Archive:Kodi v15 (Isengard) FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions for upgrading to the upcoming Kodi v15 (codename Isengard) 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 Isengard?

Kodi is the new name for XBMC media center. "Isengard" is the codename for version 15, just as "Gotham" was the codename for XBMC v13 and "Helix was the codename for Kodi v14". You will often see "v15" and "Isengard" used interchangeably in the community. It might be a little confusing with so many new names being used, but this is simply the new version of Kodi/XBMC. As long as you call it version 15/v15/Isengard, then everyone in the community will know what you are talking about.

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 v15.
In other words, v15 is a "semi-major" update. Bigger than a typical bugfix release, as it contains a lot of new code, new features, and refinements, but minus the major skin and add-on changes that a typical major release would bring.
The next release, v16, will contain changes that will likely require skin and add-on updates. The release after that, v17, will be another "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 v15 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: Archive:Kodi_v15_(Isengard)_changelog. 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 v15 include:
  • Improved and expanded the internationalization and regional settings options in the GUI. Settings → Appearance → International
  • Easier to navigate audio and subtitle selection lists during video playback]].
  • Added adaptive skipping/seeking through audio and video playback, also known as skip steps]].
  • Added a universal skip steps|skip/seek step command]] to allow an unlimited number of specific time seeking buttons. e.g., a dedicated "small step forward" now possible.
  • Added a chapter selection window with visual thumbnails. See bookmarks and chapters]].
  • Music_nodes]] for audio library customization.
  • Automatically jump to the first unwatched episode in a TV show. Settings → Videos → Library → "Select first unwatched TV season/episode"
  • Basic_controls|"Hide watched"]] now works with non-library video files.
  • PVR]] add-ons can now auto configure using zeroconf when the PVR server supports it.
  • The default touchscreen skin, re-Touched, now has PVR|PVR/Live TV]] support.
  • Support for ATSC closed captions for PVR]].
  • Add-ons can now add to the context menu.
  • Added Android]] HEVC/H.265 hardware video decoding. See Android hardware]].
  • UPnP improvements including external subtitle support.
  • New season posters are now added automatically when updating existing TV shows.
  • Local translations are now add-ons and can be updated with improvements more quickly.
  • Improved add-on manager]] with better categorization that makes it easier to find and manage add-ons.
  • Subtitle downloading can now automatically download the first subtitle search result.
  • Kodi v15 (Isengard) changelog|...and many more]]

1.5 Seeking/skip steps are different

Skip steps is a new seeking function that has been implemented into Kodi as of v15, and is a method of additive skipping (also known as additive seeking) that applies to both videos and music. This allows the user to skip backwards and forwards with the left and right cursor keys (this is the default keyboard and remote mapping), and by pressing these keys multiple times they can skip with increasingly larger steps.

1.6 SmallStepBack doesn't seem to work

In Keymap]] the SmallStepBack action ID has been replaced by seek(-7). Users with custom keymaps should apply this change as well. SmallStepBack will still work, but it will default to the first back step in skip steps]].

1.7 Kodi for Android is now in the Google Play store

Kodi is now available in the Google Play store. If your Android device already has the Google Play store installed, and you are using an official version of Kodi from, then you can update directly from the Play store.

2 New system requirements

2.1 Android 4.2 required

Android 4.2 is now the minimal supported version for Kodi to run on Android platform. Kodi can now be installed from the Google Play store.

2.2 iOS 5.1.1 required

iOS 5.1.1 is now the minimal supported version for Kodi to run on a jailbroken "iDevice".

2.3 Mac OS X 10.7 required

Mac OS X 10.7 is now the minimal supported version for Kodi to run on the Mac platform.

2.4 Ubuntu 14.04 LTS or 15.04 required

Ubuntu PPA
Our PPA maintainers have decided to no longer release binaries for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.
At the time of release (July 2015) the following Ubuntu versions are supported: 14.04 LTS, 15.04, 15.10.

2.5 OUYA needs OS upgrade to run v15

Due to the new system requirements and lack of needed updates from the OUYA company, OUYA's Android-based OS is unable to run Kodi v15. The OUYA hardware can still be used for Kodi, but will need a replacement for the OUYA OS. There is a work-in-progress guide in doing so at Archive:Install CyanogenMod on OUYA. It might even be possible to still use OUYA games on CM 11, or at least have some kind of dual booting option for users who want to retain access to their old OUYA games.

2.6 Apple TV 2 is no longer supported

Archive:Apple_TV_(iOS) is no longer supported as of v15. See here for details.

