Kodi is a superb media player that allows you to play or stream video, music and pictures. It is extremely customisable and allows the addition of ‘modules’ that provide additional content and services.
Why have I heard that Kodi is illegal?
Kodi itself is just a piece of software and is 100% legal. It is powerful, well written and one of the best media players available. However, because the Kodi software is so customisable, there have been many illegal add-ons written to ‘bolt-on’ to it. Some of these add-ons allow the illegal streaming and downloading of copyrighted material (things like the latest movies, TV shows, sport events etc.)
Taking this a stage further, those less concerned with the legality of the content, have built small desktop boxes that connect direct to your TV. These boxes have the Kodi software and the illegal bolt-ons pre-installed and allow easy play back of the latest TV, films and music, in contravention of copyright laws. These boxes are known as ‘Kodi boxes’ and it is these that are now banned. It is illegal to sell, buy and use these devices. This is a little unfortunate for Kodi as it mistakenly brands the Kodi software as being part of that illegal activity.
How Do I Get Kodi?
The Kodi player is available to download from your phone or tablet app store or via the website https://kodi.tv
What Can I Do With Kodi?
In its simplest form Kodi is a media player and can identify the difference between video, audio and photo files. It is a powerful and easy to use media centre for playing this type of media, whether watching video, listening to music or watching a slideshow of your holiday snaps.
However, when linked to the Internet, Kodi also allows easy ‘streaming’ of video and audio which is what makes it so powerful. For the uninitiated, play-back refers to playing a complete file that you have stored on your device, whereas ‘streaming’ sends a constant stream of data that is played back as it is received. So using old technology ; a broadcasted TV channel, such as BBC 1 is the equivalent of a stream as you watched it ‘live’ as it was broadcast. Whereas a VHS video recorded and stored a copy of the program on the tape and you watched this via ‘play-back’.
To watch streaming content on Kodi you can install add-ons, most completely legal, that let you stream various contents and channels to your device (PC, desktop box, tablet or phone).
What Add-Ons are available?
You can choose from an ever-growing list of add-ons. On the Kodi web site there are currently 11 pages of video add-ons listed, all legal to use. The image shown is a good example of the diversity of the ‘channels’ available and shows just the last two rows of the video channel add-ons.
If you want to learn more about Kodi then refer to their website at https://kodi.tv or do a web search for Kodi TV.