Here is the ever expanding guide to getting setup with an android TV box with Kodi installed. I’ve tried to word it and explain in a way that anyone should understand.
Recently there has been a massive influx of “kodi boxes” being sold in shops, online and from “a guy down the pub”. They promise the world, but often leave you feeling a bit hard done by. In this article I’m going to explain what these boxes are, bust some myths surrounding them and explain how you can buy and set up your own box for a fraction of the cost some of these sellers charge. I’ll detail types of boxes you can get, what addons and apps you can install and how to do them, what extras you can buy for your box like mice, keyboards etc, what services you can pay for, as well as going into detail about how to install Kodi and how to put addons onto Kodi and also to maintain these addons when/if they ever stop working.
This article may look like war and peace, but that’s only because I’ve tried to word it in a way that anyone can understand it. And trust me, it’s actually not that complicated; if you can work a smart phone, you can work a “kodi box”
- What is a TV Box?
- Install Kodi on Amazon Fire Stick/Fire TV
- Install Kodi on Windows Laptop/PC
- Diagnose Kodi Addon Problems
- Recommended Android TV Boxes
- Good Kodi Addons
- Kodi Builds
First I’ll explain some basics.
What is a KODI Box?
There isn’t actually any such thing as a KODI box; KODI is an open source (Free software with maintained by numerous developers) media player and media management software application. It can be installed on operating systems (OS) Android, Linux, Mac OS X, iOS & Windows. Although 99% of “Kodi Boxes” tend to be Android Boxes with Kodi installed on them.
In this article, the information I’ll be giving relates to Android boxes and Windows PC/Laptops, I’ll touch on other systems, but my focus is android because that’s what I use so only want to advise on what I know.
Think of an android box like a small computer which you can plug into your TV. Android is just an operating system, and if you have a Samsung Galaxy Phone, a Google Nexus phone and others, these all run the Android operating system; it’s just what’s used on your device to maintain your applications, system specifications etc. The same as your PC probably has windows as an operating system, your phone will also have an operating system (Android for Samsung phones etc, iOS for iPhones..) and the same goes for a TV box.
When Kodi is installed on a device, it’s a basic media player and media management system, and when installed for the first time, you’ll notice there’s not really anything in it. This is where addons come into it. These addons are what enable you to stream music, TV shows, movies etc. Some people ask about the legality of these systems; an android TV box isn’t illegal, and kodi isn’t illegal either. When you start adding addons, you may notice new movies and tv shows to watch. Unless you’re in an app like Netflix, chances are this content could be illegal, so you can use your own common sense to a) establish if the content is illegal, and b) whether you want to risk watching any of this content, that choice and risk is yours to make. That being said, there’s plenty of legal content you can watch and listen to.
So when you buy these boxes, the seller usually buys an android TV box or stick and pre-loads it with a number of apps and addons. The problem with this is many Kodi addons are created and maintained (usually for free) by hard working developers, and now and then they’ll update the addon, maybe change some of the code in their addon or close their addon down, and unless you know how to update the addon or diagnose an issue, to you all you’ll see if a non responsive app or addon.
So, there are two parts to “playing” with your TV box I’ll go through; first is Kodi and what you can do with Kodi, and secondly is non kodi apps you can add to your TV box/stick.
So, Kodi There are a number of ways to use Kodi and install it and I’ll detail each one.
1. A pre-installed Android Kodi Box:
a. These boxes are android boxes where someone has pre-installed Kodi, as well as a number of other applications. These can be handy for someone who wants to get Kodi up and running without having to do much work. If you get this, then the only other area I’d recommend you read is about diagnosing problematic addons and how to fix them. You can also jump to Good Addons for Kodi and how to install them and Good Apps for your Android Box and how to install them. Below is a number of android TV boxes I’d recommend buying, depending on your budget, and I’ve only mentioned boxes I either own, or have used.
2. An Amazon Fire Device – Amazon Fire TV or Amazon Fire Stick
a. Here’s a bit on info about Kodi and Amazon Fire Stick/TV, below this is a guide on how to install Kodi on your Amazon Device. Just scroll down a bit if you just want the Amazon/Kodi guide.
Amazon make two very good TV devices, the Amazon Fire Stick and Amazon Fire TV, both are very capable of running Kodi and if you can afford it, the Amazon Fire TV box is very fast and is my main box used in my lounge. A few things to note with the Amazon devices, is they do have an amended interface when you use the system on your TV so Amazon advertise their own videos, music etc. But you can still install your own apps on here, including Kodi. Also, if you are an Amazon Prime customer, there’s a load of content you can access straight away, including thousands of films, TV Shows and Music. As a prime customer, you can also have unlimited photo cloud storage which you can easily access on your Fire TV or Fire Stick, and have unlimited access to Amazon Music; similar to spotify, it’s a catalogue of millions of songs you can play at your leisure. You can sign up for a 30 day FREE trial here if you’re in the UK, or Here if you’re in the US try it out and you can always cancel if you don’t like it.
b. So, to install Kodi on an Amazon Device. There are a few ways to do this:
i. Using ES File Explorer: The Easiest Way
1. Power up your Amazon Fire TV/Stick
2. Go to Setting>System/Device>Developer Options. Locate “Apps from unknown sources”, and make sure it’s ticked (On), and if you get a confirmation pop up box, click Yes.
3. Go back to your home screen, and under Apps, or using the Search box, search for and install “ES File Explorer”
4. Once installed, open ES File Explorer, select Favourite then select Add and enter the URL: http://kodi.tv/download. Click Next (don’t worry if the URL disappears. Type Kodi into the box, click Next again then click Add.
5. Now open the Kodi link from the left hand panel, find Kodi Android Apps and select the ARM version (usually the 32bit Release Build. Nothing will happen yet, don’t worry though.
6. Now select the options menu (the three vertical dots towards the bottom right of the screen) and select “Open in new browser”: This will download Kodi to your fire tv/stick. Let it finish, the spinning wheel in the top right will tell you the system is doing something.
7. Once it’s downloaded, select “Open File”, and then select “Install” A permissions box will appear, just click down on your remote until you see “Install” and click it again.
ii. Using Apps2Fire – You need an android phone or tablet to do this.
1. First, on your fire tv/stick, go to go to Settings> System/Device>About>Network and note down your Fire TV/Stick’s IP address.
2. Then go to Setting>System/Device>Developer Options and make sure Apps From Unknown Sources and ADB Debugging are both ticked to Yes.
3. On your android phone or tablet, download Apps2Fire from the playstore.
4. The on your phone/tablet, download Kodi from the play store.
5. On your phone/tablet, open Apps2Fire and under setup, enter the IP you noted down in step 1 in the IP field on Apps2Fire.
6. The, still in Apps2Fire, tap “Local Apps”, find Kodi in the list, tap it once and click “Install”
7. Give it about 30 seconds, and you should see a message on Apps2Fire saying successfully installed.
8. Now on your fire TV/stick, if you go to apps, you should see Kodi there.
iii. There are some other methods to install Kodi on a Fire TV/Stick, but these two are very simple, I’ve used both methods, and seem to be the quickest.
Once you’ve installed Kodi, you can jump straight to
a. Diagnosing problematic addons and how to fix them
b. Good Addons for Kodi and how to install them
c. Good Apps for your Android Box and how to install them
3. An Android Box Without Kodi
a. To be honest, there aren’t many Android boxes which don’t have Kodi on, even though the Amazon Fire TV and Fire Stick run using Android, they’re rarely referred to as Android Boxes because the firmware (which runs the device) has been amended by Amazon so you’ll see Amazon content on the box when using it.
i. This being said, installing Kodi on an Android TV box is very simple, and you can download it simply from Play Store. Again, same as the Google Play Store you have on your android phone, the android TV box has the same playstore.
4. A Windows PC/Laptop
a. You can also use Kodi from your Windows Laptop or PC, the easiest way to do this is using an HDMI cable, so as long as your laptop/pc has an HDMI port (most do nowadays) then you can just put kodi on your laptop/pc and connect your laptop/pc to your TV using an HDMI cable. Some people buy a cheap laptop (you don’t need a very high spec to run Kodi) and keep this laptop as a media centre which is always connected to the TV. This guide will assume you have a Windows Laptop/PC with HDMI out with an HDMI cable connected to the TV. Also, for this setup, I’d recommend you get a cheap mouse or Bluetooth mouse if your laptop has Bluetooth enabled.
i. First, you’ll want to download Kodi from here https://kodi.tv/download/ download to your laptop/pc and install.
ii. Once installed, you can configure your kodi, put some addons on etc (see the rest of this guide).
iii. Then, plug an HDMI cable into your laptop/pc and plug the other end into your TV.
iv. Switch your TV on, and using your “Source” or “Input” button on your TV remote, select HDMI1/HDMI2 etc, basically whichever HDMI port on your TV your laptop is plugged into.
v. Once selected, you should see your laptop/PCs screen on your TV. You can now, open any of your addons in Kodi and watch your TV/Movies, listen to music etc, directly on your TV.
a. Occasionally you’ll open an addon in Kodi, or try and load a movie or live TV stream, and either the addon won’t open, the movie won’t load or you’ll get an error pop up, usually telling you to check the logs to check what the problem is. The main issue with this, is most people who pick up a TV box won’t know how to check these logs, and if you have Kodi on a TV box, the logs themselves are easy to navigate to. So, to check the logs, I’d recommend installing the Kodi addon “Log Viewer for Kodi”
i. To add “Log Viewer for Kodi”
1. Open Kodi
2. Go to System> Settings> Addons> Install from Repository> Kodi Addon Repository> Program Addons
3. You’ll now see a list of addons, scroll down to “Log Viewer for Kodi”, select it and click Install. You’ll get a message when the addon has been enabled.
