Kodi – formerly called XBMC – is an extensive, free and open source media center. In addition to a media player that can handle many different file and streaming formats, there is also a streaming server and client as well as recorder functions for recording live TV, add-ons and many other features on board.
A detailed insight into the media center, which is one of the best DVB-T2 alternatives, can also be found in the blog post Media content with Kodi stream and manage.
Media player, streaming and more on (almost) all platforms
Kodi can handle almost all popular media formats. Whether music in AAC, MP3, FLAC, OGG, WAV or WMA formats, videos in ISO, 3D, H.264, HEVC, WEBM, MPEG-1/2/4, DivX or XviD files and streams or JPEG images and GIF animations – Kodi displays and plays. The players are supplemented by subtitles, equalizers and audio visualization features, while photos and images can be displayed in extensively filterable slide shows. While the program doesn’t bring any media with it, of course, it offers extensive functions to supplement your own collection with freely available information, tags, cover art and more. For example, you can integrate appropriate posters and graphic banners for your own digitized series collection or refine imported films with trailers, film posters, video extras and much more.
As is the case with freeware, which is one of the best open source programs, Kodi runs under the current operating systems such as Windows, Mac OS X and Linux as well as additionally under iOS and Android. So you can use the Media Center on many different devices. Just to name a few: Amazon Fire TV (and Stick), Chromebox, Google Nexus Player, OUYA and Raspberry Pi. Thanks to UPnP streaming capabilities, you can stream your own media collection with Kodi to these devices and enjoy it on connected TVs, for example, which we also discuss in the blog post media content with Kodi stream and manage.
Live TV recorders, add-ons, skins and remote controls
In addition to the many media player functions, Kodi also offers a recorder for live TV and various comfort features. If you have the appropriate connection options, you can combine Kodi with media backends such as MediaPortal, MythTV, Tvheadend, VDR, NextPVR or Windows Media Center to watch live TV – and record programs directly via the Kodi user interface using the recorder.
In addition, the Media Center can also be customized extensively with add-ons and skins thanks to the source openness. In the Add-ons category on the manufacturer’s page you will find a selection of graphic themes with which you can adapt the look of Kodi to your own taste. In total, there are over 700 add-ons from various areas – in addition to skins, for example, additional sources for free video, audio or image media, screen savers, weather, game and service apps as well as collections of song texts, metadata, subtitles and the like.
Once Kodi is set up as a media center, it can also be controlled using various remote controls. A list of supported hardware – including Playstation or XBox gamepads by the way – can be found on the manufacturer’s website. A remote control app for iOS and Android devices is also available for free download.
If Kodi is unable to play videos on the Android device, turn off hardware support.
Tips & tricks for Kodi: