Kodi underfire by likes of uninformed Amazon.

Kodi does NOT endorse or include applications / addons that enable piracy driven 3rd party apps that facilitate the links to watch-stream unreleased/Pirated movies on their software.

Kodi/XBMC has and always will be software that is a media player only A awesome open share your movie nights among not just multiple rooms on HTPC cases but for also watching your favorite recorded shows on any devices such as Android tabs , Cell phones, Ipad ,Ibook, Fire TV, Smart TV’s and many others the list goes on visit google read educate yourself. Silicondust, read Kodi!. People this opens up a new era of consumer based control unseen before now.  To benefit the use of 3rd party hardware that is legitimate like Silicondust HDHomerun and other seasoned manufacturers that produce these tuners to watch and record Tv within Kodi that is following the letter of the law. These are okay to include in your Kodi bundle.

With that said since Kodi aka: XBMC is open software they will not and do not tell users of their software to not use 3rd party apps that can be found in awesome repositories all over nets. They are all for openness of using their software as you see fit.

Beware quick buck scam artists taking from people who would be getting the software for free in the first place.But DO NOT produce a Kodi/XBMC box with the full monty  meaning loaded with 3rd party apps that base consumers think is legal and okay to purchase.

Kodi is the trademark holder for the Kodi name and franchise. Amazon has already banned Kodi sales from their web/site sales with an almost passive aggressive agenda to cover their own collective asses.
Why had Amazon did this? Well it was for what I believe is a lack of knowledge on the consumer and Amazon how Kodi 3rd party addons work. Or was just a stunt to kiss the content holders ass to garner more funds for their upstart to crumble bright and upcoming starts with new bold ideas.

SO what are 3rd party apps?
In simple terms-A thirdparty application is any app that is not an official Kodi Application But uses Kodi’s Media Center software to integrate into Kodi itself. 3rd party apps are NOT developed by Kodi programmers. 3rd party apps allow the consumers of Kodi to add whatever they want to Kodi to either open up new options and availability that Kodi alone does NOT produce.

Apps that allow the users of Kodi to watch Streaming movies from the theater or sometimes not yet released are Exodus, Genesis, 1-Channel, Pheonix.  And quite a few others. This is only on the movie side of viewing. And these apps listed are not created by the Kodi team.

Small Media center boxes based on Android OS are almost the size of a cigarette pack but square. People on Ebay, Amazon other online retailers are selling these boxes fully loaded with 3rd party software that enables pirate streaming of Movies not out of theaters or not yet even released to theaters & same with Television shows.
The sales of these fully enabled boxes are not just getting Kodi taken off online retail sites but are destroying Kodi’s name.

Kodi team is all for installing your loved 3rd party apps since Kodi is open source software.
Developers at Kodi aren’t saying what to install or not install on your Kodi setup. But they are asking if You do sell hardware with Kodi installed DO NOT have any 3rd party applications installed. This is for the consumer/end user to add on.

Download your own repositories and install the 3rd party apps you want after you purchase a Kodi box in it’s vanilla form. Kodi software it self is free and can be downloaded. https://kodi.tv/

I have a few of the small Boxes that came with pre-installed 3rd party apps myself.
And the little boxes are great but they are great with just Kodi installed on it with no 3rd party apps

Want some Repositories? The link is for multiple repos that need to be unzipped with WinRAR. WinRAR is free and downloaded for Windows= http://rarlabs.com/download.htm

to Install repositories in Kodi go to:
Settings
then select Addons then click on install from zip file.
navigate to where you unzipped the repository folder which will contain about 30 repositories in zipped files.
The individual repos need to be zipped for install in Kodi.
Here is the 30 repos in one zipped file which does need unzipped.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3116735/Repositories.rar
This file does not contain every repo just a good start.

The file is clean and been scanned but still scan with your Antivirus anyhow.

Can also install repositories by going to System, File Manager , Click add source.
Add File source box will pop up click in the address type bar that will say NONE.
Type in exactly as I list=   http://srp.nu
Now Click Done
At bottom of window will be a blank bar that says Enter a name for this media Source
Type SuperRepo then click OK.

Go back to home screen and in settings click Add-Ons then click on install Zip-File scroll down until you see SuperRepo click on it and install the Supernova repo.

This step can be taken over and over again adding new repositories.
Here are more links for you to add manually yourself:-)

http://xunitytalk.me/xfinity
http://fusion.tvaddons.ag
 http://zeusrepo.com/zeus/
http://srp.nu

SuperRepo is a must have if you want some of the best 3rd party addons.
The more repo’s you have the more application selection you will have.

While Kodi team doesn’t care what 3rd party apps you use copyright holders do. So beware and know your local,state,gov , laws. Even streaming unreleased movies is considered pirating.
There are many cool 3rd party apps that are not for pirating movies or TV. Steam is awesome! PVR, Advanced Launcher and many, many more.

Most important if your going to sell Kodi boxes do so without any Repo’s or 3rd party apps installed.
Kodi alone is already kick ass!

Tip: If you do decide to install many repo’s and add-ons. Kodi does not support this. Don’t go hitting the official forums looking for a solution to an issue. Your on your own!

 

 

 

Finding the right HTPC case

Have went through 3 different HTPC cases. Every change made me happy but not for very long.
What Bothers me most is the lack of any on case display. Why? Bling factor is one of them but not the main reason for wanting one.
Wanting a LCD or OSD is for music and time.
If i’m listening to music from my HTPC which I often do i’d rather not have the TV on just to go through what I want to play or to see what is playing.
It can cause burn-in on the TV and is a waste of electricity.
With a small LCD display on front of case can scroll through music and see what’s playing with out the need of TV being on. Plus I like looking below the TV while waiting for Supernatural to come on and see what time it is or how much longer I must wait.

There are the beautiful cases that incorporate a excellent 7″ touchscreen LCD on front of the case.
The cost is now $360 to $800 which has dropped significantly over the last 2 years.
Is it awesome? HELL YES! Is it really needed? Nope.
Bling factor  +50!! Usefulness not so much let’s think about this. Will I be watching any movies on it? Not a chance I have a 60″ HDTV it is connected to.
So this leaves the only useful option to see what music is on when TV is off and what time it is.
This can all be done on a LCD that is 2 x 20 in size and will accomplish what is useful.

If I had $360 to blow sure i’d get one of these awesome displays of techgeekiness. Flex my HTPC muscle.

Now to finding a case that has the feature of a small LCD display is another quest.
They are out there but not in the huge numbers they should be.
I’ve located the model I want and it has been discontinued and costs $275 used:-(
Can always go ahead and pull the DVD drive from my HTPC and add the nMEDIAPC Silver Aluminum Panel PRO-LCD-S 5.25 drive bay slot. This would accomplish what I am looking for.
But I just don’t want to give up my DVD/Bluray slot for a LCD display panel. I want both!
Have I ever used the DVD drive? No, but why should I give that option up.

Then there is the nMEDIAPC Black HTPC 2800B ATX Media Center / HTPC Case 
Which costs $89.99 and the LCD panel isn’t programmable which means i’d still have to purchase the nMEDIAPC Silver Aluminum Panel PRO-LCD-S:-(

The search for HTPC case bliss continues on. Will I find that sexy sleek case I’ve always wanted but could never have?
Will the case continue to allude me? Or will I just be crushed under the mad chase of case bliss?

 

 

FCC says it will “unlock the set-top box”

This is an article from last month.
But the truth is cable companies are charging the consumer large monthly fee’s for cable boxes and encryptions they put in place.
All the more reason to move to a Media Center /PVR/DVR based setup or a NAS.
Whatever is decided or if ever it is. Why not save on those monthly fees. Buying the hardware will pay for it self in a years time.

Verizon:
HD Cbl box-

Read article:
http://arstechnica.com/business/2016/01/tom-wheeler-fires-back-at-cable-lobby-says-cable-box-fees-are-too-high/

Antenna’s

This part was supposed to be at the bottom of part 1 post.

Antenna’s are very much needed if you plan on using over the air broadcast.
There are indoor antenna’s and outside as well.
I’ll level with you I have only used an indoor antenna to retrieve OTA HDTV.
And I personally liked it but issue I had was reception. With an outdoor antenna this wouldn’t be as much of an issue.

So you decided outdoor is it! first figure out where your antenna will best work and what type will best work for you. There are different antenna’s medium multi-directional, small directional, amplified, etc.

Visit here to figure this out= http://www.antennaweb.org/

This page is a suggestion based webpage so don’t use it as the end all be all answer. Do a bit of homework regarding hardware.
What I have read and would use is a small multi-directional antenna.
You’ll want to find out where broadcast antenna’s are located in your area. If your in the middle of no where a small multi-directional would not be the answer for you most likely need an amplified antenna.

Seriously there isn’t much to post regarding this.
Picking hardware will be the biggest thing in my opinion so shop at the obvious places.

Part 1- Home Theater PC, Android Box,Extenders, Hardware & Software

Part One

Been thinking about all the different things I’ve tried and hardware & software configurations I have went through.
Decided to go a head and post what I know on this subject as best as I can to help others wanting to cut the cable boxes out. Or for those who just want a media center to stream video or play avi’s and other formats.
This blog will cover both OTA and cable card setups. And anything HTPC/Media Center related.

Considering making my blog solely about media centers and hardware.

