Archive:Kodi v16 (Jarvis) FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions for upgrading to Kodi v16 (codename Jarvis) from a previous version. Includes how to enable some of the new features, where some controls got moved to, etc.

1 General FAQ

See also: All platforms FAQ for an FAQ that applies to all versions of Kodi.

1.1 What is Kodi? What is Jarvis?

Kodi is the new name for XBMC media center. "Jarvis" is the codename for version 16, just as "Isengard" was the codename for Kodi v15 and "Helix" was the codename for Kodi v14. You will often see "v16" and "Jarvis" used interchangeably in the community.

1.2 Why has this version been released so soon?

Team Kodi is attempting to release more often in order to help with stability of the program and to adapt more quickly to changes in media. In recent years bug fix releases have become more common so that users can get those bug fixes without breaking compatibility with skins, add-ons, or having to adapt to some other change. While bug fix releases are still planned in the future, Kodi has become modular enough that full releases can be introduced that also don't break compatibility with most things. While there are major changes, great effort was taken to minimize breakage of skins, add-ons, smartphone/tablet remotes, and other such elements, for v16.
v16 contains changes that will likely require skin and add-on updates. The release after that, v17, will be a "semi-major" release and will attempt to preserve compatibility with v16 skins and add-ons. The idea is to keep repeating this pattern in hopes it provides a more rapid release schedule without sacrificing compatibility.
Note: Add-ons are mentioned above as sometimes needing changes between versions. Some add-ons, such as most video, audio, and picture add-ons, are compatible with multiple versions. Kodi v16 will continue to work with many add-ons from as far back as v13. However, if you do have an issue with any add-on not working, please report it to the author of that add-on.

1.3 Changelog

See: Kodi v16 (Jarvis) changelog. Add-on developers should also see Jarvis API changes, and skinners should also read the sticky posts in the Skin Development Forum for full changelog on changes to the skinning engine).

1.4 What are some of the noticeable new features?

In addition to many "under the hood" improvements, some of the visible additions to v16 include:
  • Various PVR|PVR/live TV]] improvements, such as better support for series recording, EPG now always lists channels that don't have summaries, a new fast channel switching option, FM radio support, faster EPG loading, and more.
  • Audio digital signal processing via binary add-ons.
  • Non-linear stretch for 4:3 videos playing on 16:9 screens.
  • 3D TVs can now show skins (the GUI) with 3D depth.
  • Better animated image support for skins.
  • Revamped music library]].
  • Custom user Music_tagging#Ratings_in_ID3_tags|ratings]] for video library items.
  • keymap|Long-press support]] for Remote_controls]], Keyboard_controls|keyboards]], and Game_controllers]]. Pressing and holding on a button can do a secondary action. For example, long-press on "select" will bring up the context menu.
  • HEVC hardware video decoding support for linux-based OSes.
  • Improved default touch controls]] for tablets.
  • Lossless DTS-HD software decoding. This allows hardware that only supports PCM to use all audio channels at full HD audio quality.
  • TV show seasons can now have custom names. Use the context menu and select "edit title" when a season is selected.
  • Android improves switching to bluetooth headphones from "internal" audio.
  • Improved 4k support for Android devices.

1.5 AirPlay

  • When using Kodi v16 with iOS 9 or higher, only music is supported. If you are sending media from iOS 8 or lower, or from iTunes on a PC/Mac, some non-DRM video is still supported.
  • A new settings toggle for selecting "iOS 9" or "iOS 8" behavior can be found under Settings -> Services -> AirPlay.

Kodi now supports doing secondary functions with a remote button when a button is held down for a moment, rather than just pressed and released right away. This helps out greatly with remotes that only have a few buttons. In addition to being able to program longpress actions, the following are enabled by default:
  • longpress+Select - Basic_controls#Context_Menu|context menu]]
  • longpress+Menu - sidebar menu
  • longpress+Back - home screen
  • longpress+Back (during video playback) - stop video
  • longpress+Select (during video playback) - play/pause
  • longpress+Play (In file manager]]) - highlight

1.6 Audio DSP add-ons

Audio Dynamic Single Processing add-ons allow for all sorts of audio processing in Kodi. Currently there are only a small number of add-ons included by default:
  • adsp.basic - description goes here - available on all platforms except Android.
  • asdp.freesurround - description goes here - available on all platforms except Android.
  • adsp.biquad.filters - description goes here - more info - only available on Windows and Linux.

