What is Kodi? Everything You NEED to Know about The TV Streaming App

When building the ultimate home theater system, all the hardware in the world can’t do you justice without some excellent software to go with it. If you’re looking for the best way to watch movies and TV shows, listen to music, and catch all of your favorite sports, Kodi is the app for you.

What is Kodi? Everything You NEED to Know about The TV Streaming App

A Little Bit about Kodi

Kodi is free, open-source software, designed with home entertainment in mind, and it’s been around for nearly two decades. Microsoft originally developed the software for the Xbox (NOT 360) and called it the Xbox Media Center (XBMC). The program continued to evolve and went far beyond the Xbox platform after Microsoft abandoned it. The non-Microsoft team behind what is now called Kodi has built a community of their own, made up of fans and developers.

Unlike other streaming software companies such as Android TV or Plex, Kodi gets managed by the non-profit XBMC Foundation. The software is continuously modified and upgraded by countless scores of coders and developers around the world. You can now customize Kodi by installing add-ons or builds, and they’re free.

Benefits of Kodi

Kodi isn’t just built for computers; it works on nearly every gadget in your house, from a smartphone to an Amazon Fire TV Stick. This alone makes the app a valuable source for audio/video entertainment. You can find a variety of Kodi boxes too, which are actually not dedicated to Kodi but run Kodi well and often carry precompiled add-ons for it, such as NVIDIA Shield Android TV and pendoo (R) Android TV Boxes.

You also have the option to sideload Kodi on Amazon Fire TV Cube, but it contains no precompiled add-ons, of course.

Since Kodi is a multimedia manager, you can listen to music, watch family videos, enjoy YouTube, obtain movie reviews and information, get sports scores, watch some national news, and much more. Kodi also lets you organize your media, depending on the type. Create favorites, playlists, movie directories, and many other benefits.

A word of caution:
Anything you stream on Kodi is visible to both your ISP and the government, which could put you in legal hot water. The only surefire way to combat this is to connect to an excellent VPN service whenever you use Kodi.

Kodi’s Key Features

Kodi turns any computer, smartphone, or tablet into a digital set-top box or streamer, giving users the ability to stream files from the internet, a home network, or local storage. Unlike other TV streamers such as Apple TV, Chromecast 3rd Generation, and Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, Kodi isn’t held back by licensing or a curated app store. The software lets you download a range of community-made apps or add-ons and watch whatever you like.

Kodi’s intuitive user interface (UI) also makes browsing through your content simple. The software features what its developers call a “10-foot UI”, meaning it is readable from a theoretical distance of up to 10 feet away. Thanks to a range of built-in codes, users can browse videos, photos, and podcasts quickly and easily. On smaller devices, Kodi offers a similar experience but can get hooked to a larger TV for big-screen viewing.

Is Kodi Legal?

When running official apps, Kodi is not illegal. Like third-party torrent sites, Kodi apps are not unlawful either, but what you do on them can be illegal.

For a device to become illicit, it must get used for watching shows and other content without the copyright owner’s permission. This action occurs via hardware, software, or when viewing the content at a friend’s house.

Illicit streaming devices are boxes or USB sticks you plug into your TV that were tweaked to access any content you haven’t paid for or had the approval to watch.

For additional information, check out the article discussing Kodi’s legality.


Many Kodi add-ons contain content that isn’t officially licensed, and accessing such material could be illegal. It is the user’s responsibility to comply with all applicable laws in their country regarding use. Box 20 LLC, in conjunction with alphr.com, does not condone and is not responsible for the infringement of any intellectual property or other third party rights and shall not be liable to any such party due to any such content being made available.

What can you watch on Kodi?

Kodi puts you in control, meaning you can install pre-included and third-party applications that offer a variety of streaming sources and content. There are actually numerous third-party apps offering movies, TV shows, sports broadcasts, YouTube content, social media content, and more.

For the most part, you can watch just about anything you want. However, bear in mind the legalities of watching such content, as well as how you obtain them. If you have paid subscriptions to select providers, an app that lets you watch content from that provider may be legal. It just depends on the terms and conditions of the subscription source, such as YouTube, Netflix, and CBS All Access to name a few.

What is compatible with Kodi?

Kodi is available on almost every device. The media center software is easy to download and compatible with OS X, Linux, Windows, Android, and even the Raspberry Pi series if microcomputers.

For those using iOS, the process is slightly more complicated: iPhone users need to ensure their phone is jailbroken before downloading Kodi unless they use Cydia Impactor. This downloadable macOS app allows iOS users to install third-party (non-App Store) apps. However, bear in mind the legalities of using such applications on an Apple device.

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