Kodi app has created quite a buzz within the last couple of years. This article will deal with the most popular app i.e. Kodi and unveil the answers of what is Kodi, What is Kodi on firestick, Kodi tv app and everything related to Kodi. This is going to be your one-stop guide for everything related to Kodi, so don’t forget to bookmark this page for your future references.
We pay a good amount to the cable services and DTH operators. In return what we get is lots of ads in between our movies, TV shows and other favorite content. It feels as if we pay to watch the commercial ads. Insult to the injury is the disrupted or no signals during rains and storms. But, during the last couple of years, users have inclined towards watching live TV, movies or TV shows on the internet. And OTT platforms have changed the game to quite an extent. On top of it, there is no disruption of signals during the rains or storms if accessed via broadband.
Kodi app has seen an exponential surge in its installation on various operating systems and devices (whether official or customized make) in the last 3-4 years, making it the best user’s choice streaming application. Let’s explore what this Kodi thing is.
What is Kodi?
Simply put, Kodi is a media player, but not just an ordinary one. In fact, the term media player seems quite slim to fit in the extraordinary functions you can do with this incredible piece of software, thus maybe it is called a media center.
Kodi is a free, open-source software (foss) with a GPL license. This means that its source code is available in the public domain. The source code is at Github and anyone can edit the code then make a pull request. If found worthy enough, your edit will be included in the code. Or you can compile the foss at your end to suit your taste.
Let’s dive deep into the historical transitions of the Kodi app.
Kodi was not always Kodi. It has seen two decades of tides and ebb to reach the stage of being such an excellent software. Initially, two geeks started coding this piece of software independently then merging their codes for the Xbox and called it Xbox media player (XBMP). Later, the code of YAMP (Yet Another Media Player) was merged with XBMP and the coder of YAMP joined the team.
XBMP was using lots of GPL code, thus due to the huge demand of the coders worldwide, in October 2002, the source code of XBMP was made public. In December 2003, the original coders of XBMP left its development. But thanks to the publicly available source code, various coders around the globe already started fine-tuning the code from the day it was made public. And by the time it was realized that XBMP has been left abandoned by its coders the already fine-tuned version of the software was all-set to be released.
It was renamed as XBox Media Center (XBMC), justifying it not just a media player but a media center software. The first stable version of XBMC was released in September 2006 as XBMC 2.0.0. Later with several contributions and bug fixing, it was renamed what we know today as Kodi. It is currently developed under the non-profit XBMC Foundation
Why Kodi is not just an Ordinary Media Player?
A customized high-end home theater needs an excellent media player. And there are several media players out there boasting their supremacy. For your such quest, no other app can even raise a challenge to the features, extraordinary functions and flexibility the Kodi offers. The best part, Kodi is a foss, so it will never ask you for any payments.
Like other ordinary media players, Kodi can play media files from your local storage and local network. But, it shows its strength for the online content streaming of copyright-free content. You can just throw any streaming link and it will play that for you. Kodi can turn your any computer, tablet, mobile into a full-fledged set-top box or a streaming device to stream content from the internet.
But there’s much much more to reveal.
Amazon Inc. has developed devices like Firestick / Fire TV / Fire TV Cube. There is also Firestick 4k as well. Among these, Firestick/Fire TV are quite popular. A Firestick resembles a USB stick (a little bulkier than that), whereas the Amazon Fire TV is a square and bigger dimensioned box. The Firestick (Fire TV stick) can turn your any display device with an HDMI port into a smart TV to stream your favorite content.
All you need to do is plug in this device, supply the power from the adapter and play around with its remote. Amazon has its own app store called Amazon store which has several popular apps to install on your firestick. Amazon firestick/fire TV is based on the Android operating system, which means that you can also install the android apks on firestick as well, however, a little tweak is needed for that.
Amazon firestick also comes with a firestick remote. If you ever find yourself running into a problem with the firestick remote, at Dinno we have a one-stop halt firestick remote guide to fix all your Amazon Fire TV and Firestick remote problems.
