I spend Sunday afternoon exploring on KODI. I watched three concerts that I found on one of the Phoenix sites.
Before I write about them, it might be good to set some expectations about what you can do with KODI. First, I will remind you that KODI is free open source software. It can easily be tested on a PC prior to deciding to look for any special equipment to send it to your TV screen.
The easiest way to try it right now is to go to http://www.tvaddons.ag and install the appropriate TVMC for the OS version for your PC (Windows, Mac or Linux).
TVMC is basically a preconfigured version of KODI with the most popular add ons. Just download it, and when you execute TVMC, follow the instructions and it will configure itself.
With that you can see if KODI will provide any value to you based on your internet connection. If it does nothing but buffer, it would do the same on an external box connected to your TV.
Next, you should not assume that it will perform better than NetFlix, Amazon Prime, or HULU plus. All of these services have dedicated servers and are optimized to provide the best experience possible. KODI may not even perform as well.
These services may require you to use a VPN or UNLOCATOR to get U.S. programming. I am still using UNLOCATOR for Amazon Prime and Pandora Radio. You will need to monitor the UNLOCATOR site to insure your current IP address is recorded or you will not see U.S. programming.
It has worked well for me for over a year with much less overhead than my VPN.
Now a little bit about the components of Internet response time. This is a complicated topic and there may be many reasons for buffering or poor effective Internet speed.
When data moves on the Internet, it is broken into multiple packets. Each packet also contains codes to verify if it was received correctly. If the quality of the network is bad and there are a lot of errors, then the packets will need to be retransmitted. PING sometimes will give an indication of line problems. PING of less than 120 is desired. Higher may indicate a problem. If it above 300 all bets are off.
Next, data doesn’t go directly from point A (server with the data) to point B (Your PC or Smart TV Box). NetFlix, Amazon Prime, HULU, etc. try to optimize the path to insure a minimal number of hops from their servers to you.
A packet entering a hop on the Internet will normally be delayed in the terms of milliseconds before it leaves to go to the next hop. The fewer hops the better. Between each hop you again contend with the error rate. If there are retransmissions, things get delayed at the end point.
Packets do not necessarily move in the same path on the Internet. At the endpoint, the packets have to be put in the correct order. The servers that the KODI add ons access may be on the opposite side of the world and there most likely will be several more hops than there would be for the same subject found on NetFlix.
I write all of this to make sure that expectations are set. Obviously the network management in the U.S. will be more highly monitored than it is in Panama.
Finally, if you are expecting KODI + the add ons to magically provide you with live NBC, CBC and ABC you are going to be disappointed. I have rarely found internet broadcast of network programing in the U.S to be satisfactory. USTVNOW has never provided me with the quality I was willing to live with. Others like it. You may.
With that, I will move on to what I was watching on Sunday. The photos are screen captures from one of the KODI remotes I use. They are free downloads as well.
The first concert I warted was Garth Brooks in Las Vegas in 2013. It was a fantastic show, mores than I would have imagined. It was a one man show – only Garth and his guitar. He gave a music history of his growing up. Very entertaining. If you are a C&W enthusiast, you will enjoy it.
Next, I watched the George Strait (The Cowboy rides Away) concert in Cowboy stadium in 2014. Another great concert. There was over 100,000 filling the stadium. Many of George’s peers were there singing with him. Even his son appeared. Another great C&W concert.
Next I watched James Taylor in a 2009 concert. I am a James Taylor fan and I enjoyed it very much.
Lastly I found some old boxing matches and watched Sugar ray Leonard vs. Roberto Duran. I really think Duran could have done the second match if he hadn’t lost his confidence. The third bout was not good for either fighter. Age definite takes it toll.
Lucky for me I am a blogger and not a boxer, because I am way past my prime.