1.7 User ratings for library items

Kodi now allows people to set their own ratings for library videos. When a movie, TV show, or TV episode is selected, bring up the info screen (via Basic_controls#Context_Menu|context menu]], info button, or i on a keyboard) and select the rating buton.

1.8 Custom season names

TV shows can now use custom names for each season or story arch. When a TV show season is selected, bring up the Basic_controls#Context_Menu|context menu]] -> Manage -> Edit title.

2 New system requirements

2.1 Windows - DirectX 11

  • Kodi v16 now requires at least DirectX 11. Some users might need to update their graphics card drivers for Kodi to work. AMD graphics card users need at least the "Omega" drivers.

2.2 iOS - Non-jailbroken devices (expirimental)

  • iDevices - Unrelated to the release of v16, but occuring around the same time as v16's release, Kodi can now be installed on some non-jailbroken iOS devices. This is considered an advanced and expirimental feature and should not be seen as fully supported at this time. For more information see HOW-TO:Install Kodi for iOS]].
  • Apple TV 4 - Likewise, Kodi has highly expirimental test builds for Apple TV 4 users. Not all features may be enabled at this time, and these should not be seen as fully supported. Users wishing to have a stable system should not go this route. For more information see the "other test builds" section on Development builds]].
  • Jailbroken iDevices - Everything should be the same if you are using an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad that is jailbroken. No new major changes here in relation to Kodi.

3 Upgrading

Stop hand.png If you are upgrading from XBMC v13 to Kodi v16 then please read Migration from XBMC to Kodi]] first.

Stop hand.png Always backup]] your settings before upgrading, just in case!

3.1 How do I upgrade from v15 to v16?

  • ANDROID USERS: Don't uninstall an earlier version of Kodi/XBMC before installing the new version. Uninstalling first would remove all of your settings. Just install the new version and it will replace the older version and retain your settings.
  • In most cases you can just Installing|install Kodi v16]] over Kodi v15. All your settings and library are saved and will continue to work in the new version. See Installing]] for specific install instructions.
  • Most basic (video, audio, etc) add-ons]] that worked in Kodi v15 should still work in v16.
  • If you have any issues (settings not being copied over, blank screens, etc) when updating from versions older than v14: remove the new version, install the older version of Kodi/XBMC from , and then upgrade to the next version. In other words, if you have v13, first install v14 and run Kodi, Quit Kodi and then install v15 and run Kodi. Quit Kodi again and install v16, then run Kodi.

3.2 MySQL

Stop hand.png MariaDB 10.1.11 users might want to avoid upgrading to Kodi v16 until they have updated MairaDB to 10.1.12.
  • As long as your MySQL server is set up to allow XBMC/Kodi to make new databases for the upgrade itself (see MySQL/Upgrading]]) then you don't need to do anything for upgrading a MySQL set up for Kodi. Even if you use "XBMC" in your advancedsettings.xml file, you can leave this the same and everything will still work.
  • Upgrading the MySQL database might take a very long time when first opening Kodi v16. This can be several minutes or even longer, depending on the speed of the device that is first performing the upgrade.
  • If Kodi is quit or crashes before the MySQL update can complete then it might not be able to open up with the damaged MySQL database. See MySQL/Upgrading]] for instructions on how to re-do the update with your old database copies.

3.3 Skins / interface

Kodi 16 requires updated add-on skins. This means that your existing Kodi 15 skin will not work (will be marked as "broken") if you upgrade from Kodi 15 and your skin does not have a Kodi 16-compatible update. In this case you will need to switch to another skin (such as the default Confluence skin). After updating, you can scroll through the official Kodi repository to find additional skins which are compatible, or check the Kodi support skin forums for other skin options which are not part of the official repository.

3.4 Android automatic update

If your Android device meets the current requirements for Kodi v16, you have the Google Play store, and automatic updates are enabled, then Kodi should already be upgraded to v16. If you wish to prevent automatic updates for Kodi in the future then you must turn off all automatic updates in Google Play.

4 Where did it this or that go?

4.1 advancedsettings.xml changes

  • All karaoke tags have been removed.
  • <hideemptyseries> - replaced with an option in the GUI. Settings -> Videos -> Video library.
  • <imagescalingalgorithm> - added - allows for higher quality images on posters, thumbs, fanart, and other images when they are scaled down.
  • <assfixedworks> - added - position behavior of ass subtitiles when setting "subtitle position on screen" set to "fixed". True to show at the fixed position set in video calibration. False to show at the bottom of video (default).

