Kodi is software for free media viewing on a TV box or other device. The Kodi box channels available are endless and you can watch free TV from all over the World. The Kodi box is usually fully loaded with the software, especially when you buy it from Amazon. So, what is a Kodi TV box and how exactly does it work?
- Is using a Kodi box legal or can you be charged?
- The Kodi box setup and installation
- Internet requirements
- Which Kodi box channels (add-ons) are the best?
- Buying a Kodi box on Amazon
- What else can a Kodi box be used for?
- Top 3 Kodi box recommendations
Kodi was formerly known as XBMC (X-Box Media Center). In actual fact, most people still call it that. When you open Kodi it still has the XBMC logo.
When I first started using XBMC it was on a jailbroken Apple TV (2nd generation). The Apple TV cost me around $120 if I remember correctly. These days you don’t have to pay anything like that.
The format on XBMC hasn’t changed since then. Everything is free and once you start using it you will open up a brand new World of free TV.
Is using a Kodi box legal or can you be charged?
The actual Kodi box itself is legal. Adding the software is legal. However, using the software to view channels which have subscriptions may have consequences.
It’s a bit of a grey area to be honest. Whenever I was using Kodi it was to watch UK TV from overseas so it didn’t really affect me, or worry me.
But there is an ongoing court case in the UK which could have consequences for anyone wishing to use a Kodi box for Sky Sports or other paid channels.
Brian Thompson, a Kodi box reseller from Middlesbrough has been charged with selling the boxes fully loaded with Kodi.
He is due in court in May this year and if he is found guilty it could have a damaging effect on the sale of Kodi boxes in the UK.
How can you use Kodi wthout worrying?
If you are worried about being caught, especially if you are in the UK, a good VPN can hide your identity. This would allow you to use Kodi without anyone knowing about it.
With the introduction of the Snoopers’ Charter in the UK it is seriously dangerous using Kodi to watch free TV.
A VPN from one of my best 10 VPN providers would allow you to watch anonymously.
The VPN is installed under Settings on the TV box. Depending on the box it will probably be located under Network.
You need to get the VPN server name from your VPN provider. You will also need to enter your user name and password.
If you are outside of the UK and not particularly too worried about using it, then you wouldn’t need a VPN.
Unless of course, you are trying to access geo-restricted content. There are add-ons like BBC iPlayer that won’t allow you to watch unless you are in the UK.
A good VPN would allow you to connect to the UK server and access BBC iPlayer.
The Kodi box setup and installation
To install the free software you can download it from the TV Add-ons website or the Google Play Store. An add-on is just another name for an app (application) that is installed and can be opened to view free TV channels or open links to media files.
It can’t be used on iPhone or iPad unless you jailbreak them but it can be installed on a Windows or Android device with no issues.
Jailbreaking your iDevices is not something I can promote here. However, there is more information on the TV Add-ons website.
It can also be used on Mac, Fire Stick TV, NVIDA shield TV, Raspberry Pi, OUYA, Linux and Kodibuntu devices. There is also a custom version of Kodi called FreeTelly which installs it with pre-configured add-ons.
For this exercise we shall focus on installing the original Kodi version for Mac or Android and setting it up.
Once you have installed the software and opened Kodi for the first time you may notice that it has already installed some add-ons.
My videos below explain how to use Kodi after installation and how to add a new add-on of your choice.
Once you have installed and setup your add-ons there is nothing else to do. Sit back, relax and enjoy your free viewing.
A word of caution.
Kodi recommend an internet speed of 10Mb/s. I would advise you to subscribe to the fastest available service with your ISP and also use fiber optic broadband if possible.
Without high speed internet you will, more than likely, experience buffering. This occurs when it cannot cache enough data to stream continuously.
You’ve probably seen this happen on YouTube. Well, the same applies to Kodi I’m afraid. There are a few things you can do to reduce buffering but you may not be able to eliminate it completely.
This is because Kodi relies on users adding streams. When media is uploaded and links added, these are accessible to everyone.
Because it is free TV and everyone is using it, this can affect the bandwidth.
A solution for slower internet
There is another IPTV option available which has no buffering and only requires an internet speed of 3Mb/s.
This is a paid subscription with packages starting from €15. You can choose from UK, USA and Canada channels.
You do need a MAG TV box as opposed to a standard Android TV box but you can easily buy one of these on Amazon. Check out my recommendations here.
It is far more impressive than Kodi and everything is arranged into a simple menu like your cable or satellite provider.
My supplier is NTV and I subscribe to the English package at €29 monthly. I have a video showing it in operation on my Live and Catch Up TV page.
Please note: this system is only available to use outside of the UK.
Which Kodi box channels (add-ons) are the best?
Whether you are planning to use your Kodi box for Sky Sports, Sky News, HBO or other channels, below are the top 5 choices for Sports, Movies and other genres.
This is just a short list. There are literally hundreds and thousands of different add-ons for a whole range of genres.
There are Indian, Filipino, Chinese, Russian, etc. The list is endless.
Also included in the top 5 below is the repo name for each add-on.
In no particular order:
- SportsDevil (Unofficial SportsDevil Repository)
- Castaway (natko1412 repo)
- Phoenix (TV Addons repo)
- ZemTV (Shanis addon repo)
- UK Turk Playlist (MetalKettles repo)
Movies / TV Shows
- Primewire/1Channel (tknorris repo)
- Exodus (Exodus repo)
- Velocity (Blazetamer’s repo)
- The Royal We (dudehere repo)
- Anarchy Movies (sonsofanarchy repo)
- CBSN News (official kodi repo)
- TV (kinkins repo)
- Russia Today News (official kodi repo)
- Al Jazeera (official kodi repo)
- Livestream (official kodi repo)
Buying a Kodi box on Amazon
Amazon is great for buying Android TV boxes because there is so many choices. Rather than hunting for a specific Kodi box you can filter all of them and choose which one you want.
Another reason I prefer using Amazon is the warranty and shipping insurance. You can also add 4 or 5 year warranties before you purchase the TV box.
Before you buy a Kodi box from Amazon be sure to check out my recommended Kodi boxes. Please be wary of buying “any old box” from Amazon. I have years of experience buying these boxes and the cheap ones tend to be cheap for a reason.
What else can a Kodi box be used for?
The actual box is just an android TV box. Kodi is only one application that can be installed on it.
Anything from the Google Play Store can also be installed. That means you can use the TV box to watch Netflix, HULU or any other app.
You can also install any compatible program from the internet browser on the box menu.
If you are into gaming, it can be used to play games. Obviously the higher the spec of TV box, the better the game performance.
You can also watch external movies on a USB stick or even view photos from your albums. These boxes support a wide range of media formats.
Top 3 Kodi Box recommendations
There are some really great boxes being introduced now. The advent of 8 Core (octa core) technology means faster boxes.
The good thing is, this hasn’t affected the prices. You can still get a great Octa Core TV box for a fraction more than the old Quad Core TV boxes.
My top 3 recommendations are below. Each of these come fully loaded with Kodi and other apps. If you click on each link it will take you directly to my Review for each box.
I hope you have discovered what a Kodi TV box is and how it works.
If you have found this article useful please share or leave a comment below.
Good luck whichever way you decide to go!
- Craig, UK TV Services Abroad