KODI: A beginner’s guide

Discussion in 'Video Streaming Boxes & Services' started by Mark Hodgkinson, Nov 6, 2015.


    1. Mark Hodgkinson

      Mark Hodgkinson
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    2. richardb70

      richardb70
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      Good intro article. We've been using Kodi for years on Windows 8; there's a very good shell called XMBCLauncher (might be renamed by now) which takes you straight in on boot. Advanced Launcher is fantastic for games emulators and Steam games. Control is via a Logitech Harmony or an app on my phone.

      I've tried an awful lot of skins and I keep coming back to Aeon Nox 5, it's fully customisable and hasn't let me down yet.
       
    3. Cha1ky

      Cha1ky
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      Are there any skins that are usable on the fire TV that allow you to separate kids movies and TV into their own sections like movies and TV shows are now. So movies, kids movies etc.
       
    4. richardb70

      richardb70
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      @Cha1ky, we do just this on our PC. Few ways you can do it, but simplest for us was to change the movie structure on the server to:

      Movies
      -> Children
      -> Film 1
      -> Film 2
      -> Adult
      -> Film 3

      Point Kodi at the top "Movies" and it'll scan the whole lot into your library. Then set up a smart playlist for movies, where the path begins with "Movies/Children", another one for "Movies/Adult", and if you use Aeon Nox 5 or similar, you can assign top-level menus with smart playlists.

      Smart playlists - Kodi
       
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    5. Cha1ky

      Cha1ky
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      Thanks I'll have a look at that. I already have the moves folder and kids movies folders seperate so that's a start.

      Does this give you the kids movie option in the main screen or do I have to go through playbills to get to the kids stuff.

      Also it's not for PC it's for the Amazon fire TV.
       
    6. Mark Hodgkinson

      Mark Hodgkinson
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      There is so much you can do, it's hard to keep it simple Richard. It is the intention to expand on this and cover more complex stuff going forwards though. I might just try and squeeze the XBMC Launcher (it is still called that) app info in there though as it does make it that bit easier for novices.

      Yeah, Nox is really good. I use the FTV skin mostly - it's amazing for content discovery and very customisable too. I really don't like Confluence!

      The one I mentioned above Cha1ky. It is actually based on the Fire TV interface and you could definitely achieve what you want using it.

      Each menu section (Menus, TV etc) is allotted up to eight widgets of your choosing which can draw content from pretty much any add-on as well as your library and smart playlists. You can also create your own custom menu items with up to eight widgets.

      See photos of my set up on Minix Z64 which is using sections of Netflix, Amazon Instant, iPlayer, YouTube, Super Favourite folders and local content to populate the widgets but, as I said, you can pretty much have anything you like in them.

      c2.jpg

      To be honest, at the time I probably spent more time tinkering with the Skin than I did watching anything but I find it fun!

      Also, as Richard says and you can assign any smart playlist to a widget in FTV skin too. There's usually a way to achieve your goals!
       

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    7. Cha1ky

      Cha1ky
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      Thanks lads. Will have a good look at it this weekend then.
       
    8. richardb70

      richardb70
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      Not sure what skins the Fire TV supports but AN5 is fairly easy on resources, you can run it up on the Pi 2. What I did was to remove the "Movies" from the top menu and create two new top menu items based on the two smart playlists. So my top menu has "Kids Films" and "Films", which go straight in, no messing around.

      I love the "logo" view for TV Shows and Movies too. Not sure about skin support.
       
    9. Mark Hodgkinson

      Mark Hodgkinson
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      I've tried quite a few on the Fire TV/Stick and they work well. Depending on how many widgets you've got the FTV skin can be a bit resource heavy so the Stick might struggle - it's also pretty confusing switching from the native UI of a Fire TV device to one that's the same...but different!
       
    10. geogan

      geogan
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      Anyone know if this Kodi system is better than a MyMovies (My Movies - Home) installation in a Windows environment where the entire Windows 7 machine is dedicated as media server and nothing else with multiple large Tb drive for storage of movies? I mean people who have used both...
      I suppose I could try and install the Windows version on the server in parallel for a while to test it out, but would eventually like to remove Windows 7 - and all it's slowness, quirks, and the need to use Windows Media Centre - entirely eventually and use that full custom OS version branch of Kodi mentioned in article so it has full control of machine without Windows getting in the way.
       
    11. Mark Hodgkinson

      Mark Hodgkinson
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      I've not used MyMovies but having a scan, neither KODI or OpenELEC could replace all those functionalities. I've not used PLEX (based on XBMC) extensively but it does at least most of what MyMovies says it does and lots of folk swear by it. I'm sure others will chime in on that...
       
