Distinguished Member

Kodi 19 “Matrix” released with AV1, HDR, tvOS support​


Kodi is an open-source media center that was initially designed for the XBOX game console, but was quickly ported to other platforms such as Windows and Linux, and eventually to low-cost Android TV boxes and single board computers such as Raspberry Pi.
A new stable release of the software comes out every couple of years, and the developers have just announced the release of Kodi 19 “Matrix” a little over two years after Kodi 18 “Leia” release.

Kodi 19 "Matrix" Features

For audio and music lovers, there are significant improvements across the board to metadata handling: library improvements, new tags, new displays, improvements to how Kodi handles release dates, album durations, multi-disc sets, and more. There's a new, Matrix-inspired visualisation, there are improvements to display when fetching files from a web server, and several changes to how audio decoder addons can pass information through to the Kodi player.
For video, most of the changes are more technical, and may depend on your hardware: AV1 software decoding, HLG HDR and static HDR10 playback on Windows 10, static HDR10 and dynamic Dolby Vision HDR support on Android, and more OpenGL bicubic scalers.
For those who combine the two, and have libraries of music videos, you get some goodies as well: database and metadata display improvements mean that Kodi will now fetch and display related album and artist information from the music library, where appropriate. There are also new features around grouping videos by artist (not just album), support for .NFO files that list all performers instead of just the main artist, plus better search links to return related albums and videos by the same director director.
And, finally, if your definition of "play" is more game-related, we've implemented integer scaling to improve the viewing quality of Pixel Art games across the board, while iOS get support for Xbox, PlayStation and other supported Bluetooth game controllers.
For many people, the interface is Kodi - it's how you find your way around, it's how you interact with the application and your media. As such, it's always getting some attention, and this release is no different: screen redesign, especially for music; new metadata displays; changes to playlist views; a new "now playing" view; artwork and image file improvements; both new and updated GUI controls. Some changes may be subtle, but all are designed to improve your experience.
An often-overlooked feature, but immensely useful to so many people, subtitles get some attention in this release: timestamp overlays get fixed, plus you can now select a dark grey colour and set an opacity for the captions (particularly useful in HDR - protect your eyes, kids, you'll miss them when they're gone).
Addons and Scrapers
Python comes in for some major changes in Kodi 19. Because the old Python 2.7 has gone out of support, we've finally made the wholesale move to Python 3 and ported our addons across. Much of the community has come with us, so, hopefully, your favourite addons will still function, but we're at the mercy of third-party contributors to update their work.

