Kodi® media center, formerly known as XBMC Media Center, is an award-winning free and open source cross-platform software media player and entertainment hub for digital media for HTPCs (Home theater PCs). It uses a 10-foot user interface designed to be a media player for the living-room, using a remote control as the primary input device. Its graphical user interface (GUI) allows the user to easily browse and view videos, photos, podcasts, and music from a harddrive, optical disc, local network, and the internet using only a few buttons. The Kodi project is managed by the non-profit XBMC Foundation, and developed by volunteers located around the world. Since its creation in 2003 more than 500 software developers have contributed to Kodi, and around 60 developers on regular basis. Also 200-plus translators have worked to expand its reach, making it available in more than 72 languages.
Kodi® (then called "Xbox Media Center") was originally created as a media center application for the first-generation Xbox game console (no longer supported) but is now officially available as a native application for Android, Linux, Mac OS X, iOS, and Windows operating systems, running on most common processor architectures.
To completely uninstall Kodi, or to preform a fresh reinstall, you will need to delete the userdata folder and the containing Kodi ("xbmc" on older installs) home folder that holds the userdata folder, in addition to deleting/uninstalling the Kodi application.
To toggle between windowed mode and full screen mode, press the \ button on a keyboard. (This, or any keyboard button, can be assigned to a remote control button if you wish. See Remote controls for more info.)
If you have backed out of a playing video and see it behind the GUI, you can toggle back by pressing Tab ⇆.
1.9 Can I stream Kodi from my PC to my TV using DLNA/UPnP?
Kodi has some support for this, and more is planned for the future. Normally Kodi is meant to be ran on a computer/supported-device that is directly connected to the TV by a video cable.
Some files can be shared from Kodi using the built-in UPnP server and files scanned into the Video library. Kodi will not currently transcode any files, so only file formats that your TV/device can natively playback will work. This will only work with video (so you won't see Kodi's GUI) and currently does not work with add-on content.
1.10 Can I install Kodi on a PS3/4, Xbox360/One, or Wii/U?
Not to be confused with XBMC4Xbox, which is the continued effort to run Kodi on original Xbox hardware.
Nope. The required reverse engineering (to get access to the video acceleration hardware, among other things) has typically not happened on any of these game consoles. Further more, no one on Team Kodi has expressed an interest in attempting to port Kodi to those platforms, which would be a huge undertaking.
To use your video files with "metadata" like summaries, cast info, DVD covers, thumbnails, and more, you need to add those video files to the video library.There are a couple of important parts to getting things imported into your Kodi library. First, the metadata for the video file should exist someplace (the metadata are things like the title of the show, the plot description, the season and episode number if the video file happens to be an episode of a TV series, the actors, the director, cover art and episode art, etc.) The second part is naming the video files so the file gets matched up with the metadata available online.
There are several ways you can scan your videos into the Video library:
When a source or file has "content set" or changed, Kodi will ask you if you wish to update the library after you are done.
In Library view you can choose "Update library" from the lefthand sidebar menu by pressing ← (left).
Select the item in file view and either press I on the keyboard, or bring up the contextual menu (press C) and select "Movie information" or "TV show information"
If the file is already scanned in, you can also use the info screen to refresh/update that entry in the library.
You can select the share, folder, or TV show (anything that is basically a folder) that your videos are in and choose "Scan for new content" from the contextual menu (press C or Menu), which scans all files in that specific share/folder.
A common question people have after setting up their library is how can they separate their library so not everything is just in one big section, and how to have that as an option on the home screen in Kodi. Kodi can already filter and separate library items using a number of methods mentioned above, and combined with a skin that supports custom home items, the library can be laid out exactly was you want, right from the home screen.
This same idea can also be applied to add-ons, programs, and anything else you might want to place on the home screen.
Kodi can playback some 3D (stereoscopic) video formats but not all. See the Kodi wiki article on "3D". To summerize; Kodi can playback 3D video formats such as SBS, TAB, anaglyph or interlaced, but it can not playback MVC (Multiview Video Coding) encoded 3D video format used by 3D Blu-ray Disc and some DVB 3D streams.
