In simple terms, the software known as Kodi is an open source media center. Prior to the name change, it was previously referred to as XBMC. With the use of Kodi, you can view and play all of your favorite television shows, photos, music, and even movies across multiple devices. Typically, a person would download and install Kodi on a compatible device. From there, they would connect that device to a HD television. In order to make the program function correctly, the links to a variety of media sources is added to the settings and configured properly.
Because Kodi is open sourced, members from the Kodi community create “add-ons” for the platform that allow other users to access media that’s even on the internet. Since there are so many add-ons being created, Kodi doesn’t incorporate any of them in their platform. Users have to download them individually.
Regardless of if it’s your own created media and content or someone else’s, Kodi allows the use of every source and add-on in one single platform.
One of the best descriptions of Kodi would be “Netflix on steroids!” It can read all information that relates any file, so you’ll always have the most accurate information when looking at movie and show descriptions.
The Kodi Platform: Is It Legal or Not?
The biggest question in regards to Kodi is if it is legal to use. The answer to that is: absolutely. The Kodi software doesn’t come with any content installed on it. Users have to add their own sources and media. Kodi is just the platform to view all of it, so there’s nothing illegal about it. Another way to look at it is like using Google. You can search for whatever you like using google, but they don’t create the websites you view, other people do. They just provide you with access to all of them in one location. Same with Kodi.
Some people see this as a bit of a grey area. As long as you have the video sources, then you can watch pretty much whatever you want. People often watch movies that are literally still out in theaters. Although they are viewing pirated movies, they actually didn’t steal the video themselves. They simply watch a version being streamed online. This is pretty much a legal loophole.
However, there are constantly ongoing debates regarding this matter. Some people download the Kodi platform and only illegal add-ons created for the sole purpose of viewing illegal content. They them turn around and sell the Kodi bundles to people online. Because the purchasers don’t know that they are getting illegal add-ons to view content, they don’t give a single thought to if they are watching content that is pirated. The best thing to do is simply utilize the add-ons that are approved by Kodi themselves.
Upon Kodi becoming aware of this situation, they released a statement themselves addressing this specific issue. They warn users about sellers selling modified versions of Kodi that include piracy plugins and add-ons. After the buyers purchase it, the seller disappears. Something goes wrong with the add-on or plugin and the buyer, unable to get in contact with the seller, goes to Kodi seeking assistance only to discover that they have been watching movies and shows illegally the whole time.
To keep their name and brand from being ruined by these types of individuals, Kodi has started to bring legal actions against those who are taking advantage of their platform for illegal means.
Using and Setting Up Kodi
The easiest way to get up and running with Kodi is to simply follow their Quick Start manual. It pretty much covers everything you need to start utilizing it correctly. It’s arranged in a way that’s easy to navigate through to find information and specific tutorials. You can also refer to the Kodi community for any extra assistance you might need. Most answers and solutions are found there.
Think of Kodi as your own personal media jukebox. As mentioned earlier, simply by installing the program on your pc or laptop and connecting it to a television (if you want), you’ll have access to all of the streaming you could possibly want. Add your favorite add-ons and plugins. Just remember to try and use only legal ones. You want to obey the law.
If you’d like to use a PVR (Personal Video Recorder) with Kodi, you should look into adding MythTV. This will enable you to have your very own “Do-It-Yourself” DVR. You can find instructions on how to set up and run it on Kodi’s wiki.
In the event that you don’t really care to use Kodi on your computer, you still have another option. Many people actually have Kodi installed on their Amazon Fire TV Stick. Your entire streaming library can be consolidated on it very easily. This method also allows your computer to remain free for use while Kodi is being used at the same time. Not only is this convenient, it’s also pretty cheap. An Amazon Fire TV stick usually costs around $49.99 when purchased on Amazon. Some people say you have to jailbreak your Fire Stick in order to utilize it in this manner, but that’s completely untrue. It can be done straight out of the box.
The Final Opinion: Should You Get Kodi?
All in all, Kodi is definitely a highly-recommended media center. In fact, you’d actually be pretty pressed to find a better option that currently on the market, especially a free one. One downside that’s also a plus is the constant updates to the platform. They can become overwhelming at times, but also very welcomed. It illustrates that the people behind Kodi take pride in their software and are constantly making many improvements to platform.
This is a platform that can be a bit more those who are “techie” and prefer to be more hands on. For those who don’t, a device like the Roku might be a better option. To be honest though, you can expect to be missing out on a lot of great features that come with using Kodi. Besides, the learning curve isn’t really as major as most people think.