Unlike most streaming services, Kodi sets itself apart in two significant ways. Firstly, Kodi offers complete customizability, allowing users to adjust everything from the app’s appearance to the content itself. Secondly, it’s important to note that Kodi is not a streaming service per se, but rather a robust media center application. It can bring together your collection of TV shows and movies with content from various free and paid streaming services.
Although Kodi may not be the simplest option, its power cannot be underestimated. If you thrive on challenging video games or have dabbled in installing Linux due to the limitations of Windows, then Kodi is the right fit for you. In this review, I will guide you through the user experience of using a free, open-source media center app specifically designed for the DIY cord-cutter.
Pros and Cons of Kodi
Kodi comes at no cost and excels in its purpose. However, it may not cater to everyone’s needs. Although Kodi is exceptional at organizing media files, it does not come pre-packaged with a selection of freely available content. Users are expected to provide their own media library. While customization options and plugins can unlock powerful features in Kodi, we only recommend this path to users with a willingness to delve into some technical know-how and embrace a DIY approach.
- Completely free and open-source service
- Offers a wide selection of over 900 add-ons
- Compatible with most paid and free streaming services
- Boasts an active and engaged user community
- Steep learning curve at the beginning
- Does not include built-in streaming content
- Automatic application of metadata to files is unavailable
- Finding add-ons can be challenging
To watch Kodi on your device, you must provide it with movies, series, or show sources. It may be that Kodi for Android will be quite limited in the range of content due to geographic restrictions. Do you know how to watch shows on Kodi from anywhere in the world? In this case, a VPN for Kodi will help solve this problem. You will need a powerful VPN that can bypass blocking and offers an extensive network of servers. VeePN is one of them, with 2500+ VPN servers, strong security, and the latest VPN hiding technologies.
Features and Streaming Quality
Kodi offers support for full HD and 4K content from your personal media library. However, the streaming quality may vary if you’re using add-ons. You need to find a streaming service with 4K content and a compatible Kodi add-on that supports 4K streaming. Keep in mind that some add-ons may downscale their 4K content to HD due to bandwidth limitations in Kodi.
Moreover, Kodi serves as a Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) server. This means that the service allows you to stream media content from your PC to other devices connected on the same network and running the Kodi app.
The extensive range of Kodi’s features predominantly relies on its add-ons. Although listing them all is not feasible, here are a few noteworthy examples: some add-ons scrape subtitles or movie metadata, while others offer visually appealing skins to overhaul the Kodi app’s appearance. Additionally, you can even find add-ons that provide emulators for various retro video game systems.
Kodi Add-ons and Customization
The abundance of add-ons can be overwhelming, and it might require some time and effort to discover the most suitable ones for enhancing your experience. However, familiarizing yourself with the functionalities should be quick and rewarding. Exploring various plugins can give your Kodi service a fresh interface, with countless free add-ons available for added versatility from Spotify and YouTube to a wide range of options.
Kodi can be easily installed on various desktop and laptop systems such as Windows, Mac, and Linux. It’s also available on the Android app store, making it suitable for Android phones and Android TV devices. Additionally, installation on Fire TV or Raspberry Pi devices is not overly challenging.
However, when it comes to other devices like Apple TV, installation becomes as difficult as on an iPhone. Although I stumbled upon Kodi installation tricks for several other devices, they vary in difficulty and can even be risky. Therefore, most users are advised to stick to the officially approved Kodi apps for a hassle-free experience.
Some individuals who have cut the cord are seeking out-of-the-box streaming services that are user-friendly. They may not appreciate Kodi and would likely find greater satisfaction with services like Netflix, Max, or Disney Plus. Alternatively, if they wish to access their own media content, they would likely prefer running a Plex media server.
On the other hand, some desire a customized streaming interface. They want the ability to access multiple streaming services as well as their library of content. They are willing to go through the installation process, select and customize add-ons, and fine-tune settings to achieve perfection. If this describes you, then you will love Kodi.