UNPLUGGED – Kodi
As part of the unplug series today I will be talking about Kodi and how to configure it to get what I consider the best experience with the most user friendly setup. During this guide I will show you how to install Kodi, configure it, install third party addons and configure a theme found on the Kodi repository.
First head over to: Kodi – Download and get whatever platform of Kodi you want. I expect that if your reading this guide you have a basic understanding of setting up your operating system and settings yourself. The current version of Kodi is kodi-15.0-Isengard as of writing. When updates come out retaining to Kodi I will update accordingly. When you get to the Choose Components area of the installation screen note that I do not select Skin Add-ons or PVR Add-ons. The reasoning for this is because I plan on using a custom Skin and not use any PVR setup.
Launching Kodi for the First Time:
Once your inside Kodi simply use the Arrow keys to move through the menu options listed at the top. Right now Kodi is simply a great media center application with the ability to fusker and probe certain repos/sites to get information about movies you add to the program. This works great and out of the box it is all ready a great media center client. For this tutorial I will be explaining how to setup a stream based client mainly however I will do a guide in the future (at the end of the Unplugged series) which integrates everything together.
Use the arrow keys to head over to the sub heading System. Below system you will notice one of the options is file manager. Highlight File Manager and press Enter. Use to the arrow keys and go to Add Source. Once in the add source menu push enter where it says <None>. Type http://fusion.tvaddons.ag/ exactly as written and then put fusion for the name at the bottom. Select okay and click Add Source one more time. This time under <None> type http://srp.nu/ and put the name as SuperRepo. When finished push enter on both of the newly created sources to make sure they are working. Folders and items should be coming up if they are.
System > Add-ons:
Once to the two sources have been added and are coming up correctly use Backspace or ESC to return to the main menu. From the main menu select System by pressing Enter. Scroll through the options till you hit 3 from the bottom Add-ons. Note this is a different folder from the File Manager area so make sure you are in the correct area. From this menu select “Install from Zip File”. Next the two repo’s you previously added will come into play so if you can’t access either one of them go back to the File Manager sub section of this guide. Start with fusion by selecting it with Enter. Once inside you will see a folder called start-here. Go into the folder and select the plugin.video.hubwizard-1.1.9.zip. The version of this add-on might be slightly different depending on when you are reading this guide but it should work either way. Give it a second and in the top right corner it should pop-up saying the Hub Wizard has installed.
Next go back to the list of all the possible folders (C: D: fusion home etc) and this time select SuperRepo. The current release for this guide as stated above is Isengard so select that folder. Next select the top folder called all. This should have a zip file called superrepo.kodi.isengard.all-0.7.03.zip . Give it a second and it will begin installing different add-ons. This might take a few minutes so wait a little until no more add-ons popup in the top right corner. Next you can go back to the SuperRepo root and grab the Gotham add-ons if you wish. Please Note that some of the Gotham add-ons might not work. Use these add-ons at your own risk.
Once you are finished with SuperRepo leave the Settings and Add-ons area and return to the main menu. Use your arrow keys to go over to programs and push Enter. Inside the Programs folder look for Config Wizard. Once you find it select it with Enter followed by selecting your Operating System. In my case I will be selecting Windows. Make sure when the pop-up comes up to select “Yes” to Would you like TDAddons.ag to customize your add-on selection? Give it a few minutes and wait till its done installing. Once it completes you are technically ready to go and require no further setup in regards to getting all the content. If you do however want some more advanced features and a nicer looking skin then feel free to continue and I will walk you through how I setup my Kodi.
First is the theme; go to System and press enter just like you did when installing the Hub Wizard in the previous step. Go into Add-ons but instead of install for zip select Install from Repository. From here click All Repositories and give it a second to load. Use the Arrow Keys up and down and select Skin from the available options. Scroll around until you see reFocus and push enter to pull up the menu to install. The reason I pick reFocus is personal preference and if you do not like the skin once its loaded simply find one which suites you taste. Below is my reasoning for like reFocus so much and a few other skins I have tried:
- Customization of Menus
- Full Screen Widgets
- Clean Slide View Mode
- Easy to Read While in Movies
- I’m biased to this skin and can’t think of any.
Honorable Mentions: 1080X (Perfect for Big TV’s) Refocus Light (for Lightweight Setups Rasp PI) Box (Clean Interface)
From the Main Menu select System Settings followed by reFocus. Inside use the available settings and menus to customize the skin to your liking. I personally have it setup as follows:
- Menu Layout – Vertical
- Always show Widgets – Yes
- Dates & Time – Yes
- Every option in this menu is enabled. I use Dr. Toxic’s Conditional Weather Fanart Pack available Dr. Toxic Weather Fanart
- Highlight first letting while scrolling – Yes
- Controls to show for now playing media in options menu – Disabled
- Enable Auto Scrolling for plot & review – Yes
- Show Movie Ratings – Yes
- Disable now playing overlays – Yes
- Show now playing video in background – Yes
- Enable TV Tunes add-on – Yes – *This program allows you to download and play the theme song of the TV show when selected. If this option is not available simply go back to the Themes sub-heading and instead of selecting Themes under all repos select Programs and look for TV Tunes.
- Enable Virtual Keyboard – Yes – *This is for my touch-screen laptop setup. For my HTPC I do not have this feature enabled as I have an HTPC remote.