Kodi can optionally sort your movies into sets for better organization. Movies sets are for sequels or movies that are otherwise apart of a directly related series, rather than a genre or playlist. Movies can only be in one set at a time. Movie sets can be defined by the scraper, by NFO files, or by using Kodi's built-in sets editor.
While selecting the video you wish to start at, bring up the contextual menu (press C) and select "Play from here".
You can also play all items in a folder, show, or season, by selecting the folder and pressing play on your remote. If you do not have a dedicated "play" button then you can also select "Play" from the contextual menu (press C or menu).
The PVR backend (as the server side part), which communicates with a TV tuner adapter(s) to receive the Live TV signals and create a video or audio stream, and
The PVR client (as an addon for Kodi) - an Kodi addon which controls the presentation of that content via the Kodi GUI that acts as unified frontend and common interface for all connected PVR backends.
The "PVR backend" as such is a separate application/process that directly interfaces with your TV tuner adapter(s) and the performs the task of tuning, streaming, and recording over-the-air and cable television signals and radio programming. PVR backends can either run on the same host running Kodi, or on a stand-alone host/device completely by itself with Kodi only running when needed, as long as they have a network connection between them. Some PVR backends may be able to serve several clients simultaneously, which may be Kodi clients or others applications/devices, and in those cases such PVR backends that serves multiple clients are commonly refereed to as PVR servers.
When paired with one or more matched PVR backends, a configured PVR client addon enables Kodi to handle the GUI interface, or frontend, allowing the user to watch Live TV (with pause/time-shift, if supported by the PVR backend used), display a graphical EPG (Electronic Program Guide) of all available television programming, schedule recordings or listen to radio, giving the same sort of functionality as TiVo-style video recorder devices.
Add-ons not included in the official Kodi repository can be obtained by using unofficial repositories or installing the add-on using Install from Zip file option. The two main sources for finding unofficial repos and add-ons are 3rd party add-on repositories and the Kodi Add-on support forums.
6.4 What should I do when Addon repositories dont list any contents?
You can get help with add-ons at the Kodi Add-on support forums, with some add-ons even having dedicated threads with FAQs, and more. For skins see the Kodi Skin support forums, which has sub-forums for several skins as well as general help threads. Be sure to use the search function to see if your question has been answered before.
7 Special features
7.1 Netflix, LoveFilm, and other Silverlight-based video services
Both Netflix and LoveFilm use silverlight, making it all but impossible to play inside of Kodi directly, even with an add-on. Sometimes there are add-ons for Kodi that will launch a web browser to load the service, but you will require an OS that has silverlight support (Mac OS X or Windows).
Editor note: Know of a guide for Advanced Launcher, or a working add-on for launching Netflix or LoveFilm? Feel free to add that info/links here
7.2 Hulu, Amazon, and other Flash-based video services
While Kodi does not have Flash video support directly, very often videos can be extracted from the Flash video stream/file container. Some sites also have non-flash video streams that can be accessed from within Kodi. Sometimes these streams/files can be accessed by using a STRM file, while others are more complicated and need an add-on to access the content. For example, there is an add-on for Hulu and Amazon Prime video services (see Bluecop's add-on repo for both). Be sure to check out Category:Video add-ons and the Kodi forums to see what is currently available.
This message refers to the playback cache that Kodi uses when a video is loading/streaming from the network (local or internet). It indicates that the video is loading too slowly for Kodi to play it back smoothly, and Kodi can't fully buffer it without having to buffer again as the video plays. The common cause for this is simply a slow connection to the file, often on the server's connection.
The cache is loaded in RAM and is cleared out every time a video is stopped.
Note: In most cases, this simply means that the server on the other side of the connection is too slow, and there's nothing you can do about it. No matter how fast your internet is, the server on the other side might simply be slow.