The firestick remote is not like RF remotes but it uses bluetooth technology to shake hands with the device. The firestick remote controls work with Kodi just the same way it does with other apps.
Kodi Supported Operating Systems & Devices
Kodi app is a tool to enable your any supported device (almost any) to stream the content from copyright-free streaming services as well as on-demand content.
Kodi has an app for almost all the popular and widely used operating systems viz Linux, macOS, Windows, Android, iOS, tvOS and Raspberry Pi. To get Kodi for your OS refer to the official Kodi download page.
Kodi works like a charm for the Android mobile, Android TV & Android Boxes, Apple devices and Amazon devices like firestick, Fire TV, Fire TV Cube as well.
Is Kodi Legal and Safe?
There is a thin line that separates the legality of Kodi and the illegal zone and that all depends on the user. Much like the torrents, what a user does with Kodi defines the legality of it. There has been a debate going on for years to target Kodi, by the big giants in the industry. But, despite their ire, Kodi has kept on becoming favorite of the masses. You can smell the severity that Amazon had dropped Kodi app from its official Amazon store in June 2015, stating the copyright issues with the Kodi app. The threat to its legality has been mainly posed by the 3rd-party addon developers and Kodi boxes.
Yes, there is an official repository for Kodi add-ons and there are unofficial Kodi add-on sources as well. While the official add-ons don’t pose any legal threat as they have been officially approved by the XBMC team, whereas the unofficial add-ons may cross the border. XBMC has always been against these third-party add-ons but being a foss it can’t stop someone from developing the addon.
If this all seems ambiguous, the article Is Kodi Legal will sort out your worries.
You may unknowingly enter the illegal zone with Kodi, thus a VPN service may be your savior. Best Kodi VPNs are discussed in the next section.
Best Kodi VPNs
As discussed, you may unknowingly open a link to copyright content. Even if you are watching the subscribed content, your ISP is continuously tracking your online activity. Your ISP can throttle the speed or even block a content from being delivered at your end if they find it necessary. Also, some of your favorite streaming services may not be available in your country.
With a VPN, you can re-route your traffic and bypass the prying eyes and regain your privacy.
A VPN should have a well-distributed network of servers all around the globe and should provide high speeds as well. After all, you are going to stream 4K videos and with a slow VPN, your videos will keep on buffering forever.
Also, there are free as well as paid options for VPN. While it’s obvious to go ahead with the free option, however, there is an extra cost with the free VPNs viz.
a) Slow speed & unstable connection
b) Limited VPN protocols
c) Privacy at risk
d) Fewer server options to choose from
e) Insecure servers
When you are already trying to bypass the prying eyes of your ISP, why keep the door open for someone else. It’s better to choose a paid VPN with good connectivity and a good amount of server distribution with better privacy.
Below is a list of five VPNs that fit in the criteria
1) IP Vanish
This is an excellent VPN service with high speed and servers located in more than 75 coordinates on the globe. IP Vanish provides a 30-day money-back guarantee.
2) Express VPN
This is a military-grade encrypted VPN that has servers in more than 94 countries. Express VPN has a strict no-logging policy which makes it the best choice for Kodi users. It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
3) Cyber Ghost
This VPN has vast 6800+ servers in 89 countries. Cyber Ghost is the best budget VPN for Kodi users and comes with an extended 45-day money-back guarantee.
4) Nord VPN
This VPN offers great privacy with servers available in more than 60 countries. Nord VPN has quite attractive plans and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
5) Vypr VPN
This VPN has servers in more than 65 countries. It manages all the servers by itself. No 3rd party involved at any node. It has a 3-day free trial but no money-back guarantee.
Select any one of the above VPN then follow the below process to regain your privacy.
a) Download & install your VPN from the app store
b) Select the server from your preferred country
c) Open Kodi
d) Enjoy the streaming
How to Get Started with Kodi
Kodi is an excellent piece of software with exceptional functions but, it doesn’t host any video. This means that either you have to pass a media file from the local storage/ local network or a valid URL of the streaming content.