Kodi 19 replaces the old XML metadata scrapers with new default Python for movies and TV shows; there are also new Python scrapers for music, Generic Album Scraper and Generic Artist Scraper. Binary addons in general get improvements to system documentation, cleaned up settings dialogs, and better help text.
PVR and Live Television
Another significant part of Kodi that's had a lot of attention in this release. Most new features here revolve around usability: PVR reminders, home screen widgets, group/channel manager enhancements, navigation and dialog controls, context menus, New/Live/Finale/Premiere tags, channel numbering and sorting, performance improvements, API improvements.
There are a few new security features implemented now in Kodi, to help keep you safe from intentional or unintentional problems. Kodi will now enforce the origin of installed addons and their dependencies, which prevents third-party repositories from overwriting code of unrelated add-ons; broken or deprecated add-ons are now highlighted in the add-on list, so you have to actively agree to activate one; the binary addon system now has higher security around data exchange between Kodi and an addons. In addition, we've added a default requirement to password-protect Kodi's web interface, plus give better information around the security implications of enabling external interfaces if you do choose to enable them.
Platform Specifics
As a cross-platform application, we try our very best to keep all platforms feature equivalent where we can. However, there are inevitably platform differences, and we also have to make room by dropping old platforms as technology moves on.
The big platform change with this release is new support for tvOS, but this means waving goodbye to iOS 32-bit. Beyond that, there are specific tweaks such as specific TopShelf support and fixes on AppleTV, better logging and notch support on iOS, and a move to a single Linux binary for multiple windowing systems (X11, Wayland, and GBM) versus the previous three. That last one will make a big difference to both users and package maintainers, since you'll no longer have to select a different binary based on the target environment.
Behind the Scenes
Probably too hidden for many users, but there are inevitably changes and improvements that you can't see, but might give more scope for new features later on: API changes to feed subtitle URIs to the player; multiple updates to various core modules; improvements to API calls and actions, and many more. They may not be important to you, but they took real work and I mention them for completeness.
The default user interface may look similar to the one for Kodi 18, but there have been many changes over the last two years with some of the highlights including:
  • Skin/Look-and-Feel
    • Screen redesign, especially for music with new metadata displays and changes to playlist views
    • New “now playing” view
    • Artwork and image file improvements
  • Video Playback
    • AV1 software decoding
    • Windows 10 – HLG HDR and static HDR10 playback
    • Android – Static HDR10 and dynamic Dolby Vision HDR
    • More OpenGL bicubic scalers
    • Metadata and visualization improvement for music videos with the display of artist and album information
  • Audio Playback
    • Metadata handling Improvements with library improvements, new tags, new displays, improvements to how Kodi handles release dates, album durations, multi-disc sets, and more.
    • New, Matrix-inspired, visualization
    • Improvements to display when fetching files from a web server
    • Several changes to how audio decoder addons can pass information through to the Kodi player.
  • Subtitles
    • Fix for timestamp overlays
    • Dark grey color and opacity settings for the captions, which the developers say is especially important for HDR content.
  • Games
    • Adding Integer scaling to improve the viewing quality of Pixel Art games
    • iOS – Support for Xbox, PlayStation, and other supported Bluetooth game controllers
  • Addons and Scrapers
    • Python 2.7 is not supported anymore, so everything has been ported to Python 3
    • Kodi 19 also replaces the old XML metadata scrapers with new default Python for movies and TV shows
    • New Python scrapers are also available for music, Generic Album Scraper, and Generic Artist Scraper.
    • Improvement to binary addons
  • PVR and Live Television – Added PVR reminders, home screen widgets, group/channel manager enhancements, navigation, and dialog controls, context menus, New/Live/Finale/Premiere tags, channel numbering, and sorting, as well as performance and API improvements.
  • Security
    • Enforcement of the origin of installed addons and dependencies to prevents third-party repositories from overwriting code of unrelated add-ons
    • Broken or deprecated add-ons are now highlighted in the add-on list
    • The binary addon system now has higher security around data exchange between Kodi and an addons
    • Kodi’s interface is password-protected by default
  • Platform-specific changes to Kodi 19
    • Added support for tvOS, and removal of iOS 32-bit
    • AppleTV – TopShelf support and fixes
    • iOS – Better logging and notch support
    • Linux – Single Linux binary for X11, Wayland, and GBM windowing systems
  • Plenty of under-the-hood API changes
Last edited:


Active Member
To all those considering updating their installed version of Kodi 18 or earlier to the brand new version 19 "Matrix" be aware that there is a good chance, if you have installed any Kodi add-ons or skins, that your Kodi will not function in the same way as it did before the update. For example there are already reports warning that updating to Kodi 19 on the Nvidia Shield Pro 2019 (and probably the 2017 and 2015 Shields) stops Kodi from starting successfully. Also it's not clear if any skins other than Estuary are compatible with Kodi 19 yet. Transparency, which is my favourite Kodi skin, is definately not compatible with Kodi 19 and never will be according to Transparency's developer.

If your media player is set to auto-update apps, which was the default setting on my Nvidia Shield, make sure you switch this setting off before Kodi updates itself unless you're happy to let it update and run the risk of your Kodi no longer working.



Distinguished Member
All good here, but I don't run any addons or skin apart from Estuary


Well-known Member
I made the mistake of upgrading my shield. MQ8 doesn't work, goes to default Estuary skin.

I haven't tried anything else yet, not too bothered, I have Plex & MrMC.

My advice is wait a few few weeks.


