There’s no doubt about it. Despite its recent woes, Netflix remains one of the most recognized streaming services in the world today. However, we’ve seen a glut of competing streamers online over the last year, including popular options like Disney+ and Hulu. If you are interested in the audio-visual or home theatre worlds, you’ve doubtless also seen Kodi gain huge market attention over the last few months. What is it, how does it compare to standard streaming services like Netflix, and what’s better for your needs? Let’s take a look.
What Are Streamers?
Streaming means using the internet to access video and audio content, mostly on a subscription basis. While there are some free streaming options out there, like parts of Roku’s catalogue, you typically either carry a PVOD (premium video on demand) or discounted AVOD (ad-supported video on demand) subscription to a specific service, depending on what content they offer and how it correlates with your tastes.
Music-specific streaming services exist, too, like the popular Spotify. We’re seeing many households discontinue and consolidate streaming subscriptions to tighten budgets. While a subscription to a solid and diverse service like Netflix can still be valuable to your enjoyment, it only provides access to their online servers and content. It does nothing to help you manage, store, and organize other items and cannot stream content you own from other sources.
What is Kodi?
Kodi is a free, open-source software which helps you curate and manage a collection of TV shows, movies, photos, music, and any other media you choose. If that sounds familiar, then you’re likely thinking of the old Xbox Media Center, which Kodi grew from.
Does Kodi Provide Streaming Content?
No, Kodi is not a direct replacement for existing streaming services. It works with existing media you already have access to, helping you to curate your collection, manage it, and ensure a smooth watching experience. Its real power lies in how many file types it can handle, from mp3s to stock video, and the smooth compatibility between devices it delivers. If you’re familiar with the Plex app offered on some Smart TVs, Kodi is a newer, smarter version of the same concept.
What Devices Does Kodi Work On?
The answer here is pretty much all of them. Kodi works with Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, and even Raspberry Pi. It’s also pretty easy to install and intuitive to use. It’s also frequently updated, ensuring the very best security as well as future-forward compatibility.
Why Would I Use Kodi?
With content the focus of the Kodi experience, it’s ideal for A/V fans and those using home theatre centres to get the best visual and audio experience. Audiophiles will also love it. Fully customizable, with many configuration options, it acts as a file manager and a way to seamlessly set up and operate your media to work on demand. You are no more fiddling with settings for hours to enjoy a 5-minute video clip! You can even add content from YouTube and install add-ons as you choose.
As you can see, a streaming service is only part of the picture. If you want a seamless and enjoyable viewing and listening experience from media you already own, and a simplified way to access it, you need something else to help. Luckily, with services like Kodi, you can step beyond the streaming box and enjoy all your content hassle-free.