to recognize other programs and devices.

Scroll to and select the Settings tab (may be located under the System area in older Kodi versions), and then select the Services option.

You will then have the option to select Remote Control and you must allow both options. If the remote connection did not work for you previously, chances are that your Kodi settings did not allow for other systems to have control over your Kodi program.

Remote Control Settings

Best Kodi Remote App for iOS

While the iOS platform doesn’t have the same Kore remote that the Android platform enjoys, the iOS still has an official Kodi remote called Official Kodi Remote by joethefox.

Here are some of Official Kodi Remote’s features:

  • Control Kodi with complete ease
  • Choose from several themes that are visually appealing
  • See what’s currently playing, as well as any relevant information

How to Install and Configure Official Kodi Remote App for Kodi

Step 1: Preparation

Make sure that your device has Kodi currently running, as well as the official remote app on your phone.

Next, make sure that, both, your phone and your Kodi device are connected to the same network. This app will not work as a remote if it is connected to your cellular data services and must be connected to the Wi-Fi network.

Step 2: Connecting Official Remote and Kodi

Once you open the app for the first time, you will be greeted by a blank page. Make sure to click the Add Host button to begin connecting the two devices.

The next screen will ask for many complicated options that involve Host and MAC addresses. No need to worry, however. Just simply press the option; “Find Kodi”, and it will automatically fill in this information for you.

Once you hit Save, you should now be able to use the remote.

Didn’t Work?

Just as with the Android remote guide, your Kodi installation may be preventing your smartphone from being discovered.

Scroll to and select the Settings tab (may be located under the System area in older Kodi versions), and then select the Services option.

You will then have the option to select Remote Control and you must allow both options. If the remote connection did not work for you previously, chances are that your Kodi settings did not allow for other systems to have control over your Kodi program.

Remote Control Settings

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From a Web Browser

While most Kodi users tend to use the program on their big screen televisions, there are times where you will need to access it through your computer. This can mean anything from enabling playback to scheduling a future viewing while you’re at your computer to actually streaming content on your own computer from your Kodi device.

This may not be an overly popular feature, but having additional features never hurts.

How to Control Kodi Using a Web Browser

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Select Service Settings
  3. Select Control
  4. Select Allow remote control via HTTP

Note: The default values for username and port should be “kodi” and “8080”.

How to Find the IP Address of your Kodi Device

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Select System Info
  3. Select Summary

Here you will see your IP address which you should write down somewhere for the next step.

Connecting Through Your Web Browser

Open your browser and, in the address bar, type in:

http://kodi-IP-address:port

Of course, replace the word ‘port’ with 8080 and the ‘kodi-IP-address’ with the IP address you wrote down in the previous step.

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Universal Remote

One of the many complaints people have with their Kodi boxes is that it is impossible to type long movie or television titles with the remote. This is because the user must scroll to each letter individually, click enter, and then continue scrolling to the next letters. This is very frustrating, but it is a problem that is easily solvable with some help from Amazon.

Solution 1: Kodi Remote with Mini Keyboard

Kodi Remote

While still retaining the same minimal size as a regular remote, the FeBite MX3 Pro remote also features a slick, backlit wireless keyboard on the back of the remote. This makes it easier to type in the names of your favorite movies and shows, without having to struggle with a regular remote.

One of the added benefits is that this unit comes with a tiny wireless USB dongle that can plug into your Android device, Smart TV, HTPC, Windows & Mac computers, and many more devices. You don’t need to program the remote anymore, just a simple plug and play for close to $15.

The only negative of this unit is that its mouse controls are a bit slow and stiff, so if mouse function is something you desire, then the next solution may work better for you.

Solution 2: Mini Wireless Keyboard Controller

Kodi Controller

If you prefer something with a bit more size than a small remote to type with, then the REIIE H9+ Wireless Mini Handheld Remote Keyboard is the perfect option for you.

While the FeBite MX3 Pro remote includes a limited mouse feature, this handheld device includes a touchpad that is perfect for navigation like a mouse with the touch of a fingertip.

Just like FeBite remote, this keyboard utilizes a wireless USB dongle that uses 2.4GHz wireless technology so that you can sit back on the couch and not worry about any cables. Just plug the USB dongle into your Kodi device that has a USB port and you’re able to use it instantly.

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Playing Content

Music

Before we play music from Kodi, we first need to know how to install the music into the Library.

Step 1

In the Home menu, select Music and then Enter files section.

Kodi Music Step 1

Step 2

Once you’re in the browser, select the Add Music option.