I upgraded to V19 and experienced some performance issues and audio issues for movies where there was no sound after start up, this occurred most times. I reverted back to V18.9 by re installing it and have no problems now. I only use Estuary and the addons for that skin.

Sloppy Bob

Distinguished Member
I'm missing a couple of my subtitle apps, other than that the few things I have work fine.

However, on my Shield, I'm finding when I try to exit Kodi it just freezes quite often.


addons working Shadow, venom, seren(resolutions, oath maurander forks addons which for me provide the most cached links) but very slow as i find all kodi addons since the beginning of time especially on my shlelds 2019 non and pro


Distinguished Member

Matrix 19.1​



  • Fixed: HDR metadata is now detected in VP9 profile 2 streams and can be used on platforms that support HDR passthrough or tone mapped when playing this kind of videos.

  • Fixed: playback of optical DVDs in Linux
  • Fixed: BD-J Blu-ray chapter skipping via remotes/keyboard

  • Fixed: context menu not accessible in PVR Guide window when using very basic remote to control Kodi
  • Fixed: client channel name and number not persisted when changed
  • Fixed: play count and resume position of recordings lost after Kodi restart
  • Fixed: crash while browsing the EPG when MySQL is used as EPG database
  • Fixed: next recording on … label time is not localized in Estuary Timer/Timer rules window
  • Fixed: channel manager does not rename backend channel
  • Fixed: playing archived programme not selected when opening the Guide window
  • Fixed: GUI not updated on removal/insert/hide/unhide of channel groups
  • Updated: improved look of PVR windows in Estuary
Music Library

  • Fixed: issue with music from cuesheets where only the first track was being added to the library on rescanning, with the rest being deleted

  • Fixed: PVR – Reintroduced broadcast properties ‘hastimer’, ‘hastimerrule’, ‘hasrecording’, ‘recording’
  • Fixed: PVR – Reintroduced channel property ‘isrecording’

  • Fixed: detection of system fonts (directwrite) on windows for ASS subtitles
  • Fixed: detection of user fonts (in userdata/fonts) for ASS subtitles
  • Fixed: rendering of semi-transparent ASS subtitles on Wayland

  • Fixed: media flagging for DVD/BluRay
Web Interface

  • Updated: Chorus2 based on community contributions

  • Updated: enable filecaching by default for network filesystems
  • Updated: improve filecache error handling

  • Updated: improved reliability for HTTP and NFS network filesystems
Windows specifics

  • Added: support for WS-Discovery protocol that enables locating SMB servers and browsing shared folders using SMBv3.
  • Added: debug Info OSD Video. Extends current Debug Info Player (Ctrl+Shift+O) with new video-only info (Alt+O)
  • Fixed: with some unusual streams, incorrect HDR metadata could be passed (HDR10 passthrough).
  • Fixed: green screen on systems with old HW (DX feature level 9.1) playing 10-bit videos.
  • Fixed: black screen with Software render method and with DXVA2 hardware acceleration disabled.
  • Fixed: green screen when playing the menu of some DVDs (MPEG2 SD only).
  • Fixed: credentials being requested for anonymous SMB shares
  • Updated: VC runtimes included in the installer to add compatibility with VS2019 and VS2017 at the same time.
Android specifics

  • Fixed: SMB shares mounted on system level not visible in Kodi
  • Fixed: SMB shares labelled with cryptic numbers (UUID) instead of actual disk name
Xbox specifics

  • This version also brings 19.1 to the Xbox – while 19.0 has been in the Microsoft Store since launch, this was Windows-only while we found a way to adequately test the new release on Xbox. We’ve fixed that now, so Xbox users will automatically upgrade from 18.9 to 19.1 if you’ve got auto-update enabled. It’s worth mentioning that there’s a known memory limitation – present in 18.x as well – that causes Xbox application crashes with 4k content, so please be aware.


Distinguished Member
Wonder what time it will hit the Xbox. Not there yet as far as I can see.

Hopefully there's something in the pipeline for Kodi for Xbox bitstreaming the audio as it's in the insider program and the Plex app has it working for all HD audio including atmos etc..

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