Are you confused about these on-going talks about Kodi, addons and what not? Worry no more, after reading this guide; you are going to be a pro (well, almost).
I will explain everything associated with this media streaming software which you can use as a replacement for your TV.
As mentioned above Kodi is a software used for streaming media files and TV shows. But there is more to it. It is compatible with a number of devices you use, and you also can notice different types of Kodi streaming box online.
All these can confuse a dummy so, let me start from the beginning. And then I will take on each functionality to explain.
What is Kodi?
Kodi is an open-source media player software developed by the XBMC Foundation. It is available for many devices, and you can download it for free, either from the official website or your device’s app store.
You can download Kodi on PC, Mac, favorite Android device, your iOS mobile and tablet and also on gaming consoles like Xbox One.
I hope you understood that. And what more, Kodi is available for the streaming sticks (Amazon Fire TV stick) to playback content on your TV, and might even be compatible with your media streaming box (Roku, Amazon Fire TV or Apple TV set-top box). More on it later, let’s first understand the basics and see how to add channels to Kodi.
How to setup and use Kodi?
After the app installation is successful on your device, you need to install addons to get the streams you want to watch.
The availability of a considerable number of addons is what has made this little software so magical. These are apps or pieces of code to extend the functions of Kodi.
There are addons to get movies and TV shows. Then, you can stream YouTube on Kodi, and also binge watch your favorite Netflix shows.
There are Kodi music addons and also support for the TV channel broadcasting service Plex. Among the best Kodi apps are Covenant, UK Turks’ and Nemesis. There also are numerous sports streaming media addons available.
I am giving a brief list of addons below to help you enter the world of Kodi. But if you want to skip all these and need a set-top box for TV, buy a Kodi box.
Kodi box is an Android TV Box, which is an Android device usually with a quad-core processor and a 1 GB RAM storage.
It is like your android mobile but in a box. When you connect it to your TV either via an A/V cable or HDMI, you see an android like home screen. You now know what to do next, right?
Yes, search and open the Kodi app like you are doing it on your phone’s home screen. The boxes have IR sensors to work with the supplied remote.
Most of the boxes come pre-installed with some of the top Kodi addons to get you streaming right out of the box. Thus, saving you from some hard work.
There also are many Kodi custom builds available, with addons, themes and many customizations. It is open-source software, and anyone can develop it further. There is more about builds later in this guide.
As for Kodi boxes, you can buy an HD set top box with the HDMI port or an SD box with the A/V port. Do ensure that it has at least a quad core processor for an excellent, lag-free experience.
To get online, you can either use the Ethernet port or buy one with Wi-Fi enabled for wireless and easy connection with the Internet. Presence of Bluetooth isn’t necessary but get one with external memory card slot.
The boxes usually come with 4 GB or 8 GB of storage which can fill up as you install more addons.
And from where to get addons? You can download it from repositories (repos, in short).
What are Kodi Repositories?
Repositories are something like app stores, but these stores only have addons for the Kodi software.
You can find many addons like those for Netflix, YouTube, Hulu. HBO Go or other popular streaming services in the official Kodi repository. This repository is available from within the app, but there also are many third-party repositories.
Independent developers make addons and upload them to a repo. And as the case with Kodi addons, even the Kodi repositories list isn’t exhaustive. And these third-party repos are the best Kodi sources for your addons requirements. You have to, first, download and install the repository, and then you can download addons from that repo.
Among the best repositories for Kodi is SuperRepo, and I will take it as an example to explain the process. There are thousands of addons available there, and some of the best SuperRepo addons are Covenant, Genesis Reborn, Bennu, Rising Tides and Salts.
The installation process differs across versions and builds but the steps are almost same. By the way, the official latest Kodi build version is Krypton.
But before digging further, start your VPN service. Why? You will know soon.
How to install SuperRepo repository?
Following are the steps to download and install the third-party SuperRepo repository from within Kodi.
- Enter the System menu and find the “Add Source” option.
- Type this URL: http://srp.nu. This is where the zip file of the repo is available for you to download.
- For the name of the source, enter SuperRepo.
- Click “OK” and go back to the menu.
- Select “Add-ons” and choose the package installer option to install new addons. Yes, the installation steps for repo are like those of addons.
- Select “Install from zip file.”
- You will see “SuperRepo” on the list. Clicking on it will take you to the URL.
- Select one of the files that are made for your Kodi version. A notification pops up when the installation is complete.
The installation of SuperRepo is now complete, and you can do the same steps if you want to install other repos.
All you need is their URL. But SuperRepo has other repos inside, so there are few more steps before you see the addons.
- Enter the menu and select “Install from repository” instead of the zip file option.
- Next, find “SuperRepo All” and click to install. A notification will popup upon completion.
Before making the first install, you may need to allow installation from unknown sources. If that’s the case, the following is how to do it.
- Go to the Settings from the menu of Kodi.
