You may be familiar with the app named Kodi—it’s been rising in popularity for the past recent years, and it’s easy to see why. For new users, it may seem like it’s an incredibly difficult or complicated software to use, but they couldn’t be more wrong! Once you learn the ropes and familiarize yourself with Kodi, you’ll find that it’s a straightforward app with a ton of possibilities.
What Is Kodi?
To put it in the simplest of terms, Kodi is a media player. A media player is basically something that’s capable of showcasing video, audio, and images. In most cases, however, media players are mostly known for playing videos and audio. Kodi actually works quite similarly to the highly popular VLC media player, but of course, they have a couple of differences.
For one thing, VLC is mostly used for playing back media that’s already available in your device’s local storage. In other words, it’s used for playing videos and/or movies that have already been saved to your computer or other device. Kodi, on the other hand, is primarily used for streaming online media. While you can use it like VLC and just stream locally stored media, this isn’t how users usually use it.
Released all the way back in 2002, Kodi was actually first named Xbox Media Center (XBMXC). As its name suggests, it was only exclusively available to download and use on the Xbox. However, it eventually got rebranded into the Kodi we know and love today.
Back then, when Kodi functioned as XBMC, the learning curve was lengthy, and it was definitely difficult to set up. Fortunately, this isn’t the case now. The Kodi we know today has an incredibly simple and user-friendly interface that frankly, it would be impossible for you to get lost or confused while navigating the app. By downloading and installing Kodi builds and add-ons, you’ll be given access to streaming capabilities—you can freely stream your favorite movies, TV shows, news channels, sports, documentaries, and more. The world is within your grasp.
Which Devices Support Kodi?
These days, Kodi is no longer restricted to just the Xbox. It’s available on so many devices and platforms now, including Windows PC, Windows mobile, Android, iOS, Mac, Linux, Raspberry Pi, Android TV Boxes, Amazon Firestick/Fire TV, and more. Kodi saves you a lot of trouble thanks to its syncing capabilities. You can sync all your data and other media to the different supported devices you may have so that you don’t have to download them individually.
Since this app is an open-source software, this means that many of its features and capabilities were made possible thanks to its community. As such, you can expect the software to receive constant updates—every new update gets detailed in Kodi’s official blog, so you may want to check it out if you want to learn more.
Can I Use Kodi Instead Of Cable?
Yes, it’s completely possible to stream live TV on your Kodi, but it can be a complex process. If you’re genuinely interested, you’ll need a Personal Video Recorder (PVR) back end, front end, and client. You can check out the full process and other important details over at the official Kodi wiki page.
Thankfully, Kodi already has two out of the three requirements, namely the front end—which is the Kodi software itself—and the PVR client—which comes in the form of a Kodi add-on. This means all you need to secure in order to watch live TV on your Kodi is the PVR back end or the hardware.
You can actually purchase CableCARD-compatible TV tuners from a variety of companies. You need these tuners in order to transform encrypted signals into a format that can be easily recognizable. However, you’ll need an existing cable subscription in order for this to work, as your cable provider’s technician will be the one to set things up for you.
Another option you could do is purchase a PCI tuner for your desktop computer. This tuner is capable of reading local channels from the airways, and you won’t need to pay for anything. These two methods are completely legal, of course, but buying a CableCARD-compatible TV tuner will probably be a bit on the expensive side.
If you want to go the easy route, you can also install Pluto TV on your Kodi. This add-on allows you to stream and enjoy a plethora of live channels online, and it’s for free too!
Do I Have To Use A VPN?
It’s not exactly a requirement to use a VPN, but it also depends on how you’re using Kodi. If you’re only using the app so that you can manage your media libraries, then there’s really no need to turn your VPN on. However, as soon as you start installing and using Kodi add-ons along with connecting to the internet, you may have to consider using a VPN in order to cover your internet traffic.
That being said, using a VPN doesn’t mean you’re instantly safe from security threats. A VPN service only ensures that your ISP and other organizations won’t be able to track what you’re doing when browsing the web. It’s still your responsibility to ensure that you’re downloading content from legit and reliable sources in order for you to avoid being hit with viruses.
Bottomline—Should I Use Kodi?
Should you use Kodi? Why not! It’s a superb app that’s capable of doing so much if you just know what to do and install. Plus, you can use it on so many different platforms, whether you have an iOS device, Android, or a streaming device like the Amazon Firestick/Fire TV. If you know where to look, you can download different kinds of Kodi builds too to completely change up the interface as well as give you access to movies and shows to stream. As always with the internet, be careful with the content you download to your devices, and make sure you’re not doing something that breaches the law.