Step 3

Once the windows opens up, select Browse, or you can manually search and add your source with the box and type in the path there.

Music Step 3

Step 4

In this new window, choose the path where your music files are located and select the OK button on the right.

Step 5

After you hit OK you will be asked if you would like to add your media source to the library, if you hit YES, it will upload all the music files in that folder, if you hit NO, you can manually select the media files you’d like to upload through the Music File Browser.

If you did hit YES it will scan your library and when it’s completed you can check your library for all your files. You can sort them in the Menu with the Categories section (ex. Categories–>Artist).

Once you have uploaded your music, you can now listen to all your songs and have them neatly organized in one place.

Videos

One of the great things about Kodi is its ease of use to playback videos. In this short breakdown, we will walk you through Kodi’s on screen display so that you can become an expert in just a few minutes.

In order to use the on screen display to perform various playback functions, simply hit Enter or M on your keyboard, or the OK button on your remote. Once you do this, the following display should show up:

Videobar

Below we will post what the corresponding numbers and letters represent:

  1. Previous
  2. Rewind
  3. Play/Pause
  4. Stop
  5. Fast Forward
  6. Next
  7. Scrub bar (touch/clickable)
A. Subtitle downloader (via add-on)
B. Video settings
C. Audio and subtitle settings
D. Bookmarks
E. DVD Menu (if playing back a DVD disc or ISO)

Photos

Just like with music and videos, Kodi allows you to view all of your favorite and most memorable pictures. You can view these from:

  • Your computer’s file sharing systems
  • External HDD’s, Cameras with USB port, USB keys
  • Cards readers (depending on the device)
  • Phones with USB cable
  • Photos stored directly on the hard drive of the Kodi device
  • CD/DVD/Blu-ray (depending on the device)

Improving playback performance

Is your video playback experience experiencing buffer problems? If you’re a frequent Kodi user, chances are that you’ve had your popcorn or your chips set up, and you were ready to watch a movie, only to experience the classic buffering problem.

Not to worry, though. We’ve got you covered in this next part of our guide.

Clear Your Cache

Whenever you are streaming videos using Kodi, or any other website for that matter, the RAM on your device will typically save a few seconds of the video. This is done to keep your video playing smoothly in case you happen to disconnect from the internet.

Out of the box, Kodi will only store 60MB of cache. For those reading this guide that do not understand this unit of measurement, it essentially means that Kodi will barely store any cache as 60MB is a tiny amount of video data.

How to Clear Your Cache

There are many program add-ons that Kodi users will recommend, however, we’ll stick with the most commonly used, Maintenance Tools, as it still works till this day.

In order to install Maintenance Tools, you must first add the Fusion Repository. If you have already installed plugins like 1Channel and Exodus, then chances are that you already have the Fusion Repository on your system.

Once this is complete, you will need to follow these instructions to install the add-on:

  1. From the Kodi home screen, go to Programs and select Get More
  2. Scroll through the list to find Maintenance Tool and select it
  3. Click the install button and wait for the success notifications

Now, follow these easy steps to clear the cache, using this add-on:

  1. From the Kodi home screen, go to Programs and select Maintenance Tool
  2. Select the General Maintenance icon
  3. Select Clear Cache

Congratulations! You have now cleared your cache and you should be able to enjoy less buffering.

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Kodi Builds

Kodi builds are versions of Kodi that are community-developed and often come with themes that will change your skin, and also come with a large number of the most popular add-ons.

Kodi builds are compilations of add-ons for easier download capability so you don’t have to download each add-on individually. Even though you may find a build you like, it doesn’t always mean it’s up-to-date with the current Kodi version, so always check your builds before downloading and make sure they are compatible with the up-to-date version.

Even though they sometimes are behind a version or two, they are still extremely helpful for your Kodi experience. We recommend grabbing a Kodi build because it will eliminate a lot of time from the bare bones installation.

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Kodi Skins

Kodi comes with a skin installed when you first download it called Confluence, and even though it’s the default skin, it’s also one of the better ones out there.

However, if you’re still interested in changing Kodi’s default look, you can follow the very simple steps below:

Open Kodi > System > Settings > Appearance > Skins > Get More

Now that you have a greater selection of skins to choose from, let’s take a look at some of the skins and go through the positives and the negatives so you can pick the best skin for your Kodi experience.

1. ReFocus

Refocus

ReFocus is one of the more beautifully designed, rich skins available and offers a ton of customization options. You are able to customize everything from the home items, touch support, skin widgets, artwork downloader, and much more!