- Go to System Settings >> Add-ons.
- You will see “Unknown Sources,” toggle it to ON. It asks for confirmation, tap
This needs to be done only once. And the steps may be a bit different depending on the version of Kodi you use.
Next, How to install addon from SuperRepo?
Now, when you select “Add-ons” in the menu, you can go to the “Install from repository” option. There is the “SuperRepo All” repository which has some of the best addons for Kodi. Locate the one you want and install. Bennu, for example, is in the video addons folder in that repo.
Other among the best repositories for Kodi are Smash Repo, Noobs and Nerds, Mucky Ducks and Ares Wizard. Well, it’s the time to give you the list of best Kodi addons for movies and TV shows.
Best TV addons for Kodi
- Exodus – It is the most popular among the Kodi viewers. There are a large number of movies and shows available for on-demand streaming and is also the best anime addon for Kodi. With so many options available to stream, Exodus is a one-stop place for the TV streaming and movie viewing needs but no live TV option there. All the content available is well organized among categories
You also can watch the programmes of Netflix here. And if you face the “Exodus no stream available” error, clear the cache and providers and reboot. It should solve the problem. If not, download and install it from another repository. Many times, officials shut down repos to curb piracy. You can download it from the Smash Repo (URL: http://mediarepos.net/kodistuff/).
- Covenant – Covenant is a replacement for Exodus. If Exodus is down and not working for you, use Covenant. The same team develops and maintains it, and has a similar interface and categorizations. It is available to download from the Smash Repo (same as Exodus). If even Kodi Covenant not working for you, you should reinstall the addon.
- Elysium – Next on the list is the Elysium Kodi addon, a favorite among those who want to binge watch TV shows. But there also are movies and TV channels to stream. You can download it from the Noobs and Nerds (URL: http://noobsandnerds.com/portal).
- Rising Tides – You want to enjoy live sports; Rising Tides can be the one for you. It covers your sports needs and serves well, even for the general entertainment needs. The load-time is short, and you can find the required content easily. It is available at Mullafabz (URL: http://mullafabz.xyz/Repository/).
- Goodfellas 2.0 – This updated version of Goodfellas Kodi addon is famous for getting live TV on Kodi. There are quite some streaming channels available and also, on-demand content. The team has their Goodfellas repository from where you can download this addon (URL: http://www.goodfellasteam.com/Repository/)
Best Movie Addons for Kodi
Although most of the TV addons also offer a decent movie catalogue, there are some addons known for exclusive movie collection. Apart from the addons mentioned above, here are some movie addons for the movie-buff in you.
- Nemesis – When it comes to streaming content online, Nemesis is heaven. Apart from an entire section dedicated to 4K and 3D movies, there also are TV shows, live TV streams, sports streams, music and even audiobooks. But many of the sources from where Nemesis acquires content are pirated, providing copyrighted material free of cost. And most of the third-party Kodi addons do the same.
If you still would like to use this, download it from the Stream Army repository (URL: http://streamarmy.co.uk/repo). It also has anime videos.
- Bob Unleashed – A number of developers collectively develop the database of Bob Unleashed (also called Bob Unrestricted). And because of this, you can find some incredible content here. But the problem is, those content are available under the respective developers which results in duplicates sometimes. Even so, there are some good HD movies and TV shows, and you can get it at Noobs and Nerds (URL: http://noobsandnerds.com/portal).
- UK Turk’s Playlists – Just because it has UK and Turk in the name, doesn’t mean it only contains videos from those countries. It has a catalogue of movies available all around the world, and TV shows too. And what’s interesting is it’s one of the oldest addons which is still live and providing regular updates to its contents. This addon available on AddonCloud (URL: https://addoncloud.org/ukturk/install/) is also favorite among the sports enthusiasts.
- Bennu – One popular Kodi TV addon used to be Phoenix and Bennu is like its rebirth, but with a better organization of content. There is a host of movies and TV shows and also live TV channels from around the globe. You can download it from the Kodil repository (URL: http://kdil.co/repo/).
- 123movies – If you want a limitless movie library, it’s here with the 123movies Kodi addon. There are many old movies available here, and of course, the latest ones in HD. They also have the popular TV shows. You can get it from the Mucky Ducks repository (URL: http://muckys.mediaportal4kodi.ml).
The number of addons available at your service is endless, and it’s difficult for a beginner to find the ones suitable for your needs. So, you can install customized Kodi builds instead. Yes, I mentioned them earlier in this article.
What are Kodi Builds?
Although the official Kodi build is stable, and the best Kodi build for a noob, finding your way around Kodi, and its addons take time. So, using a third-party Kodi build is a great way to get everything up and running quickly.
These third-party Kodi builds contain many popular addons, settings and themes which you can install with a single-click. Isn’t it great to skip hours of searching and installing to find the stream you want to watch? They also have skins and themes to change (and even simplify) the look-and-feel of your Kodi screen.
