Tag Archives: KODI/XBMC

Yes, I Am Still Among The Living

Last week I had my favorite cousin from New Your visit. We had a great time and I will have a future post related to that.

My cousin brought her Amazon Fire Stick with her and I installed KODI on it for her. I hope she has good experience with it. Actually, I installed the TVMC (Tvaddons version), which is the 14.2 version of KODI.  While, it isn’t the latest, I have found it to be one of the most stable.

Today, Apple will make it its latest announcement, which many assume will contain a new Apple TV. If I were in the U.S., I might consider the new Apple TV, but I doubt that it will offer anything for those of us living outside of the U.S.

One of the things I used on Apple TV was AirPlay. That allowed me to display information from other Apple devices on my flatscreen. KODI has support for AirPlay and I can do the same thing.

Some of the Apple TV rumors suggest a price of $299. At $39, the Amazon Fire Stick is quite a bargain.

I also notice that the Amazon Fire TV is not available on the Amazon Site. I suspect that there will be a competing announcement from Amazon following Apple’s event today. I would not be surprised to see Amazon replace their Fire TV and upgrade their streaming options.

I signed up for Amazon Prime for a year and am using it to complement KODI. I am still using UNLOCATOR to access Amazon Prime content.

Related to Internet performance and Cable Onda and streaming, the last couple of weeks have been strange. My speedtest.net has been all over the map. I have measured it from 1+ to 10 mpbs during the day. Nothing consistent. Even stranger, sometimes I have had the fire sick tell me that the internet speed was too slow to stream, and found the speedtest.net saying I had 10 mpbs.

This has been annoying, but still good enough performance that I rarely watch anything other than KODI, Amazon Prime or Pandora for my entertainment.

If you are an Apple user, you may want to watch the Apple announcement today. It will stream live at noon in Panama (9:00 AM PDT).

UPDATE: I just tried AirPlay on KODI and my MacBook Pro OS X is telling me that the KODI AirPLay is not compatible and needs to be updated. It was the last time I tried it.

Guess I will have to watch the Apple Event on my Laptop. 🙁

New USTVNOW Observations

On a previous post, a commenter said he was having trouble with USTVNOW hanging on KODI. I had not tried it, so I could not comment. In fact my past trials of USTVNOW had not been very favorable do to the quality of my picture on my PCs.

Well yesterday, I activated USTVNOW on KODI on the Amazon Fire Sticks. I only have the free version installed. On the Fire Stick, it is actually pretty good. I don’t know why it is so much better than when I last tried it, but it is worth watching.

I don’t know if the quality would change if it were a more heavily watched program such as the Superbowl, but it has been decent last night and this morning.

I did have a couple time when USTVnow froze and I had to restart the Fire Stick to get out off it. In each time, it was because I hit the return button, on the Fire Stick remote,  instead of stopping the channel to change to another channel.

It was not perfect, but enough better than my previous experiences, that I felt it was with mentioning.

Spending More Time With KODI

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. Continue reading Spending More Time With KODI

Another KODI Project

When you move to Panama, one of the things you have to plan for is how you are going to entertain yourself and how you are going to keep up with news events. TV and the Internet are my main conduits.

However, when it comes to TV, it is hard to get a high percentage of English speaking TV programs. Unless you pay for premium channels on cable or other sources, movies or TV series will often be in Spanish.

This project opens up a whole lot of new possibilities. I now can watch what I want, when I want. Not only that but it helps, no matter what your country of origin language is. I can find programs in every language.

Before I continue with this post, I want to make a small disclaimer. I typically badmouth Google and this post is going to be 100% about Android (which is a Google product). I tend to use what I need to use, to accomplish what I need to accomplish. In this case, Android is the cheapest way to access a large amount of streaming media from the Internet.

This does not mean I would go as far as to use an Android based cell phone or Chrome as a browser, nor advocate using any Google product in general. It isn’t Android that I don’t like, It is Google’s business and privacy practices that I don’t like.

This project turns a regular TV into a Smart TV that is smarter and more flexible than any Smart TV on the market.

That being said, I have had such good luck with the Premier Smart TV Box, running Android and KODI, that I am preparing a new Android streaming project. Continue reading Another KODI Project

Follow Up on Premier Smart TV Box

I have had a couple people ask me how my experience with the Premier Smart TV Box was going.

I decided to answer the questions here.

To the best of my knowledge, the only places in Chiriqui to get one of these types of devices are Premier ($49), Multimax (Has an android smart TV on a stick – $69) and Smart home Security ($249).

I haven’t read many good things about the Android on a stick. Most of my research was reading the comments on the devices in Amazon.

Basically they are all about the same. I was in Premier the other day and noticed that they have raised their price to $49. When I bought mine it was $39.

The main features to compare are the amount of memory and storage and the processor. Mine is a dual core processor with 1GB of memory and 4GB of storage.

I can’t tell what Smart Home Security’s box has. It may be similar to mine or may be like this one in Amazon with a cam.

I do see theirs has a cam, but I have no use for that. I ordered THIS for my daughter to test of me. It cost me $48. Continue reading Follow Up on Premier Smart TV Box