What is Kodi?
Kodi is a home media server that brings all your content together in a single place and lets you access shows, photos, movies, and music through multiple devices. Once popularly known as the Xbox Media Center (XBMC), Kodi is completely open-source and free to use with over 900 official add-ons.
With these add-ons, you have the freedom to convert your phone into a remote, stream live TV, tune into your favorite radio station, and more. Among these add-ons, you’ll find scores of movie and TV streaming services. Note that Kodi isn’t a substitute for music and video streaming services but rather a hub to manage your subscriptions and local media collection.
Kodi plans and pricing
|Number of official add-ons||900+|
|Original content (||No|
|Live streaming add-on||Yes|
Kodi supported devices
Kodi works with a host of devices and operating systems so you can freely share our media library between PCs, phones, streamers, and tablets. You can download the Kodi app on the following devices, but make sure to check the website for specific hardware recommendations for each product.
- Amazon Fire TV
- Android 5.0 or higher
- Apple TV 2-5
- CompuLab Utilite
- Google Nexus Player
- Intel NUC
- iOS 6.0 or higher
- Mac OS X 10.8 or later
- NVIDIA Shield
- Raspberry Pi devices
- Razor Forge TV
- Ubuntu Linux
- WeTek Play
- Windows 7 or later
- Xiaomi Mi Box
- x86 hardware
What to watch on Kodi
Kodi comes with a bunch of streaming service add-ons that let you watch live TV, movies, and shows. To view anything beyond your local media collection, you’ll need to install add-ons. While you can get add-ons for popular streaming services like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and Sling TV, here are a few other services you can use to watch on-demand movies and shows as well as live TV.
Black and White Movies
The perfect add-on for old film lovers, Black and White Movies gives you free access to films with expired copyrights. It has thousands of silent movies and several hundred more in genres like comedy, horror, and sci-fi. Some of its most popular titles include 12 Angry Men, Dracula, Dr. Strangelove, and Great Expectations. Plus, it’s one of the few Kodi add-ons that let you download movies for offline viewing.
Kodi also has an add-on for Crackle, the free online video library from Sony. This add-on lets you watch hundreds of Sony-licensed movies, including 28 Days, Big Fish, Friday the 13th, Léon: The Professional, Mr. Nobody, The Machinist, Train to Busan, and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. Its TV show collection includes popular titles like 3rd Rock from the Sun, Community, Happy Endings, Heroes, and Who’s the Boss?
As the name suggests, this add-on focuses on documentaries and informative content. It has selections in a variety of genres, such as art, biography, crime, culture, environment, health, history, nature, politics, and technology, to name a few. Some of the top documentaries include In Praise of Action, Keep the Hives Alive, The Last of the Rhinos, When We Were Knights, and White Fright.
With the ability to stream live sporting events, SportsDevil is the ultimate add-on for sports fans. This includes basketball, cricket, football, hockey, soccer, and tennis. It offers an extensive collection of IPTV channels to let you stream events from around the world free of charge
Boasting 50,000+ titles, Tubi lets you stream movies and TV shows for free. This includes iconic choices like Fist of Fury, Rescue from Gilligan’s Island, The Alchemist, The True Story of Jesse James, and more. Although some may shy away from using this service because it comes with ads, accessing it through Kodi means the media player will automatically filter them out.
Kodi has virtually endless customization possibilities. With 900+ add-ons, you get to customize it to your exact preference. It lets you stream, record live TV, turn your phone into a remote, and even watch on-demand content.
If you plan on using Kodi mainly to watch movies and shows, you’ll need add-ons to integrate paid streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Netflix. The PlayOn add-on, for instance, lets you connect all your paid streaming accounts and comes with DVR capabilities. It even has a feature to automatically skip ads, which might be highly appealing if you have the Hulu ad-supported plan.
Besides PlayOn, several other streaming service add-ons offer DVR functionalities, allowing you to save video for offline viewing. And if you need a quick overview of what’s on TV, you can even install the TV Guide add-on.
Kodi also comes with an official add-on to turn your Android or iOS device into a remote control. So even if you use the service to watch a movie on your computer or TV, you can change the channel, control the volume, or switch to a different program right from your phone.
Users and Simultaneous Streams
For those sharing their device with multiple people, Kodi allows you to create separate user profiles. Although it doesn’t specify the total number of profiles you can create, Kodi lets each user lock their preferences and save their media library separately.
As for simultaneous streams, it all depends on the subscription you have as Kodi isn’t a streaming service by itself but a third-party platform. If you have a basic Netflix plan, for instance, you won’t be able to stream on other devices while you’re watching something through the Kodi Netflix add-on. But if you have the Standard plan, you can stream using 1 additional device while watching something using the Kodi Netflix add-on.
Kodi also comes with a robust parental controls feature, which allows you to set a lock code and prevent kids from accessing certain channels. You can even set a time limit for channels to automatically re-lock.
The final cut
As it requires some technical knowledge to unlock its true potential, Kodi may be a bit intimidating for some. But for those who like the idea of customizing the service to their exact preferences, the abundance of add-ons is nothing short of magical. Just make sure you only use official Kodi add-ons to avoid copyright infringement issues.
If you mainly plan on using the service to stream movies and shows, prioritize add-ons to integrate your paid streaming accounts with Hulu, Netflix, Prime Video, and Sling TV. You can always beef up your content choices with add-ons for free services like Crackle and Tubi.
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