Kodi, a media streaming player that started its life as XBMC (Xbox Media Centre), a program designed to run on hacked versions of the original Xbox, has officially made its way to the Xbox One.
While Kodi can be used for completely legal purposes like streaming purchased video and music content, many users use the platform to take advantage of less than legal add-ons that give access to pirated live TV streams, as well as various other illegitimate plug-ins.
I haven’t had the chance to test it out yet, but early reports indicate that Xbox One add-on compatibility is spotty at best right now. It also seems like plug-ins can’t be installed to the Xbox One version of Kodi via .Zip files saved to an external USB stick or hard drive — at least not yet.
Kodi is best known for being the driving force behind a cottage industry of ‘Kodi boxes’ that are often powered by affordable Android TV set-top boxes and in some cases Amazon’s Fire TV devices. The XBMC Foundation, the non-profit consortium of developers behind Kodi, has made an effort to distance itself from illegal, piracy facilitating third-party plugins, though the platform’s ability to easily facilitate piracy is also why it remains so popular.
In a recent blog post, Kodi emphasizes that the Xbox One version of its streaming video platform isn’t finished yet, which means it suffers from various bugs and is still missing key features. Below are some of the key problems Kodi currently lists:
- There’s limited access to only part of your Video and Music folders.
- Network support is limited to NFS:// shares.
- There’s no access to attached storage or to the Blu-ray drive.
- There might be problems with some add-ons.
Kodi joins media streaming platform Plex, a fork of XBMC that made its way to Microsoft’s video game console last year.
If you’re interested in checking out Kodi, head on over to the ‘Store’ tab on the Xbox One and search for Kodi. The video stream should then show up in your search results.
Kodi coming to the Xbox One is a big deal and marks the first time the streaming platform has been available on a major video game console, with the app previously only being available on Linux, macOS, Windows, iOS and Android.
Though Kodi isn’t as streamlined as Plex, if you’re willing to put in the work, the app is a great entertainment centre hub. Combing Kodi with apps like Netflix, CraveTV and Amazon Prime Video, especially with the 4K playback capable Xbox One S or Xbox One X, makes Microsoft’s video game system one of the best all-around set-top boxes on the market, surpassing even the Apple TV 4K in some respects.
Back in July 2016, Bell, Rogers and Videotron launched legal actions against Android TV ‘Kodi box’ resellers. Waterloo, Ontario-based networking solutions company Sandvine released a study back in May 2017 indicating that ‘free TV’ Android TV boxes are becoming increasingly popular in Canada, revealing that as many as 7 percent of Canadian homes are using the devices.