2. Aeon Nox

Aeon

Aeon Nox is one the most popular skin in the community, and is second only to Confluence, the default skin.

With its lightweight layout, it runs well on all Kodi-capable devices and doesn’t use many of the system’s resources.

It also has a very elegant look to it, but also has an easy customization feature if you’d like to change the layout to one that best suits you.

3. Eminence

Eminence

Eminence is a very sleek looking skin, and somewhat resembles the Netflix layout. Eminence is one of the more simple skins out there as it doesn’t have a lot of customization options.

Its simplicity is appealing to those who don’t care to customize their layouts and want to jump right in to their preferred viewing experience. If you enjoy clean layouts and do not care for customization, Eminence is the perfect skin for you and one that we highly recommend.

4. Xperience 1080

Xperience

Xperience 1080 is a panel based skin that is full width. With its very clean layout and similarity to the X-Box One screen, it’s very user-friendly and is used by many in the Kodi community.

Its features include: customizing the home items, horizontal menu, TV shows logos, and some other small features as well. The major drawback for this skin is that it offers very partial touch support.

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Add-Ons

How to install official add-ons

Finding and installing some of the popular unofficial add-ons can be a major pain. Luckily, the legal and official Kodi add-ons are a breeze to install, using the official repository.

If you want to browse through the various video, music, programs and many other add-ons, simply navigate to the Add-ons section on Kodi and select Install from repository as pictured below.

Kodi Add-ons

If you are just starting Kodi for the first time, your only option should be Kodi Add-on repository so that is the repo you should select. On the following screen, select from the various categories such as the video add-ons section.

Add Ons

Once you’ve found the add-on of your choice, just click it and hit install, and it should now be under the add-ons section once the success notification shows up on your screen.

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Best Official Add-ons

While Kodi can provide users with unofficial and illegal add-ons, there are many official and legal add-ons that can help enhance your viewing experience.

1) YouTube

Who could forget this notorious streaming website? No stream station is complete without a YouTube app and it can be found on Kodi’s official add-on repository.

With this app, you can search for videos, view your favorite channels and see some of the internet’s most popular videos, all in one place.

2) USTVNow

While the name might be handful, the concept is very easy to understand. USTVNow is an add-on that offers select TV channels that are available over-the-air (OTA). This means that users are able to watch content from ABC, CBS, CW, FOX, NBC and PBS.

One of Kodi’s drawbacks is that there isn’t a reliable method of streaming sports. With USTVNow, if your team is playing on any of the above channels, you can watch these games for free and in crisp quality. You also have the option of purchasing a premium subscription to the service which offers you the ability to stream NBC Sports Network and ESPN 2, as well as many more channels.

All you need to do is visit the website’s sign up page and create an email. It is recommended that you avoid Gmail and Hotmail services when signing up for this service, and instead, using a dedicated email address, such as one from a website you own, or business.

3) Twitch

Are you a big fan of gaming? Chances are you’ve heard of the latest internet sensation: Twitch.

Twitch allows you to watch other gamers’ streams and watch them play some of their favorite video games. While many wonder why these people don’t just play the video games themselves, this hasn’t stopped Twitch from becoming insanely popular with Amazon purchasing the company for almost $1 billion.

You can download the add-on through Kodi’s standard repository.

4) Food Network

There are times when you feel that you have watched every new movie and all of your favorite shows have had their seasons finished. So what is there still left to do on Kodi?

The best way to kill time and feel extremely hungry is by binge watching the Food Network and looking at all of the delicious food that you can’t make. Or who knows, maybe you’ll feel inspired and try to recreate the magic in your kitchen. Either way, the Food Network is a must have.

Please keep in mind, that in order to access the Food Network’s videos, you must be accessing the add-on from a US IP. If you are located outside of the United States, you may use a VPN to enable access. If you are from Canada, there is a Food Network Canada add-on that you can access with ease.

5) Soundcloud

SoundCloud is an online audio distribution platform that enables its users to upload, record, promote and share their originally-created sounds.

6) Microsoft OneDrive

Upload your personal pictures, videos, songs and files onto Microsoft’s cloud service and access it on a variety devices, like your Kodi device.

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How to Install Unofficial Add-ons

Installing unofficial add-ons on Kodi requires additional steps versus official add-ons as they must be acquired from external sources. This is because the XBMC Foundation cannot legally provide these add-ons to its users.

