By now, most readers will understand how the Kodi experience operates. The software itself is an entirely legal media player but one which can be augmented with various addons.
For millions of users, it is these addons that really give Kodi its spice. Created by third-party developers, these add-ons allow Kodi to serve a massive range of often pirated content, including movies, TV shows (both live and on demand), plus sports and PPVs.
TV Addons is one of the world’s largest repositories of Kodi addons. It is not affiliated with the creators of Kodi but has become host to some of the software’s most-used tools. As such, its popularity has soared in recent months.
With Kodi add-ons now a major talking point around the world, TF caught up with Eleazar from TV Addons to get his thoughts for 2017.
“We never intended our community to be considered to be a source for sketchy content. There are many popular addons that have been developed as a more convenient way to access legitimately licensed content,” he explains.
“Some of the best and most popular addons include USTVnow, FilmOn, BBC iPlayer and EarthCam. We make open source addons to make the viewing of online content feel more natural when you’re watching on your living room TV.”
While there doesn’t appear to be any intention of reducing the availability of the most popular and controversial addons, Eleazar says a greater emphasis will be placed on tools that don’t fall into potential legal gray areas. Accessibility will also be improved.
“In the New Year, we hope to boost the more legitimate type of addons, from both the development perspective and end user point of view. We’re also in the process of streamlining the entire Kodi addon experience, making it easier for everyone, with our new website design coming very, very soon,” he adds.
In addition to all the excitement over Kodi and its addons in 2016, there have been considerable amounts of bad news for people who have tried to monetize the experience. Hundreds of sellers of pre-configured Android devices have popped up on eBay, Amazon, and other marketplaces, promising free media for all. Some have been arrested, particularly in the UK where there have been quite a few raids. Eleazar hopes there will be less of this in 2017.
“We really hope that people stop selling cheap pre-programmed Android TV devices. The main reason for our concern is the recent media attention these people have been getting. They are bundling Kodi addons with paid IPTV (something we are strongly against) and then getting busted for it and bringing negative attention to everyone,” he says.
“Secondly, in most cases, the kind of people who sell these devices aren’t the type of people who care about their reputations and thus end up making ridiculous promises to their customers, promises they will never be able to keep. People are maintaining addons for free, and profiteers are ruining it for everyone.”
Eleazar also has harsh words for the much of the hardware these suppliers sell to the public. Often of poor quality from the Far East, these devices can fail to live up to their billing. Better options are available for people to buy themselves, he says.
“If anyone is wondering what the best Kodi devices are, I’ll make it very clear. There’s no point in buying some cheap Chinese-manufactured no name device when you can buy much better devices manufactured by big electronics brands,” he advises.
“If you have no budget, the NVIDIA Shield TV is definitely the top choice. The second best choice would be the Xiaomi Mi Box, which sells for a mere $69 at Wal-Mart, and the third choice would be the Amazon Fire TV. Kodi can be installed to the first two in a few clicks through the Google Play Store, while it would need to be sideloaded to the Amazon Fire TV due to the lack of Android app store support.”
2017 is likely to be another big year for Kodi, its addons, and the streaming services that underpin them. As previously reported, the relationship between all three is somewhat uneasy, with the makers of Kodi and the operators of streaming sites both annoyed (1,2) at the creators of many addons.
Nevertheless, it seems the platform is here to stay – at least until the next big thing comes along.