What is Kodi? Is it right for you? What can you and can’t you do with it? Where do you get started? Let us answer these questions and more in our Kodi Beginner’s guide below.
This post is intended for those people who have just discovered the term “kodi” and are wondering what is Kodi and how to get started with it. It is meant to be the first thing you read about Kodi before exploring the rest of our site, Koditips.com.
So, what is Kodi?
Kodi is a free piece of media centre software. It knows how to decode and play audio and video files. These files can come from your pieces of media you own or through the use of add-ons (more on those later).
The Kodi software can be downloaded from the official Kodi website. If you have a media box such as Android TV hardware, the Amazon Fire, or the Xbox One console, you can download Kodi from your box’s App Store.
What can I use Kodi on?
Kodi is available for PC, Mac, and Linux, however most people don’t watch videos on their computer much. You can connect your computer to your TV and screen share, but you can also buy a dedicated Kodi box to attach to your TV and use Kodi on.
These dedicated Kodi boxes are Android based and Kodi is often preloaded onto them or can be downloaded from the App store on the device. Despite advertising messaging, most boxes created around the same time work essentially the same way.
If you are buying an Android Box, make sure that it is running version 5.1 or higher of the operating system and that it is using the S912 Amlogic CPU.
If you want to check out new Kodi boxes, we have a list of some recommended ones here.
How do I view movies and TV shows on Kodi?
If your files are stored locally on the same machine you have Kodi running on (or attached through a USB or hard drive), you can simply navigate into your file system, click on your file, and watch it play.
If you don’t have local media, you can install Kodi add-ons that offer this kind of content. These add-ons are not supported by the official Kodi team, so please don’t ask the official Kodi Foundation questions or let them know anything about them. Kodi is simply the back-end media centre and has nothing to do with any movie, TV show, or audio file.
Third-party addons do not host any content. They simply query the internet for media files that match your query, similar to a search engine. However, there has been a negative stigma towards Kodi addons as of late. The best advice we can give is to be aware of the streaming laws in your country. In most places, it is not illegal to stream media as long as you don’t distribute or sell it. Overall, Kodi can help you stretch your budget if things are tight.
If you are at all concerned, sign up for a VPN today to mask your connection from your internet service provider. A VPN can also help you access geo-blocked content that you otherwise cannot access from your location.
How do I get started with Kodi add-ons?
There are two common ways to load Kodi add-ons into your Kodi software: manually loading the ones you want or by installing a build. Builds save you time and effort, but you often get unnecessary add-ons you won’t use and that will slow Kodi down. You also don’t know how the add-ons have been installed on the build, so if something doesn’t work you won’t know if its the add-on or if its the build’s fault. We don’t provide support to any user who runs a build because it is impossible to troubleshoot every different scenario.
Installing add-ons manually by yourself is easy. After you follow through our step-by-step guides a few times, the procedure stays mostly the same and is repeatable. This way, you know exactly what add-ons you have, how they were installed, and you are in a better position to troubleshoot in the future.
We have a complete setup guide for new users that provides information on both of the methods above, which can be reached by clicking here. Our website, Koditips.com also provides daily updates on the world of Kodi and what is released, updated, working, broken, and more.
Remember, Kodi add-ons are not perfect. They often go down, change sources, and change functionality. If you want Kodi to be the all-in-one solution for media with no effort, stay away now. However, learning the ins and outs of Kodi and how to use it will help you out in the future.
Does that help you answer the question what is Kodi? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook if we can help you out! We have a Kodi FAQ guide which should help you out with some basic Kodi troubleshooting.