If you are running Kodi Krypton (version 17), you must first enable the option to install from unknown sources. Previous versions of Kodi do not require this step.

To do so, you must click Settings, choose System Settings, select Add-Ons and then hit the Unknown Sources option. A message should appear asking if you would like to proceed, to which you would answer Yes if you are aware of the risks.

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Best Unofficial Add-ons

While Kodi comes with a wide range of official add-ons, most Kodi users tend to enjoy the unofficial add-ons that have made the program so popular. Of course, most of these highly rated add-ons that provide thousands of streaming options are not entirely legal to use in most countries. That is why it is important to use a VPN in order to protect your identity when streaming such content.

Here is a list of the best unofficial add-ons:

1) 1Channel

One of the most famous, and longest lasting add-ons, 1Channel is known to many Kodi users as a reliable source for streaming all of their favorite movies and TV shows. While many video add-ons have come and go, 1Channel has stuck around for a long time and is the perfect option for novice users that need their add-ons to always work.

2) Covenant

After the creators of Exodus have ditched the project, many of Kodi’s users were left without an add-on that provided them with HD links to the newest movies and television shows available online.

Luckily, the creators of Covenant have decided to build on what was left of Exodus and are continuing to update the add-on, providing users with the best streaming experience on Kodi.

3) SportsDevil

Speaking of sports, SportsDevil is able to stream live sports events for Kodi users. However, SportsDevil has left many users quite disappointed in its reliability and quality of streams.

SportsDevil, itself, does not have any streams. Rather, it gathers streams that are available on other websites and offers those links to Kodi users. Many of these websites, however, tend to show errors when trying to view them, and many of those that work, tend to be displayed in blurry quality.

The reason why SportsDevil is ranked so highly though is because there aren’t many reliable live streaming options for sports fans and SportsDevil is an available option. Certain sports like soccer tend to have more links to their games versus combat sports like mixed martial arts, so your mileage may vary with this add-on.

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Using a VPN with Kodi

As you have probably read in the introduction of our guide, Kodi itself is legal, however, using some of its add-ons may not be. This is because some of these add-ons allow users to watch movies and TV shows that they have not paid for, and thus, they may be breaking the law, depending on their jurisdiction.

This has led to many Kodi users registering for Virtual Private Networks (VPN) in order to protect their privacy and their I.P. addresses, as well as encrypt their network traffic.

Since earlier in our guide we recommended using ExpressVPN for all of your VPN needs, we will show you how to use their VPN service, as many services differ in their connectivity methods.

A) Windows

In order to install ExpressVPN on your Windows device, simply visit the official download page and install the software.

Once the software has been installed, you will be asked to enter your login information and this will enable the VPN on your Windows device.

B) Mac

In order to install ExpressVPN on your Mac device, simply visit the official download page and install the software.

Once the software has been installed, you will be asked to enter your login information and this will enable the VPN on your Mac device.

C) Amazon Fire

If you are using an Amazon Fire device, you may be out of luck as the installation process for a VPN service is much harder. In order to install ExpressVPN, you will need to enable these options through your router.

For a more detailed guide, please visit the official guide.

D) Android

In order to install ExpressVPN on your Android device, simply go to the Google Play Store application and search for ExpressVPN.

Once you have installed the app, you will be asked to enter your login information and this will enable the VPN on your Android device.

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Content Streaming

In this section we will discuss the various benefits and negatives of streaming on certain devices, as well as other methods of watching and obtaining digital media.

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Choosing a media streamer

If you are interested in streaming video content and are not sure which device is the best option for you, don’t worry, you are not alone. With so many platforms to choose from, which is the best one?

Windows

Positives:

Having a Windows, such as a personal computer or HTPC, is one of the best options when it comes to streaming video content to your television display as it is the most open platform and you are able to more easily fix or edit files.

Because it is such an open platform, it is easy to install programs like Kodi, Netflix, Amazon Video, iTunes and many others, directly from their websites.

This also means that it is extremely easy to set up a VPN on a Windows computer in order to protect your privacy and hide your activities from your internet service provider.

Negatives:

The Windows operating system most often runs on computers, and hooking up a computer to your television screen isn’t always appealing as it tends to be a big machine, even a laptop.

Now, you can get a Windows HTPC, which is essentially a Mini PC fit into a tiny box. However, these mini PCs’ costs can range between $200-$600; making it unaffordable for most people.

Android

Positives:

The Android platform is a great operating system that is mostly open to customization and tends to run Kodi flawlessly.

