Kodi is a full featured media center actively developed for numerous platforms such as Windows, Linux, and Android. Kodi can play media such music, videos, pictures from your device, over your home network, as well as from the Internet. But Kodi’s add-on functionality is what makes it such a great media centre. Add-ons from official and third-party sources provide the ability to stream movies and television shows. I’ll go over the basics and then explain how to get started with my favorite add-ons.
What can add-ons do with Kodi?
Pretty much anything. You’ve probably heard you can stream movies and TV shows, but you can also install add-ons for other services you subscribe to such as Crackle, NHL Game Center, YouTube, Netflix, Spotify, and many more.
It’s important that you DO NOT download Kodi from any other website than www.kodi.tv. Kodi is free. You should never be asked to pay to download, install, or use the software.
Although Kodi on it’s own is legal, it’s worth noting that nearly all add-ons for Kodi are developed and maintained by a third-party. Some add-ons could be unlawful in your region.
Downloading and using any third-party add-ons is a risk. The security of these add-ons is questionable. Always be mindful of your data. Some add-ons could be malware. Use common sense. And consider using a VPN.
Are you a cord cutter? That’s cool – go subscribe to Netflix, Amazon Prime, CraveTV, or whatever is available in your country for accessing content online. Kodi can be used as a secondary source for programming you consume legally. With that said, there are numerous reasons as to why Kodi is a suitable alternative for content consumption. Just make sure you’re within your rights because the add-on developers, repositories, Kodi, and this website are not responsible for your actions.
How do I get Kodi?
If you’re running Windows, head over to www.kodi.tv, click Download, and select the appropriate download for your platform. There’s no need to be overwhelmed by the amount of download choices. If you’re using a Windows PC, select the download option for Windows and then complete the installation.
In some cases Kodi may already be installed on your Android box. More details on how to install Kodi on other platforms such as Android are coming soon.
How do I use Kodi?
Kodi supports multiple input methods such as mouse, touch screen, or even a remote control. I typically use the keyboard to navigate as there are numerous keyboard shortcuts in addition to the basics of using the arrow keys, enter button, and the backspace key to go back. You can also use the keyboard’s left and right arrow keys to change focus to elements such as the scrollbar for faster scrolling when browsing large lists or to the sorting menu to help sort and change the current view type (such as list, card view, etc).
I’ll admit navigating Kodi can be a bit of a pain. It’s completely drill down menu driven and can be confusing especially when entering information. But it doesn’t take long to get the hang of it.
How do I get add-ons to stream movies and TV shows?
Installing third-party add-ons in Kodi is simple as adding a third-party repository and installing add-ons like you would from the official repository. By default, Kodi has its own repository of add-ons developed and maintained by the community. However the vast majority of add-ons are only available through third-party repositories. Think of a repository like the App Store on iOS or the Play Store on Android. Developers can choose to release their add-ons to alternative repositories.
Historically the masses used a repository by TVAddons (previously called XBMCHUB and commonly referred to as “Fusion”). This repository included thousands of add-ons for all sorts of services. Unfortunately TVAddons is going through an entangled mess of legal problems. Fear not, there are literally hundreds of repositories maintained by communities of developers. In most cases add-ons and repositories are developed and maintained by volunteers. Developers, repositories, and add-ons come and go and staying on top of them can be quite the task.
The easiest way to keep up-to-date on the latest add-ons is by following the subreddit /r/Addons4Kodi. From there you can find all kinds of useful repositories and add-ons. When you find an add-on and/or repository you can use this guide to help you add it to your Kodi installation.
More ways to use Kodi
You may also be interested in How to stream content from your iPhone, iPad, or Android device to Kodi. Basically transforming your Kodi instance into an AirPlay or DLNA receiver.