3 Upgrading

Stop hand.png If you are upgrading from XBMC v13 to Kodi v15 then please read Archive:Migration from XBMC to Kodi first.

Stop hand.png Always backup your settings before upgrading, just incase!

3.1 How do I upgrade from v14 to v15?

  • 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 install Kodi v15 over Kodi v14. All your settings and library are saved and will continue to work in the new version. See Installing for specific install instructions.
  • Interface skins that worked in Kodi v14 should still work in v15.
  • Most other add-ons that worked in Kodi v14 should still work in v15.
  • 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 update to v14, and then install v15.

3.2 MySQL

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.

4 Where did it this or that go?

4.1 advancedsettings.xml changes

  • <hideallitems> - For both the <videolibrary> and <musiclibrary> sections, this is replaced by a GUI option in v15 Isengard: Settings -> Videos -> Library -> Show "All items" entry
  • <SmallStepBackSeconds> - In v15 the SmallStepBack action ID has been replaced by seek(-7) in default keymaps. See skip steps]] for details. When the original SmallStepBack action ID is used it defaults to the first backwards additive seeking value.
  • <timeseekforward>/<timeseekbackward> - In v15 these tags are replaced by GUI options via additive seeking, which is configured in the GUI. See skip steps]] for details.

4.2 Add-on manager: navigation changes

The add-on manager has been reorganized to help make finding and working with add-ons easier. Some of the changes include:
  • All installed add-ons, disabled or not, can be found in My add-ons. This includes both a per-category listing as well as a single unified list of all installed add-ons.
  • A new System category have been added to show:
    • Dependancies - Various module/lib add-ons that are required for other add-ons to run. Previously, many of these add-ons were not listed in the GUI at all, which prevented the ability to use rollback or see change logs.
    • Orphaned dependancies - Module/lib add-ons that are safe to uninstall as they are no longer needed. For example, some module add-ons might be installed to support a new skin add-on, but are no longer needed if that skin add-on is later uninstalled.
    • Running - What add-ons are currently running all the time (such as services), which helps find add-ons that might be causing slow-downs. Please note that some add-ons are designed to run all the time, and most shouldn't cause any issue.
  • Several new categories of add-ons have been added do to new features or changes in Kodi. For example: sound add-ons, context menu add-ons, language add-ons, audio encoders/decoders, and more.
  • Outside of the add-on manager, when you install a new skin you are able to see the progress of both the skin being installed and any other add-ons that skin depends on, so it no longer appears as if the install is "stuck".
  • The manual "check for new updates", and the date of the last add-on check, is now on the lefthand sidebar menu.
  • The option for "force update" on add-on repos has been removed as checking for new updates will have the same effect.

4.3 Add-on manager: checking for new updates

In most Kodi interface skins, including the default skin Confluence, the button to check for new add-on updates has been moved to the lefthand sidebar menu. When you've gone into Settings → Add-ons you can press (left) to show the menu and update button.

4.4 Add-on manager: Get more add-ons

The option "Get more add-ons" from the add-on manager list has been retitled "Install from repository".

4.5 Automatic crop black bars setting

The video playback setting for cropping black bars has been removed due to various bugs. Team Kodi is looking for any developers who might be interested in creating replacement code and is willing to guide them. Please inquire on the development forum for more information.

4.6 Apple File Protocol (AFP) has been removed

Unfortunately, the AFP client has now been removed from Kodi. When AFP was first added to Kodi (then called XBMC) it was to help those Mac users who had issues with SMB sharing. However, the AFP client has always had major crashing issues, and the open source project behind it was no longer maintained. Team Kodi looked for a replacement and even tried to make our own replacement AFP client code, but in the end it didn't work out.
Users who have AFP file servers can use path substitution]] to change those URLs into another formatted protocol. We recommend using NFS or getting SMB to work by reading SMB/Mac.

4.7 HTSP has been removed

The HTSP protocol was a way for older versions of Kodi/XBMC to access Tvheadend before PVR]]/live TV features were officially added to Kodi/XBMC. Now that PVR/live TV has been supported since v12.0 (January 29th, 2013), and replaced the need for HTSP support, the HTSP protocol has finally been retired. Please see our PVR]] guide for details on how to set up the Tvheadend PVR add-on.

4.8 Tuxbox protocol has been removed

Same reason as the removal for HTSP support mentioned above. The VUPlus PVR add-on can be used for continued Tuxbox support. Please see our PVR]] guide for details.