Most Android Kodi users purchase small Android boxes that range between $40-$100 and are able to watch all of their favorite movies and TV shows with ease. You can also purchase a wireless keyboard, mouse, or controller as well as hook up USB devices to most Android boxes.

For these reasons alone, we highly recommend running Kodi on Android devices. However, the Google Play Store also offers users to download other media apps such as Netflix and Hulu, and many others, which makes it a fantastic media hub.

Negatives:

There are some subpar Android boxes on the market so it is best to find the latest models on Amazon and read the user reviews to get an unbiased opinion.

Mac & Apple TV

Positives:

Mac computers have similar positive aspects to it that the Windows platform has, but it bolsters one popular feature that Windows does not have: AirPlay. With AirPlay, you are able to watch any video on your Mac, even on Kodi, and throw it up on your compatible television display without any wires.

Negatives:

The positives for Mac are for a small percentage of users who can actually utilize this feature. In order to use AirPlay, you must either own an Apple TV or have a compatible television, like a Samsung smart TV that has the $9.99 Mac app option available.

You are also able to install Kodi on Apple TV, like an Android box. However, you must first jailbreak your Apple TV which isn’t a straightforward process and not recommended for beginners as it can break your system.

Amazon Fire

Positives:

One of Amazon’s greatest accomplishments is being able to fit a streaming device into a HDMI stick. What’s even better is that you are able to install Kodi on this little device and have it hidden in the back of your television without needing any additional wires.

One possible negative may be that the HDMI stick can only utilize Wi-Fi technology, which can lead to suboptimal streaming quality, depending on internet speeds.

Negatives:

While you can install the Netflix app and watch Amazon Video effortlessly, installing unofficial video programs like Kodi can be challenging with Amazon Fire devices. The reason being is that Amazon’s operating system is mostly closed and in order to install Kodi, you have to follow a more advanced installation guide that doesn’t always work for everyone without some troubleshooting.

They are still great devices, but with a lower price point and a more open environment, Android boxes tend to be the better choice.

Raspberry Pi

Positives:

The Raspberry Pi is great for electronic hobbyists and experts who have experience with programming in order to turn this minicomputer into a streaming device.

Because it is so small, the unit has almost no moving parts, no noise and uses five watts of electricity, which helps you save on the electrical bill, as well as the cable bill.

Negatives:

The Raspberry Pi’s benefits can be negatives for the majority of the market that are not entirely savvy with programming and commands. Also, this minicomputer comes in a bare bones form and you may need to purchase a casing around it in order for it to look decent in your living room.

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Streaming to different devices

Let’s say that you’re not interested in streaming on Kodi, and instead, you want to be able to watch videos, that are stored on your computer, on your smartphone or on your Android/Amazon/Apple box.

Note: These instructions will show pictures from Android devices but this can be accomplished on other platforms as well. All that is needed is the VLC application.

Step 1: Download & Install VLC

First, make sure that your computer already has VLC installed. If you do not already have the program installed, you can download it from their official page.

Next, you’ll want to install VLC on the device that you wish to stream from.

VLC

Step 2: Allow the App to Play Videos in Background

This is a mostly optional step but a mostly desirable one. One of the annoyances of the YouTube app is that it stops playing music if you turn on your phone’s display. To fix this issue with VLC, simple head to the app’s settings and enable for videos to play in the background.

Step 3: Enabled Sharing on Windows

In order for your device to find your computer, you must first enable network sharing so that your computer is able to be discovered.

Open up your Windows’ Control Panel and select Network and Sharing. If you cannot find this option, open up the search function and you will find this option by typing it in. Next, you’ll want to click HomeGroup and create one if you do not already have an existing one.

Network Sharing

The following screen will ask which forms of media you would like to share on this network. It is recommended that you avoid sharing documents. Click Finish once you are done.

Network Sharing 2

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How to watch US & UK Netflix

If you happen to live in Canada, or any other country that has about 50% of the library that Americans or Brits have, then chances are that your Netflix library sucks.

The reason that your video library sucks so badly is because of the various agreements that have been signed between networks, copyright holders, studios, publishers, etc. But what if there was a way to still access the US or UK libraries?

The solution to this problem is through a VPN. What a VPN, like ExpressVPN, allows for you to do is to simulate your location address. It does this by using an IP address that is located in, for example, Seattle. When you visit Netflix by using this Seattle IP address, Netflix recognizes you as an American user and will display its American library.

Similarly, if you would like to access the United Kingdom’s Netflix library, all you would need to do is change your VPN’s IP address to one located in the UK.