4. Once installed click “Open/Run”, and depending on if you’re using a PC or TV box, you’ll either get the log appear immediately, or have to click “Show Log”.
5. Once your log is open, the most recent logs will be at the top so you can see any errors here. Now unless you’re technically minded, this may look like a daunting load of text which means nothing to you. All you want to do is have a browse to see if any obvious errors are there like “stream unavailable” or “failed to open addon”. Either way, hopefully this may give you an idea of why your addon isn’t working.
ii. It’s also worth checking if your Addon needs updating. Once you’ve added a repository and some addons, any addons attached to a repository should update automatically, but you can always check for updates manually. The easiest way to this is:
1. Locate your addon, System> Settings> Addons> My Addons, then either Video Addons / Music Addons Etc. From the Kodi Home Screen, you can also select Videos> Addons (for video, music for music etc). Find your addon and make a note of the version number, and depending if you’re on a PC/Android TV or have customised your menu, you can either right click (with mouse, or on your remote) and select “Addon Information”, or Click your addon once so the sub-menu appears (you’ll know what option you need when you try both because if you’ve customised your menu it could be either.
2. When you have the addon information open, you should be an “Update” option. Click this and a list of addon versions should appear with the latest version at the top. If you see the latest version number is higher than yours, then update your addon. If the version you have is the latest, then there’s no harm in reinstalling it as they may fix your issue.
b. Good Addons for Kodi and how to install them
a. There are literally thousands of addons for Kodi, with a vast majority of them either defunct or not worth the time downloading. However there are a good few which are brilliant, and a testament to the developers who have created and maintain them. Firstly, I’ll explain how you’ll add an addon to Kodi. To understand this you need to understand there are three basic steps to getting an addon added to Kodi, and I’ll concentrate on doing this using online sources and repositories. You can manually add these to Kodi, but doing it the way below ensures you always get the latest updates. Below are instructions to add third party addons to Kodi. There’s also a load of addons available to download directly from Kodi itself, to download these, just go to System> Settings> Addons> Install from Repository> Kodi Addons Repository> Then select Video, Music, whatever type of addon you’d like, just click the addon type and you’ll see a large list of addons. Once you’ve selected the type, say Video Addons, find an addon you’d like, click it (or double click) and click “Install”. You’ll receive a message telling you when your addon has been enabled and installed.
The steps to add an addon which isn’t available in Kodi itself are:
i. Adding a source to Kodi (a url which stores repositories online)
ii. From that source you install a repository (online storage which houses addons, usually grouped together by a team of developers) to Kodi
iii. From the repository you select and add your addon to Kodi.
b. So, Step 1: Adding a Source to Kodi:
(I’ll use Phoenix as an example; Phoenix is a video addon with a number of movies, tv shows, live tv streams and more)
i. Open Kodi
ii. Select System > File Manager
iii. Select Add Source
iv. Select the box which says “None”
v. Type the following into that box: http://fusion.tvaddons.ag and then select “Done”
vi. Highlight the box below this to name this source and give it a name. Looking at the above URL, call it something like Fusion, then click “OK”
vii. Click back to your Home Screen (the back arrow on a remote a few times should do this, if you’re unsure, close Kodi and open it again.
c. Step 2: Adding the Repository:
i. Select System>Settings>Add-ons
ii. Select “Install from zip file”
iii. Select fusion, or whatever you named your URL in step vi.
iv. Select “kodi-repos”
v. Select “English”
vi. Select “repository.xbmchub-x.x.x.zip”
vii. Wait and after a few seconds, a message will read: “Add-on enabled”
d. Step 3: Installing the Addon:
i. From the same location “System>Add-ons” select “Install from repository”
ii. Select “TVADDONS.ag Addon Repository”
iii. Select “Video Add-Ons”
iv. Select “Phoenix”
v. Select “Install”
vi. After about ten seconds, a message will tell you: “Add-on enabled”
Other good addons for Kodi
Below I’ve listed some great Kodi addons, mostly video and a few music addons. Just click the addon name for some detail about the addon and how to install And if you spot a step telling you to add a source you’ve already added (http://fusion.tvaddons.ag is used a lot) then you don’t need to add the repository again and can skip to the next step of adding the repository; and in the same sense, if you spot a repository you’ve already added, you can also skip this step. Just click the arrow next to the addon name for instructions on how to install.