4.2 Karaoke support removed

As of v16, Kodi no longer supports Karaoke features. The Kodi project has not had any developers interested in maintaining the features in several years, but would welcome any new developers who are interested in taking over in the future. If you are such a person, or know of such a person, please leave us a note on the Kodi Forums.
This only affects the built-in karaoke support and does not impact karaoke video add-ons.

4.3 hdhomerun protocol support removed

As of v16, Kodi no longer supports the old hdhomerun:// protocol, which is used on older model HDHomeRun network tuners. See here for more info.
This does not impact newer HDHomeRun tuners that support HTTP and UPnP protocols.

4.4 Skin settings files

For Kodi 16, skins hold their settings in individual settings files. These files are found within your platform-unique "userdata" area, in the "addon_data" subfolder. Note that if you use profiles, there will be a separate "addon_data" folder for each profile. (In normal use, there is no need for users to directly access these files.)

4.5 Add-on categories for Skins and others

Some categories, such as "skins", in the add-on manager]] are now found under a sub-category called "Look and feel".

4.6 Where can I get more help?

The general and platform specific FAQs, the Kodi support forums:, and/or the #kodi IRC chat channel on

4.7 ANDROID: Video playback stops when another app is in focus

  • This is expected behavior for newer Google APIs and how Kodi v16 works. In addition to making sure that the new video decoding APIs are working correctly, this also has the side effect of making sure Kodi doesn't prevent other apps from using video, such as Netflix, even if Kodi is still open.
  • To prevent this from happening when a video is paused, make sure that Kodi's screensaver is either off or using a screensaver other than "Dim" or "Black". That will prevent the Android screensaver/daydream from becoming active.

4.8 ANDROID: Low volume or strange volume behavior

  • To support TVs that have Android built-in, and to prevent the "double volume bar" of previous releases, Kodi v16 no longer changes both Kodi volume and system volume at the same time. Instead, these are now controlled seperately.
  • Most users will likely wish to leave Kodi volume at full and then control system volume, which is what most remote controls use by default for their volume buttons.
  • If volume is low then you might need to turn up the internal "Kodi volume". If you are using a skin that doesn't show the volume bar, then you can change the volume by playing a video and opening the on-screen-display and selecting the audio settings. Alternatively, you can also hook up a USB keyboard to turn the volume up using the + or = keys.

4.9 ANDROID: Crashing when opened

A few things to try it this happens:
  • Go into Android's settings and into "Apps". Then select Kodi and select "Clear cache". Do not select "Clear data".
  • If you are using MySQL then see MySQL/Upgrading]].
  • Make sure your Android device has at least 500 MB of free space (a rough estimate).
  • As a last resort, uninstalling and re-installing can be done, but doing so will reset all settings.

4.10 ANDROID: GUI no longer rendered at 4K

Kodi v15 would render everything in 4K for the Nvidia Shield TV, but used a method that won't work correctly on other 4K boxes, as the GUI is handled by the CPU and not a hardware decoder.
This has been changed for Kodi v16. On supported hardware, such as some official Android TV devices, 4K video will always output at 4K. Only the user interface will render at 1080, so that less powerful CPUs aren't bogged down. In other words, the video lists and buttons are not as "sharp", but video will still be fine. In the future there might be an option to render everything at 4K, for devices that are powerful enough.

4.11 ANDROID: Missing "brightness" and "contrast" options

If in Kodi v15 you had brightness and contrast video playback]] options, but they are missing in v16, then you can re-enable them by going to Settings -> Videos -> Acceleration -> and disable only "Mediacodec (surface)". Video will still be hardware decoded, but this will disable 4K output support for 4K Android hardware.

4.12 ANDROID: 3D movies won't playback in 2D mode

Similar to the previous entry, this can be fixed by going to Settings -> Videos -> Acceleration -> and disable only "Mediacodec (surface)". Video will still be hardware decoded, but this will disable 4K output support for 4K Android hardware.

4.13 iOS: v16 missing from Cydia

Due do a server issue, the Team Kodi Cydia repo is having problems. Jailbroken iOS users can still manually install Kodi v16. See HOW-TO:Install Kodi for iOS]] for more info.

4.14 MAC OS X: Some screensavers are missing

Due to a lack of manpower for OS X devs, "rsxs" screensavers were dropped from Kodi for Mac OS X. "rsxs" screensavers are still supported on other platforms. See here for more info.

4.15 UBUNTU: Missing visualizations, screensavers, or audio decoders

In Kodi v16 some visualizations and screensavers are now separate packages that need to be installed with apt-get, similar to how PVR]] add-ons work. See Ubuntu binary add-ons]] for more info.

5 Notes