Kodi, formerly XBMC, is a popular media player that brings a myriad of features to your home theater PC experience…and now it extends beyond the walls of your living room to your mobile devices too. As an ever-evolving piece of software thanks to constant development and a huge repository of add-ons, Kodi is pretty much the de facto open source software for digital entertainment.
At its core, Kodi is simply a media player. It’ll play all of your digital media, including home videos, music, and movies, as well as your optical media such as DVD and Blu-Ray discs. It’s designed with a “10-foot” interface for easy viewing on your TV. Since it’s built around the ultimate HTPC experience, it was also designed to be operated comfortably from your couch by remote control. But anyone who has used Kodi knows it’s much more than a media player. It’s capable of streaming from various sources too through the use of add-ons. Unfortunately for Kodi, it has recently come under fire for add-ons that allow users to pirate copyrighted material. Kodi does not endorse the use of these add-ons, and there are plenty of legitimate Kodi video add-ons that are legal for digital consumption.
One popular use for Kodi is as a frontend for PVR software. PVR stands for “personal video recorder”. PVR software, such as nextPVR, allows the user to digitize their TV signal to view live TV, as well as set their recordings, from any device that can connect to the PVR software. Before cable companies started offering apps that allowed mobile access to TV channels and recordings, this was the only way you could view TV content on your smartphone. There’s still plenty of reasons to bypass cable company apps in favor of PVR software, such as:
- Cable companies can restrict mobile content to your home network.
- Cable companies can restrict you from watching your recordings from a mobile device.
- Oftentimes, cable company apps just crash or don’t work well (Comcast’s Xfinity apps are terrible).
You can also extend the functionality of Kodi by installing add-ons for YouTube, Netflix, radio stations, and podcasts. If there’s a form of digital media out there, chances are, there’s a Kodi add-on for it.
Kodi is an all-in-one digital media platform. It's probably THE most popular piece of media center software in the world. Its popularity gives it a distinct advantage- developers love it, which means there are add-ons for just about everything. It runs well on Windows and Android, allowing connected devices to stream media over the network. You can link your existing media collection from your computer and enjoy your TV shows, movies, home videos, and pictures everywhere!
Installing and Configuring Kodi on Windows
Installing Kodi for Windows 10 is dead simple…you can just go to the Store and install it. Alternatively, you can navigate to Kodi’s website in your browser to download the version that’s compatible with your operating system. Kodi can be installed on Windows, Linux, Mac OS, Android, iOS, Raspberry Pi, and more. The Windows Universal App version of Kodi works with touch as well as a keyboard/mouse setup. Because Kodi runs on Android, that makes it compatible not just with phones but with media streaming devices, such as the Nvidia Shield . Kodi also runs great on an Amazon Fire TV, although you will have to side load the app because of Amazon’s App Store restrictions. Start the slideshow below to see how to connect Kodi to a nextPVR backend on Windows 10:
Slideshow- Tap or click to view
- Read more about the HDHomeRun Prime
- Read more about nextPVR
- Read more about Logitech Harmony Ultimate Home
- Read more about Plex