Are you tired of paying the cable bill? The best way to supplement your over the air antenna is with a box that streams online content. Look no further. Kodi is your one stop solution. Kodi is an open source software media center for playing videos, music, viewing pictures and streaming online content. You can also integrate it with an HDHomeRun device to watch and record live over the air TV. In this post, I will show you how to set it up and install all the great plugins it has to offer.
What is Kodi?
Kodi or XBMC which it was formerly called has been around for quite some time. I have personally been using this software for many years and have seen it evolve into a very powerful media center. The nice part about Kodi is it is free and can run on many different devices. You can make a donation to their website if you enjoy the product. It will run on smartphones, computers and tablets and on operating systems like Windows, Linux, OS X, Android, IOS and Raspberry Pi. There are also many add-ons or plugins that are continuously being developed that turn Kodi into a powerful online streaming device. Your options are endless. You just need to decide how you would like your media center to look.
Picking Your Device
There are many options for installing Kodi. I personally use a Mac Mini and a Matricom G-Box Q for both of my setups. I prefer these setups because they allow me to use Kodi and other programs on my large screen TV. There are also many other good choices of devices that are pre-loaded right out of the box.
My Mac Mini Setup
If you want to do a custom install a Mac mini works extremely well with Kodi. You can find some inexpensive Mac mini’s on Ebay.
My Matricom G-Box Q Setup
For the all in one pre-loaded box the Matricom G-Box Q3 works great.
Where to Buy:
The Matriom G-Box Q3 is available from these retailers:
Setting up Kodi
Kodi is very easy to setup. Once you have decided which device you would like to install it on, you need to download the install file that corresponds to the operating system you are running. Here is the link to the Kodi download page. Download the file and install it. Follow the prompts depending on which operating system you choose. Once installed, you can launch it by clicking on the Kodi icon on your desktop.
Customizing your Kodi Box
This is where Kodi really shines. It will play just about any video or audio file. You can load all of your favorite videos and music on it. You can also use a central storage solution or a NAS (network attached storage) box. Just load all your content on a NAS storage device and allow Kodi to do the rest. Kodi will play it back on your device of choice. There are many great tutorials on how to configure your Kodi media center. One great place to get started is there forums page. There is also a great wiki page explaining the whole process.
Plugins and Add-ons
Plugins and add-ons can turn your Kodi box into a powerful online streaming device. These add-ons are written by 3rd part developers that allow you to install an app onto your Kodi device to stream online content. Be aware that some of these apps are not supported by the official Kodi development team. You can stream Hulu, Netflix, and You Tube just to name a few. You can also take it a step further and stream a plethora of movies, TV shows and music. It’s amazing how much content you can play. Kodi’s plugins are constantly under development, so you should check back from time to time to see what is new. Check out some of these great add-on websites to install some of these features.
- Super Repo – Good selections of useful add-ons
- TV Addons – Has a nice selection of current add-ons
- Addons Kodi – Kodi’s official add-ons page
Integrating Kodi with Your Over The Air Antenna
You can also use your over the air antenna with Kodi. SiliconDust HDHomeRun Live TV is a great device that allows you to integrate your OTA antenna allowing you to watch live TV on your Kodi device. Kodi has a nice Wiki page explaining the setup process of live TV and it’s capabilities. This is a very cool feature and fully integrates your media center.
“The beauty of the HDHomeRun add-on is its elegance … There’s really no set up. Just install the add-on and you’re good to go,” says Edwin Kim, Vice President of Products for Silicondust USA. This is the simple way to watch live HDTV on media devices throughout your home. Your devices can then receive free broadcast TV channels via an antenna allowing you to send HD 1080i definition content to anywhere in your home via an Ethernet connection and to multiple devices. You should be able to simply click on Get More from the Video Add-ons menu within Kodi and download HDHomeRun Live TV.
- Watch live HDTV on up to 2 devices simultaneously on your wired network
- Works with all popular PC DVR software (Kodi) so you can watch, pause and record
- HDHomeRun is DLNA compatible and streams over UPnP.
- TV antenna required
Where to Buy:
The SiliconDust HDHomeRun is available from these retailers:
Check out the wiki on how to integrate it with Kodi:
This informative video by Lon Seidman explains the install process and how it works.
Kodi is a very powerful media center software. It is a great alternative to cutting the cord from cable TV. It also integrates nicely with an over the air antenna. So if you are looking for a all in one media center solution try implementing Kodi into your viewing experience.