Exploring KODI

As the result of my previous IPTV post, I received some questions and it may help of I spend a little time walking you through the installation of KODI and give a brief description of the features that the TVMC installation provides.

Note before you start, that you will need a high-speed Internet connection to enjoy Internet streaming.

First, lets install KODI. I have installed it on multiple Android devices and PCs. I am currently using a $39 Amazon Fire Stick and think it is hard to beat for the price to have KODI on a TV.

Lets assume you want to check out KODI and see if it provides value for you before investing in a stand along Android box.

The easiest installation I have found is to use the TVMC installation provided by tvaddons.

There is a short YouTube video that will tell you something about tvaddons, which is one of the primary providers of add-ons for KODI.

Below the YouTube video, are the sources of the downloads for what ever system you are going to install on (Mac, Windows, Android, Fire Stick, Linux and others.)

For the purpose of this post, I will focus on just Mac and Windows. Click on the appropriate “install” and it will take you to the page for that device type. There is also a good description telling you how to do the install after the download is completed.

If you have installed an application on a PC before, I don’t think you will find this difficult.

Once the KODI application has installed, Follow the instructions in KODI to do the automatic configuration. Again, there are instructions on tvaddons.ag that will help you through the configuration.

The rest of this post will assume you have installed KODI.

There is an enormous amount of YouTube videos on the internet, but I advise using this configuration until you feel comfortable with it and want to explore new capabilities.

So lets see what we have on the main screen and try a few of the functions.

The main screen has the following sections (Weather, Pictures, Videos, Music, Programs, and System).

Weather requires a small amount of configuration. Pictures is designed to display photos you have on your PC or network. I don’t use it, so I will skip that.

VIDEOS
I probably spend over 90% of my time in the Video section, so that is what I will discuss now.

You will probably see Genesis, Stream All Sources, 1 Channel, IceFilms and Phoenix. Your display could be a little different depending on what tvaddons.ag is using as their current default at the time you downloaded.

Genesis

Of these, my primary go to source is Genesis. If you click on Genesis, you we get a menu screen with sections for Movies, TV Shows, and others, I will let you explore. Lets focus first on Movies, so click on that section.

MOVIES

Now you are presented with a second menu, which has (Generes, Year, People, Certificates, Featured, People Watching, Most Popular, Most Voted, Box Office, Oscar Winners, In Theaters, Latest Movies, etc.). I think these are pretty self explanatory. However, I will talk about a few of these areas.

Genres – will let you choose movies in (Action, Adventure, Comedy, Horror, Music, etc.)
Year will let you choose movies that were released in a certain year.
People will let you choose movies with particular actors.
Certificates will let you choose films of a certain rating (G, PG-13, R, NC-17, NR, PG).
In Theaters – Yes, you will find movies that are currently in the movies.
You can explore the other categories.

If you want, you can choose “Search” and give the title for a movie. Maybe you want to watch “Gone With The Wind”.

Lets assume you clicked on Oscar Winners. When you click on it, you will see a dialog box open up in the lower right hand corner with the word “Working” and a spinning icon. It is searching for movies based on your selection criteria.

The available films will be displayed for you to choose what you want to watch. Click on your choice.

Again the dialog box will open in the lower right hand corner showing it is busy searching for the location of the film on the Internet.

A new screen will open with locations for the movie. Now just because it is in this list, does not mean that it actually exists there. On each locatlon, it designates the quality of resolution of the movie to be streamed. HD is high definition. HQ is high quality. MQ is medium quality Each step down will require less bandwidth on the Internet. As far as I have seen, CAM is the lowest quality and never good enough for me to waste my time..Usually the lowest I will choose is MQ.

So click a source. The dialog box in the lower right hand corner will show that the movie is being looked for at that location. If it is found, it will begin to play. If not, you may have to try the next source.

OK. That covers Movies under Genesis. Now lets try TV Shows.

TV Showes

You will notice that the menu process is the same as with Movies only tailored to TV shows. There is also a “Search” category, so if you want to watch “Breaking Bad”, you can go right to it.

When you find a show you want to watch, it will show you all the seasons that are available. Pretty slick isn’t it!

! Channel and IceFilms have different styles menus and are not as user friendly.

Phoenix
Now lets explore Phoenix. There are several sections to the Phoenix area. The first is Phoenix TV. In it are for areas (Sports, Entertainment, Music, and World News). Clicking on any of the areas will open a new menu. Not all links work, but an amazing amount do.

Crusader88 has sections with Arabic channels and Many International channels. I rarely enter the Crusader88 area.

The next is Her Place. This is an interesting area. All movies of interest from a woman’s point of view. My feminine side has enjoyed her selections and organization.

Next is One242415. It  has some unique areas such as IMAX, The Three Stooges, Abbott and Costello Collection, Clint Eastwood Collection to name a few.

Rockcrusher has a large number of movie areas.

Staael2014 Has more movie categories. I have used it to watch some 3D movies.

PROGRAMS
The last area I will mention is Navi-X in Programs. I don’t go there much, but since it is in the standard config, there are a couple thing I will mention. Apparently, this is one of the oldest plugins on KODI.

Navi-X has lots of movie sections, sports sections and some adult section. I mention this in case you have some young ones that might decided to explore KODI and find Navi-X. This might cause you to have to discuss the human plug-to-plug compatibility technology earlier than you want. However, if it has been a while and you need some refresher courses, they are here.

That pretty much covers the basic navigation of KODI. KODI is ever evolving and gets a little better with each release.

SYSTEM
The System area is where you go to tailor KODI. It is where you can add more repositories of add-ons. I will leave that for another day. I think the TVaddons standard configuration will give you enough to play with for quite a while.

There are some things you may want to do and I will talk about them now.

First, lets assume you have a smart phone or tablet. If you do you can download several KODI remote applications. The Server area will allow you to configure KODI to talk to that application.

Click on SYSTEM and the Settings area will open. The first thing I do with a new install is go to the Services section. Click Services and open it now.

Now click on Web Server. Now you want to click on “Allow remote control via HTTP”. Next is port. The default is 8080, but I hate to leave things in a default configuration, so I usually change it. You can leave it alone or change it to 8081-8089.

The user name is kodi, which you can leave alone or change. Next is the password. Again, you can leave it blank or add a password.

After you have done this your smart phone or tablet can act as a KODI remote as soon as you put in the information you just configured into the Web Server section.

The reason I like to have a smart remote is so I can use it to type information into KODI. Searching is easier typing on a tablet than it is using the device remote.

Next you can back up the the initial Setting screen. If you want the Weather section, on the main screen to work, you have to configure Weather. Click on Weather.

Now you have to click on “Service for Weather Information”. Initially it will say “None”. Click on “Get More”. There are several server areas to choose from. I usually use “Open Weather Map”. Choose a provider, download it and set it as your provider. Now click on “Settings” and fill in the cities you want to display weather. When you are done, click “OK” and exit Weather.

Now for fun, go to “System Info” in System. This will show you a lot of information about your hardware. You can see how much free memory you have, you IP address, your devices OS, The release of KODI that you are running, and more. I find it interesting. You may or may not.

Well, we have covered a lot in this post. It should get you started and give you an idea of this powerful free tool.

As I said before, I will be happy to help you, if you have an Amazon Fiire Stick, because it is not as easy as it is a desktop/laptop. There are lots of YouTube videos on the Internet that can help, but I have fallen into some of the traps you may fall into if you decide to do it.

I hope this post will help some that are afraid to try KODI. I think you are going to like it. If you get in a jam, drop me an email.

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