    12. 1080 jawbreaker

      1080 jawbreaker
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      KODI = piracy
       
    13. Mark Hodgkinson

      Mark Hodgkinson
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      For some it does but for many others it doesn't...
       
    14. tcp/ip

      tcp/ip
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      I am really stuck at the minute between Plex and Kodi. Plex is easier to manage and very simple to add things like kids tv section and other sections as needed. Also I like the media manger with Plex and find its scrappers are better than Kodi. On the other hand Kodi is much better than Plex when it comes to support for files like .img and .iso. Also the big problem is that at the minute neither support HD codecs like DTS-HD, Dolby TrueHD and Atmos. Just my thoughts. I have both installed and configured on my Nvidia Shield and chop and change between what media I am looking at playing.
       
    15. richardb70

      richardb70
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      @tcp/ip, Kodi supports pass-through of HD codecs.
       
    16. Mark Hodgkinson

      Mark Hodgkinson
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      But not on the Shield, yet, although it's coming.
       
    17. 1080 jawbreaker

      1080 jawbreaker
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      for many it does for some it doesn't :( countless users abuse it
       
    18. richardb70

      richardb70
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      You may as well replace "Kodi" with "The Internet".
       
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    19. Dan201

      Dan201
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      Hi

      Can a media player using KODI stream bluray MKV rips with their HD audio tracks?
       
    20. Mark Hodgkinson

      Mark Hodgkinson
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      Chromebox for sure.
       
    21. Dan201

      Dan201
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      Are there any in particular you'd recommend? And any that support HDMI 2?
       
    22. frog61

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      very phew have HDMI 2.0 at present, I think the Nvidea shield does however.
      I presume your thinking more for 4K streaming is that right?
      You might need a more powerful streamer in which case.
      I have an Intel Nuc 2820, can handle everything bar [email protected]

      Suppose you might want to think about how large are the files your wishing to play? are they full Bluray AVC rips?
       
    23. Dan201

      Dan201
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      Hi

      Yeah my library is all Bluray rips from about 20-40gb each. I currently use a Dune media player but it doesn't support netflix etc. One of these Kodi box's sounds ideal, just need to find the right one. A chromebox or the SHIELD look tempting.

      As for 4k, I was just thinking about the future, I don't have a receiver/TV that is 4k yet but hopefully next year.
       
    24. SimonG156

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      Is there any addon that scrapes the on demand services AND my local content and shows me what I have available to watch?
       
    25. Mark Hodgkinson

      Mark Hodgkinson
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      @Dan201 You're struggling to meet your exact requirements at this moment in time. As frog61 says, Shield TV but you're waiting for HD audio passthrough via KODI, hopefully not too long.

      Netflix on Chromebox would really mean you need to dual boot Chrome OS/OpenELEC. The NetfliXBMC add-on is quite broken now and non-trivial to get working in OpenELEC in the first place.

      @SimonG156 There's a PlayOn add-on for KODI but you need to pay PlayOn a sub and I think it's US centric.

      Semi-achievable using certain skins but since the Amazon and Netflix video add-ons aren't working, not really useful at the moment. You can use KODI to launch browser or an app (if there is one for the service you want) but you don't get the Library integration then.
       
      Last edited: Nov 6, 2015
    26. Elephant Man

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      @Dan201 My himedia q5 and q8 both play my BR rips. They passthrough HD audio up to 7.1 from both kodi and from its own player.
       
    27. dazm41

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      @Dan201
      yes the nvida android tv box
      at the moment this is probably the best media player out there the most powerful
      loads of information NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV Owners Thread
       
    28. Mark Hodgkinson

      Mark Hodgkinson
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      I was going to say that and the Zidoo X6 Pro (review coming) but both only have SD Netflix.
       
    29. Dan201

      Dan201
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      Thanks for all the responses gents. 4K isn't high on the list of priorities, just nice to have.

      I'll have a look into the boxes mentioned. When someone makes a box that really does do it all they will rake it in.
       
    30. plum23

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      If you're not bothered about 4k and an Apple fan, an official spinfoff of Kodi will be available on Apple TV. (A new addon system is being developed for this to keep Apple happy, and I wouldn't be surprised if it comes to mainline Kodi as it'll stop the piracy addons.)

      In a future article might be worth going into the possibilities with Freeview/sat? It's very nice to have live and recorded tv available throughout, and not having to come out of the kodi interface to view this.
       

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