You can start watching your favorite show or channel sooner than expected. Instead of searching across repositories, you can download the .zip file of a build and install it right away.
You will save a lot of time, and while you learn your way around Kodi, you can make further customizations. And make Kodi behave your way.
The installation process for a build is like that of a repo or addon. There may be a few extra steps afterwards, depending on the Kodi build you want to use.
But, remember to allow installation from unknown sources before you start the installation. Here are some Kodi builds you can check out.
- Misfit Mods Lite – In this great build, there are wonderful addons like UK Turks’ Playlist, Bob Unleashed, SkyNet, StreamHub, Cartoons8 and Goodfellas 2.0.
- Kryptikz ZT – Kryptikz is one of the most popular Kodi build, and why not? It has some of the top-rated addons for you in a single package. UK Turks’ Playlists, YouTube, 1Channel, Gobble, Openload Movies, Zen, Supremacy, Brett’s Retro TV, Super Favorites, Wolfpack, Specto Fork, Project M, Gears TV, Bobby’s Cartoons, Music USA and Maverick TV are only a few of them.
- Titanium – The interface of Titanium Kodi build is clean and minimal for excellent user experience for beginners. This build has addons like Maverick TV, UK Turks’ Playlists, Phoenix, Royal We, Project Cypher, Goodfellas 2.0, CCloud, Gobble, Stream Hub and Titan.
Is Kodi legal?
With Kodi, there is so much on offer that you must be wondering if Kodi is legal or not. Although it’s confusing at times, the base software is entirely legal.
The addons available on the official repository of Kodi show you content without breaking any laws but not all the third-party addons. As said above, many addons source their content from illegal hosts.
Premium TV channels are available on free with the addons, and you also get on-demand services without paying a penny. Although the user (you) don’t have to worry about legal consequences, better take precaution and use a VPN client while you are using Kodi. Why?
Do I need a VPN for Kodi?
If you want a straightforward answer, it’s yes. But why, I have no worries about the legality of Kodi. OK.
Even if you don’t have a problem with illegal streaming sources of Kodi addons, there are other uses of VPN services.
They provide you with anonymity while you are browsing the Internet. Your connection is encrypted with strong security protocols so that no one can spy on your browsing activity. The best VPN providers have a range of security protocols ranging from PPTP, L2TP/IPSec and OpenVPN.
These protocols provide different levels of encryption, depending on which the network speed differs. But paid VPN providers like ExpressVPN makes sure that you get optimum streaming speed. It has dedicated software, and it’s easy to set up ExpressVPN on most of the devices that Kodi support.
And unlike the free players in the market, ExpressVPN gives you unlimited bandwidth without any cap on data usage. Apart from the online privacy, there also is another VPN feature that comes handy while enjoying Kodi, that’s to bypass geo-restrictions.
Yes, not all streaming services are available in the US. The British TV channels and their respective online services are restricted outside the UK borders.
Then, there are regional differences in content distribution. For example, Netflix Australia and Netflix UK have many original shows not available in the US.
A Virtual Private Network can remove these restrictions by virtually placing your device in the country you require. Apart from the encryption, you get an IP address of the VPN server you connect to, and this server can be in any country.
FYI, ExpressVPN has servers in about 100 countries around the world.
So, you see using a VPN unlocks more Kodi streaming channels and also provides privacy. They don’t keep any logs, and the Internet officials don’t have to know even if you watch illegal content.
How to stream to the TV without Kodi box?
If you don’t want to buy a Kodi box, you can use your existing Amazon Fire TV Box or Stick. Even if you install Kodi on Firestick addons can be installed in the same way as you do with on any device. Also, on the Amazon Fire Stick, Kodi channels look similar like on any other device.
Then, you can use your mobile to send content to Google Chromecast. Plug the Chromecast to your TV to display your mobile screen on the big screen.
Kodi supports sending the stream to Chromecast. Thus, you can select to stream only the screen of Kodi while working with other apps, without disturbing the display on TV.
Instead of an Amazon Fire TV Stick, you can even use your Roku set top box, to watch Kodi streaming to the TV. Another box currently favorite is the Apple TV. And yes, you can use Kodi on your Apple box with the added advantage of voice search.
How to upgrade Kodi?
Now that you know all about streaming with Kodi, and also how to do it safely, let me tell you how to upgrade Kodi.
For most devices, it’s as simple as you update an app from the respective app stores. You can also download the app from the website and use it to overwrite the app content without losing your previous data.
But, it can be a bit technical with streaming sticks and set-top boxes like Amazon Fire TV or Roku. So, I am leaving this topic for some another time.
Kodi is a versatile software and can cater to all your streaming needs. It can stream to any device you can think of and is a real cheap option if you are looking for cord cutters.
Use it with a VPN running alongside, and you can enjoy the whole world, sitting on your couch.
Have fun kodifying your television.