4.9 Missing subtitle/audio options in settings

Some specific subtitle/audio options are currently missing from default v15 installations that were available in v14 and earlier. For example, in settings for subtitles one cannot set "Brazilian Portuguese" as their preference. Adding more language options by default is being investigated for v15.1, but a decision has not yet been reached. v16 will have the option of automatically including any installed language in the subtitle/audio options.
However, users can still manually add language options by adding an advancedsettings.xml file and using the <languagecodes> tag.

4.10 Where can I get more help?

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

4.11 The "o" screen doesn't show the video FPS anymore

In the codecinfo]] window, the one that shows when you press o on a keyboard, the FPS data no longer reports video FPS.
In past versions of Kodi/XBMC (before v15) this value reported the estimated frames per second for the actual video itself, but was horribly inaccurate most of the time. Due to those inaccuracies, and various other code changes, the FPS reading has been removed.
If you want to check if your video playback is working as it should, watch the skip and drop values. If those stay low, nothing to worry about. Increasing skip value means, that video frames cannot be rendered in time. If you even see dropping, then it's our last resort, as the system seems to be too slow to play that video and we told the decoder to throw away complete frames. Also take care that the codecinfo]] window byself puts more pressure on the hardware. Open it from time to time only and compare the skip / drop values.

4.12 Fast forward and rewind are not smooth

v15.1 fixed a bug causing FF/RW issues for most users. Rewind might still cause an issue for some Windows users who are using hardware video decoding due to a different bug that is still being investigated. A temp work around for those Windows users would be to disable hardware video decoding (requires more CPU power) under: Settings -> Videos -> Acceleration

4.13 Erratic behavior for the on-screen-display controls during video playback

If you are seeing strange graphical errors on the on-screen-display controls (on screen buttons for playback, stop, ff/rw, subtitles, etc) then please check out this thread:
A workaround is to go into Kodi's video settings and for "Vsync" select "let driver decide".

4.14 HDHomeRun tuners don't work over UPnP

HDHomeRun network tuners won't connect to Kodi v15.0 over UPnP due to some error in how Kodi is handling the URLs. Devs are looking into a fix. A temp workaround would be to use HTTP URLs in a playlist (or modify your existing UPnP URLs if you are already using a playlist), or using the HDHomeRun View add-on. See here and here for more info.
A fix has been submitted for the upcoming v15.2 bugfix release.

4.15 Game controllers don't control volume correctly

In v15 there seems to be odd behavior like up/down both turns volume down, and left/right turns volume up. A fix will come in the upcoming v15.2 bugfix release.

4.16 Keyboard/remote keys occasionally seem stuck/repeating

PVR features in v15.0 can sometimes lock up processes in Kodi, which can result in input keys being repeated as if they were being held down. A fix will be included in the upcoming v15.1 bugfix release, and can be tested early here.

4.17 ANDROID: Amlogic playback issues (zoomed in, 1/4 screen, no video, etc)

Android devices with Amlogic processors might have issues for various reasons (not all completely related).

4.18 ANDROID: Some Sony tablets/phones won't install Kodi from Google Play

Some Sony tablets/phones/phablets have been marked as incompatible for Kodi on Google Play due to the way the touch screen works, which doesn't work in Kodi. A manual APK installation should bypass this if you wish to experiment around anyways, but your touch screen probably won't work in Kodi and you will need another form of input (bluetooth keyboard, a smartphone/tablet remote on another device, etc).
Note: Sony seems to have fixed this with a firmware update. See here for more info.

4.19 ANDROID: Audio issues (passthrough, etc)

If you are having audio issues with the v15 update then try using the new SPMC which is based on Kodi v15. Be sure to let us know on the Kodi forums if it fixes your issue or not.

4.20 UBUNTU: TvHeadend PVR add-on is missing

Gremlins came in and renamed kodi-pvr-tvheadend-hts to kodi-pvr-hts. To install the TvHeadend PVR add-on please use
apt-get install kodi-pvr-hts

4.21 WINDOWS: Kodi won't open if there is no network

Kodi v15.0 and v15.1 won't open if Windows doesn't have an active network device. This is different than having no network connection. For example, Kodi should still work if you have an installed wifi, bluetooth, ethernet, or other network device, even if they are not currently connected, so long as they are not "disabled" in Windows. A fix for this will be included in the upcoming v15.2 bugfix release.

4.22 WINDOWS: Webserver or phone remotes don't work

Some Windows installs (especially Windows 10) seem to be reserving port 80 for Skype usage, which prevents Kodi's internal web server from starting up. Kodi should default to using port "8080" on new installs, but existing installs might need to manually change the port in the webserver settings to use 8080.