Video Addons (For Movies, TV Shows and Live TV)
Exodus is one of the oldest Kodi addons. There’s an abundance of TV shows and movies
Another great addons with thousands of movies and TV shows
A must have addon, especially if you like UK TV and Film
A great addon with a ton of live TV streams from the UK, US and worldwide
A must have for all sports fans, with live sport
A huge addon with TV shows, Movies, sports, female themes content and loads more
Another must have, with thousands and thousands of hours of new and old TV shows & Movies, music, sports and live TV
A great music addon with live music channels, playlists, and a ton of music videos from a range of genres
One issue people have with Kodi is the layout isn’t the most intuitive, and this day in age, people like a minimal, image heavy layout; similar to Netflix or Amazon Fire TV. Well with Kodi, you can add custom builds so you can get this look and also builds come pre-loaded with a good selection of addons. I’ll explain how to add a build for Kodi on Android Boxes, Amazon Fire TV/Stick and on a Windows PC/Laptop.
1. For Android, there are two ways I’ll show you to add a custom build.
a. For Android TV Boxes:
i. The first is using an app called “Complete Kodi Setup Wizard”, using this app you can install Kodi and put a custom build on it.
ii. If you have an android TV box, go to “Play Store”, search for Complete Kodi Setup Wizard and install.
iii. Once installed, open and the first option is “Install Kodi/SPMC”. Click this if you’ve not already installed Kodi, and click “Install Latest Stable Kodi” This will take you back to Play Store, and you can click “Install” to install Kodi. If you already have Kodi, then skip this step.
iv. Once installed, go back to the main menu for “Complete Kodi Setup Wizard”. *If an ad pops up, just click the X to close it or click back*
v. Once at the main menu, click “Install Builds”. Here you can have a browse at all the builds, they’re broken up into lists like “Top 10 Builds” or a list of developers builds; so if you see “Apollo Builds”, “Ares Builds” etc, these are just builds listed under the person/people who created them. Have a look around, and each build will have an image of what the build looks like (personally I use Moonshine USA which is focussed on US TV and Film; this build you’ll find under: Install Builds> Schism Builds> Moonshine USA. When you see one you like, click “Install Build”. The build will now install on your Kodi, so when you next open Kodi, its layout will be based on the build you installed.
vi. **Once thing to note, is when you add a custom build, the way I’ve mentioned throughout this guide to get to certain menu items may change, so you may have to have a play around to work out how you get to your addons menu, how to install addons etc.
vii. **Another thing to note is many builds also add their own addons along with the build, so you may see a lot of new video/music addons etc. If you see any you don’t like you can always remove them. Just go to System> Settings> Addons> My Addons, then find the addon, click it and click remove/uninstall.
i. Below are some of the most popular Kodi Builds, and details how to install them. Just click the little down arrown next to the build name for instructions on how to install the build.
Dad Life To install this build, which is very intuative and easy to use, just watch the youtube video below. YOUTUBE YOUTUBE
To install this build, which is very intuative and easy to use, just watch the youtube video below.
Fire TV Guru's Build This build has been created especially for Amazon Fire Sticks, so it’s low on resources, intuative with asimple interface. Watch the video below for a guide on how to install this build. And make sure you visit the Fire TV Gurus Facebook Group, which is a big group, always someone online and has a load of guides for builds and tweaks for your Fire TV/Stick. Video Guide
This build has been created especially for Amazon Fire Sticks, so it’s low on resources, intuative with asimple interface. Watch the video below for a guide on how to install this build. And make sure you visit the Fire TV Gurus Facebook Group, which is a big group, always someone online and has a load of guides for builds and tweaks for your Fire TV/Stick.
Revert a build/Put Kodi back to its original state If you find you’re not getting on with a build, then you can install another build easily. But if you want to restore you Kodi back to it’s original state, then follow the below guide.
If you find you’re not getting on with a build, then you can install another build easily. But if you want to restore you Kodi back to it’s original state, then follow the below guide.
Once you have your Kodi up and running, you can look into improving your Kodi experience. Go here for a guide on URL Resolvers and how they’ll make your Kodi experience better with more HD streams and more. Also check out our guide on installing a VPN for Kodi to protect your privacy online.
Check back soon for a list of great Android TV Box apps