Hardware:

Computer hardware: Intel, Amd based pre-built or custom built, Android based boxes small fits in palm of your hand. Names of  some of these boxes are Amazon Fire TV, Matricom G-Box Q, MXIII Amlogic S802, DIAOTEC S82 Android Smart TV Box, Onvo 4k and there are other Android based boxes that usually ship from China but are significantly cheaper.
Raspberry-pi ,  Raspberry Pi 2.
I am using the CMX AML8726- MX Android Box with Jelly Bean (Cost for the Android box on Ebay $32 shipped) in one room. A Intel Atom box in My bedroom Kodibuntu, In the living room have a custom built AMD 6 core HTPC Windows 7 x64 based with Kodi. And have also used and fully setup Raspberry-Pi box.
If I have missed any hardware please comment I will add any hardware I may have missed.

CMX AML8726-MX Android Media Box.
CMX AML8726-MX Android Media Box.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I placed the Galaxy s4 next to Android Media box for size comparison.
The Raspberry-Pi:

Another compact option for your media watching pleasure.
Another compact option for your media watching pleasure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Backend Software for Kodi Media Center AKA:Operating System Kodi can be installed on: Windows 7, 8, 8.1 , 10 although for Live TV not a good choice Windows Media Center no longer supported in OS. Mac OS X, Linux, Free Scale ,BSD, Android, IOS, Raspberry-Pi.
There is also the very old and now abandoned Windows xp media center edition 2005 and quite a few other Media Center programs available.
Will try to cover them as I continue to add to the blog.

Tuners are for watching and recording live television.
Can buy hardware tuners that use cable cards or OTA=Over The Air.
What is a cable card?
CableCARD is a special-use PC Card device that allows consumers in the United States to view and record digital cable television channels on digital video recorders, personal computers and television sets without the use of other equipment such as a set top box (STB) provided by a cable television company. The card may be provided by the local cable provider; usually for a nominal monthly fee.
Full detail explanation of cable card can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CableCARD

What is OTA=Over the Air?

Terrestrial television (redirect from Overtheair television) television reception by traditional receiving antennas, which can receive overtheair HDTV signals.

Hardware to receive and record Live Television:

Cable card reader hardware:
Manufacturer Silicondust: HDHomerun Prime 3-Tuners, Hdhomerun Expand 4-Tuners “Europe Only”.  Hauppauge WinTV-DCR-2650 Dual Tuner Digital CableCARD Receiver, Ceton InfiniTV 6 PCIe – 5205-DCT06IN-PCIE – Six-tuner , Ceton InfiniTV 6 ETH network tuner , The older model Ceton InfiniTV 4 PCIe, Ceton InfiniTV 4 USB This I believe has been discontinued.

What I have listed here is some of the more popular models available. I’m sure there are others out there. Importance is choosing the tuners that are right for you and your setup. Always do your homework before making this very important choice. The Tuners you choose will the be the backbone of your HTPC’s recording and scheduling & live viewing.

OTA Hardware: Aka: Over The Air
These devices are tuners that will connect to your Media Center.
I have only used 1-USB OTA tuner the Kworld KW-UB443 U2.

Kworld USB single Tuner
Kworld USB single Tuner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This list is huge so I am going to just add a link to Newegg page with these type tuners.
http://www.newegg.com/Video-Devices-TV-Tuners/SubCategory/ID-47/Page-2

In order to get OTA aka: Over the Air signals you will need a digital antenna.
These can be purchased on the nets or at your local Walmart, Home Depot’s and other places.
This can get costly depending on the hardware /Antenna you want.
The better and higher the antenna the better signal and range you will get.
Can check what over the air channels are in your area by going to this web page. Just put your zip code in and click go. US only for this link.
http://transition.fcc.gov/mb/engineering/dtvmaps/

SlingBox:

What is a sling box? What does it do?
A Slingbox is a physical device that you attach to your cablebox/DVR and it allows you to control and view your TV/cablebox/DVR content from afar using a broadband Internet connection.

Products and more info can be found on the home page.  http://www.slingbox.com/
These devices start at $149 new. But good news is you can watch TV and DVR from afar using Kodi without the cost of buying an expensive Slingbox which I will later explain how to setup within Kodi. That is if you decide Kodi media center is for you.

Internet connectivity:
Regardless of your setup you will need broadband internet. And for streaming and extenders you will want 100mb/1gb Router if you are setup to service more than 1 room 100mb/1gb switches are highly recommended .
Wireless is just not cut out for 1080 resolution video and even 720 resolution will give you issues.  So NO wireless don’t bother.
And wireless is not stable a drop during a recording will be a mess. You will want a steady stable internet connection.

Kodi “Jarvis” 16.0 RC-1 Eminence 2.0 Skin

Have been using XBMC now Kodi for around 3 years. And out of the many skins I have used I prefer Eminence over all others.

With the latest  Kodi RC-1-RC=Release Candidate the skin Eminence will half work for a bit after installing the latest Kodi.

Noticed some issues did arise after a bit so went and installed the beta of Eminence 2.0 while it isn’t finished I can use it.
It lacks the finesse of the full release that works for previous Kodi version 15.2.

Go ahead give it a try the beta is not in any repository as of yet. So will require a manual install and download.
It is 5-6 files that will need installed.