Before moving ahead to see the functional abilities of Kodi, let’s go through the installation steps first.
How to Install Kodi
First things first, Kodi is not available on the official Amazon app. As mentioned earlier that Amazon has withdrawn the Kodi app from the store. So there is no direct way to do so. However, with a little tweak on firestick, you can have all the fun that Kodi offers.
The latest version of Kodi is 19.0 Matrix but not every add-on is right now compatible with this latest version. The just previous stable and popular version of Kodi is 18.9 Leia.
The below Kodi installation tutorial applies to both the Matrix and Leia versions. Clear installation instructions are given for the step where a different action needs to be taken for the two versions.
The entire installation process is divided into three parts viz
1) Install the Downloader app
a) Click the Home button on your firestick
b) Select Find
c) Search for Downloader. From the results, select Downloader
d) Select the Downloader app, shown on the screen.
e) Click the download button beside Get
2) Prepare Firestick for Kodi Installation
Let’s get started with Kodi installation
a) Can you see the settings icon on the extreme right hand? Click it.
b) Here, select My Fire TV
c) Select Developer Options
d) Select Install Unknown apps
e) Turn it on for the Downloader app
f) Press the Home button on your remote and select the settings icon once again
g) Here, open Preferences
h) Click Privacy Settings
i) Switch OFF Device Usage Data & Collect App Usage Data
Now we are ready to start the final step of Kodi installation
3) Kodi Installation
a) Open the Downloader app and select the text field to enter the URL
b) Kodi Leia lovers type in https://bit.ly/2QKrWw3 & for Kodi Matrix type in https://bit.ly/2QL6gQf
c) Click Go
d) Now the webpage opens. Can you see the red circle? That’s the cursor. Control it from the remote and click the download button
e) Now the Kodi is being downloaded
f) Click Install
g) Installation in progress
h) Wait for the installation confirmation & select Done
i) When the downloader asks, delete the downloaded file. This file is not needed anymore and only adds up to the storage
j) Confirm Delete the file
Your preferred Kodi has now been installed on the Firestick.
What is a Kodi Repository?
As mentioned, Kodi is a foss so anyone can edit the code and make a pull request. The huge popularity of Kodi and being foss, led to lots of add-ons development by several Kodi fans. And there is an official Kodi add-ons repository. Over there the devs have the opportunity to submit their add-ons. If the devs have followed the Kodi add-on guidelines and the reviewers approve it, the add-on gets a place in the Kodi repository. From this repository, the add-ons can be installed in Kodi.
What is a Kodi Add-on?
No doubt, Kodi is an exceptional media center software but its add-ons are the one which makes Kodi the user’s first choice. Kodi expands its functional wings through utilities called add-ons. The official add-ons are the ones approved by the XBMC team and placed in the official repository. But, there are unofficial add-ons as well that can be installed in Kodi as a zip file, from a repo like Git or the dev can create their own repo from which users can install the add-on.
Literally, you can install thousands of add-ons in Kodi which can then turn your Kodi media center into a streaming superpower hub. These add-ons can search the internet for free movies and music and provide access to a variety of streaming content of your favorite movies, TV shows and Live TV.
At Dinno, we have created a list of the best Kodi add-ons for live TV.
Add-ons at the official Kodi repository are safe add-ons but, beware while installing third-party add-ons. Some of these third-party add-ons can put you in legal trouble, if not using one of the VPNs discussed above. And no, not all third-party add-ons are a security risk.
Stay safe, use safe add-ons.
What is a Kodi EPG?
A Kodi Electronic Program Guide (EPG) helps you with the Live TV streaming add-ons you install on Kodi. The Kodi EPG resembles the conventional cable or DTH program guide where you can see the current and next scheduled programs. You see what’s being streamed on a particular Live TV and can switch to that stream if you like, with its friendly user interface.