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Downloading Videos from the Web

The two most popular ways to access videos today is through downloading and streaming. One of the most popular ways to download videos from the web is through the use of torrent files. Torrenting content is completely different from streaming videos on Kodi, and we will provide you with a simple breakdown.

Why are torrents a viable option?

1) Downloading Actual Files

The biggest benefit you are getting from torrenting, versus with Kodi, is you are actually downloading the files completely rather than streaming from another host. The reason this is so great is it allows you to watch your content, even if you are offline, whereas with Kodi you will always have to remain online.

2) Click & Downloading

One of the drawbacks of Kodi is that you have to download various add-ons through unofficial repositories and hope that they continue to work.

Torrenting, on the other hand, allows you to find an available download, click it, and download it to your device.

Are torrents legal?

Just as with Kodi, torrenting in itself is not illegal. Legal issues arise when you use the technology to download copyright materials.

Why is streaming better than torrents?

While torrents provide many benefits, there are many drawbacks as well. The major one being viruses, as there are many fake files on these torrent sites that are infected. With streaming on Kodi, you are entirely protected from these threats.

Another big reason why we love streaming over torrents is that you have access to many more files than you would with torrents. Kodi users can watch live sports, TV shows and movies, without having to worry whether there are enough people seeding the downloads.

With Kodi and video streaming, your content can automatically viewed and you do not have to download it before watching it. You also don’t have to worry about hard drive space and storing the files./

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Unrestricted content streaming

If you live in the United States of America, consider yourself lucky because, chances are, you haven’t experienced the dreaded, “this content is not available in your country” restriction.

But we all know that the internet is full of workarounds and this case is no different. So how do we remove these restrictions? Let’s put it this way, if a VPN wasn’t your best friend already, then it should be by now."

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With a VPN, like ExpressVPN, all you need to do is select a United States address and it will simulate your location to that address. Now whenever you try to access that previously blocked YouTube video, you will appear as an American and you will no longer be restricted from viewing it.

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How to Get the Best Quality Live Streams

Let’s say you’ve tried Kodi, and while the movie streaming had amazing quality, the live streaming aspect of it wasn’t fantastic. Well, what if we told you that you could make it fantastic?

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What is Set TV?

Set TV

Set TV is a $20/month subscription service that can be used on 3 devices!

So what makes it any different from the other video subscription services? Well, Set TV offers users 500+ channels (yes, channels!) in HD! Imagine having all of the perks of cable television, with way more channels than you previously had, for only $20/month."

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This includes:

  • Free on demand
  • NFL Sunday Ticket
  • MLB Extra Innings
  • NHL Center Ice
  • Free Pay-Per-Views
  • Free HBO
  • Free Showtime
  • And many more!

Best of all, there are no contracts, no cancellation fees or any of the hassles of dealing with a cable company.

Set TV offers new users a 3 day trial to test out their service so you can try it risk free and see for yourself how you can enhance your online streaming experience furthermore.

How does Set TV Work?

Set TV is an IPTV premium service which allows you to receive television broadcast through the use of an internet connection versus a standard cable box or TV antenna.

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How does Kodi compare to Set TV?

Set TV, and many other IPTV, are paid subscription services. This means that they have a financial responsibility to provide users with a working video service. On the other hand, the developers of the free Kodi add-ons do not have any of these responsibilities. Therefore, if some components cease to work, as a free user, you are not a priority and you do not have any support.

Of course, one of the biggest positives of Kodi is that you are able to do watch so many forms of media, free of charge. The program and its services, do however, have limitations and it is important to keep these mind. IPTV providers, on the other hand, charge their users a premium in order to remove these limitations and hope to offer a better service, at a low price. Whichever method you choose to stream, you will still save a fortune by cutting your subscription with your cable company and its ludicrous prices.

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Kodi Guide Recap

As you have probably gathered from our guide, there are many alternatives out there for you if you are considering ditching your cable company. The great benefits of doing so are saving money and watching the TV shows and movies that you want, without the expensive channel packages and without the need to bundle more services in order to save money.

Is Kodi the answer, however? Thousands of Kodi users would agree that they have found their answer. There are those in the Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu camps that will argue that they would rather pay for premium quality streams and subscribing to a legal service, while Kodi users may argue that they have access to a greater library and are able to watch live TV and sports in some capacity, all for free.

Whichever camp you choose, in the end, will come down to personal preference. If you choose to go with Kodi, we hope that our intensive guide will have made the process much simpler.

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