Homescreen x2: “Customize Menu Items and Widgets”
This is the most powerful part of the theme and can be customized in anyway you like. Simply remove all the current categories except for System using the –. The reason you do not want to remove System as it can prevent you from accessing your settings. For my menus I have 4 setup which are as follows:
Movies – Local Movies and Content imported from CouchPotato
TV Shows – Local/Streamed TV Shows imported from Sonarr and Genesis
Streaming – The best add-ons I have found through the repos I previously showed you to install. To the right is a preview of how my Stream menu looks.
and Extras – Focuses on Add-on installation, File Manager, System Settings and Quitting.
Take some time setting up the menu’s how you like. Most times it will be from trial and error and finding the plugins the most suit you. Remember you can restore to defaults at anytime if you mess something up.
This add-on has the functionality to display the current weather forecast. To set it up you can simply use the Themes sub-heading again except this time you can select Weather or you can go to the main menu and select the Weather option. From inside the weather plugin click the left Arrow to display the context menu and select Settings. From here you can select Service for weather information followed by Get More. I personally use Yahoo Weather so I will use it for this demonstration. Scroll through and select Yahoo Weather. Once it’s installed return to weather settings and select settings. Select Location 1 and fill in your current location. Once you have put in your locations select OK and your finished.
If your going to be hooking up Kodi to a TV and don’t wish to use a keyboard / mouse setup you have the ability to use a Web Based interface or your phone for all your remote needs. Simply go to the Main Menu and select Settings. Next select Services followed by Web Server. Make sure Allow remote control via HTTP is enabled and a port is setup. You can add a un/pw for extra security though its not needed. Now simply using a device with access to the same Router (same network) type in the computers local IP address followed by the port. In my case it is 192.168.2.1:8089 followed by the un/pw. This will log you into the default kodi web interface in which you can view shows and navigate around the application. Even though the web interface is decent actual remote apps are available for both Android and iPhone’s. The iPhone app is simply titled Kodi Remote and is available for free. Under System > Services you can also enabled UPNP (for easy sharing over the network) Zeroconf (for one click setups when using the Kodi Remote app) and Airplay for playing videos from your Apple Device straight to KODI. Note that you should have the drivers for Zeroconf and Airplay installed for them to work correctly. More information regarding that can be found Here.
Note that the bundles I got you to install provide 99% of the add-ons you should ever need. However if you want Cartoons and Anime simply select Video Add-ons. If you
cannot find this sub-heading simply go into the Video select and use the … or up arrow till you hit the root. The menu you will be presented with will have Video Add-ons. You can also use what you learned when customizing the menu to make a menu entry which goes directly to the Video Add-ons area or even inside a specific add-on. Once inside the Video Add-ons area use the arrow key Up from the top to go to the very bottom of the menu. From here you can select Get More and have a full list of video add-ons. This will include both installed and not installed to be careful not to un-install something you like. Now simply navigate through and select the one’s you like. A part from my list above I also use Twitch.TV, Apple iTunes Trailers/Podcasts, Break.com, College Humor, Crunchyroll, Extendedinfo Script, Toonjet and Youtube among a few others. Find what you like and give each add-on a try. You might find a gem without realizing it. Certain add-ons such as Genesis allow you to save favorites. Those favorites can then be added to your main library to allow the ability to have both streamed files and local files in the same area.
Inside the Genesis add-on select Tools followed by Settings: General. You can set your Genesis theme here; I personally use 4orbs as I like it the most. Next under Playback go to Auto-Play go enable all three of the settings. This will allow you to just select a TV show or movie and for it to search the available streams and play one for you. Finally go to Library and see where your movies and tv libraries are going to. It should be something along the lines of:
This is the default and it’s best to leave it at default but keep a note just in case. Once you have all the settings setup simply return to the Genesis main menu. In this example I will use Stitchers as my example. I will select TV Shows from the Genesis main menu followed by Search. When the search comes up simply type Stitchers. next highlight the result and press C or whatever key pulls up the Context Menu. Click Add to Library / Add to Favorites. If it works it should say adding followed by done at the top right. Once it’s been added leave the Genesis add-on and head back to the main menu. From the main menu go to TV Shows or videos if you do not have a TV shows area and head back to the root menu. You should see Movies, TV Shows, In Progress TV Shows… etc. Look for Files and press enter. Click Add Videos… followed by the three diagonal lines (if using reFocus). You will now be in a section to browse to your media source. You can add local media this way by simply selecting the folder it’s in followed by what type of media it is (TV, movie, music or picture). In this situation your going to look for Home Folder. Selecting this option will take you to the root settings folder for KODI hence the “special” tag located above. Navigate to the previously written down Genesis directory located above: userdata/addon_data/plugin.video.genesis/TV . If done correctly you should see Stitchers listed. Click OK followed by OK again and use the down arrow under This directory contains to select TV Shows. Click OK once your done and it’ll update your library adding the show to your local library. Now you have the ability to watch the show via stream or local depending on your preference. This makes it so you do not even need to access the add-on either making life a lot easier.
Well apart from digging into each menu individually I will call this entry on KODI closed. The best way to learn KODI past the information provided above is just by using it daily. Within no time you will become a KODI all star. Make sure to head over to KODI.tv and show your support through a donation and TVaddons.ag and SuperRepo for the same. Kodi has a great wiki available here which has plenty of useful information such a keyboard shortcuts and advanced configuration. I hope you enjoy the guide and make sure to follow the site as I have many more articles along the way. Thanks!