There are various EPG add-ons available for installation but as mentioned they work only with the Live TV add-ons.
What is a Kodi Skin?
Kodi is not just technically advanced. The team and the contributors all over the world have created several skins for Kodi. With a Kodi skin, you can bring a complete makeover to your Kodi for more personal attachment.
A skin can customize all the menus, icons, images and designs of Kodi. You can find these Kodi skins on the official Kodi repository. And just like add-ons, there are also unofficial Kodi skins available outside the official Kodi repo.
What is a Kodi Build?
After you install the Kodi, now is the time to search several hours on the internet for the add-ons or skins that you want. A Kodi build saves you from all this quest.
A Kodi build comes with lots of popular add-ons, skins, EPG, setting and many many more things. Kodi build is the perfect way to quickly start and enjoy streams with Kodi. With just a few clicks, you can install all the desired add-ons, skins and EPG.
Don’t miss our detailed article on the Kodi No-limits magic build, which will get you started with streaming on Kodi within minutes.
What is a Kodi Wizard?
A Kodi build can save you lots of time of searching the add-ons and skins but searching best Kodi builds may also seem to be time-consuming. What if you get some of the popular builds in one place so that you can choose quickly from them. A Kodi wizard provides this facility.
A Kodi wizard contains several popular builds but it goes beyond that. It can also contain tools that can help you with buffering issues, speed tests, installing android apps and many more things.
With a Kodi wizard, you can test various builds then switch to the final one that suits your taste and you are good to go with your favorite movie or TV show. Apart from that, a Kodi wizard can handle many functions.
What is a Kodi Box?
A Kodi Box is a customized hardware device that is packed with Kodi software and popular add-ons for streaming. Beware, these boxes are also called illicit streaming devices (ISD) and are in no way associated with XBMC.
No, XBMC doesn’t manufacture or sells any such boxes. In fact, such boxes are pre-packed with the add-ons that provide access to copyright-protected content without any subscription, which has tainted Kodi fame to quite an extent.
On its official website, Kodi has shared an article that in EU such boxes are illegal and cracked down. Also, the e-commerce giants like Amazon are also removing such boxes from their portals.
Anyway, such boxes come pre-installed with several add-ons, most of which you will never found useful. It’s better to buy a device like a firestick and customize your Kodi with your own selected add-ons.
How to get Subtitles in Kodi?
With Kodi you can enjoy unlimited copyright-free content. However, there may be a case that a content you want to watch is neither created nor dubbed in your native language. And the only hope is to find a good source of subtitles for that content. With Kodi you need not search anywhere. Kodi can automatically fetch and display the subtitles for your content. For details and a step-by-step guide see how to get subtitles in Kodi?
Kodi Not working issues?
Kodi is also an app and users may face some issues with it. However, the errors are quite less than the similar apps. An error within the Kodi may not be related to Kodi at all. It may be due to your internet, an add-on, a repository, a build or something else. To see the various reported Kodi errors and their fixes visit Kodi not working; the ultimate Kodi revival guide.
How to Uninstall Kodi from Firestick?
Once installed, you will never uninstall Kodi for not being up to your expectations. But, for troubleshooting or any other maintenance reasons, if you ever wish to uninstall Kodi, you can follow the below steps.
a) Press the Home button on your firestick remote.
b) Come to the Kodi app. Don’t open it.
c) Press the options button (the three horizontal lines) on your remote.
d) Select Uninstall from the drop-down list.
Done. Kodi is now uninstalled from your firestick
Kodi is an exceptional media center that supports all the operating systems and the most popular devices as well. The add-ons can turn your Kodi into a streaming beast. The skins can give a complete makeover to Kodi. You don’t even have to search for the best add-ons or skins. Popular Kodi builds bring them to you. Even the best Kodi build is not hard to find as the Kodi wizards come with several popular builds and lots of functions. And yes, Kodi is completely legal, just be wise with what you do with it.